Oh Allah, let us reach Ramadan || اللهمَّ بلِّغْنا رَمَضَان

Archive for the ‘Jamaal Diwan’ Category

Day 1: Review and Renew

Assalamu Alaikum,

Jazakum Allahu Khairan for following us these 30 days in preparation for the blessed month of Ramadan. Our beloved guest has almost arrived. Before our guest comes, today’s tip is to sit for a few moments and review each previous tip briefly, and once again renew our intentions. Even if this is the first time you are looking at the countdown, these tips can still be used as your crunch-time inspiration insha Allah. Please forward and facebook today’s post far and wide, and get the reward of everyone who benefits from even a single tip insha Allah. This list has been compiled for your convenience from each day:

Day 30: Make a list of your goals, make dua to Allah for each one, and renew your intentions for every action in your day.

Day 29: Get rid of internal friction by building the habits you want for Ramadan early on, purifying your nafs each day.

Day 28: Reconnect to the Quran. If you have been distant, start with at least 20 min. a day, and take a lesson from it each day.

Day 27: If your reliance is on Allah, you don’t lose hope when a downfall occurs. Stop relying on yourself and rely on Him for an illuminated beginning and end.

Day 26: Add just 2 rakahs more than what you usually pray after Isha, and habituate yourself on Qiyam al-Layl. Make dua just 30 min. before Fajr as well.

Day 25: Pass over dunya swiftly, taking only what you need from it and continuing on. Eat moderately at iftar focusing on  your worship afterwards instead of your food.

Day 24: Increase your love of the Prophet (saw) by regularly reading and reflecting on his seerah, by making salawat (peace and blessings) on him and his family, and by following the guidance he came with, imagining how we would act if he was present and among us (saw).

Day 23: Make dua during the preferred times, and as much as possible while never despairing in the answer from Allah.

Day 22: Reconnect and maintain your family ties and Allah (swt) will bless your rizq and prolong your life.

Day 21: Identify your favorite types of worship and start doing them more often. Realize that different contexts in life make different acts of worship more beloved and/or rewarded so find the worships of your context and embrace them.

Day 20: Strive for concentration in prayer by having presence of the heart, witnessing of the mind, stillness of the body, and humility expressed in your limbs.

Day 19: Have true tawakkul by leaving the consequences  and results up to Allah with full trust in His perfect plan, while focusing instead on your immediate responsibilities and choices that He did grant you some control over. (more…)

Day 4: Ask God for Your Needs

By Jamaal Diwan

 

Ibn ʿAṭā said:

“Appeal to no one but Him to relieve you of a pressing need that He Himself has brought upon you. For how can someone else remove what He has imposed? And how can he who is unable to free himself of a pressing need free someone else of one?”[1]

How can you appeal to other than Him when He is the one that controls all affairs? And to whom shall we seek aid if He is not in our aid? If He is in our aid can there be anything that can prevent Him from his magnanimous giving? Indeed, there cannot be.

Then we should know that He is the source of all things, He is the One. So we must learn  submit ourselves to the acceptance of His divine wisdom, as Moses learned with Khiḍr. In doing so we will turn to Him with full attention and intention. He will become our qiblah before anything else. In doing so we acknowledge or weakness and our inability and seek strength and ability through the All-Powerful, the One who is capable of all things.

It is said that one day a poor man went out seeking some rich people in order to ask them for charity. He came upon a rich man who was raising his hands towards the sky in supplication so he asked, “From whom is he asking?” He was told, “From his Lord.” So the poor man said, “He is my Lord and his Lord. So why do I not ask Him as he asks Him?!”

As these wisdoms have reminded us throughout, it is now and in Ramadan that we should renew our relationship with God. We should look to see what our qiblah really is. Are we seeking Him first and foremost in everything that we do? If we are then He will bestow light upon us through His infinite bounty, and we will be guided by it. If not, then we will continue to stumble through the darkness of the absence of recognizing His presence in our lives.

May God enlighten us with the infinite light of His beauty and magnificence.


[1] Translation from jannah.org

Day 8: Thankfulness

By Jamaal Diwan

 

Ibn ʿAṭā said:

“Whoever is not thankful for graces runs the risk of losing them; and whoever is thankful, fetters them with their own cords.”[1]

This wisdom is based on the statement of God in the Quran:

 

“And when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’”[2]

In this verse and in the wisdom we are presented with one of the greatest laws of this life: when you are thankful, God gives you more. When you are not, He does not. In this regard it is very important that we constantly work and seek to development a grateful view on our existence. This is in fact an act of belief and a cornerstone in the Muslim’s daily relationship with his or her Creator.

