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Open Thread Sunday 09-13-2009 | New Feature: Q&A of the Week



Let’s start with a brand spanking new feature. Every Sunday inshallah, likely on these Sunday open threads, we’ll ask a reader-generated question or discuss a thought or comment. Let’s call that “Q”. The best answer/response/comment or “A” to the Q will enter the hall of fame of Q&A, a new page that will be added in our menu to the left. Your name will live with alongside your deep thought and becoming part of MM heritage!

Also feel free to write your own question or “deep thought-generating” comment that you’d like discussed.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

And for the silent majority, use your voting rights to vote in the best A to the hall-of-fame, as well as the best Q to next week’s open thread!

This week’s “Q” is on us:

“Ramadan is almost over… how can I sustain some of the ibadah energy after Ramadan”

Back to our open thread then,

posted by abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

As salamu alaykum MM readers.  How many of you like me missed “Open Thread” last Sunday?  Well, it’s a lesson learned: the week before we pondered whether there would be another Sunday at all. Ar-Rahman gave us Sunday, alhamdolillah. Did we make the best use of it? That beautiful Sunday in Ramadan? Make the most of each day, Sunday through Saturday, as many as Allah will give us.

Halal Haram: Choose your eid gifts wisely, please.

Maybe Obama should see how the crowd would react if he gave a khutbah? In recent weeks the President of the United States, may Allah guide him to Islam, welcomed Muslims, Christians, and Jews to the White House for iftar. Eyewitness reports mention there was salatul-Maghrib in a side room, but I am pretty sure the Commander in Chief was not leading the faithful. Khayr, more recently when the President gave Congress and the nation a speech on health care reform, he got less civility than most khateebs get at Friday khutbahs. Sad, isn’t it? I cannot honestly say all khateebs.

A possible solution to Ramadan overeating? With desi moms, they’d be stuffed with fried pakoras and samosas, and biryaani. I’m sure the Arab moms could come up with a tasty and calorie-matching menu — my favorite is a Palestinian mainstay: fool, hummus, falafel, extra olive oil, and plenty of bread. Yes, I wrote this bit while I was fasting, alhamdolillah. As for diet, who says people have to take just one box? ;)

TabaarakAllah! These images taken with the newly retrofitted Hubble Telescope should cause you to glorify Allah and put you in the right frame of mind for many of the breathtaking surahs being recited in your local masajid in these last ten nights of taraweeh.

By the time you read these words, bi’idhnillah, I will be in ‘itikaaf. While the reward will be multiplied by Allah during Ramadan, I want to invite you to a few good deeds, please:

  1. Give generously to help complete construction of the masjid for our Shaykh Waleed Basyouni and the hardworking Clear Lake Islamic Center jamat.
  2. Send an Eid greeting card or postcard to a Muslim being tortured or unjustly incarcerated, like Dr. Aafia Siddiqui whose treatment by US authorities over the past years without a single conviction is simply despicable. As Dr. Aafia’s family reminds the world, “the cards and letters are the only way she knows that she is not forgotten.” You can write to Dr. Aafia using this address: AAFIA SIDDIQUI, #90279-054, MDC Brooklyn, Metropolitan Detention Center, P.O.Box 329002, Brooklyn, NY 11232. Her family asks, “As always, please do NOT discuss her case or matters of political or legal nature” in the letters you send her. “Simple, sincere messages of support and friendship are most helpful.” Addresses for many more Muslims can be found at and many other sites, alhamdolillah. Remember them, that Allah may remember you.
  3. Give generously to support Muslim refugees in Houston. [Shaykh Yasir’s video].
  4. Give generously to help grow one of the best and most authentic centers of dawah to the deen of Allah in the Spanish language. Spanish or English
  5. Every Muslim finds one-half of their deen in marriage, bi’idhnillah. Yet divorce is decimating the marriages of Muslims in the West at a staggering pace. You and someone you know or care about needs this class. Enroll now while your niyat is to seek refuge with Allah.

May you find every morning sweetened with remembrance of Allah. From Fortress of the Muslim, “Alhamdolillahil-ladhee aafaanee fee jasadee, wa radda alayya roohee, wa adhinalee bidhikrihi.” All praise is for Allah, Who gave strength to my body, and returned my soul to me, and permitted me to remember Him. [for recitation upon rising each morning, also reported in Shaykh al-Albaanee’s Sahih at-Tirmidhi]

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.



  1. ironie101

    September 13, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    New technology! Maybe men and youth with no particular direction in life can now be eased into becoming aspiring-Sufis, and eventually full-time ‘holy men’; a few more tricks and they’ll be on their way :)

    As for your question, I think people will have different methodologies for sustaining their levels of energy when it comes to worship of Allah swt. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve actually been contemplating this question for myself for a while now. So, in the spirit of maybe inspiring other people, and getting more clarity myself, I’m just going to think out loud..

