inshaa Allah I am thinking of collecting the 99 Names Of Allah series by Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury here in this blog for easy access.
He who knows, reflects on and implements in his life the Beautiful Names of Allah has indeed acquired the greatest of blessings, and the biggest of pleasures. Indeed, the more you know Him, the more you love Him. Each and every of His Most Beautiful and Noble Names enfolds a thousand lessons wherein lie the solutions to every difficulty!
Make use of the opportunity to memorise them, learn and act upon their meanings, call on Him by these Names and spread them! Share the good, earn sadaqa-e-Jaariyah!
The Prophet (saAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. Whoever memorizes them will enter Paradise.” (al-Bukhaari)
TODAY WE BEGIN WITH…
The Only One Worthy of worship, Perfect in every way. The One to Whom everyone in the creation turns for help, assistance and protection.
“Allah! There is none worthy of worship but He, the Living, the Sustaining. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He Knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world and in the Hereafter. They will not encompass anything of His Knowledge except that which He Wills. His ‘Kursi’ extends over the heavens and the earth and he feels no fatigue in guarding them. He is the Most High, the Most Great.” (Al-Baqarah: 2:255)
For the Student:
When I memorized the 4th chapter of the Qur’an, my teacher made me take a 3 day break so I could come back and read it all to him by heart. Needless to say, when I returned, I started well, but towards the end I had a blow out and started forgetting everything. Suddenly, I started crying and my teacher looked at me and said, “Everyone who hoped to memorize the Qur’an has been where you are right now. In Senegal we say that a condition for a Qari is that he had to cry at least once while trying to memorize the Qur’an. Don’t worry. You have to do this. You have to experience this.”
Make the intention
Go to sleep early and do not sleep during the day
Set an alarm clock
Tell a friend/parent to wake you up
Maintain a regular sleeping pattern
If you have already applied the above tips, but it’s still not working, I’d like to dig a little deeper into the implementation of these points both physically and psychologically, and that will make a big difference, insha’Allah (God willing).
1. Make the intention – Make it a part of your life that as the night approaches, you become consciously aware that you have to wake up for fajr. Make fajr a part of your schedule just like other things, and give it priority. If you do not have the intention, then no matter what you do, it will not really help. For example, even if you set the alarm, if you do not intend on waking up, you will just turn it off and go back to sleep.
2. Go to sleep early and do not sleep during the day – Have your dinner early and force yourself to bed, even if your mind tells you that you have no sleep. Get rid of distractions, be it Facebook, your cellphone, etc, you know yourself best. Distractions will set your mind working again, and that only makes things more difficult. Instead, do something so boring that you automatically feel sleepy. For example, I make recordings of my professor’s class lecture and listen to it again when I can’t fall asleep. You can also read a book which helps some people fall asleep.
If you manage to wake up on time for fajr the first morning after, resisting sleep becomes the most difficult thing in life! You forget all the promises you made the previous night with only one thing in mind—how to get back to bed! This is the hard part—stay up no matter what. Bear the pain the first morning, take a small nap around 20 – 30 minutes in the daytime if needed (it’s sunnah!), and Insha’Allah, that night you can go to bed early.
3. Set an alarm clock – For those with cell phones, set the alarm at its loudest and keep the phone some distance away from you so that you have to get up and walk to turn it off. If you have a bathroom nearby it’s best to keep it there with the door open, that way the echos will hit your ears hard. For those who have an Android phone, I highly recommend using the app “Alarm Clock Xtreme.” It’s free and unlike normal alarm apps which automatically snooze after a few minutes, this alarm will not be silenced until either your phone runs out of juice, or you turn it off yourself. And that is not easy either! You can set it to give you math calculations to solve in order to turn it off, or entering a “captcha”—all things that are bound to get your mind working, and hence effectively breaking your sleep: http://bit.ly/HB5PfQ.
A piece of excellent advice I heard from Yasmin Mogahed—set your alarm tone as Qur’an recitation. The sound of Qur’an will reach out to your heart, and it will be more difficult to ignore.
