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Pillars of Islam
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Knowledge01
 
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Quote Knowledge01 Replybullet Topic: Preparing For Ramadan
    Posted: 01 August 2006 at 9:23am
The Great Virtue of Ramadan
by Imaam al-Haramain Abdul Muhsin Ibn Muhammad Al-Qaasim

In the name of Allaah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Al-Jum‘ah, Ramadaan 5 , 1421 A.H. (December 8, 2000)

All praise is due to Allah Who made the succession of day and night a lesson for those who reflect. I thank him for his bountiful blessings and I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah. I equally testify that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, his household and companions who are the people of righteousness and piety.

Dear brothers, fear Allaah as He should be feared, for whoever fears Him earns his protection and he who follows his desires is doomed. It should be known that physical and spiritual felicity can only be attained by subjecting ones heart and body to the worship of Allaah and that it is through worshipping Allaah in complete sincerity that this mundane world can be of no importance.

Dear brothers, it is a manifestation of Allaah’s mercy on His slaves that He ordained fasting for them in order to purify them from excessive tastes and to cleanse their hearts from lustful things. These days, Muslims all over the world are receiving the month of Ramadaan; leader of all months; the month of forgiveness, merits and gifts; the month that gladdens the hearts of righteous people. No wonder that a pious man said in his death bed giving a reason for his weeping:

“I am only weeping for the fact that people will continue to be fasting and performing prayers after my death while I will no longer be in a position to do likewise.”

Ramadaan is the month that contains the leader of all nights; a night that is better than a thousand months. Whoever spends the night in prayers with faith and hoping for Allaah’s reward will have all his past sins forgiven. The Prophet sallallahu 'alaihi wassalam said:

“When the month of Ramadaan enters, gates of Paradise are opened, gates of Hell are closed and devils are chained.”

(Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).

Dear brothers, whoever wants eternal prosperity should endeavor to worship Allaah and do good deeds sincerely. For, good deeds without sincere intention is of no use. Also, it is a glory for a believer to wake up in the night and perform prayers for, the best prayer after the obligatory ones are the prayers performed in the night. In fact, righteous people do compete with each other to make use of its darkness for doing acts of Ibaadah that bring them closer to Allaah and they loved this world only because of its nights. Aboo Sulaymaan Ad-Daaraanee said:

“By Allaah! If not because of waking up in the night and performing prayers, I would not have loved this world; for, the night is precious because of its darkness and performing the prayers during the night is one of the characteristics of righteous people.”

Al-Hasan Al-Basree said:

“Nobody abandons night prayers except that it is regarded as a punishment for a sin he has committed.”

You should also endeavor to supplicate to Allaah during the nights of this noble month because, supplication is the link between man and his Lord; it is an effortlessly clear profit and easy booty; it prevents calamities and brings forth Allaah’s treasures and bounties. By supplicating to Allaah during the night, He answers by granting the request generously for, His Hands never get tired of giving.

Dear Muslims, the Qur’aan is Allaah’s message to His servants and a light for the mankind.There is no way to Allaah’s pleasure except through it. It is revealed in the best of all months. The best way you can spend your time during this month is to recite the Qur’aan as frequently as possible. Read it, reflect on its meaning and work by its injunctions. This is because the Qur’aan contains admonitions and lessons that increase one’s humility and humbleness.

As regards charity, the Prophet was the most generous of all people and his generosity manifested most during the month of Ramadaan. Whenever he gave, he gave in plenty as if he had no fear of poverty. He would never be asked of anything except that he gave it unless if he did not have it.

Charity, dear brothers, has its positive effects on the giver. It causes blessings to his wealth and children, prevents calamities and brings forth bliss. Ramadaan is a month of charity. Spend out of your wealth for the poor and needy and be aware that avarice and stinginess does not keep the wealth for eternal just as charity does not decrease it. Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“Nothing brings Allaah’s blessings and prevents His punishment than obeying Him, moving closer to Him through acts of Ibaadah and being kind to His creatures.”

Therefore, spend in charity for, charity elevates one’s rank in front of Allaah and know that, man is going to stay under the shade of his charity on the Day of Resurrection.

