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Ramadan

Ramadan Prep | Day 5 – Sr. Hanaa Gamal

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Lecture by Sr. Hanaa Gamal | Hosted by Br. Abdullah Syed | Transcribed by Zara T.

[The transcript includes slight modifications for the sake of readability and clarity.]

Link to the presentation (Video will be added once it becomes available), www.ramadanprep.com

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Ramadan Prep 2012 Lectures, Sponsored by
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[Sr. Meena Malik]: Hello, I’m pretty sure we’re going live right now. Asalamualaykum warahmatulahi wabarakatuhu. Welcome to our Ramadan prep session for tonight. Bismillah Alhamdulilah wa salaatu wasaalam ‘ala rasullilah. We start by praising Allah for all the blessings He has given to us and we start also by sending our greetings upon the Prophet [saws], the first and the best teacher that this ummah will ever know. JazakumAllahu Khairan for tuning into another day of Ramadan prep. This is day five and we have a very special guest today, her name is Sister Hanaa Gamal. Yes, you guys have tuned into Ramadan prep. I know I don’t sound like your host, Brother Abdullah. But we have some exciting news. Today, the sisters stole the show and I will be your host today. My name is Meena Malik and I’m calling from beautiful southern Cali and hosting you guys tonight. So, I to would like to also just quickly make a few announcements about Ramadan prep. If you guys have missed a few lectures or if you’re tuning into the program late, you can go onto Muslimmatters.org and they are posting the Ramadan prep transcriptions, and also if you go onto the Ramadan prep website, you can find recordings of the previous classes and also  the links to the transcriptions and things. I hear sister Hanaa is on the call, Asalamualaykum.

Sister Hanaa Gamal studied Tafsir and Quranic Sciences at Al Azhar University in Egypt and she graduated as salutatorian mashaAllah. She completed her masters at the American Open University, and has finished working on her PhD in interpretation of the Quran and she’s just finishing up her thesis inshaAllah.  She is very active in her local community and also she is a very highly in demand speaker at sisters programs all across the US. she has a few services available for sisters. She is a Quran, Arabic, and Tajweed teacher, she has a Quranic and Hifz recitation class online available for sisters. If you are interested in that, you can email quranichifz@gmail.com for more information and all your inquiries.

We’re very happy to have you here with us today, Sister Hanaa.

[Sr. Hanaa]: I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to accept this from all of us and to make it the best Ramadan ever for all of us, Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen. Alhamdulilahi Rabbilalameen that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) endowed us another great opportunity to prepare for another Ramadan. Alhamdulilahi Rabbil alameen for that, and a chance to meet with all of you again. One of the things that Rasul [saws] used to teach his sahabah as we all know, he used to teach them to beseech Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for 6 months, asking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) more and more to accept the deeds that we conducted in Ramadan. Also to ask Allah for another five months to keep us here safe and sound until we experience another Ramadan.  We need to follow the footsteps of Rasulullah [saws] and the companions of Rasulullah [saws]. I’m sure that each and everyone of us is doing that for a long time, but continue Asking Allah s to accept our previous Ramadan, to grant us another Ramadan, and facilitate it for us, and make it the best Ramadan ever, Allahumma Ameen.

We receive Ramadan and we take it as a great gift from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for all of us. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives us this gift once a year to rejuvenate our iman and to help us to draw ourselves  closer and closer to our Lord, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) . And to rejuvenate also our ibadah and our worship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

In order for us to prepare for Ramadan, I would love to start with something that I believe is essential for everything, essential for all of us to do every single day, more than a hundred times every single day, something that Allah s made mandatory for us to do every single day, and every moment if we can, which is repentance.

Repentance, Allah s mentions in so many verses of the Quran. He asks us to repent, and made it mandatory upon us and gives us glad tidings if we do and He warns us also if we don’t. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Tahrim, Oh you who believe, repent and go back to Allah (Swt). Repent a sincere repentance that will lead you the acceptance from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). That will lead you that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will expiate all of your sins and erase all of your sins and enter you in jannah.