But if you see that your sleep is so deep that nothing gets to your ears, you can make your bed less comfortable, for example, by sleeping on a plain surface instead of the soft comfortable mattress. That way your sleep is less deep, and more likely to break on hearing the alarm!
4. Tell a friend/parent to wake you up – The best way to do this in my opinion would be to make it more interactive. Don’t just let your friend wake you up—you should also take the responsibility of waking up someone else, be it another friend or a sibling. Once responsibility falls on your shoulders too, you will automatically feel more inclined to wake up on time.
5. Maintain a regular sleeping pattern – This is a tip that helped me a lot. A great way to maintain this is to make a game out of it, an expensive one rather. For example, you can arrange a game with your friend where if you don’t wake up for fajr, then you will have to pay him/her a certain amount of money, which goes to charity (an amount which isn’t so little that it’s insignificant to you, or so great that it puts you in financial crisis!). Say $100. So if you do not wake up for fajr, you pay $100 to charity that day, and if they do not wake up, they pay $100. Maybe you will end up paying 2 or 3 days, but believe me the next day and onwards, you are gonna be up before anyone else! And important thing to note, this money should be for charity only, not for personal gain!
Well that seems to be the end of the list right? But why continue further? Because that list lacks the number one tip of all. This is the ultimate advice, the one which if you are able to follow, all the other tips above are unnecessary. Before I get to it though, let me explain indirectly. If you had a final exam that starts at 8am and you go to sleep at 5am, will you be able to wake up for it? Oh you bet! If your work starts at 6am and being late means you will lose your job, will you be late? Never!
The reason why is because when something has value and importance to us, no matter what our condition is, no matter what the situation is, we will find a way to do it. So perhaps the real reason why we are unable to wake up for fajr is because we do not give enough importance to the fajr prayer. We do not realize or ponder over the benefits of praying or the consequence of neglecting this prayer. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that the first matter which we will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, the rest of our deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, the rest of our deeds will be bad. Praying fajr keeps us safe under the protection of Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exhalted is He), as Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said (Sahih Muslim). Prayer is one of the main foundations on which Islam is built.
In short, Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “So woe to those who pray, [But] who are heedless of their prayer,” (107:4-5).
Given all these things, is it really worth sleeping instead of praying fajr? The answer is told to us twice every morning in the adhan (call to prayer):
AsSalatu khairum minan-naum.
Prayer is better than sleep, Prayer is better than sleep.
If we are able to internalize the importance of fajr salaat and the consequences of missing it, we will automatically find a means of waking up for prayer, just like we would have woken up if it had been the time of our final exam or our jobs. But how can we value something if we do not even know anything about it? We can start by seeking knowledge about its importance.
But at the same time, knowledge is fruitless without huda (guidance), so let us sincerely ask Allah (swt) to help us, guide us and increase our imaan (faith) and love for this beautiful deen (religion).
Before ending, I would just like to say that I myself struggle lots with fajr salaat and still sometimes slip, so this is first and foremost a reminder to myself. I am in need of it as much as anyone else.
Source:Islam for Kids Facebook Page
1) Pray the Sunnah Prayers before and/or after Prayer:
I know it’s easier to just pray the obligatory prayers and rush out of the mosque! However, when we realise the rewards we’re missing from not praying these Sunnah prayers we won’t leave them. Over the years I have learnt there’s only ONE way of getting yourself to pray these Sunnah prayers constantly: Get into the habit of praying them! They’ll soon become part and parcel of your Salah and your Salah will feel incomplete without performing these acts.
2) Remembrance of Allah after Salah:
Again, it’s easy to rush out after Salah due to our busy lives, though if we are honest, how long does it take to recite the supplications after Salah? (The Answer: 5-7 minutes!). If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, you may find the supplications atMakeDua.com. Nowadays you’ll find pocket notebooks/or phone applications with these supplications. Get into the habit of reciting them daily after each Salah to enrich your Salah experience.
