Assalamu’alaikum, yello peoples of the world.
Another resource-y (ie. links to other stuff kinda) post this time, especially for Muslims, as it is currently Day 2 of the sacred month of Ramadhan, a.k.a. the fasting month. Just simple little things that will inshaAllah bring benefit to you in this blessed time.
Short selingan: I am in Malaysia, Alhamdulillah, where prayer & fasting times are very regular and munasabah (and where the abundance and variety of Halal food is unparalleled , IMHO). In the UK at the moment, my Muslim friends are fasting ~18 hours a day (!!!) instead of the usual ~13 hours here. But we are all fasting for Allah and whatever we do for Him alone will not go unrewarded, inshaAllah.
First off, an Amenakin video, which explains succintly what Ramadhan is. She has a few other Ramadhan-related vlogs on her channel as well.
I attended a webinar (web seminar, geddit?) the other day by Working Muslim, and the speaker pointed out how intentions change everything. I have heard this before from other Ustaz too, how we need to be creative in making everything we do for Allah, and in a way that continually benefits us and others. I posted this quote on Tumblr:
When you have a passion, like you’re mad about this car, you want to buy it, you’ll start seeing that car everywhere. Even though they’ve been there all this while, but you suddenly notice them all around you. And everything reminds you of the car. This is what intention is about: your passion. If you make your ultimate passion Allah s.w.t; being a great Muslim, entering Jannah, you will be able to make connections, even far ones, to Allah. Making everything you do, even sleeping, an act of worship for Him.
— Paraphrased from Ramadhan webinar by Sheikh Moutasem al-Hameedy.
Next are some ideas on what you might wish to fill this month (and onwards) with. I love this video below, where the brother suggests upgrading the du’as that we keep asking Allah for. Surely there are loads more that we wish for, beyond having our sins forgiven, attaining Jannah, etc.
- What about asking Him to help us find/get closer to companions who will make us closer to our Deen.
- Or asking to learn something new every day this Ramadhan, so the month will not fall into merely ritual and cultural habits?
- And for Allah to put barakah in your time, so that even if you don’t have much time to spend, you will still be able to have productivity.
- Try asking for His guidance in figuring out what you can do to contribute to the world / your country / your people. Everybody has a niche, it’s just a matter of finding it and turning it into something that brings good. Include others in your prayers as well, for whenever you make a supplication for another believer and he is not present, an angel will say ‘and same to you.’ (Hadith riwayat Muslim)
Click to view the video on Facebook
I highly recommend you to Like this guy’s page since he has many more videos coming.
There’s other stuff going on Facebook too. If you’re interested in Qur’an memorisation, Habibi Halaqas is doing a 30 Days, 30 Ayahs program, to memorise Surah al-Mulk. I realised I’ve already memorised the first ayat subconciously just by having played the surah on my phone before going to sleep at night.
My previous attempt at hafazan was during last Autumn & Spring Term at uni — we had a (weekly…ish ) Qur’an Circle and did Surah al-Kahf. So far I only managed verses 1-17(…ish) and the final 10 verses, but even being able to do that was a good motivation to try more. The trick for me is listening to recitations, eg. ayat 1, then ayat 1-2, then 1-3, … , repeatedly till
your ears bleed they stick in your head.
There is also Project Memorise, with helpful videos & tips by the brother. The brilliant Productive Ramadhan has lots of articles and links (and an e-mail newsletter too). This page has loads of video links, also Ramadhan-related. ISister has this article about (not) watching television. (Side note: one of the things I learned from my time in the UK is that I could survive just fine for three years without a TV around. So hopefully this habit will stick.) This blog has a mega-list of masakan Melayu recipes for ideas (or if you don’t have access to a bazaar Ramadhan…). Overall, I think, just try to seek knowledge and implement them, sow good habits and sustain them.
For specifically Malaysian talks and forums, I’ve watched a recording of Bicara Selebriti, from KelantanTV, and found it fascinating. There are many more ceramah/forum/interview recordings online of course, you might find that some speakers would cater to you more than others, and that is fine, as long as they are speaking the truth and their sources are from the Qur’an and Hadith. It just takes time to figure out your “taste” in these things, if that makes sense.
Bicara Selebriti on UStream. Not the whole thing, apparently, but still good to watch.
Next is my tiny contribution, I hope. I’ve always wanted to review my recitation of du’as in the five daily prayers, checking against the real Arabic transcription to make sure I haven’t been making mistakes over the years, and also re-remembering the meanings of every line. Like Ustaz Zaharuddin mentioned, it is a big problem in cultures such as ours, where Arabic prayers and sayings are recited without knowing their specific meaning. I went on a Google search, found what I needed, and edited the content a little bit for printer-friendliness. The following is the downloadable PDF link:
Bacaan dalam solat: Arabic with Malay translations
What I would do is print this out and slap it on my bedroom wall. I’ve been doing that with my memorisations too (not to mention school notes throughout my SPM days… ), and Alhamdulillah this has proven to be an effective method, provided you actually read them as many times as possible in a day. Like this following video states, having khushu’ in solah is a life-changing habit. To actually feel as if you are talking to God (and He is listening & responding) during your prayers is something we should all strive to achieve, and then have istiqamah with it.
I would appreciate it if anybody could point out any online resources about the translations for wirid selepas solat and other common du’as. More often than not, I find myself “ameen-ing”, remembering, then reciting myself the prayers but without really knowing what they mean. Oh, also if anybody knows resources for alternative bacaan dalam solat (as I’ve read, there are many versions that the Prophet s.a.w. used to recite, changing things up once in a while) that would be great to know.
[16 Oct 2011: I’ve found one video that provides alternative du’a to recite in solat, in Arabic audio with English translation: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2538147132500 ]
Anddd the last link is a reference for the rules of tajwid when reciting the Qur’an, it is a Flash mini-program of sorts. So convenient in case you’ve lost the old schoolbooks back in the day when you had Qur’an lessons with an Ustaz(ah)… I do not know who created this program (may Allah bless them for their efforts), but several of my friends shared this link on Facebook sometime ago. The language is Malay/Indonesian I believe, and it has funky sound effects alongside the examples and explanations on how many harakats does Madd Jaiz Munfasil need.
Click to download from 4shared.
Off to have iftar now. Apologies if all this seems overwhelming, and if there are any mistakes in all the above. Have a pleasant month (even if you don’t celebrate Ramadhan), ttyl!