    For me, personally, this Ramadan has signified an incredible leap forward in my relationship with the Qu’ran. And, no.. I haven’t recited it cover-to-cover 10 times in 23 days. I decided not to do that this year, but instead focus on the quality of the recitation itself, and, at least trying to scratch at the surface of all that Allah swt tells us. I’m both amazed and humbled at the results. And, also Br.Wisam Sharieff’s Quran 104 sessions have been very inspirational. May Allah swt bless him and everyone else involved in his efforts. I think, after Ramadan, the key is to not let that sense of awe and wonder get shrouded under layers and layers of dunya concerns. We all have ipods, we have computers, we have the best recitors, the most amazing scholars urging us to learn online and offline. Not even the most creative excuses could possibly make the cut.

    I think each of us have at least one thing in our worship of Allah swt that we genuinely enjoy doing. For some of us, it is more than one thing. And this one thing maybe becomes a tool for us to get closer to Allah swt, increase our consciousness. We need to zero in on this one thing and capitalise on it to the point where it opens that corresponding gate of Jannah for us. For some, it is increased salah, some people enjoy fasting, some love to seek knowledge, some people love to worship Allah swt in the depths of the night when no one else is looking.

    Instead of trying to do everything at once, and end up diluting all of it, try to focus on one thing and excel in it. Once you feel like you’ve sufficiently reached the level of excellence in that particular facet and you’ve integrated into your everyday life, move onto the next action and conquer it. Bi idhnillah, it will contribute in us becoming more well-rounded worshippers over time.

    And, ask yourself if this Ramadan has signified any change in your character with people. Again, it may focussing on one aspect of your personality that you know needs some tweaking. If anger is your problem, you may have kept a check on it during Ramadan. If it is laziness, you may have attempted to tackle it and not let it come in the way of your worship. We all have our inner demons. Identify them, and try to conquer them in little time capsules. This is how it works – after Ramadan, tell yourself, you’re going to (for instance) not get angry for the next 3 days. Everytime you feel you’re about to give in to the temptation, check yourself and say, “okay, just for 3 more days.” Oftentimes, when we set short-term goals for ourself, we find it much easier to follow. Once the 3 days are up, work towards the next 3 day goal. So on and so forth. Eventually, you’ll find the 3-day-capsule blurred and the habit of you controlling your anger (or whatever else your problem is) has become a part of your personality.

    I think, with whatever you do, the key is to take small baby steps and not overwhelm yourself with this intense bout of activity that can’t be sustained for more than a few days or a few weeks. Don’t let yourself end up at square one again; or worse yet, less motivated than when you started.

    Just my two-pence. I hope it helps :)

    May Allah swt forgive our shortcomings, purify our intentions, bless us in our efforts and make us of the muttaqeen!

  2. BintKhalil

    September 13, 2009 at 10:25 AM

    Assalamu alaikum

    I have been rapidly expanding my circle of friends at the masjid this Ramadan alhamdulillah. So to help some of them with their deen, I would like to ask, what are the best online resources for:

    a) reading Arabic – not understanding, just being able to read the script
    b) a non-Muslim who is very interested in Islam but is seeking more knowledge

  3. UmA

    September 13, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    To help sustain yourself post Ramadan: how about signing up for an Islamic course?

  4. UmA

    September 13, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    P.S What’s the picture of? I can’t figure it out

    • Amatullah

      September 13, 2009 at 2:26 PM

      a pair of sneakers that say “halal” and “haram”

  5. Amad

    September 13, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Come on folks… only one (and half) answer on the board… where are the bright ideas and deep thoughts?? Let’s bring them on, and let the voting mean something!!

    also remember, you can post your questions for next week …

    This is a reader-generated and sustained effort, so let’s see if we can make it work!

  6. Nahyan

    September 13, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    Ok here’s the 3 step plan: (i just made it up now)

    1 – Select 1-2 areas to focus on for continued development [not scattered with 8 ibadaats and 5 lifestyle changes]

    2 – take the Ramadan motivation and focus on building them into habits
    – so those 1-2 things, continue to do those with consistency for 1 month (that’s when the habit should be solid)

    3 – rinse and repeat
    – because you’re building habits you dont have to put as much “will power” to keep them running, so move on to next item.

    Ramadan is a fantastic opportunity for taqwa-training, it’s not meant to be temporary.


  7. Ikram Kurdi

    September 13, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    Read one juz of Quran everyday throughout the year! Look at our buttons:

  8. Hassan

    September 13, 2009 at 9:07 PM

    One of the best athan I heard (

    • Amatullah

      September 13, 2009 at 9:14 PM

      mashaAllah, he is my favorite muadhdhin ever! Hafidhahullah.

      Even more amazing to hear him live.

  9. ummfatima

    September 13, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    Assalamualykum ,

    While listening to tafseer the point that I really needed to ponder upon is

    How can I show Allah subahanatala that I am really thankful?In so many ayahs in Quran Allah says Indeed the people who are thankful are few.How can my actions speak louder than my words that I am indeed thankful to Allah??What can I do to get included to this exclusive club?

