While you may think you would get more rewards for enduring your hunger by delaying your Iftar – it’s actually the total opposite. Allah wishes us ease, not hardship. The prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The people will remain upon goodness so long as they hasten to break the fast. Hasten to break the fast, for the Jews delay it.” (Ibn Majah)
Like Dhikr, reading the Quran is something many of us tend to forget. We get so caught up in food preparation, after going to work and school, and forget that Ramadan is the month that the Quran was revealed. It is vital that we read it and understand it as much as we can. Read the Quran everyday during Ramadan and make effort to read the translation of it, no matter what language you speak.
Reciting the Qur’an may become a way to escape the heat and thirst caused by the weather, as well as removing ourselves from the temptations of backbiting, gossiping, and wasting time. Make a goal to complete reciting the Quran during the Ramadan, purely for pleasing Allah (SWT) and obtaining greater rewards. Remind yourself often about your intention because this alone works as a great encouragement.
Reciting the Qur’an is a source of barakah and, as we know, barakah is a key to productivity. Therefore we must aim to recite it in anticipation of Allah’s pleasure and barakah from Him. Don’t let our empty stomach reduce our productivity in gaining rewards during Ramadan.
Indeed reading the Arabic words contains reward and you attain 10 rewards for every single letter that you pronounce. But imagine reading the Quran in the month of Ramadan, just how enormous the rewards will be?
Ramadan is a blessed month of the year. We can indulge more in reciting Quran to receive immense rewards and get closer to Allah. This can be quite easy for some, and a challenge for others. The easiest step to complete reading the Quran is by setting an intention, drawing up a plan, implement the plan, and remain consistent!
All the best in completing reading up the Quran as many times as you can!
Don’t miss the Suhoor meal. It should be a wholesome and moderate meal that is filling and provides energy for the fasting hours ahead. Not eating Suhoor can lead to many unexpected situations including having a really bad headache the next day especially due to inadequate food and water in your body. If you have not noticed, skipping Suhoor may lead to a loss of concentration the next day, which isn’t something you want to happen during work or while driving.
Delaying Suhoor is also a part of the Sunnah and the Prophet’s companions would delay eating Suhoor until as close to Fajr as possible. One must stop eating when the dawn appears.
Moreover, Suhoor is also a blessed time, the third part of the night and the best time to pray to Allah (SWT), make dua and seek forgiveness. The prophet said: “Take meal a little before dawn, for there is a blessing in taking meal at that time.” (Sahih Muslim No. 2412)
So, don’t miss your Suhoor!
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.”(Surah Baqarah: 186).
A Du’a is a conversation with Allah, our Creator, our Lord and Master, the All Knowing, the All Powerful. This act in itself is of extraordinary significance. It is the most uplifting, liberating, empowering, and transforming conversation a person can ever have. We turn to Him because we know that He alone can lift our sufferings and solve our problems. We feel relieved after narrating our difficulties to our Creator. We feel empowered after having communicated with the All Mighty. We sense His mercy all around us after talking to the Most Merciful. We get a new commitment to follow His path for that is the only path for success. We feel blessed with each such commitment.
In every difficulty our first action is du’a, as is our last. We ask Allah to show us the way to handle that difficulty; we seek His help in following the path He shows to us; we seek His aid in making our efforts successful. When we fall sick, we know that we cannot find the right doctor without His Will; that the best doctor may not be able to diagnose our condition without His Command; that the best treatment plan will not succeed without His Permission. We make du’a for all of these. We make dua before we seek medical help, while we are receiving it and after it has been delivered. The same is true for all of the other difficulties we may encounter.
The power of du’a itself is already magnificent, so what is the status of a du’a made while fasting Ramadan? The Prophet SAW (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“The supplications of three persons are never turned away: a just ruler, a fasting person until he breaks his fast, and the supplication of an oppressed person which is raised by Allah to the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the gates of heaven are opened for it and Allah says: By My might, I will help you even if it is after a while” (Sunan Ibn Majah No. 1624).
So let us not waste any time in the month of Ramadan and let us utilize this month wisely by increasing our du’as to the One who responds to all invocations. When you break your fast at the time of Iftar, make du’a. When you pray Qiyamul Layl in the night of Ramadan, make du’a. When you are in the Masjid between the Adhan and the Iqamah, make du’a.
Fasting during Ramadan does not only consist of refraining from food and drink, but also that we must protect ourselves from using bad language, backbiting, lying, and giving in to anger. Unfortunately, for many of us, refraining from food also means an increase in anger and irritability, causing us to say some things we probably do not mean to.
It happens to all of us sometimes. In the heat of the moment we tend not to be aware of what is coming out of our mouths and sometimes, the words that do come out are not befitting of a servant of God to utter. It is at these times that we need to be extra mindful of what we are saying precisely because this is when we lose control over our tongue. Everything we utter, no matter how insignificant we believe it to be, is being written down by the angels and will be shown to us on the Day of Judgment.