3) Morning/Evening Remembrance of Allah:
Step 2 is also included in this habit. There exists a beautiful set of duas/remembrances from the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which he used to say before sunrise and after sunset. They are true stress relievers and energy boosters which never fail to make my days and evenings feel blessed. [You can find the duas at MakeDua.com]
4) Night Prayer:
Hamdulillah, during Ramadan we have the wonderful Taraweeh prayers to attend. However, outside of Ramadan there are many opportunities to still obtain the reward of the night prayer. If you’re new to night prayer or you don’t pray it constantly during the year, make sure you try to attend prayers each and every night in congregation at the mosque (particularly brothers), and give yourself a ‘no-excuse’ policy. Develop a habit of praying Tahajjud and continuing to pray them for an entire 30 days; this will set you on better footing to continue with the Night Prayer for the rest of the year inshaAllah.
5) Duha Prayer:
Here’s a Productive Muslim’s top secret to a productive day: 2 rak’ahs known as the Duha prayer which you may pray at anytime after sunrise till before the sun reaches it’s zenith (around 30 minutes before Dhuhr). The reward of this prayer is similar to giving charity on behalf of every bone in your body, and the energy and buzz you feel during the day is amazing.
6) Supplications before you Sleep:
You’ve just had a long day and you’re super tired. You climb into bed and you want to hit the sack… but wait! Before you do, can you give yourself just 10 more minutes to recite the supplications before sleeping? That’s all. Try them and find yourself experiencing the most beautiful sleep ever and waking upfor Fajr easily, inshaAllah. For more information on waking up for fajr, constantly, everyday, without fail Read How to Wake up for Fajr.
7) Reciting one hour of Quran each day:
Notice: I said here recite one hour of Quran each day and not one juz’ or one Surah. The amount of Quran you read is not as important as the quality of your understanding. If you spend one hour reciting one verse but understand it fully, that’s more important and beneficial then reciting lots of Quran at break-neck speed yet not understanding a word.
So there you go, 7 spiritually productive habits you can develop throughout the year starting from TODAY!
Note: The below worksheets can help you in developing the above habits;
Life has taught me that when everything around us is crumbling and falling apart we should work on fixing our relationship with our Lord. It will keep us grounded, will give us clarity, and will be the starting point in fixing and resolving everything else.
Shaykh Navaid Aziz
Muslims all over the world start counting down for Ramadan with unprecedented motivation and high hopes to do many things and to get the maximum of this holy month.
However, intentions are not enough!
Muslim women like everyone else have high expectations for the blessed month, as well as more loads and duties.
Achieving what you want in Ramadan is strongly related to time management and realistic plans.
Women have more duties in Ramadan, especially if they are working, however, they still have several opportunities for getting rewards, which makes it even more important for them to arrange and coordinate diversity of activities only in one month.
Charity is a widely open door in which women can participate by different ways. Cooking food for needy people, collecting money from relatives and friends for charitable reasons, among other activities.
Women have also a very important and crucial role in helping their children understand what Ramadan is all about, and in organizing activities and entertaining activities relevant to the holy month.
Ramadan is considered an excellent opportunity for kids to live 30 days in a comprehensive experience that includes fasting, praying, playing, and helping others either physically or financially.
Time management is not only how you manage your time in Ramadan, but extends to how you manage to decrease your tasks and duties during the holy month.
Everyone has different priorities, abilities, and circumstances, nevertheless, you can tailor the following tips to your life style.
Pray that Allah grants you Baraka in your time.
- Don’t go to one of the extremes; don’t put very high expectations that you are unlikely to make, be always sure you are not a superwoman (no one actually is). You are not helpless as well, you can achieve a lot if you put realistic plan that goes along with your abilities, responsibilities, and circumstances.
- Make it simple, don’t overwhelm yourself with lists of food items you should prepare everyday on Iftar, just make sure meals are nutritious and have all necessary elements.
- Get your kitchen prepared; prepare different ingredients for meals before Ramadan, so that in Ramadan, you just do the final steps.
For example, prepare in your fridge a good amount of onions, garlic, and tomato sauce.
Get meat and chicken washed and spiced.
Prepare some homemade drinks like hibiscus, and leave them in the fridge.
- Keep your home organized; this way you can get things easier and save time of searching for items.