 

It is a simple concept but often very difficult to implement. This is especially true for those of us that come from cultures where we have been blessed with so much but at the same time it is common for people to complain about everything. We have to fight this and learn to be content with what we have and appreciate it. We cannot achieve happiness if we do not learn to appreciate the things that we have, especially the “little” things.

 

This Ramadan let us try and cultivate the habit of being thankful. Two things that we can do are:

–          Specify a few minutes each day to just think about all that we have been given and thank God for it.

–          Before we start eating we should pause and reflect about the food that we are eating and where it came from and how much God has given us. This simple practice, which is commanded from us in the Quran,[3] can make a huge difference in our lives as it pushes us to be people of gratitude.


[1] Translation from jannah.org

[2] Quran 14: 7.

[3] Quran 80: 24-32.

Day 11: Where to Place Your Joy

Ibn ʿAṭā said:

“Let not obedience make you joyous because it comes from you; but rather, be joyous over it because it comes from God to you. ‘Say: In the grace of God and in His mercy, in that they should rejoice. It is better than that which they hoard.’”[1]

In this wisdom we are again confronted with an adjustment of the subtleties of the heart. It is again an issue of focus.

For one to be joyous over the good deeds that they have done is a manifestation of their own selfishness and a lack of their understanding the true nature of God as the One to be worshiped and the source of all good. No, you did not achieve what you did solely because you are wonderful or simply because you worked hard or did what you needed to do. Before and above any of that it was the pure bounty of the Most Gracious. In this we should rejoice and upon Him we should maintain our focus. The awakened heart realizes the beauty in the subtle difference between the two. In one the focus is on the self and in the other the focus is on the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. In one joy is placed in that which succeeds and fails and in the other joy is placed in He who never fails, glorified and exalted is He.

The tip for this reminder is simple and yet oft-forgotten. Every-time we are able to do something good, let’s make a sincere effort to turn our attention to Him, to thank Him and praise Him. Let us try to say what we were taught:

Al-hamdu lillâhil-ladhi bi’ni-matihi tatimmus sâlihât.” All praises are for Allah, by whose grace all good things are completed (Hakim)

And in our gratitude to Him, we will find the good deeds increase insha Allah.

In doing so we also realize the intent of the verse that Ibn ʿAṭā mentioned in the wisdom itself, “’Say: In the grace of God and in His mercy, in that they should rejoice. It is better than that which they hoard.’”[2]


[1] Translation from jannah.org

[2] Quran, 10:58.

Day 14: Patience in Prayer and Invocation

 

By Jamaal Diwan

Ibn ʿAṭā said:

“Do not abandon the invocation because you do not feel the presence of God therein. For your forgetfulness of the invocation of Him is worse than your forgetfulness in the invocation of Him. Perhaps He will take you from an invocation with forgetfulness to one with vigilance, and from one with vigilance to one with the presence of God, and from one with the presence of God to one wherein everything but the Invoked is absent. ‘And that is not difficult for God.’”

One of the tricks of Shaytan is that he will find us engaged in an act of obedience, such as prayer or dhikr, and when we have moments of forgetfulness or heedlessness he will try and convince us that we should stop that act of worship as a result. This happens to  people all the time with all kinds of acts of worship. We start to think that we are being hypocritical because we’re praying but we’re not paying attention fully or we’re reading Quran but we’re not fully concentrating and so on. Then we decide to stop that action. This is a mistake. We should not stop, but rather continue and try our best to focus and concentrate. Maybe for a while we will have lapses but eventually the situation will imrove and God will bless us with insight and closeness to Him in our acts of worship.

This Ramadan, and in our increased acts of worship before, there will be times when we catch ourselves floating off, times when we are not paying attention. That happens, don’t worry. Just renew your intention and keep focusing. Don’t give up half way through the month, but keep working and by the grace of God we will reap the rewards of our reliance upon Him by the end of the month.

Having Technical Difficulties

Assalamu Alaikum,

 

Thank you for following the Ramadan Countdown blog. We just wanted to apologize for the delay in today’s post as we’re having some technical difficulties.

Insha Allah, the problem should be fixed in a few hours.

 

Jazakum Allahu Khairan for your patience!

Ramadan Countdown Team

Day 17: Our Fears of Growth Reflected in our Friendships

 

By: Jamaal Diwan

Ibn ʿAṭā said:

“Do not keep company with anyone whose state does not inspire you and whose speech does not lead you to God.”[1]

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

 

“The person is on the dīn of their close friend, so look at who your friends are.”[2]

This is a reminder that we hear a lot but is sometimes very hard to implement. Often times we keep people around us who we know are bad influences not because we agree with what they are doing or how they live but because it gives us an excuse for our own weaknesses and lack of ambition. (more…)

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