This Ramadan is a perfect time to intensify our practice of cultivating a disciplined tongue. These are not only days of peak restraint but also of increasingly remembering God, seeking forgiveness and longing for salvation.
Guard your tongue, don’t make it as the reason for your efforts to gain His blessings rejected.
In Islam, there are many verses in the Quran and numerous hadiths on eating and matters associated with it. Food is seen as not only to fulfil one’s need or hunger, but also as something that benefits our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Additionally, food is also something that connects humans to The Creator through the sense of dependency, gratefulness and responsibility
But in some countries, a third of all food goes to waste. This has a negative impact on the environment and also goes against the teachings of Islam.
Allah command Muslims to avoid waste – “Eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not those who waste.” (Quran 7:31) The Prophet (pbuh) encouraged people to avoid leaving leftovers, saying, “You do not know which part of your food carries the blessings.”
To avoid wasting food, Muslims must uphold the true teaching of Islam especially moderation in buying, preparing and eating food. In order to achieve that, planning what to buy and eat is crucial. We must have certain skills to manage our food. Thus, we should learn those skills in order to be a good consumer and to avoid wastage.
We must try our best not to waste food. Remember that it is not easy to produce food. There are people who endure hardship in order to provide the food on our table. Food is a blessing from Allah, thus do not waste it. Even more so in the glorious month of Ramadan, we must make an extra effort to avoid wasting food.
Eat less, share more.
Ramadan teaches us to understand how it feels to be poor and hungry. Many people around the world live in dire poverty, with very little means to overcome the misery they live in. Young children are forced to live under extremely miserable conditions. They have to struggle daily to get food, many have no homes or shelters, and some have to join the workforce to earn for their families. For such children, childhood as a period of carefree days filled with play and laughter is non-existent. Toys, delicious food, new clothes and all the other comforts of life taken for granted by many of us, are all unattainable dreams for them.
It is the duty of those who are fortunate in terms of material wealth, to help the less fortunate in different parts of the world. An important point to remember is that the wealth which human beings enjoy actually belongs to Allah. The Qur’an continuously brings men’s attention to the fact that wealth is only Allah’s, and that man is no more than a proxy of God in supervising it; consequently, man should not disobey God regarding the trust put under his charge. “Allah is the Owner of heavens and the earth: To God belongs the dominion of heavens and the earth” (3: 189). “And it is God Who provides sustenance to all people: Is there a Creator, other than God, to give you sustenance from heaven or earth?” (35: 3).
Ramadan is a month of fast, not a month of feast. It is not about eating, but feeding.
Just as fasting teaches us to sympathize with the poor and the needy, it also teaches us to be grateful for all the blessings of the Almighty we enjoy. The food and wholesome drinks so abundantly available are great blessings of Allah. Because we have them everyday, we do not realize their importance. But when we are forced to restrain ourselves while fasting, we understand the importance of having enough to eat and satisfy the pangs of hunger.
Learning from this Ramadan, together we shall start to eat less, and share more.
Sri Lanka tragedy
Anyone who says the Quran advocates terrorism obviously hasn’t read its lessons on violence. Misconceptions about Islam creep in because people learn about the faith from headline news rather than from the Quran and the Prophet. Read the Quran, read a biography of Muhammad, seek out the true Islam education campaign.
Islam presents the real peace for the whole of mankind. We do not claim that Islam is the only religion which presents peace nor do we claim a monopoly on the truth. But Islam stands out because the very name of Islam literally means peace. It presents the message of peace with full clarity and profound wisdom. Islam means submission to the will and command of God and through following its teachings, people can enjoy the peace of all times.
This savagery and murder cannot be tolerated by any religion nor anyone with conscience. Islam condemn murder regardless of the victims’ religions. Our hearts goes out to the victims of the Sri Lanka tragedy and their loved ones.
Start your day with Bismillah
(The author of the poem has give permission to do some editing especially regarding the grammar):
And now just like before,
The dawn at four,
The stars leaving all,
The big ones and even that small.
Clouds wear white,
Here’s a goodbye to another night,
Sun spreads it’s first ray,
It somehow finds the easy way.
It is all nothing but His grace.
Window sheets curl in joy,
The bright lights through my window,
Oh, the way they annoy.
I pull myself out of bed,
As I have to get my prayer mat spread,
I know prayer mat to be the place,
Where I can get all the grace.
As the sun come out red,
I help myself to milk and bread,
All praise belong to HIM alone,
Who’s up above the seven heavens,
On His majestic throne.
Only He is worthy of worship,
Trust Him in your hardship,
His mercy encompasses everything,
And I got to worry about nothing,
In Him I have believed,
Even in the rough days,
That I have lived.
Credit to @ab_tanzeem and @orphanage_helper for this poem.