Also, Allah told us in Surah Noor Repent and go back to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) Oh you who believe, all of you. The Quran was revealed to all of us collectively and each  and every one of us individually. When Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says Tubuh illalalah, it means He wants each and every one of us to go back to Allah and to repent to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). and also to all of us as an ummah. He said if you do that, you will be among the successful ones.

Also He warned the people who do not repent and go back to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). He said, Whoever does not return to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and repent to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), those are the people who wronged themselves, who are the wrong doers. This is something that we don’t have to wait until Ramadan comes or until we prepare for Hajj..this is something that we must do every single day. Since Rasul Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is our role model.

Rasul Allah [saws] said “Oh mankind, repent to Alllah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Verily, I repent more than 100 times.” in Bukhari, it says 70 times. every single day. And this is Rasul Allah [saws]. Imam Ibn Al Qayyim said Whoever doesn’t repent in the morning and evening will be among those people who wronged themselves.

What are the virtues of tawbah, the repentance to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)?

1-The tawbah will be the cause for the love of Allah for you

Narrated by Abu Hurairah [ra], Rasul [saws] said “If Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) loves one of his servants, He will call Jibreel [as] and He will say Ya Jibreel, I love this person, love him. Jibreel [as] will go and proclaim in the skies and say Oh angels, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) loves this person, love them. and then Allah will put contentment on the face of this person. Wherever he goes, he is loved and accepted by everyone around him. therefore if you repent, and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepts your repentance, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will love you and if you have that, that means you will live happy in this life and you will be happier on the Day Of Resurrection inshaAllah.

2-One of the virtues also of tawbah is that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) rejoices when somebody stretches his hands and asks Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Rasul Allah [saws] said When one of His slaves stretches his hands and asks Allah, Allah loves that and becomes very happy with that

3-It takes away the darkness of sins from your heart and replaces it with light. As Rasul Allah [saws] explained to us, every time you sin, there is a black spot in your heart. Once you say Astaghfirullah or you ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to erase it, it goes away and Allah replaces it with light. If you’re really sincere, Allah will take all of the sins, major and minor, away from your heart and replace it with light. At this moment you’ll enjoy your act of worship and you’ll experience the sweetness of iman and you’ll recite the Quran with a different feeling, a different taste. You’ll focus and have tranquility in your salah.

Conditions for Tawbah

1-To let go of the sin that you are committing. Let go completely, not partially.

2-To promise yourself and have the commitment that you wont go back to this or anything like it

3-To remorse, and to blame yourself, and ask yourself why you did that.

To regret whatever you did between you and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), this is a form of tawbah and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will accept it from you.

These are the main 3 conditions of tawbah.

4-If that sin has to do with somebody other than Allah s, like any human being, you have to make sure that you make it up for this person. If it’s something materialistic that you can give back, do it. If its something like backbiting or belittling or whatever you did, then you have to do duaa for this person, give them a gift, do whatever you have to do. if you ruined somebody’s reputation, you have to go fix that. Otherwise, you’ll do that on the Day Of Resurrection.

Take Advantage of Ramadan

Ramadan only comes once a year. Those 30 days go very very very fast. You find yourself preparing for Ramadan and all of a sudden you find yourself preparing for Al ‘Eid. So lets take advantage of Ramadan and make use of every moment of it.

Narrated in Musnad Ahmed, it’s said that Rasul [saws] climbed on the mimbar. The first step he said ameen, second one he said ameen, third one he said ameen. He said that jibreel as came to me and he said may Allah destroy the person who my name is mentioned before him and he does not say sallalahu ‘alayhi wa salam. Angel Jibreel said to Rasul Allah [saws] “May Allah destroy the person who has his parents, or one of them in his household and he does not enter jannah.” (basically, he wasn’t dutiful to them) and he commanded Rasul Allah [saws] to say ameen, and ameen means “May Allah answer my duaa.” Angel Jibreel told Rasul Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), may Allah destroy the person who is present at Ramadan and never enters jannah, or his sins were not erased. That means that there are so many of the muslims who will be here in Ramadan and their sins will stay or maybe will be multiplied at that time. Therefore I started with the tawbah because that will be the best thing to do inshaAllah ta’ala.