- Set your priorities; Put your plan starting with basic tasks followed by less important to ‘you’.
Don’t schedule what you think less prior, just focus on more important things and get them done efficiently.
- Put a schedule to your appointments and visits; avoid unnecessary outings, and put definite dates and times if you can.
Make it clear to your family and friends that Ramadan is a very special time to you and that you’d rather give more time to prayers and related activities and you can postpone gatherings and errands and do it afterwards.
- Be smart when you invite; inviting guests to Iftar no doubt has a great thawab, and spread happiness to both you and your guests, and it can be a great load as well, unless you have a good plan for it.
Cook simple meals that do not need much time or effort. Prepare some or most of the dishes one day before if you can, so you don’t have all the work on the same day.
Get someone to help you with preparing, lifting, and washing the dishes if feasible, and if you have kids, let them help you as well.
Dish parties are an excellent choice in this case, where everyone gets a dish and you all share cooking and you also share thawab.
- Make a checklist in which you put basic duties as well as extra activities, and make one for each child, this will act as a good reminder as well as an alert if you put too much or too less tasks.
Don’t say tomorrow, if you have a task, do it immediately, this will even give you a push to do more.
- Take some rest; enough sleeping hours are very important for you to be able to complete the whole month with the same pace.
- Eat well; healthy food will give you the energy to work, pray, and do all your duties.
Avoid eating junk food and food with big amount of fats as much as you can, this kind of diet will make you more sleepy and lazy in addition to its health hazards.
After managing your time a way or another, help others to do the same, especially family members.
- Exercise; many people think Ramadan is absolutely the wrong time to exercise, this is not true. You can have few minutes of stretching or any kind of work outs that makes your body stronger and make you feel better.
For Working Women:
Needless to say that working women have a harder job that need more care and control.
The good news however, is that working women are mostly used to time management, checklists, and arranging tasks beforehand.
- Working efficiently is an important gate to Paradise, so be always sure that you are doing a great job which will essentially reflect on your psychology in a positive way.
- Set your schedule carefully, according to your working hours so that you have adequate time to sleep, work, and good time to spend with your family.
- Make use of the time of breaks and transportation in reading Qur’an and Dhikr.
- Help your Muslim colleagues make the most of the holy month by exchanging information, and encouraging each other.
- Get your family involved; you can get the help of your family members in household responsibilities.
You should always know that time management is not a tool for more duties to accomplish. It’s rather a system that helps you having a clear vision of what you want to do, identify your responsibilities, feel productive, which will finally grant you control over your life with a sense of empowerment.
Motivation for a Fruitful Ramadan
What if this is my last Ramadan? – Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury
Towards An Outstanding Ramadan – Muhammad Alshareef
The Muslim Ramadan fasting of Islam Documentary – TheDeenShow
- Recitation of the Qur’an (in Arabic)
- Studying the Qur’an (reading the translation and explanation)
- Tarawih Prayer (Recommended Ramadan prayers)
- Qiyam al-Layl (Voluntary night prayers)
- Performing all five prayers on time
- Praying in congregation when possible
- Refraining from lying, backbiting, gossiping, and cursing
- Refraining from excess television and social media
- Fixing our relationships with family and friends
- Giving as much charity as possible
– Reehab Ramadan
Our beloved Ramadan has come to an end and our environment is returning back to its norm. We are living life as we always do, 11 months out of the year. Ramadan was our chance to grow, to learn and to experience a variety of different emotions and feelings. If we could hold onto Ramadan for the entire year, we would, but nothing lasts forever. There is however, a light at the end of that tunnel. That light is the opportunity to grab hold of the Ramadan spirit and make that last forever. We have been fasting, not simply to feel the pangs of hunger and thirst but, as the Qur’an tells us, to gain taqwa (God-consciousness). Taqwa is the key to making this spirit last. How so? By sitting down and figuring out what exactly we learned from Ramadan, how it increased us in taqwa and how to implement that knowledge in the next coming months. Each person’s lessons may and will be different, however I have chosen a few lessons to share in hopes that they may create a spark that encourages you to sit down and figure out how to make your Ramadan spirit outlast the month itself.
