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WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING?

Been busy, that’s what. Truth is, i started blogging because I had a lot of time on my hands and a lot of thoughts in my head. I still have those thoughts, but not so much time.
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I’ve been working on a project, a new one, while trying to finally complete an old one. These projects will affect my future directly. I hope. In sha Allah.

So, I’m sorry for the tumbleweed and dust and cobwebs covering my blog. I’ll be with you all soon. In sha Allah 🙂

Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
“The feet of the son of Adam shall not move from before his Lord on the Day of Judgement, until he is asked about five things: about his life and what he did with it, about his youth and what he wore it out in, about his wealth and how he earned it and spent it upon, and what he did with what he knew.”

Just keep being patient with me and permit me to use my youth effectively! 😉

Zakat-ul-Fitr

Zakatul Fitr (ZF) is an obligation on every muslim, young or old, male or female. It is the giving of sadaqah toward the end of Ramadan till before the ‘Eid prayers on the 1st of ‘Shawwal. It seeks to purify the one who fasts from any indecent act or speech; and acts as food for the needy.

Ibn Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) enjoined Zakatul-Fitr as a purification for the fasting person from idle talk and obscenities, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is an accepted Zakah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.” graded Hasan

If one cannot afford to give, that is, one doesn’t have enough for the day’s meals, then he is entitled to be given. If you are reading this, I bet you can afford to give. Here are some points to note:

• It is a timed sunnah and can be given from the 28th of Ramadan till before the ‘eid prayer. Paying it on time gives the needy time to prepare and enjoy it before the ‘Eid prayers.

• Its measurement is one sa’a (approximately 4 mudd) of local staple grains. This is the minimum requirement and could be increased voluntarily or expanded to include more. For example, tomatoes, salt and money to cook could be added to the ZF to ease the burden of cooking on the beneficiary. Hanafi scholars even permit the money equivalent to be given as it may be more useful to the beneficiary than raw foodstuff.

• The haddith says, ‘One’s faith is not complete unless he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. If you love rice, why buy maize grains to give as Zakat? Why burden the recipient of the zakat with such invaluable grains from which he can only make popcorn and a few processed meals? If you can afford better, please do get grains that will be better appreciated.

• As the head of the household, a man may have to give ZF for each member of his family if they cannot afford to do so themselves. Even muslim servants should have their zakat paid for if they cannot provide it.

According to Sheikh Yusuf AlQaradawi, ZF is a compensation for any shortcomings in the the fasting individual’s acts and speech during Ramadan. It also aims to spread love and happiness among the ummah during the Day of ‘Eid. It also purifies one’s soul from shortcomings from adoration of property and from miserliness.
If the time frame is not complied with, and ZF is paid after the Eid, it becomes sadaqah and no longer ZF.

May Allah accept our acts of worship.

NOiR: Meditative Monday

[Qur’an in Ramadan 3:Q2.253-Q3.112]

This series starts with meditation on our resolution for Ramadan. You may or may not believe in a list of resolutions but here is one we will do together, in sha Allah.
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1. Pray Fajr on time and preferably in congregation.

2. Get to work or school on time, earlier than usual, so you can reflect. Thank Allah for letting you reach your destination safely. If you have nowhere to go, wake earlier than usual from your post-fajr nap and meditate.

3. Get a sheet of paper and write out the qualities of the person you would like to become this Ramadan and beyond. Don’t make vague descriptions like ‘to become more pious’ or ‘to become a better Muslim’. Instead, write achievable and measurable goals like ‘to observe salaah within 30 minutes of the adhaan’, ‘eat a salad for iftar on alternate days’, ‘give x naira, dollars or pounds to a homeless person every day, decline visits to non-productive places, work out for 30mins daily, stop lying’. Visualise this individual and believe you shall become like that by the end of Ramadan bi idhnillah. Save this sheet of paper to look at and visualise every day at Fajr.

4. Write out a checklist (if you haven’t already) containing all the acts of ibadah you hope to achieve in Ramadan like reading 20 pages of the Qur’an daily, observing the 2 rakats before Fajr, Sunnah prayers before or after every of the 5 daily prayers, giving a certain amount in alms daily, attending tafsirs (sermons), itikaf (seclusion in the mosque), umrah (pilgrimage to Makkah and Madina) etc. Review your progress daily and see how you can do better the next day. No matter how bleak it seems when you do not meet up, keep forging on till the end. For the mere fact that you intend to do this, Allah will reward you, in sha Allah.

5. Reflect on your life, at how far you have come and how far you have to go to become who you desire. Reflect on the fact that not everyone who fasted last year is alive this year. Resolve that this Ramadan is going to be the best you have ever had, in sha Allah.

6. Bring out your Qur’an and read a part of your daily quota (or all of it, if you have enough time).

7. If this was your last Ramadan, what would you do differently from last year’s?

I would love to read your thoughts.

TILAWAT-L-QUR’AN

[Qur’an in Ramadan 2:Q2.142-Q2.252]
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Salaam, people! Hope we had a spiritually fulfilling day yesterday.

One of the oft-practised acts in Ramadan is recitation of the Holy Qur’an in its entirety at least once. It is perhaps the most popular resolution of the month. Makes sense since the Qur’an’s revelation began in Ramadan and deeds are magnified during this month.

It was a habit of the Prophet (SAW) to recite to Angel Jibril every Ramadan in a review, and he was said to have reviewed it twice in his last year of life.

Remember that we will be rewarded for each letter (not word) we recite, so if you stutter or are not proficient in reading the Qur’an, lucky you! It is important to note that we should all endeavour to learn and practise tajweed while reciting the Qur’an, giving each letter and word its due by pronouncing and articulating properly following the rules of quranic recitation.

Some of us cannot read the Arabic text of the Qur’an but we can enjoy the beautiful recitations by various reciters. They can be downloaded free at http://www.quranicaudio.com and http://www.mp3quran.net. This way, we can listen to the Qur’an in the car on our way to work or school, on the bus with ear-phones, on a queue, in between lectures, at lunch break; anywhere really. We can also get a good translation of the Qur’an in a language we know and fill our days with the Words of Allah.

A nasty habit I have observed is how some of us make a racket while someone else is reciting the Glorious Qur’an. In Qur’an 7:204, we are instructed to listen and be silent during the recitation of the Qur’an so that we may receive mercy.

Above all, we should apply what we have learnt of the Qur’an in our daily lives.
Read. Understand. Practise.

Tip: Dua during Sajdah (prostration) of the Qur’an:
Sajada wajhiya lilladhi khalaqahu, wa shaqqa sam’ahu wa basarahu, bihawlihi wa quwwati. FatabarakAllahu ahsanul khaaliqeen.