Taking advantage of Ramadan is a very wise decision to do. Erasing all the ill feelings from your heart, jealousy, all kinds of things you have in your heart, clean it and prepare yourself for Ramadan because it’s only one month and it comes only once a year and Allah knows if you’ll be here next year or not.

Muslims are very fortunate, they have nobody to intercede between them and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). they are attached to Allah. Whenever they want something, they turn straight to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). In Ramadan, the best thing to do will be to do a lot of duaa. Ask Allah to make you of one of the people who will go straight to jannah from the door of Rayyan, designated for the people who fast, and who fasted sincerely.

3-Preparing ourselves by changing our conduct, our way of life, our routine. For some people, this will take some time and some effort, but it’s worth it. the things that you can’t get rid of in regular days, its easy for you to get rid of in Ramadan. For example, it’s easy for people to stop smoking. One of the habits that we need to change also is wasting food. We cook a lot of food and we waste most of it and this is something that Allah doesn’t like and you will be held responsible for this.

Another thing we can change is wearing our hijab. A lot of sisters either don’t believe that hijab is mandatory or they only believe to cover the chest and not the head, or they believe that hijab is mandatory only on the wives of the Prophet. This is not true and for the sisters who believe that, I urge them to read Surah Noor and Surah Ahzab. Go ahead and read the tafsir of the ayaat on hijab. Rasul Allah [saws] was told to command his wives and daughters and women of the believers (and you are one of the women of the believers) to cover themselves from head to toe except for the hands and the face. So many sisters wear hijab in Ramadan and then on the Eid day, they have no hijab. Alhamdulilah she did that, I want her to taste the sweetness of obeying Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) during Ramadan. Invoke Allah s sincerely to put the love of this hijab and this act of worship in our heart so that she can continue doing this until she dies. My dear sister, you go out without hijab today, you are not going to meet Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) without hijab. When somebody washes you, they will put the hijab on you before you meet Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). So go ahead and put it right now willingly so you can get reward from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

When you leave your home with hijab, you are in an act of worship.  If you stay 6, 8, 10 hours and come home, you were in an act of worship the whole time. If you go without hijab, you’re in an act of disobeying Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) all this time. So think about it and make this Ramadan a great opportunity for you to put the hijab on. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) make it easy for all of us to wear our hijab and to obey Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and to imitate the pious women in our history like Mariam [ra], Khadija [ra], Fatimah [ra], and all the pious women inshaAllah. Also for the sisters who have the habit of going out with make up and wearing perfume, some of my students, it took them years to go out without make up. But Alhamduliah with their sincerity and their duaa, it was easy for them to leave their homes without make up and without all this kind of adornment. This is something Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commands you to keep only for your husband, your son, your brother, your father, but this is something that you don’t share with anyone else outside your home. May Allah s make it easy to let go of the make up and perfume. Perfume isn’t something that you’re supposed to wear before you leave your home.

One of the things I would love for myself and all of my sisters to adopt in Ramadan is patience. I know that we as women have a big load on our shoulders. We have to fast, read Quran, go to the masjid, we have to do all the good things that all the men and everyone  are supposed to do and we hope to get the great reward from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and we’re really working hard for that. On top of that, we have to cook, clean, we have duties to our husbands, children, etc. if you can do that, may Allah s accept it from you and place you in the highest place in jannah. this is an excellent work if you have the right intention and you’re doing it for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) exclusively. If you have something that you know that you cannot do, you can always communicate with your husband and tell him you can’t do this or that, in order for you to worship Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in the best way.

I love the word Sabireen because in the Quran, Allah mentions in the Quran, Verily Allah loves the patient one. In another ayah…Verily Allah is with those who are patient. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) make us from those. I know its hard but may Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)  make it easy for all of us. when you have the right intention and remember that you want reward from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), Allah makes it so easy to do whatever you’re supposed to do.

