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To-do list for Laylat al-Qadr: — August 28, 2011

To-do list for Laylat al-Qadr:

1. Take a vacation for Allah

We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshiping and thanking our Creator.

If this is not possible at least take a few days off if you can. This can make it easier to stay awake at night to do extra Ibadah, not having to worry about getting to work the next day.

It will also facilitate doing I`tikaf.

2. Do I`tikaf

It was a practice of the Prophet (SAW) to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the masjid for I`tikaf.

Those in I`tikaf stay in the masjid all this time, performing various forms of zikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salah, recitation and study of the Qur’an. They do not go outside the masjid except in case of emergencies, therefore, they sleep in the masjid. Their families or the masjid administration takes care of their food needs.

Itikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.

3. Make this special Dua

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (SAW), “O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?” He said: “Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).

The transliteration of this Dua is “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee”

4. Recite the Quran

Perhaps you can choose Surahs or passages from the Quran which you have heard in Tarawih this past Ramadan to recite.

If you attend a class where the recitation of the Quran is taught, this is a great time to put your knowledge into practice.

5. Reflect on the meaning of the Quran

Choose the latest Surah or Surahs you’ve heard in Tarawih and read their translation and Tafseer. Then think deeply about their meaning and how it affects you on a personal level.

6. Get your sins wiped out

Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger said: Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven. [Bukhari and Muslim).

Don’t just pray using the shorter Surahs that you know. Try to make your prayers longer, deeper and meaningful. If you are familiar with longer Surahs, read the translation and explanation and then pray reciting these Surahs, carefully reflecting on the meaning while you pray.

Even if you are only familiar with the shorter Surahs, read the translation and explanation beforehand, and then pray reflecting on the message of the Surahs.

This is a good way to develop the habit of concentration, even in regular prayers, where many of us tend to be fidgety and/or easily distracted.

7. Make a personal Dua list.

Ask yourself what you really want from Allah. Make a list of each and everything, no matter how small or how big it is, whether it deals with this world or not. Allah loves to hear from us. Once this list is ready, you can do three things:

• Ask Allah to give you those things
• Think about what actions you have taken to get those things
• Develop a work plan to get those things in future.

8. Evaluate yourself.

Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done.  This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah’s sincere forgiveness when making the Dua mentioned in tip number one above.

9. Make long, sincere and deep Duas

One of the best times to do this is during the last part of the night.

Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet (SAW) said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth and proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, and I grant his supplication? Who is that who begs Me for anything and I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, and I forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim).

That means for instance, waking up one hour before Suhoor time to ask Allah for anything and everything you want that is Halal. This can be done using the Duas of the Sunnah, but also Dua in your own language, with sincerity and conviction.

10. Memorize a different Dua every night

They don’t have to be long. They can be just one line. And be sure to know what they mean generally at least, even if you don’t know the exact translation in English.

You can put them on index cards (or and keep them with you during the day, glancing at them during work, at traffic signals, waiting in line, etc.) Then practice them at night in prayer.

11. Have Iftar with the family

If you’ve spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you’ll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.

12. Take the family to Tarawih

Have your spouse and kids missed Tarawih most of Ramadan because you weren’t there to drive them to the Masjid, which is too far away to walk to? If so, do all of yourselves a favor and bring everyone for Tarawih in these last ten nights.

13. Attend the Dua after the completion of Qur’an recitation

Almost all Masjids where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Qur,an in Tarawih prayers in Ramadan will be completing their recitation in these last ten nights. They may try to end on one of the odd nights and read the Dua at the end of a reading of the Quran. Attend this particular night’s Tarawih prayer with your family. See if you can attend different Masjids’ Tarawih prayers the night they finish reading the Quran.

14. Finish reading a book on the Prophet (SAW)

Read about the Prophet’s life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah’s sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built on sacrifice.

15. Plan for the next year

Once you’ve done a self-evaluation, you can plan on where you want to go, at least in the next 12 months. Laylatul Qadr is a great night to be thinking about this (without taking away from your worship), since you’ll Insha Allah, be in a more contemplative state. You may choose to dedicate one night of power for evaluation and one night for planning for the next year.

16. To do list for the Night of Power

Make a to do checklist for each Night of Power. This should define how you would like your night, the one better than a thousand months, to be used. Pick things from this list and define the sequence you would like to do things in. This will help you avoid wasting your time in unproductive chats which common in the festive atmosphere of Masjids at the Night of Power.

Laylat Al-Qadr — August 27, 2011

Laylat Al-Qadr

Al-Qadr is the 97th sura of the Qur’an with 5 ayat.

إِنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ فِى لَيۡلَةِ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: (1)

وَمَآ أَدۡرَٮٰكَ مَا لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ

And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? (2)

لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَلۡفِ شَہۡرٍ۬

The Night of Power is better than a thousand Months. (3)

تَنَزَّلُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيہَا بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّہِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمۡرٍ۬

Therein come down the angels and the Spirit (Jibreel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: (4)

سَلَـٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطۡلَعِ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ

It’s all Peace!… until the rise of Morn (Dawn)! (5)

Laylat al-Qadr is the anniversary of the night that the Qur’an was revealed. The Revelation of the Qur’an occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat Al-Qadr to Gabriel in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by the angel Gabriel (Jibril). The revelation started in 610 CE at the Hira cave on Mount Nur in Mecca. The first Surat that was revealed was Surat Iqra. Iqra means ‘read’, the prophet was told to read by the angel Gabriel.

Laylat al-Qadr is to be found in the last five odd nights of the 3rd decade of Ramadan. There is no history in the Qur’an as to when the specific date is. Therefore in the Sunni communities of all the Islamic countries, the Laylat al-Qadar is found to be on the last nights of Ramadan. Mostly it is on one of the odd nights, i.e., 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night. And most probaly it falls on the 27th night of Ramadan. It is the night when Qur’an was revealed (as a whole on the 4th sky) and then was revealed piecemeal on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in 23 years, 10 years in Makkah and 13 years in Madina. Qur’an says about Lailat al-Qadr in Surah ‘Qadr’ that this single night is better than thousand of months! Any action done on this night such as reciting the Quran, remembering Allah, etc. is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of Qadr. So Muslims remain engaged whole nigh in prayers and seek jannah for them.

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time. (Muslim).

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, related that the Prophet (SAW) said: Look for Laylat al-Qadr on an odd-numbered night during the last ten nights of Ramadan (Bukhari).

The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim recorded from Abu Huraira).

Bleeding wounds during fasts — August 18, 2011
Nullification of the Fast —
Haleem ;-) —

Haleem ;-)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ kilograms of Mutton or Beef
  • ½ kilograms of Wheat Grains (crushed and soaked in water for 1 ½ hour)
  • 1 cup of Gram Lentils (soaked and boiled)
  • 3 medium Onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric Powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • A pinch of Soda
  • 1 ½ Clarified Butter (Ghee)

 Ingredients for Seasoning Garnish

  • 1 bunch of Fresh Mint Leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 bunch of Fresh Coriander Leaves (finely chopped)
  • Green Chilli (finely chopped – to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds (roasted and ground)
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 medium size pieces of Ginger Root
  • 1 large Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 4 Lemons (cut in quarters)
  • 2 cups Clarified Butter (Ghee)

 Method

  •  Heat clarified butter in a pan. Put meat in the pan, add garlic, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook on medium heat.
  • In a separate pan boil wheat grains with lots of water, add salt. When the grains become tender and mushy add a pinch of soda and cook further for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Now mix the wheat grains with the meat and mix well. Stir continuously so that both are mixed properly. Now grind the lentils in a food processor. Make it into a thick paste by adding 2 cups of water while processing it.
  • Pour the lentil paste into the meat and wheat mixture and stir to mix well. Place the pan on griddle on low heat and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Fry the sliced onion in clarified butter and drain on absorbent paper towel. When the haleem is cooked, sprinkle fried onions, garam masala powder, fresh mint, and coriander leaves. Garnish with cumin and ginger. Keep a little of the seasoning separate and serve with haleem.
— August 17, 2011
Missing the obligatory Fast — August 15, 2011

Missing the obligatory Fast

Abu Huraryah (RAA) reports that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever eats one day of Ramadan without a valid reason or excuse or genuine illness (acceptable in Shari’ah), shall never be able to compensate for that day even by fasting the resting of his life”. (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, and Ibn Majah)

Meaning where a day of Ramadan has been lost without excuse, any number of fasts by the way of compensation will not bring back the true blessings of even one day of Ramadan.

This all is for those who keep the qadha fast. How unfortunate and misguided are those who deny the fast and do not observe it all? Fasting is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has mentioned five principles of Islam. First and the foremost is the oneness of Allah and Muhammad (SAW) being a messenger of Allah and thereafter the four famous pillars : Salah, Fast, Zakat and Hajj.

Smelly mouth :-) — August 3, 2011
DONT’S FOR RAMADAN — August 2, 2011

DONT’S FOR RAMADAN

1. Sleep:

          • Sleeping the whole day as a result of staying up all night.

          • Converting the day into night and night into day is not the purpose of Fasting.

2. Lazy and inactive during the day.

3. Killing time by playing, amusements.

4. Iftar party to show off

5. Cooking

          • Women folk cooking verity of dishes, so spending most of the time cooking.

6. Spending lot of time renovating.

7. Staying up all night

          • Unproductive activities.

8. Excessive socializing after Tarawih.

9. Spending time shopping at nights.

10. Excessive time eating the whole night.

11. Spending the night loitering, roaming about.

12. Spending the last 10 days preparing for Eid.