By: Umm Salih
It was during a recent trip to a mountainous area for Eid vacations. We were to walk on absurdly rutted, bumpy and very steep roads in pitch darkness. Massive mountains were hovering above us and on the other side were deep valleys. Those of us having torches in their mobile phones switched them on so that we could find the way easily, without tripping or bumping into anything.
By: Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid
QUESTION: I am a Muslim alhamdulillah but I have some problem with me? I have come to realize that I love being myself and I feel that only a few can understand me so I really love privacy in all that I do…I dont like to tell people about me or my background; I love to be by myself. For instance, if I want to do something I can’t tell anyone no matter how close we are or even some believers. But I really love those who follow the Quran and Sunnah (Prophetic teachings). I really love the scholars of Islam; al-Imam al-Bhukari, Muslim, al-Albaani, al-Shafee etc. For me, I want to be like them. Please advise me what to do.
This training program may be summed up as follows:
1 – Preparing yourself intellectually, mentally and physically to mix with people, put up with them and try to be in harmony with them as much as possible.
2 – Playing any kind of team sport such as soccer – for example – which involves some kind of conscious and unconscious contact and interaction.
3 – Joining charitable and voluntary associations, attending Qur’aan study circles and halaqahs (circles of knowledge).
4 – Try to visit a trustworthy psychiatrist who can tell you some useful ways of dealing with this problem.
5 – Avoid feeling isolated from society. Try to forget all things that exacerbate these feelings in you, for the cause of this introversion may be a situation in which you found yourself or a trial that you have gone through. Seek the help of Allaah in dealing with it and forgetting it.
And Allaah is the Source of strength.
By: Mufti Musa Furber
It is recommended to complete the Quran during Ramadan. The following excerpt from Imam al-Nawawi’s Etiquette With the Quran touches on many of the legal issues and etiquette related to completing the Quran.
The Etiquette of Completing the Quran
There are several issues concerning completing the recitation of the Quran [khatma].
when to complete: The first etiquette concerns its timing. As previously mentioned, it is preferable for someone reciting the Quran on his own that [he complete it] during Prayer. Another opinion is that it is preferable for it to occur in the two rak‘a of the obligatory Morning Prayer, and in the two sunna rak‘as of the Sunset Prayer, and the two rak‘as of the Morning Prayer is better. In another opinion, it is preferable for the completion [khatma] in the beginning of the day for one turn [of recitation], and at the end of the day for next turn.
When someone completes the recitation outside of Prayer or a group completes while assembled together, it is recommended that it be at the beginning of the day or in the beginning of the night, as we previously mentioned. According to some scholars, though, the beginning of the day is better.
fasting the day of the khatma: It is recommended to fast the very day of the khatma unless it falls on a day in which it is forbidden to fast according to the Sharī‘a. Ibn Abī Dāwūd related with his rigorously authenticated chain of narrators that Ṭalḥa ibn Muṣarrif, Ḥabīb ibn Abī Thābit, and al-Musayib ibn Rāfi‘ī—all well known Kūfan Successors [God be well pleased with them]—would awaken fasting on the mornings in which they would complete the Quran.
attending the khatma: It is emphatically recommended to attend gatherings in which thekhatma takes place. It has been established in the rigorously authenticated hadiths of Bukhārī and Muslim that the Messenger of God (God bless him and give him peace) ordered women during their menses to go out on Eid to participate in the goodness and the supplications of the Muslims.1
Dārimī and Ibn Abī Dāwūd related with their chains of narration that Ibn ‘Abbās (God be pleased with them both) would make a person watch over someone finishing the Quran, and when he wanted to finish he would inform Ibn ‘Abbās so he could participate in it.2
Ibn Abī Dāwūd related with two rigorously authenticated chains of narration that Qatāda, the illustrious Successor and companion of Anas (God be pleased with him), said, “When Anas ibn Mālik (God be pleased with him) would complete [the Quran], he would gather his family and supplicate [to God].”
He [also] related with his rigorously authenticated chain of narration that al-Ḥakam ibn ‘Utaybah, the illustrious Successor, said, “Mujāhid and ‘Abdata Ibn Lubāba sent for me and said, ‘We sent for you because we want to finish the Quran, and supplication when finishing the Quran is answered.’” In some of the authenticate narrations he would say, “Indeed, mercy descends when completing the Quran.” [And] he related with his rigorously authenticated chain of narration from Mujāhid that he said, “They would gather when completing the Quran, saying that the Mercy now descends.”
the supplication: It is emphatically desirable to supplicate immediately after a khatma because of what we have just mentioned in the previous issue. Dārimī related with his chain of transmitters that Ḥumayd al-A‘raj said, “Whoever recites the Quran and then supplicates, four thousand angels say “Amīn!” to his supplication.”3
One should be persistent in his supplication and ask for important matters. He should [supplicate] much for the well-being of the Muslims, their leadership, and all others who attend to their affairs. Al-Ḥakim Abū ‘Abdallāh al-Nīsābūrī has related with his chain of narration that when ‘Abdallāh ibn al-Mubārak (God be pleased with him) would finish the Quran, he would make a great deal of his supplication for the Muslims and believers, male and female.” Others have said similar to this.
The one supplicating should choose all-encompassing supplications, such as the following:
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.
Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
Cada cosa que le ha sucedido en su vida usted se está preparando para un momento que está por venir.
Elk ding dat ooit is gebeurd in je leven bereidt u voor een moment dat nog komen.
Chaque chose qui n’a jamais passé dans votre vie vous prépare à un moment qui est encore à venir.
Jede einzelne Sache, die jemals in Ihrem Leben passiert ist, ist, dass Sie die Vorbereitung für einen Moment, die noch kommen.
Céngjīng fāshēng zài nǐ de shēnghuó zhōng, měi yīgè shìqíng shì zhǔnbèi nǐ de shíkè, hái zài hòutou.
Varje enskild sak som någonsin har hänt i ditt liv förbereder dig för ett ögonblick som är ändå att komma.
Kazhdaya veshch’ , chto kogda-libo proiskhodilo v vashey zhizni gotovit vas na minutu, chto yeshche vperedi.
Hayatınızda oldu her şey henüz gelmek olduğunu bir an için hazırlıyor.
Ogni singola cosa che sia mai capitata nella vita si sta preparando per un momento che deve ancora venire.
Setiap hal yang pernah terjadi dalam hidup Anda sedang mempersiapkan Anda untuk saat itu belum datang.