4-Always remind yourself of the virtues of Ramadan. Make sure that you read those at least once or twice in Ramadan. It will help you and push you and incite you to do a lot in Ramadan. Any good deed that you do in Ramadan, Allah multiplies it for you. Take it as a way to train yourself to continue throughout the year, not only in Ramadan. Also try to pay attention to the Quran in Ramadan. I’m not saying to only read Quran in Ramadan. Some scholars say that some people only worship Allah in Ramadan, they only open the Quran in Ramadan, and this is not right because Allah created Ramadan and all the rest of the months. The Quran is your manual. You have to open it at least once a day. At least once a day, read one or two ayaat and understand the meaning and implement it and keep going. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will love that and you will increase the amount little by little bi’ithnillah

In Ramadan, make sure that you read at least one or two juz a day.

Some of my students say that “We don’t understand the meaning of Ramadan.” Well, Reciting Quran itself is one of the greatest ibadah. Allah  is rewarding you for each letter. Read Quran in Arabic and then read it in your language. I want your children to see you reciting Quran out loud and I want them to see the tears on your cheek and I want them to see the interaction between you and your Quran.

Ramadan is also the month of piety, taqwa. This is the main goal for fasting the whole Ramadan, to reach this level of taqwa. We have to do one good thing which is sometimes hard for us, to keep our tongues inside our mouths, not talk too much about people, not backbiting or doing something that’s none of our business.

Rasul Allah [saws] told us, “The doors of jannah are opened.” that means most people are going to do the righteous things. And also the doors of hellfire are going to be closed. That means most people are going to abstain from all type of sin. I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to make it easy for us and to make it easy for us and to make it a way for us to continue throughout the year that way. To do more good deeds than any type of bad deed.

Also, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) told us that all the shayatheen will be shackled. All of them will be chained. If you commit a sin, that means that you did it from your own self. The shaythan did not incite you or do it for you. You chose to disobey Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and commit sins in Ramadan

Rasul [saws] told us that Ramadan to Ramadan, if you fasted the previous Ramadan, and I’m sure we all committed sins throughout the year, and now Allah gave us another chance to fast another Ramadan, if you fasted with sincerity, knowing the rules of fasting, Allah s will expiate, will erase all the sins that you committed throughout the last year.

Another thing we can change is joining our kinship. There are so many families who are severing their relationships between brothers, sisters, inlaws, moms, dads.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will never accept your deeds until you join your kinship.

If there are problems, just call and say Asalamualaykum, Ramadan Mubarak, and that’s it. You don’t have to talk about the problems or cause any problem. Just call them, you can’t sever your relationship between you and any other, especially the kinship. You’re not supposed to cut relation between you and any muslim more than 3 days. This is one of the things we need to change inshaAllah ta’ala

5-We need to learn the rules of siyam. We need to prepare by reading the fiqh of siyam, attending classes. Take notes and make sure that you understand and implement them in Ramadan inshaAllah. Example: There are two pillars of siyam 1)intention 2)to abstain from food, drink, and sexual activity with your spouse during the day of Ramadan.

The intention is something that you’re not supposed to verbalize in siyam or any other thing except for Hajj and Umrah. Other than that, the intention is in the heart. You prepare for your suhur or for siyam the next day, that’s your intention

We’re women, we have to understand a lot of things about our menstruation situation. For example, If a sister’s menses stopped in the middle of the night or the second part of the night, that means that she has to make her intention to fast the next day even if she doesn’t get the chance to wash before salahtul fajr.

We need to study the ahkaam of siyam

6-Prepare yourself by organizing your time and your house and especially your kitchen. Most of us waste our precious time in Ramadan in the kitchen.

Two things we do: we sleep a lot and spend the rest of the day in the kitchen. This is such a waste of time in such an important month that will stay with us only 30 days and will be leaving

What can we do?

1-I will start by cleaning my house early. If I can’t do it by myself, I can hire someone to help me to take care of the cleanliness of the house.