    I really love to read articles about this subject.

    Jazakallahu khairaa,


  10. Abu Rumaisa

    September 14, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    Before Ramadan ends, we need to write down the goals in terms of deen for the upcoming year. Ramadan should be used a trampoline to reach the next level of emaan & taqwa rather than just month of rebound. As with the rebounds, we will go back to the same low state of emaan by next ramadan.

    Regarding these goals:

    1) Give these goals a timeline.
    2) Make note of ur progress on a weekly basis, for that u would have to break down the yearly goal by weeks.
    3) I would recommend that u pair up with someone for this task, u don’t need to have the same goals but ur partner can check up on ur progress & u on theirs.
    4) If u r not able to meet ur goals then check to see what u r doing wrong & what can been done to get it right. Did u set a unrealistic goal for urself? Don’t forget that u have other obligations too.

    We are humans & we will never be perfect but we should strive hard that today – we are a better Muslim when compared to yesterday & tomorrow will be better day than today.

    Insha’Allah with this, we can be ready to jump up higher next ramadan.. I would guess the starting point next Ramadan would be the highest point of emaan I had reached this year if I do follow my plan. Insha’Allah. may Allah make it easy for me & the ummah.

  11. biola

    September 17, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    Asalaam alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh,
    I have been pondering on this issue for a while now:

    I pay over 1/3 of my income in taxes to the government (feels more like 1/2 of my income). In addition, I pay zakaah whenever I reach the nisaab and also give out sadaqaah. Those of us living in the States know we have to file a tax return at the beginning of the year. On our tax return donations to charitable organizations are tax deductible. That means the gov’t in most cases give us the monetary credit for the charitable donations.
    My question is: Am I entitled to keep the monetary credit (from zakaah and/or sadaqaah) or do I have to give it back in charity?

  12. Rafa

    September 17, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    i have a question that i’d like to ask an associate on this website, except i don’t think i’d be comfortable to have it posted here in public. is there an email address that i may use to contact the website for questions?

    JazakAllahu Khaira

  13. abu Rumay-s.a.

    September 20, 2009 at 12:39 AM

    as-Salaamu alaikum and Eid Mubarak to All. Taqaballallah minna wa minkum salehan a`mal..ameen..

    my response to the question of the week “Ramadan is almost over… how can I sustain some of the ibadah energy after Ramadan”; is:

    I envision Ramadhan as planting a tree. Every muslim plants his Ramadhan tree.

    1. Some prepare for the seeding of the tree before moistening the soil (voluntary fasts and other good deeds – softening the heart before start of ramadhan).
    2. The seeding commences at the beginning of the month ( by entering it with faith and anticipation of Allah’s mercy, it also includes reading up about its fruits, what spoils it, how to maintain it fertile.)
    3. After the first few days, the roots begin to grab the earth firmly (faith begins to strengthen as a result of good deeds).
    4. Each person uses his own “ingredients of various grades” to feed the soil..(different kinds of good deeds and relative amount of sincerity and perfection).
    5. By the first third of Ramadhan, you can see the tree sprouting above the ground with good results (this indicates your khushoo and taqwa have upgraded apparent from your extra efforts, your tears, your kindness, etc.)
    6. By mid Ramadhan, your tree is built fairly solid on its foundation and sways only a bit from strong winds (temptations – such as foul speech, backbitting, desires, cheating, etc..), but it remains firm on its fresh roots.
    7. By the last 1/3 of Ramadhan, you start seeing and smelling the beautiful flower blossoms on the tree (your generous actions towards others by charity, feeding the poor/destitute, giving dawah, increasing in knowledge of Quran and becoming attached to it)
    8. Finally, you bear its delicious fruits (in the last 10 nights when you exert yourself at night seeking your Lord’s forgiveness and insha`Allah His generous acceptance of your efforts..also the fruits are analogous to your new righteous actions which are theresult of the good planting and upkeep)

    Now that this tree has bore wonderful fruits, you must keep up your maintenance of the tree in order for it to bear fruits until the next season. Here are some things you can do.

    a. Maintain consistent regiment of watering and feeding your tree with nutrients it needs (keep up voluntary fasts such as 6 days of shawwal, 3 days a month, mon/thurs, etc. as the actions most loved by Allah are those that are continuous, maintain reading of Quran, dhikr, sadaqa, etc..)
    b. You have to protect the tree from extra heat and strong winds (temptations) as it may break your tree or dry it up.
    c. Learn more about what keeps a healthy tree and (read the Quran and its tafsir)
    d. Strengthen the roots of the tree by informing/asking others to plant similar trees next to yours so that you start a tree farm of healthy trees and are protected from diseases that may attack and ruin the trees (give dawaah, befriend righteous people so that are protected from the evils of others)

    may Allah ta`alal accept from us our righteous deeds and shower us with His infinite mercy and pleasure..ameen..

  14. lukman

    October 13, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    allah bless king abdulaziz for great expansion of masjid-ul-haram.

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