Planning Your Ramadan

Bismillah,

Me: I am super duper excited right now and I still can’t believe Ramadan has started. A day ago all the shaitans were roamin’ in the streets, whisperin’ in our ears to do bad sh-stuff and now they be locked up! That means we only have one month to set ourselves straight and surprise the hell out of them! Get it? ;O

You: 😐

A month and a half ago I got really sick, hospitalised and all, and since then I’ve found myself becoming extremely unproductive, lazy and loserish. So personally, I am really looking forward to Ramadan so I may become productive, energetic, and a winner. #winning. Since it’s a new month, a new routine, a new beginning, I believe it will be easier to bring about a positive change with Allah’s help.

You: So how do you plan on doing that?

Me: Good question. Well the first thing I plan on doing is to plan out my Ramadan.

You: Great. Could you help me out as well, I want to be a winner too! (and I’m too lazy to do it myself)

Me: Alright let’s get to it.

1. Let’s begin by making a decision (intention). Decision: This Ramadan with the help of Allah (‘azawajal), I will change to become a better person. When you make this decision, make sure you mean it and you believe in it.

2. Make Du’a to Allah (‘azawajal) to help you become steadfast in the decision you just made and to help you achieve it.

3. Ramadan is not a month only for a ‘religious’ transformation, but rather you should aim for improving yourself as a whole. Socially, physically, spiritually and mentally. I have made a list of a few goals you can set. Take a paper and pencil, and write your goals down. Here goes.

SurahAlKahfa. Quran – In this blessed month, our relationship with the Quran should strengthen. We should make it our habit to read a section of the Quran with proper recitation on a consistent basis. Since I don’t know Arabic, I make sure to also read the translation so I understand the meaning. Quran.com is a great website which I believe will be an amazing help to you.

Pick one of the following: (a) Cool: Recitation of half a Juz a day, (b) Amazing: Recitation of one full Juz a day, (c) Fantabulous: Recitation of two Juz a day, (d) Boss: Recitation of more than 2 Juz.

Bonus: Read with Tarteel (recite it slowly and properly) + read translation + tajweed.

b. Prayer – Salah is one of the most important parts of Islam. During non-Ramadan days, stupid shaitan makes us lazy, gets us to skip and sometimes completely forget about Salah. But since he be locked up, we can make an effort to overcome our laziness.

Pick one of the following: (a) Cool: Five daily prayers and sunnahs, (b) Amazing: + all taraweeh prayers. (c) Fantabulous: + ishraaq (two raka’at after the sun has risen), (d) Boss: + qiyaam (night prayer).

Bonus: Perform prayer in congregation, on time, with proper wudhu, taqwa and khushoo.

Muslim-Dua-300x244c. Du’as – This is your hotline with Allah (‘azawajal) which is opened 24/7/365. Ask for all the things you want. For personal Du’as, my recommendation would be to sit down, take a paper and pencil, and make a list of your top Du’as. In other words, think about what you really want and then make Du’as accordingly and regularly.

Pick one of the following: (a) Cool: Personal Du’as, (b) Amazing: (a) + Athkar after Prayer, (c) Fantabulous: (b) + Morning and Evening Athkar, (d) Boss: (c) + More!

Bonus: Mean it. Know that your Rab is listening to you. Have strong belief.

Note: Don’t go around telling others to make Du’a for you if you yourself aren’t making them. Indeed He is the All-Hearing.

d. Relatives – It is important that we learn to mend ties with our relatives. Start with your Family. Pick up that phone and tell your parents and your spouse that you love them. Forgive your annoying chachi, nani, dadi (Boss: or mother in law). Buy them a gift, spend time with them, give them a hug. Whatsapp your siblings or whatever it is you kids do these days. Send them a smiley face emoticon (it makes a difference, trust me).

What’s the point in having all these social networking sites when you don’t even stay connected with your fambam!

e. Sadaqah – Make it a STRICT habit to give sadaqah to someone EVERY SINGLE DAY! Even if it be one (what ever your currency is). If you can, don’t just put it in a donation box, rather give it to a person physically. It doesn’t always have to be money.

f. Bad Habits – Leave at least five bad habits this Ramadan. You have 30 days to practice, that is more than enough time to break a habit. Movies, Music, TV Shows, Video Games, Sheesha, Drugs, Smoking, Drinking, Partying, BF/GFing, Fornication, Masturbating, Porn, Being Rude, Wasting Time, Useless Talking, etc.

Make a commitment, be strong, and ask Allah (the all powerful) for help.

Now obviously there are many more things that you can do, so in the comments below, share what plans you have for this Ramadan!

May The All-Merciful help us to keep our intentions clean, help us achieve our goals, accept our deeds and grant us more Ramadans.

Keep yo’ brotha’ Hisham Al Hadi in yo’ Du’as!

You: Ameen! I will. Thanks for the amazing tips. Inshallah I will definitely try to make an effort :D. Oh, and PLEASE post more posts!

Importance of Tajweed

Bismillah,

Tajweed teacher: Hisham, you are amazing! Could you give me some advice on how I could teach Tajweed effectively. I deal with aunties who have a very ‘non-serious attitude’ towards the subject. Please guide.

You: Wait, what is this ‘Tajweed?’

Me: Why do people ask me such questions? 🙂

Alright, let’s first discuss what Tajweed is.

(deepens voice and starts speaking like an academic) Linguistically, Tajweed means to beautify – beautify the words and letters of the Quran by reciting them correctly. In other words it means to pronounce each of the 29 letters in the Arabic language from where they should be pronounced from (Makhaarij) and give them their appropriate attributes (Sifaat).

Makhaarij and Sifaat are two main branches of Tajweed that we’ll study in further detail later inshallah.

You: Yay! I’m really excited.

Me: Cool.

Anyhow, there is one very important issue that I would like to discuss. When we recite the Quran incorrectly (without Tajweed) and the letters are therefore mispronounced, something very dangerous could happen. The meaning could change. And since this is the Quran, the most sacred of books, the Word of Allah (exalted is He), it becomes a very serious matter.

You: So do I HAVE to learn Tajweed?

Me: Good question. The scholars have said 2 things.

  1. Not everyone needs to know the rules of Tajweed (names of rules and complicated terms).
  2. However, it is an obligation to recite the Quran correctly and that may only happen if the rules of Tajweed are followed.

So yes.

Allah (exalted is He) says in the Quran:

ImportanceOfTajweed

‘Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recital. They [are the ones who] believe in it. And whoever disbelieves in it – it is they who are the losers.’ [Al-Baqarah – Verse 121]

The ‘true recital’ of the Quran means to recite it with Tarteel. Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) said regarding the meaning of Tarteel: ‘At tarteelu hua tajweed ul hurroofi wa ma’rifatul wuqoofi.’ Tarteel is the Tajweed of letters and the awareness/knowledge of where to stop.

Realize that reciting the Quran is an act of worship. For every letter you recite, you get 10 good deeds. But there are rules that have to be followed. Can you read 3 raka’at in Fajr prayer instead of 2? Can you leave out reciting Surah Fatiha? Can you do 3 sujood instead of 2? No. Just how prayer has its musts (qiyam, sujood, rukoo’, etc.), so does reciting the Quran.

Tajweed teacher: But, you didn’t answer my question :|.

Me: I did! Make your ‘non-serious’ aunties realize the importance of Tajweed and get them to become ‘serious.’ If they don’t understand its value, how will they be interested?

You could also buy them chocolate.

You: I want chocolate.

Me: In the comment section below, tell me what exactly is it that you want to learn in the subject of Tajweed.