2-Especially the kitchen, I need to organize the kitchen in such a way that will make my life easy in Ramadan.  I will put everything in a place where I know where to get it.

Shop for the essential things that you know you’ll need throughout the month. Everything you need in the month, buy it one time only, before Ramadan starts.

Make sure that you have something, like an audio or laptop with you in the kitchen all the time. Whenever you’re cooking, you’ll be listening to something that will rejuvenate your iman and make you excited to do the right thing in Ramadan

Make sure that your children are present with you in the kitchen. And make it a pleasant experience. Let them cut the onion with you, let them prepare the food with you, make them excited, make them feel the feeling of Ramadan. This is something they will never forget. When they grow up, they’ll remember things from their childhood, specifically Ramadan.

Feeding the food is one of the greatest deeds you can ever do, in Ramadan or any other time. The problem is that when we invite people, we don’t just cook 1-2 dishes unfortunately. We cook many dishes and spend days preparing, and then we’re tired for days, and in the end of the day, we don’t know if the guests were happy with the food or not. Make it simple, make it one dish only. Don’t worry what they’re going to say about us, all you have to worry about is if Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepted this deed from you or not.

One of the advantages we can take from Ramadan is your relationship between you and your husband. If you have a husband, initiate a talk with your husband and say, I forgive you and I love you, I’m hoping inshaAllah that you forgive me. We need to start fresh and make this Ramadan the best Ramadan for both of us.

Make a program for both of you to worship Allah together, like 2 rakah before salahtul fajr. He can lead you in those 2 rakah. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will send His mercy upon you. Or reciting Quran together (listen to each other), or memorize Quran together. Or if he attends a class, he can share what he learned. Everyday, you have to talk to your husband and children talking about something new and something good in Islam

This will rejuvenate your life with your husband and make life new. This is a great opportunity for all of us to do this with our husbands.

2-The children. I want the children to feel like we are receiving the dearest guest ever-by decorating the house, making a sweet that they like, cooking a certain type of food that doesn’t exist except for in Ramadan. Make sure that the children feel the excitement of Ramadan  1 week or more before Ramadan comes. Buy some gift, clothes, toys, do something for them.

Training the children for fasting is very essential and starts from an early age, like 7 years old. You can start talking about Ramadan, and then you can encourage them by fasting 45 minutes, half an  hour, etc. later they can do half a day or a full day. But you should train him from early age. Train him and make him happy when he’s fasting-brag about it “My son fasted a full hour.” Buy him a gift. Magnify the action and make him feel like he did a great thing

Make sure that when the children come to eat, they have to do the duaa also, thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for all the things Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave us. Put it on the table so everyone can see the beauty of Ramadan.

[Sr. Meena Malik] Alright, Jazakillahu Khairan, Sister Hanaa. I really really appreciate it. Alhamdulilah I benefitted from your lecture a lot. We’ve been having a lot of questions coming in and mashaAllah we had over 300 callers in the whole time which is a great blessing from Allah, alhamdulilah .

There are a few questions about menstruation that came up and you brought up the subject a little bit too. You did mention that Ramadan, we all know, is the month of reading the Quran and connecting with it even more than we’ve done the whole year, and there’s a question about reading and touching the mushaf or just reciting Quran while you’re on your menses.

[Sister Hanaa] When you are on your menses, you are allowed to listen to the Quran, to recite the Quran from your memory, to recite the Quran from the mushaf, some ulema have said that you can recite it from the mushaf without touching the wording of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

[Sr. Meena Malik] Al right. And there’s another question which you had mentioned: if you know that your period has ended before the fast starts, you should make intention and start your fast even if you cant shower in time…what if you’re not sure when it’s going to end and you’re afraid of missing a fardh fast? What should you do in that situation?

[Sister Hanaa]When you KNOW that your period has ended completely and you have the sign that it has completely ended, then you do the intention. But if you’re not sure, you have to wait until you’re sure 100 percent.

