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moon_riseAssalaamu ‘alaykum, may peace be upon you and welcome,

As expected, the blessed month of Ramadhan is swiftly leaving our company – with a mere two weeks left to enjoy inshaAllah. InshaAllah, as I hope has been the case with me, you have all been able to benefit from the blessed month, increase in Iman, taqwa and nearness towards to The Most Beloved, Most High, ameen.

The joys, beauties, love and mercy that fill our homes, hearts and minds do not have to come to an end the night that ‘Eid id pronounced. Because Ramadhan is so dear to us all,  before its conclusion draws near, we should start eagerly deciding on how to keep its spirits alive as soon as it goes. So, to get you started on welcoming ‘Laylatul-Qadr – The Night of Decree’ and to avoid having your captured jewels slip form your hands, here’s a quick to-do list for the upcoming days:

1) Make a list of 3 acts of ‘ibaadah you really enjoyed performing, write why you enjoyed each one… these can now become your regular daily actions – for life inshaAllah.

2) Make a list of 3 things you shouldn’t have done in Ramadhan, but which you did, and as a result feel guilty about and add them to your ‘Du’a list’Why? So that you won’t forget to make tawbah (repentance) for them inshaAllah!

3) Du’a list: Make a list of everything you want from your Lord, Most High, The Only One Able to answer your prayers. Make a list, read through them to ensure you have EVERYTHING SINGLE REQUEST written (those for this life and for The Next Life) inshaAllah… And?… Start asking for them! What’s the use in leaving the list for only the last 10 nights when Allah answers du’as every night! [Start making those du’as asap and ensure you double if not triple the number of times you ask for them during the last 10 Nights inshaAllah.]

4) Empty and Refill… There is a morsel of flesh in the body that needs more spiritually cleaning than any other organ in the body… So what do we do? Ask Allah to cleanse your precious heart of any and every ill-feeling that presently exists. Ask Allah to forgive any person you feel ill towards and remember them in your du’as [it’s one of the best ways to transform a heart, mind and soul inshaAllah] and refilll your heart with nothing, absolutely nothing but good thoughts of others, positive thoughts of yourself and loving thoughts of your Lord, Azza wa Jal.

5) And lastly, just as you started off by listing 3 continuous acts of worship, now set your goals. We sometimes forget that goals are for life not just for Ramadhan! So get thinking, get writing and get doing! InshaAllah. Your goals in life must reflect your personal values – things that are important to you. Once you’ve written them, share your achievement (yes, the construction of your goals!) with someone special… someone you know will aid you and be a great means of support to you for as long as is required… of course this should come after correcting one’s intention and turning to your Lord and requesting of Him His Aid and assistance.

Dear readers, enjoy the rest of the blessed days to come and don’t forget, our lives aren’t preparation for Ramadhan… Ramdhan is preparation for our lives.

Wassalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.

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Salam and welcome to this week’s reminder…

As Ramadhan is briskly approaching, we hope to set the tone by giving you beneficial reminders to prepare for the blessed month ahead, insha’Allah. The first of our Ramadhan reminders is on two themes of such great significance, it always serves to benefit the servants of Allah (Swt).

Have you ever stopped . . . searched within your heart and examined its contents?

Contemplation, pondering, self-reflection are all apart of spiritual growth. Yet, how many of us take account of ourselves? Or question our actions before or after we’ve performed them? What becomes very sad, is when a person becomes convinced that their actions are for Allah (Swt), when in actual fact their actions are simply being performed to be seen, marvelled and envied by others. But how can we protect ourselves from falling into this trap of shaytaan? The answer, dear readers? . . . ‘ilm (knowledge) and Ikhlaas (Sincerity).

ILM – Knowledge

If I told you that I had a friend who was kind, generous, so polite, and because of their beautiful characteristics I truly loved them for the sake of Allah (Swt) – what would you say? Would you suddenly love them too? Would you know enough about them to love them? And if so, do you think your love would be equal to mine? Of course not, for how can it be so, when you know very little about my friend. So, what would cause you to love my friend, as I do?