Dear brothers, make good preparation for this honorable month because it is a transient visitor. Receive it with a sincere repentance and spend your time during the month is acts of obedience to your Lord.

Further, try to perform ‘Umrah during Ramadaan for, a ‘Umrah during Ramadaan is equivalent in reward to a Hajj performed with the Messenger of Allaah. Also, provide food for fasting Muslims for whoever does that gets an equivalent of their reward without causing any deduction to the reward of the fasting Muslims.

I‘tikaaf (seclusion in a mosque for the purpose of worshipping Allaah alone) is also a Sunnah that should be kept during the last ten days of Ramadaan. Ibn Shihaab said:

“It is a strange thing that Muslims should abandon I‘tikaaf while the Messenger of Allaah e never skipped it right from the time he entered Madeenah until his death.”

Use the period of this noble month to join the cord of kinship (by keeping good relations with your kith and kin). Also repent sincerely to Allaah as long as the door of repentance is still open. Be cautious of undesirable end because leaving this world is actually painful.
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Knowledge01
 
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Quote Knowledge01 Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2006 at 9:25am
Ramadhan tips and tricks

Tip 1:

Review / Learn the Fiqh of Fasting

Tip 2:

Before Ramadhaan starts have your house cleaned, organized and prepared so you will have more time to do 'Ibaadah.

Tip 3:

Dont plan any big elaborate fatoor at your house. Eat at your local masjid everyday instead for the fellowship and blessings.

If you just have to cook everyday, start freezing food NOW!!!!

Tip 4:

FOCUS ----> QURAN

Include the kids in your quran reading schedule (especially if arabic is not the home language and you are reading it in english as well).

It's never too early to get them in the habit of centering Ramadhan around Quran.

Tip 5:

Make packages of dates that would be sufficient for a family for the entire month of Ramadhan and hand those packages out at Jumu'ah.

Ideal thing to do is have them prepared and handed out on the last Jumu'ah before Ramadhaan starts (Last Friday of Sha'baan), because once Ramadhaan starts, most people would have already bought their dates or have dates to break their fasts with. And Allaah knows best.

Tip 6:

Involve your entire family in the activity mentioned in tip 5--to give your children the sense of giving and sharing for Ramadhan

Tip 7:

Set your reading/recitation schedule now so you will be all set once the month begins. For ex: read/recite 4 pages after each salaat to finish a juz per day if this is your goal.

Tip 8:

Go for Umrah if you can!

Tip 9:

Try to "fast" from the internet as much as possible during the day. It is a serious time-killer!


Five reasons why we must plan for Ramadan

Have you noticed that each year, Ramadan goes by faster and faster? This blessed month can’t be left to become a blur in our memories. It has to be more than that time of the year we squeeze in fasting amongst the other things we do daily.

One way to make the most of Ramadan is to plan beforehand. Here are five reasons why you should plan for Ramadan:

Reason #1: To be in "Ramadan mode"
If you plan, you will mentally prepare for it, and it will force you to see it as the special month it is outside of your regular routine the rest of the year.

Reason #2: To adjust your schedule
By planning in advance, you can adjust your work, sleep and meal schedules in such a way as to make time for Suhoor, Iftar, etc. That means, for instance, that if you usually study late, you can instead sleep earlier and start studying after Suhoor in the early morning hours.

Reason #3: You can plan Ramadan family time
Calling a family meeting about a month in advance, explaining the importance of Ramadan, its implications for the family and the need to eat Iftar together when possible as well as to attend Tarawih prayers, for example, will allow all family members to adjust their work and school schedules accordingly. That will, Insha Allah, make Ramadan a blessing not just to every person in the family, but to the family as a whole.

Reason #4: To do good at high Sawab times
Match Ibadat with specific times that carry more reward. Prepare to do Itifkaf, increase asking Allah for forgiveness in the last ten nights of Ramadan. Plan to give increased Sadaqa this month. Plan to visit that relative you may have not seen for months, if not years.