[Sr. Meena Malik] Sisters face this problem a lot, during Ramadan, sisters may get into the flow of Ramadan but all of a sudden they’re menstruating and it can throw a lot of sisters off. There are many questions about advice you have to give to sisters who get their period during the month. How can they keep their ibadah and feeling of Ramadan strong during this time?

[Sister Hanaa] Actually there are so many ibadah that a sister on her menses can do. She can do everything except for salah and fast. She can do dhikr of Allah, she can do supplications, she can review her Quran, she can read ahadith, she can read the tafsir of the Quran, she can teach in the masjid, she can do dawah, she can do a lot of things. Everything she will be capable of doing it except for doing the siyam and salah.

[Sr. Meena Malik] There is another related question. You did mention how to keep the spirit of Ramadan with your children and how to impart that with them. This is a question from a mother who has young children. A lot of the time for mothers who have small children, it’s a struggle to even catch enough sleep in the night. So what advice would you give to mothers with young children who are finding this as a struggle?

[Sr. Hanaa] SubhanAllah the struggle is there with and without Ramadan when you have little ones. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) reward all of the women for that, Alhamdulilahi rabbil alamin. Sabr will be the best thing to do. Remind herself to be patient and ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)  to facilitate it for her and to make sure to encourage her husband to help her with the children, also. If she can have some help from the family, that will be great. If not, she will be rewarded greatly because she’s fasting, she’s doing all the chores of the house, and she’s taking care of the little ones. The human beings are the most precious things to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). InshaAllah they’ll be  righteous children who will benefit you and will be the comfort of your eyes on the Day of Resurrection. If Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) helps you to organize your life, and to make sure that whenever they take a nap, take a nap with them. whenever they’re taking a nap you can prepare your stuff in the kitchen. Every child is different and every home is different, so really, it’s so hard to give advice when you have children, especially in the ages 1 to 4. May Allah make it easy for everyone ya rabbal alameen

And I do take this opportunity to advise every sister also to listen to CDs or to buy books about raising children in Islam. That will help you also to illuminate your road throughout your journey inshaAllah.

[Sr. Meena Malik] Al right, you also mentioned keeping family ties, reconnecting with people that maybe have been cut off, and forgiving people. So there have been a few questions coming in about how do you forgive others completely? Sometimes there are a few people who it’s hard to forgive because you’re afraid they might hurt you again in some certain way. What is your suggestion on finding a way to forgive them so that your deeds can be accepted and you can have a good Ramadan but to also to be able to move on in a healthy way in your life as well.

[Sister Hanaa] You know my dear sisters, I always remember how Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is great, when someone disbelieves in Him and denies him for years and years and commits all kinds of major sins, and the highest is to disbelieve in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). When he comes and says “I believe in you, I bear witness that there is no other deity worthy of worship except you,” Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepts him and erases all of his sins. If I want Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to erase all of my sins, let me forgive others and over look. And that’s for me, not for them. I want to let go of these kinds of grudges in my heart. And I know there is someone who will take my haqq, my rights on my behalf, which is Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). And we can always remember when Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said in the Quran for those people who people came and scared them, they said people are gathering against you oh rasullullah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his companions, nothing happened to them except increase in their iman and they turned to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and said Allah will suffice us.

So if someone is really oppressing you or did something bad to you and you can’t do something about it, forgive and over look to protect your heart, and turn to Allah and say HasbiAllah wa ni’mal wakeel.

[Sr. Meena Malik] We have another question related to sisters specifically. Some sisters who are dealing with pregnancy or breastfeeding or postnatal bleeding. Just in general, questions about being able to make up those fasts and paying fidyah or some sort off penalty on it. Also is fasting while you’re pregnant fardh on a woman and also some general advice for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding at this time of Ramadan.

[Sister Hanaa] SubhanAllah every woman is different. There are some women who can fast and do very well in their pregnancy and when they are nursing. Some people become weak when they are pregnant and they fear for themselves or for the baby. In this case, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave them concession to break their fast and to eat. inshaAllah ta’ala when they are done with that, they will make up those days that they  break in Ramadan.