1. I’m stronger than I think I am
Allah tells us in the Qur’an multiple times ‘itaqu-ilah.’ The literal translation of this would be to ‘avoid Allah’ but that is actually the exact opposite of the meaning. There is an extra word in the middle that is assumed and must be present. The actual meaning of this is ‘avoid avoiding Allah.’ So often we just want to avoid Allah; we want to indulge in the haram (prohibited) and live heedless lives even though we know in the long run this is not in our benefit. Here, taqwa is about abstaining from avoiding Allah and being conscious of Him throughout our days.
Similarly fasting the month of Ramadan was also about abstaining. We were abstaining from food, water, and relationships which are all in essence completely halal. Our state is actually a statement to ourselves and to Allah. We are saying ‘ya Allah, not only will I abstain from haram, but if you ask me I will abstain from halal (permissible)!’ Through this Allah is telling us and reminding us that we are stronger than we think. Allah is telling us that we are strong enough to abstain from halal so we must be strong enough to abstain from the haram! We all have strength; we just have to discover it.
Through Ramadan I learned that I am stronger than I think. If Allah has deemed something to be haram, if I seek his aid and control my desires I can stay away from it.
2. I have no right to judge anyone
Throughout Ramadan, it was assumed that every Muslim around us was fasting. When encountering any Muslim, we had no ground nor any right to think otherwise. This was the case even though the people we were meeting could have had a valid excuse to not fast. Women may have been on their menstrual cycle and not fasting. Someone may have been traveling or sick. But the general assumption was that everyone was fasting and we did not dig deep to prove this. Why? Because fasting is an act of worship that is action-less. It shows no visible signs nor does the one who is fasting have to do anything (rather they must not do something).
Along those same lines, a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and asked him about taqwa. The Prophet ﷺ pointed at his chest and said ‘at-taqwa hahuna’ or ‘taqwa resides here.’ The Prophet ﷺ was telling us something very important. He was telling us that you cannot judge a person’s taqwa based on his appearance. A person may be dressed in a manner that is seemingly ‘religious’ and be a person who has very little taqwa. Likewise, a person may be dressed in a manner that we do not find fit for our own selves, yet they may have more taqwa than we could ever imagine!
Through Ramadan I learned that I have no right to judge anyone. Just as I cannot tell whether a person is fasting or not by looking at them, I cannot tell whether a person has taqwa simply by looking at them. But just as I always assumed the best of a person regarding fasting, I will also assume the best of a person regarding their taqwa. And if I were to see a Muslim eating during Ramadan, I would make for him/her excuses (he/she has an valid excuse such as travel or sickness), so likewise if I see someone doing something not befitting of a person of taqwa I make excuses (perhaps he/she doesn’t know, etc.).
3. If I am not nourished, I get really tired
Throughout Ramadan we find ourselves getting really tired physically. A lack of food and a lack of sleep cause our daily routine to be a little lopsided. Sometimes we found ourselves saying things we probably wouldn’t have said otherwise or doing things that were out of the ordinary out of the exhaustion. On the other hand, our souls were more alive than they had been in the past 11 months! Du`a’ (supplication) was easy! Dhikr (remembrance of God) was easy! Prayer was easy! In this is a sign. Throughout Ramadan we had been depriving our physical bodies of nourishment and focusing on the nourishment of our own souls. Just as the body becomes tired when it does not get its proper food, the soul becomes really tired when it does not get its proper spiritual food.
Through Ramadan, I learned that when my soul becomes tired and my good deeds become hard, I need to nourish my soul just as I nourish my body. I need to give it doses of a divine cure to awaken it back to a lively state.
Ramadan serves as a training for the entire year. It rejuvenates our souls and leaves us with powerful lessons that must be heeded and acted upon. If we do this, the Ramadan spirit will last with us throughout the year until the next Ramadan when we can again grow, this time past our last spiritual growth, 11 months ago. I encourage you all to sit down and think to yourself ‘what did I learn this Ramadan about myself and about taqwa that can be implemented throughout the year to keep me from experience a downfall post-Ramadan.’