Plan your best Ramadan yet. ..

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Plan your best Ramadhan yet by Umm Raiyaan

By the end of reading these notes from a talk I gave in Leceister a year ago, you will have developed an individual plan for Ramadhan to have your best Ramadhan ever – bi’idhnillah! I hope you find benefit in it. If you do, I ask you to please take a few minutes out of your time to make dua for me and my family. I’m in need of sincere duas from those whom Allah loves..
Jazakillahu khairan.
Umm Raiyaan 2014

“He who fasts Ramadhan due to emaan and hoping for reward (from Allah) then his past sins are forgiven.” Bukhari and Muslim

“There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and it will be granted.” Ahmad

What can Ramadhan do for us?
1.All of our past sins can be forgiven
2. We can be chosen and granted freedom from the Fire

We can have the above but will this be granted for those who do not work for it? Will it be granted to those who only see Ramadhan as abstaining from food, drink and relations?

Ramadhan is a gift – an opportunity for change – it can change you, transform your emaan, change your relationship with others, change your relationship with Allah and change your outcome in the next life!

All of the above is only possible if we approach Ramadhan like we approach significant events in our lives.

What do we do when we prepare for an exam, a wedding or the like? We spend weeks and months preparing – revision cards, notes, wedding cake, the dress, guest lists etc.
How about birth? Hospital bag, nesting period, provisions for other children, clothes, cot etc
We need to prepare, approach and pass through Ramadhan in the same way – except that we are now preparing for the exam of the after life. We are preparing for the event of Ramadhan and we are preparing for the rebirth of our emaan.

This short talk will not delve into the obligations, rewards of Ramadhan and sunnat. Rather, I wish to focus on reviving the sunnah of focus, the sunnah of calculating one’s ajr and the sunnah of keeping our eyes on the main goal – the main prize: to be one that Allah is pleased with, frees from the Fire and admits into HIs Paradise.
I hope that this talk will help you develop a plan for Ramadhan that oozes zeal, sincerity, focus and serious calculation. Ya Allah – let this be our most productive Ramdhan yet. Ameen

To begin…
1. Sincerity – As with all things, actions are futile if there is no sincerity. Even if you plan something well, if there is no sincerity, your plan will bear no fruits. Sincerity for Allah is key.
We all know the hadith ‘Actions are but by itentions…’ (Bukhari)
So let us correct our intention behing creating this plan – to plan for Ramadhan with the intention of striving to attain taqwa, that Allah favours us and forgive our sins and frees us from the Fire.

2. Realise it – It is extremely important to understand why planning is important. Strangely, we plan for so much in the dunya; we don’t simply let a wedding unfold and turn up on the day hoping everything will turn out alright. So why is there a lack of planning in matters of the deen that affect our eternity?
As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

3. Identify and elminate – So, we’ve corrected our intention and we now realise the important of planning – now we’re actually ready to get down to the nitty gritty of planning.
There are two initial steps we need to take:
1. Identify what our distractions are
2. Eliminate them
Make a list of your own distractions – things that get in the way of you worshipping Allah in the way that you want to. Or the things you foresee getting in the way of you having a truly taqwa filled Ramadhan.
Notice I said ‘identify’ and ‘eliminate’. This might sound a bit heavy and stroing but if these things are a definite distraction for you and you do not have the willpower to resist – get rid of them completely – no half way business – eliminate them. – even if it is just during these blessed 30 days.

4. Fast forward – I’d like you to fast forward to the end of Ramadhan – you had an amazing Ramadhan – what was it like? What did you do? What has changed in you or for you?
Write down 3 goals (big goals for Ramadhan) and make them personal to YOU.
Eg: To be freed from the fire
To be forgiven
Character change
Firdous al ala
Think BIG! The Prophet (saw) saw his companions making dua for jannah. The Prophet (saw) then advised them, ‘When you ask Allah for jannah, ask for Firdous al Ala’. This hadith teaches us to aim high in our goals, dreams and aspirations. Thing BIG with your HEART. Imam Sufyan Ath-Thawri (RH) said: ‘The vision of one’s eyes is meant for this world, and the vision of one’s heart is menat for the hereafter. When a man looks with his eyes, he benefits naught. It is when he looks with his heart that he benefits.’

Do so with the knowledge as relayed by our beloved Prophet (saw), we know that the reward for deeds are multiplied in Ramadhan: the superogatory are accepted as though they are obligatory, and the obligatory deeds are multiplied such that one obligatory deed is as though we have done 70 obligatory ones!

5. 4 categories of good deeds this Ramadhan
Now make a list of good deeds you can do this Ramadhan which will enable you to achieve the big goals you set yourself in step 4.
Divide a piece of paper into 4 and label each section one of the following:
a) Easy peasy but HUGE – these are things that don’t take much time and can be done simultaneously whilst cooking, cleaning, feeding kids, sleeping. Egs are dhikr, talking to Allah, dua, istighfaar, reading an Islamic story to the kids, intention before sleeping, before bathing and so on.

