NOiR: Parental Tuesday

[Qur’an in Ramadan 25:Q46.15-Q52.23]

I remember talking to a non-Muslim about the dynamics of a Muslim family and how the mother has the highest priority. She thought it was crappy because in her opinion, once a man marries a woman, they become one and none should be placed above her or allowed to interfere in their marriage.
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I explained to her that a good Muslim mother would not put herself in a position where the son would have to choose between her and his wife. He should know where she stands and the wife should help to remind him to fulfil his obligation to his parents especially the mother as ‘Paradise lies at her feet’. A true Muslim is obedient and respectful to his parents unless indicated otherwise.

In the light of this, let us dedicate today to our parents, both alive and late. Let us pray for them especially in all the prayers we perform today. Let us pray that Allah bless them, forgive them, grant them good health and longevity to eat from their fruits of labour. May their lives be pleasing to Him. If our parents are alive, let us remember to call them, care for them and show them patience and love. We can continue to pray for them, give charity or go for hajj on their behalf, if they are late.

Parenting is a huge responsibility and there is nothing we as children can do that is enough compensation for all they have done for us. It is our own duty to provide our own children with proper upbringing (tarbiya) likewise.

May Allah bless us parents everywhere.

NOiR: Malice-Free Monday

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[Qur’an in Ramadan 24:Q42.13-Q46.14]

This blog post is about making up with those we are keeping malice with.

If at this stage of Ramadan, we still have someone we are at loggerheads with and have refused to forgive them, our fasting may still be lacking in more ways than one. It is even worse if we had to sever ties of kinship to fuel our ego.

As we seek Allah’s forgiveness these last couple of days of the holy month, let us wave that white flag today. Pay the individual a visit, call him/her, or at the very least, send the person a message.

May Allah shower us with mercy as we extend mercy to others.

NOiR: Community Sunday

[Qur’an in Ramadan 23:Q39.53-Q42.12]

I apologise profusely for posting so very late today but since I promised to post every day in Ramadan this year, here is today’s post.
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Ok! Today is the day for the community. This could include extended family members and distant neighbours.
Unfortunately, the more citified we become, the lousier our manners and the less our care for those outside our immediate family. We have become accustomed to not caring for each other and minding our own business. No one bothers about what is happening to his neighbour unless it is material for juicy gossip.

If we do not care for our extended family members and neighbours, how can we care about the community? Here are some ways to make us more civic-minded:

• It could be something as simple as sending our neighbours some food for iftar or giving out food or drink at our local masjid.

• Solving a problem in the community like planting trees or filling a pothole on the street, replacing the streetlight bulb, planting trees, clearing the bushes etc. It could even be resolution of a dispute between neighbours.

• Feed the street vigilante group or policemen patrolling your neighbourhood to keep you and your family safe.

• Invite other members of the community to pay a visit to orphanages, hospitals or rehab centres in your neighbourhood.

• If you live in a block of flats, you could consider fixing the light bulbs in the stairwell or even sweep and mop the stairs or remove the cobwebs if there is no janitor.

• If you have an older neighbour who lives alone, you could send your kids over to give them a hand in running errands or helping around the house.

Can you think up more ways to assist your community?

NOiR: Saturday Makeover

[Qur’an in Ramadan 22:Q36.60-Q39.52]

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Today is the day of makeovers.

Have you been toying with the idea of covering your hair, wearing or increasing the length of your hijab, niqab for a day, growing a beard, wearing a kufi (cap), or donning something distinctly islamic? Well, today is your day! It could even be a make-down (is there such a word?). If you are used to going out with full make-up, go out with none today.

It can be pretty scary to finally brace up and do it. Trust me, I know. Your heart may rattle against your ribs like a caged bird when you eventually step out of the house but make sure you plaster a smile on your face and walk tall. You did not rob a bank! Shuffling like a victim and slouching will make you an easy target so you have to have a healthy dose of confidence to pull off your new look.

