Ramadan Momentum…

Even with most of us at home and a lockdown in place this year, Ramadan still went by as fast as it usually does. It may have been different, but it came and went as it always does. This Ramadan felt like a lifeline amidst all the chaos and uncertainty in the world. Just as the pandemic reached its peak, Muslims around the world had the luxury of shifting their attention to the Blessed month that promised to be the first of it’s kind. A Ramadan without the Masjid. 

With Ramadan now behind us, we lose that focus and in many ways have to now face the reality of the ongoing pandemic. While some countries grapple with large death tolls, others are easing restrictions, where ever you are in the world, there’s one thing for sure, the world will never be the same again. Everyone speaks about things going back to normal but perhaps, our normal was wrong in the first place so we should strive to be better. Likewise, as we reminisce about Ramadan 2020, we should not be content with going back to normal. Now is the time to strive for a new normal, a better normal.

Ramadan is a great reformer but we often treat it as a season of goodness rather than a reminder of our true potential. We disrupt our routines, adjust our focus, and benefit from the Barakah for the entire month – but before Eid is over, we fall back into old habits and undo so much of what we strived to achieve. 

Make use of the Ramadan momentum and carry these blessings into the rest of the year. 

Little things, done consistently will create change. Everyone has their own Ramdan habits, their own memories, their own vices, and bad habits, change something, change one thing, stick to it and In Sha Allah, that might become the source of Barakah in your life even outside of Ramadan.

Sleep is for the weak… this week.

One of my fondest memories of Ramadan 2019 apart from the lack of a global pandemic was the nightly Qiyam-ul-Layl at the Slacks Creek Masjid. After Taraweeh we would head home for a break, get the kids to bed and I’d head back to the Masjid for the 10:30 PM Qiyam session. I’ve attended Qiyam programs at various Masjids over the years but what made this special was the fact that the Imam was focused more on quality than quantity.

We would pray 2 Raka’ah in just under an hour but would only cover a few pages of Quran so the recitation was slow, steady, and absolutely transcending. Prolonged Ruku and Sujood forced us to look inward, to reflect, to appreciate. 

This year we have an opportunity to create memories in our own homes. Don’t let the virus steal this from you too. These are the nights to exert ourselves. Perhaps our own recitations won’t be as captivating or melodious as our favourite Imam’s but that’s no reason to miss out on Qiyam during these Blessed nights. 

Whether from memory or holding the mus’haf, loudly or in small whispers, pray at night and make the most of these nights. For this week, sleep is truly for the weak. Not only was this a practice of the Messenger (S.A.W) during these nights, it is much needed during these chaotic times we live in. We need the dua to ease our current situation and we need the peace and tranquility to overcome the mental burden of these challenging times. 

May Allah accept our efforts and grant us the reward of Laylatul Qadr. Ameen. 

The seeds of Laylatul Qadr…

Children can’t fully comprehend the magnitude of Laylatul Qadr and don’t fully appreciate the fact that it is equivalent to 1000 months of worship. A child doesn’t yet understand the idea of pleasing the Almighty or earning such rewards for the hereafter so we need to make our discussions more relatable for them. 

Based on the conversations we’ve had this week, below are a few topics to help get them excited:

The magnitude of Angels that descend on the night of Qadr – more angels descend than there are grains of sand on this earth. WOW!

The majesty of Angel Jibreel who also descends on this night – a good segue into the story of revelation and the Quran.

Being able to ask Allah for anything that they want – encourage open communication with you and Allah. My heart melted when I told my 6-year-old daughter about making dua on this night and she reminded me that she makes dua with mummy every night before bed. Say Masha Allah!

The concept of Qadr and divine ordainment can also be tricky for a child to grasp so be mindful of this. By linking Qadr to dua, we can instill in them a habit of communicating with Allah and also an understanding that everything happens with His permission and by His decree. 

Bonus rewards – we should be encouraging our kids to do good deeds throughout the year but remind them of the extra points they can earn in these Blessed nights.

We came across an awesome Laylatul Qadr story this week which described the extra rewards as ‘when our parents really want us to have something, so they make it super easy for us to earn it. Like if they say, “you can have a new bike for Eid if you pick up that tissue from the floor.”‘ Love this! Check out the book here.

Kids are pure and innocent so the idea of repentance and forgiveness won’t appeal to them. 83 years or 1000 months don’t mean much to a child but by making the occasion relatable and exciting, we will plant the seeds that will one day lead to a greater appreciation for this amazing night.