RSS Feed

Tag Archives: sleep

Ramadan Challenge: The Dip!

By Nasser Ijaz Moghal

Contrary to popular belief this article is not about a new Ramadan chip-dip recipe. What I’m about to uncover is the basis of success for the entire Muslim Ummah!

Iman (faith) is not stagnant. Faith increases and decreases during certain times, conditions and as a result of certain actions. As Allah says in the Quran:

“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely” (Surah Al-Anfaal 2)

This verse tells us that for a believer, his iman (faith) increases when Quran is recited to him. Although it’s very hard to judge the level of iman as a whole of the Muslim ummah but a good indicator is the number of Muslims showing up at taraweeh prayer. When Ramadan starts, you would see 5-7 rows filled in the Masjid and as soon as we cross the 5th of Ramadan, this number begins to dwindle to 2 or 3. This remains the case for most of Ramadan until we reach the 27th of Ramadan. The time when suddenly all these people start sprouting up from nowhere and you’re like: ‘Man! I never knew we had so many people in the neighbourhood!’ That is the night in which we reach 50 rows in the masjid for taraweeh prayer. As for the rest of the year, the masjid is only occupied for Jumu’ah (Friday prayer) and Eid. As a visual representation of this phenomenon check out the iman graph below:

graph 1

As an analogy, it’s like a marathon. There are many people at the beginning and end of it, but they are only the spectators. During the middle of the marathon, you see only a few people who are, in fact, the participants. Have we also become silent spectators and resigned ourselves to mediocrity rather than excellence in execution?

Allah says in the Quran: “and Allah loves those who do good with perfection.” (Surah Al-Maa’idah 93)

Just imagine! Allah loves those who do the most perfect and beautiful actions! We need to strive to bring actions to level of ihsaan (excellence) in our lives and not settle for less. We should bring forth actions of superior quality to Allah in both this life and the hereafter.

Ramadan is a boot camp for Muslims to prepare them for the challenges of the entire year. But when the boot camp fails to achieve the intended level of ihsaan then our entire year turns out to be bad. Therefore, we need to take a proactive approach to ensure that are faith is maintained throughout Ramadan so that we can survive the harsh winter that is to come. Ideally we should always have high iman throughout the year. Taking baby steps, we can aim for this milestone and then iterate to reach greater levels of iman in the Ummah.

graph 2

In this way you will have an overall high level of iman throughout Ramadan. Then through the year the iman will increase and will be further renewed in Ramadan once more.

So, this is all theory. What practical steps can we take to ensure to remove the Ramadan dip from our lives?

1. Iftaar Party Management

With the coming of Ramadan, there is a massive influx of Ramadan iftaar deals. Say no to all of them and safeguard your iman. ‘But what if I am invited by a friend to an iftaar party by a friend?’ Politely refuse and invite him/her to your place for Eid.

There is a catch though….How would you handle when your family invites you to an iftaar party? You could always politely refuse and they’ll sooner or later get to know that you don’t come. It would become your thing. Or you could play on the front foot and invite them to an iftaar at the masjid. This way no one can run away from Maghreb or taraweeh prayer.

01

2. Portion Management

The worst thing that people do during iftaar is that they think they are a camel. A camel can store water in its body. So the person during iftaar fills himself with so much food and water that there isn’t even room left for him to breathe. Then what does such a person expect he will do after eating and drinking so much? Taraweeh prayer? More like bed, if not hospital! What do you think would happen to the Imam of the masjid if he ate so much during iftaar? He would literally throw up and die during taraweeh! So have small portions of food in a tea saucer. You can have more, but limit each helping that you take.

02

3. Sleep Management

1/3rd of our entire life is spent sleeping! If we can manage this, indeed we can become successful individuals. As soon as you come back from taraweeh, go to sleep. Do not Facebook! Do not stay up late on your phone! Use the  time after Fajr for work and then once you come back from office or school/college/university, go to sleep for 1-2 hours so that you remain fresh for taraweeh!

03

4. Soul Management

“Indeed, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace”. We may deprive our body of nourishment but we would truly die if we mal-nourish our souls by not even attempting to read or understand the speech of Allah, the Quran. This Ramadan is special because it is the month in which Quran was revealed. So the biggest association we should have with Ramadan is Quran rather than fasting and most definitely not feasting. This Ramadan make an active effort to renew your connection with the Quran by going through the tafseer (explanation) of the Quran and pondering over its meaning.

04

5. Energy Management

Normally there is a great deal of effort placed on managing your time, but what good is time, when all the time you feel drained and exhausted? That’s where energy management comes to play. The higher the levels of stress, frustration and anger you feel will directly impact your energy levels leading to diminishing productivity. Therefore, whenever faced with a situation triggering your pressure points, always remain calm and say “Ana Saaim” (I am fasting). The dude might be shouting at your face but when you say this with a smile on your face, so what can he do possibly? Furthermore, when sad or stressed, remember the rewards that Allah has placed for the believers in Jannah and let a smile beautify your face. Choose to forgive and forget rather than fret.

mess

Have I missed out on anything? Make sure you comment and share any ideas that you might have on eliminating the “Ramadan Dip” from the lives of Muslims.