You haven’t been toying with the idea of a makeover for yourself? Grab a friend, sister, brother and make them up instead!

You are welcome to share your day with me.

NOiR: Friday Feast

[Qur’an in Ramadan 21:Q33.45-Q36.59]
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Ramadan can be a very difficult time for reverts, people living away from their families, bachelors, students and a host of other people. It is a difficult time for them because it is hard for them to keep their spirits up in this holy month because they are alone.

This makes it an especially wonderful time to be invited for iftar. To share in the liveliness and camaraderie of Iftar can make a world of difference to these people so search for such people who fit the bill and throw your doors open to them today.

Caveat: Do NOT invite a random psychopath into your home!

Share the light of Ramadan with someone else today.

NOiR: Clearance Sales!

[Qur’an in Ramadan 20:Q30.01-Q33.44]

Let’s imagine we are walking down the street and see our favourite boutique with a sign in the window reading:

CLEARANCE SALES! CLEARANCE SALES!! CLEARANCE SALES!!! EVERYTHING 90% OFF!

Really, what would you do? Walk right past or scream ‘YAY!’ and do a crazy jig before sprinting right into the shop to grab that lovely gown you have been drooling over while window shopping. If the sign had been announcing the sales open for the next day, we may even have spent the night camped outside the boutique waiting for its doors to open.

It is the 20th of Ramadan today and this night will be the 21st night, in sha Allah. In Islam, the night comes before the day.

Narrated ‘Aisha (R.A.), the Messsenger of Allah (SAW) said: Search for the Night of Qadr in the last 10 days of Ramadan. – Sahih Bukhari 2017

Tonight could be Lailat-al-Qadr and what greater clearance sales can there be other than the Night of Majesty!

Narrated Abu Hurairah, Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Whoever establishes the prayers on the Night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not to show off), then all
his past sins will be forgiven.’ – Sahih Bukhari Book 2 Hadith 28

Lailat-al Qadr has also been stated by the Rasul (SAW) to fall on the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramadan but we are told to strive equally during the last 10 days (not only the 27th night).

The sense in this is clear as when this Ramadan began, some of us commenced fasting before others following the sighting of the moon in our locality. My day 21 may be your Day 20 and only Allah knows which of the days the Night of Majesty will fall. In order to increase our chances of catching this special night which is equivalent to 83 years plus of worship, we should strive during the last 10 nights, whether odd or even.
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Whoever misses out on this day has missed out indeed as Allah has given us this as an opportunity to catch up with those before us who were blessed to live for centuries, devoting those years to worshipping Allah. Missing out on this most special of nights will be like joining a marathon 15 years behind those who began today. There can be no chance of ever catching up.

So, let’s nap during the day and eat light at iftar and sleep early so you can wake up in time before or during the third part of the night for night prayers. Now is also a great time for seclusion in the mosque (Itikaf) or Umrah which is equivalent to Hajj if done in Ramadan.

Tip: Dua to be recited on Lailat-al-Qadr – Allahumma innaka affuwu, tuhibbul afuwa, fa afuanni.

NOiR: Endowing Wednesday

[Qur’an in Ramadan 19:Q27.82-Q29.69]

Today is the day we endow someone with a gift with this question in the front of our minds: Will I be happy to receive what I give?
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Think of someone you would like to give a gift. While we tend to save our gifts for Eid, think of the bonus we miss by not giving gifts in Ramadan instead. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top but it should be for the sake of Allah.

It may be something really special and expensive or simply thoughtful but cheap. It could range from a phone recharge card to a pack of sweets for fasting children. And it should not be limited to Muslims; non-Muslims can also benefit from our largesse.

Remember to be careful about whom you endow with a gift, and work within your means.

P.S. My dad passed away this day in Ramadhan, 3 years ago. It would mean a lot to me if you could spare a du’a for him. May Allah forgive his sins and grant him Al-Jannah.