Reason #5: You can plan Dawa activities during Ramadan
Some Muslims have gone to soup kitchens and made meals during Ramadan, while they were fasting. This is a great Dawa opportunity to explain what Ramadan and Islam are about. Planning in advance for such an activity gives you the time to call up a soup kitchen in your area, explain what you want to do, and get your act together. You can also plan school Dawa activities in Ramadan by planning in advance, by meeting with the principal or teacher beforehand, preparing a presentation, etc.



Source:
"Nine reasons why we must plan for Ramadan" - SoundVision.com
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Knowledge01
 
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Quote Knowledge01 Replybullet Posted: 01 August 2006 at 9:26am
Next time you step into your local shops, ponder over how the Kuffar are preparing for Christmas already. Whilst they begin 3 months in advance for one day, what have we done for this honoured month that lays only weeks away?

From Ramadan Companion

by Faisal Abdur Razak

Fourth Discourse

Preparing for Ramadan - Some Useful Tips

It is important for us to prepare for the Holy Month of Ramadan in order to reap the maximum benefits from this month. Rasulullah (may the prayers of Allah and peace be upon him) and his noble Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to look forward to the coming of the blessed month of Ramadan. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would say in his supplications:

Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Sha'ban wa ballighna Ramadan
"Allah bless us in the month of Rajab and Sha'ban and help us to meet and spend Ramadan (in a deserving manner)."

Ramadan is the month of excitement and enlightenment for Muslims. It is the month of revelation of the Holy Qur'an, the month of reading and reciting the entire Qur'an, the month of tahajjud and qiyamul layl, of tarawih prayers, of sadaqah, zakatul fitr, and zakatul mal.

No one can go anywhere without preparation, and no one invites a guest without preparing to welcome him/her. Similarly, to welcome Ramadan -- the month of fasting -- one has to prepare. The following are some tips to help you receive and welcome this noble month of Ramadan.

1. Try to fast on Mondays and Thursdays, as of today.
2. Start reading Qur'an daily after Salatul Fajr.
3. Spend some time listening to recitations from the Qur'an.
4. Train yourself to go to bed early so that you can wake up for Salatul Fajr.
4. Keep yourself in a state of wudu' at all times.
5. Evaluate yourself daily before going to bed. Thank Almighty Allah for all the good deeds you do, and repent to Him for your mistakes and sins.
6. Give yourself some time alone, so that you can meditate, make dhikr, tasbih, takbir, tahmid, tahlil, and other forms of dhikr. You will experience spiritual elevation and you will enjoy life tremendously.
7. Those who can afford to make 'Umrah before Ramadan comes should do so, and those who are able to perform 'Umrah in Ramadan should do so. 'Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to (the reward of) a hajj.
8. Start giving (charity) daily, no matter how little it is. Make it a habit, like eating and drinking.
9. Find time to pray extra nawafil (optional) salah, such as Salatul Duha, Qiyamul Layl, and Salatul Tahajjud. (note: If you have fardh - obligatory - prayers to make up, it is much more important to fulfill those first.)
10. Spend more time reading Islamic books, especially the Holy Qur'an, books on Seerah (the life of the Messenger of Allah), hadith, and fiqh.
11. Find time to help others with your wisdom, knowledge, and other talents.
12. Try to write articles on Islam for Muslims and others for non-Muslims.
13. Associate with Muslim scholars, 'ulama, and pious believers so that you may learn from them.
14. Train yourself to do good, no matter how insignificant it may seem, and render useful service to others.
15. Try to learn how to make da'wah to non-Muslims, and engage in this noble activity. It is an art requiring knowledge and training.
16. Try to spend more time with your family, and remind them to prepare for Ramadan as well.
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Quote B.H. Replybullet Posted: 25 August 2006 at 9:38pm
When does Ramadan start this year as far as using the English calendar goes?
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najamsahar
 
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Quote najamsahar Replybullet Posted: 26 August 2006 at 7:27am

Ramadhan is expected to start on sept 24 2006, inshaAllah here in Saudi Arabia.

US/UK, a day here or there, whatever the Hilal commmitte says.

We are already in Shabaan!

Najamsahar

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