Summer in Pakistan

Posted on

The one and only thing that is constant in our lives is change. The night and days alter, the weeks and months pass by and the seasons come and go.

seasons-wallpaper-collage-spring-winter-autumn-summer-sun-sky-clouds-grass

Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala has not created a single thing without purpose, so the change, in itself, also has a purpose. The change perhaps is a blessing in disguise. It teaches us that nothing in life is permanent. This life, this Dunya, is not permanent. In fact it is meant to change.

Time runs and before we knew it, June is right here. It started in March when the spring was subsided before it could officially depart. With the blazing sun and with markets oozing with lawn collections in every other city across Pakistan, summer set in.

Summer in Pakistan comes with scorching sun, excessive load-shedding, lawn collections, ice creams & beverages and eternal love for mangoes.

mangoes-delight-in-summers-L-_zuCVA

And well, a lot of complaining about how hard and tough summer is.

This year the complain has transformed into a concern about upcoming Ramadan (uff itni germi mei rozay kesay rakhain gay?) – “How are we ever going to fast in this extreme heat?”

Well this summer let’s not complain, and for change let us rejuvenate our Iman by following these DO’s and DON’Ts. Keep a positive attitude. 🙂

images

Don’ts:

1)      Be lazy / procrastinate / miss Salah.

2)      Wear revealing lawn clothing or half/quarter sleeves in public (for women). Rasool Allah SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam cursed the women who wore clothes but were still naked (May Allah Ta’ala not make us from them).

3)      Wear revealing thighs (for men).

4)      Have bad odor.

5)      Put excessive perfumes – women!

6)      Complain!! Absolutely no to complaining. Insha Allah.

DO’s:

1)      Make dua to Allah to keep you from laziness. (Al Bukhari 7/158)

Dua for Protection from Laziness

2)      Make dua for ease in everything – (dua from Hisnul Muslim – Ibn-e-Habban Al-Sahih)

Dua for Ease in Everything

3)      Remember that if this is so hot, Hell is much hotter. Make Istighfar and seek refuge in Allah from the Hellfire.

Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala is making us experience the high temperature because of a reason. The discomfort that we are made to face in form of summer is a direct guide to learning the ultimate lesson that Hell is hotter. And surprisingly, we get to know from an authentic Hadith of Rasool Allah SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam that the reason of heat in summers is hell itself:

Abu Hurayrah RadiAllaahu Anhu  reported that the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam said: “The (Hell) Fire complained to its Lord saying: ‘O my Lord! My different parts consume each other, so allow me to breathe.’ Therefore He (i.e., Allaah) allowed it to take two breaths, one in the winter and the other in summer, and this is the reason for the severe heat and the bitter cold you find (in weather).” [Al-Bukhaari]

winter and summer

Subhan Allah! We’re frail and we cannot even tolerate the heat of this Dunya, may Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala protect us all from hell fire. Ameen!

4)      Take bath! Summer is not a license to badodor. Muslims should love and practice cleanliness. Wear fragrance too.

One hot day, the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam came out while these people were sweating profusely due to the type of clothes they were wearing and a very bad smell emanated from them, to the extent that it offended others. When the Prophet SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam smelt this, he said: “O people! On this day (i.e. Friday) you need to perform Ghusl and each of you should use the best perfume he has.”

karachi-non-alcoholic-perfumes-and-itar-we-sell-non-namaz-only-700-alcoholic-perfumes-imported-ad-175552

5)      Drink water. Feel the love of chilled water and pray to Allah that may our love for Allah become greater than the love we have for this chilled water. It is said that drinking chilled water helps in bringing Ikhlas (sincerity) in Shukar (thanking/being grateful) of Allah!

6)      Offer drinks and water to your fellow beings and earn good deeds.

7)      Put water for animals to drink as well!

image_gallery_close_up

8)      Enjoy summer fruits like watermelon and mango, and thank Allah for this amazing opportunity!

summer-fruits

9)      Make Shukar of Allah, and be thankful to HIM for summer too. Summer offers plenty of opportunities to get Sawab (reward), no?

10)  If you find it hard to sleep on your mattresses, sleep on a mat or directly on the floor. Remember it is Sunnah! Sleeping on floor is said to inculcate humbleness in one’s self. May Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala make us more humble!

95784202.uj1c2yMb

11)  Yes! There is excessive load shedding. But Alhamdulillah we have alternates, even if it is just a manual fan. Alhamdulillah summa Alhamdulillah! Let’s make our hearts full of Shukar of Allah. As Brother Nouman Ali Khan says, ‘if we were really the people of Alhamdulillah we would have never found the energy, opportunity or even desire to complain!’

12)  Last but not the least, let’s learn to be patient in this heat and still have tongues that are wet in remembrance of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala.

546160

%d bloggers like this: