Surat Abasa(80). Reciter: Abdel Aziz Al-Zahrani.
Lying to yourself about how you truly feel is heavily associated with depression. Not accepting the truth is what makes things harder.
Mentir a sí mismo acerca de cómo usted se siente verdad está fuertemente asociado con la depresión. No aceptar la verdad es lo que hace las cosas más difíciles.
Liegen tegen jezelf over hoe je echt het gevoel is sterk geassocieerd met depressie. Het niet accepteren van de waarheid is wat maakt de zaken moeilijker.
Mentir pour vous sur la façon dont vous vous sentez vraiment est fortement associée à la dépression. Ne pas accepter la vérité est ce qui rend les choses plus difficiles.
Liegen, um sich darüber, wie Sie wirklich das Gefühl, stark mit Depressionen. Die Wahrheit nicht zu akzeptieren ist, was macht die Sache schwieriger.
Duì zìjǐ shuōhuǎng nǐ rúhé zhēnzhèng gǎnshòu dào zài hěn dà chéngdù shàng yǔ yìyù zhèng yǒuguān. Bù jiēshòu de zhēnxiàng shì shénme shǐ shìqíng biàn dé gèng nán.
Ljuga för dig själv om hur du verkligen känner är starkt förknippad med depression. Inte acceptera sanningen är det som gör saker svårare.
Lezha na sebya o tom, kak vy deystvitel’no chuvstvuyete v znachitel’noy stepeni svyazano s depressiyey . Ne prinimaya pravdu to, chto delayet veshchi trudneye.
Eğer gerçekten ağır depresyon ile ilişkili hissediyorum nasıl kendinize yalan.Gerçeği kabul edilmedi sert şeyler yapan şeydir.
Mentire a se stessi su come si senti veramente è fortemente associato con la depressione. Non accettando la verità è ciò che rende le cose più difficili.
Berbohong kepada diri sendiri tentang bagaimana Anda benar-benar merasa ini sangat berhubungan dengan depresi. Tidak menerima kebenaran adalah apa yang membuat hal-hal sulit.
You can’t find it on a map. But millions call it home. Where is Palestine? It’s complicated. But give us a little over 90 seconds, and we’ll give you the gist.
By: Fatima Bheekoo-Shah
Johannesburg is the business hub of South Africa. Islam has been in practise here since the 1600s, brought by people from other countries who eventually settled in the region. Today, South Africa is home to a number of Islamic educational institutes and masajid (mosques).
In this post, we hear from Fatima Bheekoo-Shah, a resident of Johannesburg.
Experience of Ramadan in Johannesburg
Ramadan here is always a much-anticipated time and Muslims prepare months in advance for its welcome. Although Muslims only make up about 2% of the South African population, the environment and the amenities made available for them make it hard to guess that they are, after all, such a small minority.
While it is a month of fasting, it is ironic that we have many Muslim women who start preparing savouries months in advance. They do this either for their own use or for sale. While much could be said about the merits of this savoury-frenzy, it certainly helps in the build-up to this auspicious month. Qur’an competitions and recitals are also held in Rajab and Sha’ban (months prior to Ramadan) to prepare huffād [plural of hāfid, are Muslims who have completely memorised the Qur'an] for taraweeh.
During Ramadan there is definitely a community spirit in the air. In Cape Town little plates of edibles and sweets are sent to one’s Muslim neighbours. In Johannesburg, it is customary for women to prepare large amounts of soup and savouries, sending them to their local masajid to be distributed among devotees that gather there. Closer to Eid, various charitable organizations call on the community to help package and distribute food and clothes-parcels as part of their charitable campaigns for the less fortunate.
Boosting productivity during Ramadan
Because we are not a ‘Muslim country’ there are no such things as reduced working hours. It is pretty much a normal day with Muslims fasting. This year though, the month of fasting falls during our annual winter holidays. So most schools will remain closed during this period, making things easier for our children. Also, most employees take permission to leave work early.
Spiritually, the masajid run various programs for the community to attend. Most masajid in South Africa, with the exception of a few, perform the full 20 raka’ats of taraweeh. The objective is to complete a full recitation of the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan. It is also usually completed during the last ten nights of the month. Some even strive to complete two such full recitations.
