Ofcourse, you can always skip the thoughts!
Ramadan Kareem! It’s already here. It took me by surprise, unprepared again. SubhanAlah, it’s the 3rd day of Ramadhan now, going away too fast, too soon. And in this short time there is so much to do, so much to gain! I am penning down my thoughts I had on the first day of ramadhan, it’s interesting to know what people are thinking this ramadhan. So here are my thoughts, and inshaAllah it would be great to hear from others as well (you can always post after ramadhan too, as time is so precious now, time always is!)
Driving my way home on the first of ramadhan I was thinking how I would explain the importance of ramadhan to a non-muslim. Being a minority in west, I find it difficult to explain to others what this month really is. To tell them that it is more than a personal choice, an annual ritual, a detoxifying fast from sunrise to sunset, a sacrifice, to connect to those who are less fortunate, to instill charity, to spiritually recharge ourselves, and so on and so forth.
I remember hearing the khateeb liking Ramadan to a graduate school, where we train our minds and body, and eid is the graduation party! But if we truly didn’t achieve anything, then really eid is to be less of a joyous occasion for us. It’s a wonderful way of reminding ourselves of the purpose of ramadhan.
I think of ramadhan as a second chance, a truly amazing opportunity, given only to those who are extremely lucky. This is why ramadhan is so special, so precious, its one night worth more than a thousand other nights. It is such a blessed month, such a beautiful guest, like a stranger who changes our lives. It is truly out of the mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa Taa’ala that this month is given to all of His (Subhanahu wa Taa’ala) creation, to every one, an opportunity we must seize, to change the course of our lives.
But why we must deny ourselves the most basics of life to taste the blessings of this month? Why we should go hungry to feel for one? Why so many rules to follow, it doesn’t make sense.
Perhaps it is to teach man that there is more that we don’t know and don’t understand, more we can’t know and can’t comprehend, than we think. If we believe in God, then we must submit fully and not question the logic of each and every obligation, for our minds our very limited. Was this the first lesson our dear father, Adam (AS) learned, when shaytan came to him and said:
“Then Shaytaan (Satan) whispered to him, saying : ‘O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?” [Ta-Ha 20:120-121 – interpretation of the meaning]
In reality, Shaytaan promised Adam (as) the two things Allah(Subhanahu wa Taa’ala) had already given him(as). We are all eternal, our earthly presence is temporary but we truly are eternal beings! And Adam (AS) was in al-Jannah, a kingdom that will never waste away.
Indeed, there is very little we know. Lets claim back our place, or increase in our rank, in the sight of Allah(Subhanahu wa Taa’ala), through obedience. May, we be as quick in repenting as our blessed parents, Adam and Hawa (Eve)-(Peace and blessings be upon them both) who said:
“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers” [al-A’raaf 7:23]
“And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do” [al-Shoora 42:25]
“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:19]
The month of Qura’an:
Here is a good link to get started:http://www.islamonline.net/english/ramadan/1428/index.shtml
I’m sharing the few notes I took from a halaqah:Just like one must be pure to carry the quran, one’s heart must be pure to carry the quran.The one who carries the Quran, fears Allah, is silent, not having a loud voice (as in rude), and does not commit sins like backbiting etc (perhaps the meaning here is- one doesn’t constantly commits such sins without repentance).
It is important to listen to the quran as well.
Even the Prophet(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked the companions to recite the Quran to him(sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
Do not raise your voice over the Quran.
When you see a verse of Sajdah, do sujood.
(SubhanAllah, a lecture by Hamza Yusuf coems to mind, where he said that quran is not just for reciting, that is why we do sajdah rite after an ayah of sajdah, to hear and then to obey-no delays/hesitations)
Adaab of the Mushaf:
Do not put it on floor or under other books. Some Scholars consider it haram to put it on floor.
It is mustahab (recommended) to smell nice. Have wudu’ before holding a mushaf.
Makrooh (disliked) to hang it. (example: for protection)
One is not allowed to touch it if in a state of najas akbar (ghusl required for purification).Some scholars say not allowed to even read the quran in such a state (there is ikhtilaaf among scholars over the issue of haid)
Tilawah- Read the quran with proper tajweed, and read slowly.
Haraam to read with wrong tashkeel, read it wrong.
*Do not wait for the last 10 days of ramadhan to increase your ibadah. Do it now, it is the blessings of doing it in the beginning of ramadhan that will able you to do more in the last days of ramadhan as well.
The credit goes to the friend who gave the above halaqah and also made this checklist to follow, it really is helpful, not too much to so, not too little!
May Allah(Subhanahu wa Taa’ala) always bless us to be in the company of those who conctantly remind us to turn towards Him (Subhanahu wa Taa’ala). Ameen.