Knowing Allah (Swt) is synonymous to loving Him (Swt), and yet many of us claim love of our Lord (Swt), though we haven’t taken the time to learn and understand how best to worship Him (Swt), understand Tawheed – The Oneness of Allah (Swt), or learn, understand and implement His(Swt) Names and Attributes. Are we aware of the affects these important areas should have upon our lives?

Dear readers, in order to truly be able to love Allah (Swt), we’ve got to know Allah (Swt), study His Names and Attributes and read His Blessed Words – Al-Qur’an, making it more attched and beloved to our hearts than anything else, insha’Allah.

IKHLAAS – Sincerity

Purity is a state of self, required in a variety of ways in order to achieve particular goals. Ikhlaas – sincerity is a state of the heart that must be present before any action can be accepted by Allah (Swt).

“Actions are but by intentions. And every man shall receive that which he intended. Thus, if a his migration was for Allah and His messenger, then his migration was for Allah and His messenger. But if his migration was for some wordly benefit or to seek a woman in marriage, then his migration was for that which he migrated.”

[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Thus, who must we have sincerity for? Someone may be sincere in an action, but direct it towards to a family member, spouse, friend etc – is this acceptable? How can it be? When The Only One worthy of performing an action for is Allah (Swt)? Any action done simply to seek the pleasure of another, will be rejected on Yawmul Qiyaamah – The Day of Judgement, with the unfortunate servant being told to seek reward from the one whom they sought reward from, initially:

“If you associate partners (with Allah), your deeds will be cancelled”

[Surah Az-Zumar:65]

Is it worth it?  A worthless praise or insignificant acknowledgement, does not even come close to a speck of dust compared to the pleasure of The One Whom hearts were created to please. A servant’s niyyah – intention is sufficient to make a great deed small and a small deed great.

Dear readers, this is a concept that should always remain with us, for remember this … Can a action really be worh performing, if the end result will only be rejected by Allah (Swt) due to its defects? No, absolutely not, for He (Swt) is the reason why we live.

Thus, let us think of ways in which we can make the most of the three weeks we have left, before Ramadhan, in order to ensure that we achieve both ‘ilm and ‘ikhlaas, insha’Allah. So, we’ve noted a few points of very beneficial actions to perform now, in order to prepare ourselves for the blessed month ahead, insha’Allah.

*Make a ‘Ramadhan Achievement List’ – things I will achieve by the end of Ramadhan, insha’Allah. Along with that you could create a ‘Ramadhan Good-deeds chart’ – where you tick off the deeds you manage to perform eac day. And don’t forget your ‘Ramadhan timetable’ – a time guide to aid you in fulfilling your Ramadhan targets, insha’Allah.

*Make the niyyah to read atleast 1 ayah after every salaah, and if you find it difficult to achieve that, then read the equivalent amount every night before going to sleep (1 ayah x 5 daily prayers = 5 ayat a day) insha’Allah. For if we truly want to love Allah (Swt), then we will strive to be amongst the family of Allah (Swt). For verily those that learn, understand, implement and teach The Words of Allah (Swt) – are considered amongst the best of people – the family of Allah (Swt).

*Incorporate into your Ramadhan timetable, a small slot everyday to memorise, understand and implement 5 of the Names of Allah (Swt). For anyone who memorises all 99 names of Allah (Swt), understands them and acts according to them, shall enter Paradise, by Allah’s (Swt) Grace.

*Before going to sleep, ask yourself 2 things: What did I do, purely for Allah’s Sake today? and … If my soul were not to return to me, what would I be ashamed to answer for, on The Day of Judgement? And whatever you find the latter to be, seek immediate forgiveness before closing your eyes to sleep. 

Dear readers only with true knowledge of Allah (Swt) will we grow to understand and appreciate the magnanimity of The One we call Lord – Allah (The Most High).  For truly, when we say that we love our Lord (Swt), He hears our claims and is fully aware of what really lies within our hearts.

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