It has become somewhat of a tradition for Mufti Menk to spend Ramadan in South Africa, having a tafsir (exegesis) lecture after taraweeh every evening. Even with taraweeh ending late and Muslims having had a normal workday, the masjid can be seen overflowing with devotees eagerly soaking up wisdom from the Mufti. It is also a very social time for Muslims and having iftar dinners is high on the agenda. Many of these do end before taraweeh prayers, though.
Through Jumu’ah Khutbas (sermons) imams encourage the community to attend prayers at the masjid a few months before Ramadan begins. Charitable organizations also run programs on weekends, where people in poorer communities are treated for iftar.
Because we are not a ‘Muslim country’ we do not face challenges such as Ramadan TV series. Living in a non-Muslim environment makes us yearn to hang on even more to the traditions, culture and practices of Ramadan.
The biggest challenge for those who work is trying to balance work, benefiting from the immense reward of reciting the Qur’an and offering optional prayers. This Jumu’ah, the khateeb (the one delivering a sermon) reminded the people that fasting will actually fall during the World Cup and this should not distract nor prevent us from attending prayers at the masjid.
Overcoming obstacles and making the most out of Ramadan
I have learned to overcome this by planning, planning and more planning.
I wake up an hour before suhoor and recite as much Qur’an as I can. After suhoor I don’t retire to bed; I prepare my meals instead so that there is no rush to do it for iftar in the evening.
At work while performing my salah I use some of my break to read more Qur’an. This helps me complete at least one khatma in the holy month. Once I get home I take a power nap before iftar so that I have ample energy for taraweeh.
Over the last few years, my family and I have cut out oily and all unhealthy food so we do not become lazy and sluggish. This went a long way in helping us enjoy a productive Ramadan and keeping our energy levels constant.
Most group iftar parties are held just before taraweeh so that family and friends can attend the taraweeh in congregation. After taraweeh I go to bed. We also switch off the TV during this month so that our minds are not occupied by it and we don’t waste time during this precious month. Even children get used to this and find healthy alternatives to keep themselves occupied.
Some of the Islamic radio stations broadcast lectures and Qur’an recitation to inspire Muslims throughout Ramadan.
Most importantly, we make a firm intention from the beginning of the month that we will try our best during the coming month. We have goals written down and try to complete them as quickly as we can and motivate ourselves to do more.
The key thing is to be consciously aware that Ramadan is not a month for feasting nor should it be taken easy. Rather, it’s a month to be more productive despite the challenges we face. Renewing our intentions periodically throughout the month and carefully structuring our day will lead to greater productivity on a daily basis, In sha Allah.
I remind myself that the Battle of Badr took place in Ramadan. That in itself is a big motivating factor.
That was a quick and brief look into life and productivity during Ramadan in Johannesburg. What productivity challenges do you face in your locality? What unique ways do you adopt to overcome these challenges? Please share your life experiences in the comments below.
By: Gianluca Mezzofiore
An Israeli academic has claimed that raping wives and mothers of Palestinian Hamas militants is the only thing that could deter further terrorist attacks.
The remarks by renowned Middle East scholar Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University were made three weeks ago after the grim discovery of the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, but the recording was published online (in Hebrew) on Monday.
“The only thing that could deter a suicide bomber is knowing that if caught, his sister or his mother would be raped,” said Kedar on Israel Radio Bet
By: Yvonne Ridley
Whilst the Israeli military consistently denies that it does not deliberately targets civilians, the relentless killings of women, children and the sick continues.
1. GRAPHIC: Viewer Discretion advised. Video appears to show a man searching in rubble for family being shot dead
2. “What are Gazans supposed to do? Evacuate to where? SWIM FOR IT? Have you ****ing seen Gaza?”
3. “How does killing children on a beach protect Israel?”
4. “What people on earth would tolerate a 45 year old brutal occupation?”
5. “Is not clear … they [Israel] have no regard themselves to international humanitarian law .. that they place completely different and much lower value on Palestinian life compared to Israeli life?”
The pre-Ramadan enthusiasm I felt within me was unmatched compared to any other point in time throughout the year. In prior months before this spiritual season, I regretfully admit to losing sight of many of the priorities and principles that I used to hold so dear. Thus, as Ramadan drew near, my spiritual preparations began. By mid-Sha’ban, my goals had already been set, my schedule was arranged and my heart was desperately anticipating the blessed month of Ramadan. However, despite all of the extensive and precise planning on my part, I had come to understand that Allah is Al-Khaliq, the best of planners.