To continue reading the rest,  click here: http://sisters-achieve.com/2014/06/26/plan-your-best-ramadhan-yet/

Death and hifdh

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Last week was a very intense week for us a family. A sister Solace UK had been supporting was dying and eventually did return to her Lord. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioun. So formal home Ed kind of flew out of the window as I had to arrange for transportation of the body, the ghusl, janazah and then burial.

Despite not being as available to the kids as I normally am, they got to experience praying the janazah, and witnessing the actual burial of our dear sister. Real Islamic studies lessons subhanaAllah…They saw the body taken out of the coffin, lowered into the grave, and the wooden planks positioned over the body. They then contributed in filling the grave with the crumbled earth. It was a very moving experience for them and I think it left it’s mark on R.

A sister asked me if it would be too much for them. I said no. Death is a part of life and it’s a reality they need to know and remember.

Since then, she’s developed a sudden interest in the journey of the soul after death and the signs of the day of judgement. So I’m in the process of stocking up some books inshaAllah. If you can recommend any good titles, please do let me know.

This has led us onto thoughts about R’s hifdh. I’m of the opinion that a child doing hifdh should never really stop hifdh but to reduce it if more time is needed for murajaah. However, recently we have decided to stop her hifdh for about 10 days. Her murajaah has become very intense in recent weeks and we feel it is best to do a huge intense round of murajaah before continuing. We have always had the target of her completing her hifdh by age 10 and inshaAllah Allah will bless her to reach that target. But after the recent death, it has changed our perspective somewhat.

There’s no rush. In fact, I’d rather she finishes later by 16 and memorises it well and really solidifies and consolidates her hifdh than to complete by age 10 and her hifdh is patchy.

We’ve also been thinking about our intentions towards hifdh. Since R has been memorising, she has always wanted a huge party with her friends once she finishes inshaAllah. I have no problem doing that for her but I want all of our intentions to be pure and so we’ve decided to postpone the party some time after she completes all her hifdh. In that way, we hope that our intentions will be purer.

After she completes her hifdh, it still be a private affair. No one knowing aside from us in the family. Trying to link that back to shukr and being grateful to Allah. Then later on we’ve agreed she can tell her friends so as to invite them to her party. I don’t want her to start advertising it as soon as she’s completed as it interferes with her intention. And it affects my own. Life is preparation for the next life. We need to be careful what we say and do and how we do things…. As they either have a positive or negative effect on our next life.

May Allah help us all. Ameen

FREE Online Webinar by Umm Raiyaan

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SISTERS ACHIEVE

(www.sisters-achieve.com)

presents

FREE Online Webinar

‘How to turn your dunya and akhirah dreams into a reality!’

13th May 2014 ~ 9pm

by Umm Raiyaan

Be passionate about your akhirah. Live your life in the dunya for your akhirah. Be the Muslimah you want to be.

This free online webinar for sisters will inshaAllah cover the steps sisters need to take to turn their dreams and aspirations into a reality. We all want to memorise the Qu’ran. We all want to be in service to others. We all want to turn those ideas we’ve had for many years into a tangible reality.

We only have one chance in this dunya to truly MAKE IT in the akhirah!

REGISTRATION FOR THE FREE WEBINAR: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/1845788-how-to-turn-your-dunya-and-akhirah-dreams-into-a-reality

This free webinar is a prelude to the main course starting on 7th August 2014. Read more about it here: http://www.sisters-achieve.com/registration

Easy Art

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Arts and crafts, experiments and hands on learning is what makes home education fun. Sadly I’m not artistic but I have to still strive to include it in our home Ed.

Here are some random arts and crafts, hands on activities the kids have recently been enjoying:

R is really into paper quilling at the moment. It’s a slightly complex hobby ti have and requires a paper quilling tool, onion holder,  special paper and board with pins that you see in the picture. Pic 2 and 3 are some of the designs that she’s made mashaAllah. Really nice hobby.

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The next activity is so easy to make and really great results. Take a canvas, we bought ours from the pound shop. Using making tape, tape your name or a design onto the canvas and then paint over the canvas. Once it’s dry peel off the making tape and lovely piece of art. We recently did this at home and I like the results:

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Our home Ed group is really great mashaAllah. Each week the kids do something different.

For the older girls…

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Flower pot painting and decorating boxes with pretty napkins.

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Weaving baskets. This set is brilliant. It comes with a cardboard ready bowl and weaving tool.

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We separated the remaining Lego into colours and the kids have been using the Lego a lot.

Going to try to do more activities like these with the kids. Home Ed isn’t just about academics.

Don’t let opportunities pass you by. .

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With two months left until Ramadan, take some time out and think about what you planned to do differently in your life last Ramadan. Have you achieved those aims? Are you using the dunya as a tool to improve your rank in the next life? If year after year nothing substantial changes in your life. It is definitely time to do something about it. So many messages recently about brothers and sisters who returned to their Lord…
I often wonder what their wish would be. . Most likely to return to this life to do what they didn’t do. To live a life that would benefit them in their grave.

Don’t let years pass you by without making the most of this dunya. Don’t let opportunities pass you by. .

2 weeks left till the closing date of a course that will make you take the physical steps to create change for this life and the next.

Register today: Www.dunyaandakhirahdreams.wordpress.com/registration/