One week prior to Ramadan, I was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which cells within the patient’s pancreas fail to produce insulin, a hormone necessary to transport glucose into the body’s cells. Without insulin, the body is unable to use glucose for energy. Thus, diabetics recreate this process by injecting insulin into their bodies several times throughout the day. It is essential to continually monitor one’s blood sugar in order to maintain a precise, stable glucose level.
Unfamiliar with the disease at the time of the diagnosis, my first concern had little to do with my health, but rather whether or not I would be able to fast in the upcoming Ramadan. However, my doctors and family did not see this as a priority considering the disease had been developing within me for several months and their sole concern was to immediately begin treatment. Because I had been readily awaiting Ramadan for the past few months, this news was heartbreaking. I was absolutely crushed.
Completely terrified by this entire process, I quickly fell into somewhat of a depressive state for the days following the diagnosis. I was extremely frustrated by this whole situation and frankly, angry that this happened to me. The thought that consistently occupied my mind day and night was, “Of all the weeks to get diagnosed with diabetes, it had to be the week before Ramadan.” Even my doctors agreed that it was somewhat of an unfortunate coincidence. But nothing is ever a coincidence.
The first week of the diagnosis was the most disheartening, agonizing week of my life. All of my excitement for the upcoming Ramadan had instantly faded as I became so extremely occupied with doctors’ appointments and coping with the side-effects of the new medication. I was told that because I was recently diagnosed, fasting was not an option since regulating your blood sugar is a learning process that comes with time. Discouraged, I lost hope in having the much-anticipated “Ramadan experience.”
Although I was feeling weak in my iman (faith), I attended the first Jummah (Friday prayer) before Ramadan. As expected, the khateeb (speaker) gave a beautiful khutbah (sermon) about fasting. He explained how there is no act of worship comparable to this because it is the one act of worship done solely for the sake of Allahsubhanahu wa ta`ala (Glorified is He). I felt as if I was hearing the concept of fasting for the very first time in my life; because for me, it was the very first time in my life where it was not definite that I would be able to fast. My eyes filled with tears as this thought became more of a reality. Last Ramadan I never would have considered the possibility that only one year later, I would be uncertain about my ability to partake in one of the most special parts of Ramadan.
I feel like I listened to the khutbah in a different light than everyone else that day. For others, it may have been an annual reminder about the blessings and beauty of the upcoming fasts. For me, however, it was an eye-opening reality that forced me to apprehend my lifelong ungratefulness.
As I broke down in front of my close friend that night, I grieved over the timing of this situation. She stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Perhaps this is the best time.” She continued to explain that yes, a significant part of Ramadan is about fasting, but it is also about developing and strengthening your relationship with Allah (swt). The beauty of the situation is that, while I may be experiencing one of the most difficult times in my life, I am doing so in the most blessed month out of the entire year where His divine mercy is shown everywhere. In that instant, I realized what an amazing blessing I was given. I realized that this couldn’t have happened at a better time.
“Verily, with hardship comes ease.” (Qur’an 94:6)
As only a few days remained before the commencing of Ramadan, I met with my doctor and reluctantly asked her again about the possibility of fasting. I spoke from the heart and explained that one’s health is a priority in Islam, but it would mean the world to me if we could figure out a way to safely go about fasting, although we are still in the beginning stages of treatment. To my surprise, she was extremely understanding and willing to try any sort of changes in medication to make it work. Currently, we have entered into the last 10 days of Ramadan and I feel so unbelievably blessed to be fasting and experiencing this month as I would ordinarily. However, I have come into this month with a new frame of mind. I am truly thankful for how easy my situation has become, and for every other functioning part of my body that I previously tended to neglect.
We are all faced with trials that come in different forms and at different times in our lives. Theses trials have the ability to make or break us. It all depends on your attitude and your willingness to put your trust in Allah (swt). I originally considered my diagnosis and its timing an absolute disaster. However, with a change in perspective, I am able to view this situation as one of the greatest gifts that Allah (swt) could have given to me. Not only is this hardship a means of attaining closeness to Him, it is also happening at one of the most beautiful, blessed moments in time.
May Allah (swt) make us successful in our journey back to Him this Ramadan. Let us never neglect to be eternally grateful for every imperceptible cell that seamlessly functions so efficiently and beautifully within our bodies. Ameen.