Advice for the sisters, if they’re fasting, take care of yourselves, take vitatmins, and eat well, make sure that you eat suhoor, pregnant or not pregnant. Make sure that you eat suhoor and make sure that you eat dates because Rasul ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said the best suhoor is dates, and that will give you energy. If you cannot and you feel like you’re dizzy or you have no energy, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave you this concession and inshaAllah later on, may Allah make it easy for you to make up those days after Ramadan.

[Sr. Meena Malik] What about for the women who have missed fasts due to their pregnancy or breastfeeding or something related to pregnancy? What are the options for them, especially if they’ve missed multiple Ramadans in a row?

[Sister Hanaa] Well to be honest with you, I’d love for her to speak to someone who has a fiqh background because there are some opinions about this.

[Sr. Meena Malik] Also there is a question related to incorporating your family in the Ramadan activities you’re doing. There are a few people who have been asking what if they are the converts in their family or even for some people who are born into Muslim families, some who are not as practicing, what advice do you have on trying to deal with your family and maybe how would you incorporate them in your Ramadan rituals and festivities for people who have non Muslim families or families who aren’t practicing Islam that much.

[Sister Hanaa] I think Ramadan will be one of the greatest opportunities to bring these people at Ramadan in the house, and feed them and answer their questions and if they are open, talk about Islam. If not, all I have to do is show them the manners of Islam and show them the example of Islam and show them how much I changed after I became more practicing. This way they will think oh wow this person changed a lot after she became Muslim or after she started praying and fasting and doing all of this. This is a way to invite people to Islam but do not sever the relationship, do not talk bad about them, do not belittle them. This is some obligation towards your family. And with the intention that you invite them to become closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). If they become closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) you will be rewarded greatly. If they don’t, you’ll be rewarded for your intention and for your deeds also. Don’t worry. Do it with a beautiful smile and make them a great guest in your home and make sure they’ re comfortable and give them everything they want and  inshaAllah Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will give you the reward for that.

[Sr. Meena Malik] There is a question about if you weren’t able to make up all of your fasts from the previous Ramadan, what should you do? Will it affect your Ramadan fast this year? In general, what are ways to make sure you’ve fasted all of your fasts before Ramadan starts?

[Sister Hanaa] No, if you missed too many, there’s no way you’d be able to do it before Ramadan, so all you have to do is fast this Ramadan inshaAllah and ask Allah to make it easy for you. If it’s too many, all you have to do is ask someone with a background of fiqh. Some say you must do it and some of them said that you can pay fidyah for that and that will compensate for it.

[Sr. Meena Malik] Our last question will be dealing with anger while you’re fasting. You talked about patience and you talked about especially with women the increased responsibility they have around the house of taking care of the family. A lot of the time women are taking care of the Ramadan for the whole family. What’s your advice to women who’s patience is getting very tested. When they feel angry, what should they do? There were a few questions even saying if you get angry, does it break your fast? So can you please shed some light on that?

[Sr Hanaa] InshaAllah ta’ala I ask Allah  subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to provide all of us with patience inshaAllah  ta’ala. If you feel really angry, all you have to do is change your position. As Rasul Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, If you’re standing, sit. If you’re sitting down and still angry, lay down. And if you’re still angry, go and make wudu. And if you’re still angry, go put yourself under the shower because anger comes from the shaythan, shaythan is from fire. Let’s follow the footsteps of Rasul Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and then we can also ask ourselves why we’re angry: am I tired? or hungry? what’s going on? So if you talk to yourself and find out the reason for this, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will make it easy for you. Of course if you’re angry and that anger leads you to do something else, it depends on what you’re going to do, then I really cannot say if that’s going to break your fast or not unless I have some examples. And actually In Ramadan, you should feel more tranquility and serenity in your heart, more than any other day. If you are a coffee drinker like me, try to limit the coffee little by little before Ramadan biznillahi ta’ala or just have some coffee after suhoor.

[Sr. Meena Malik] Al right Jazakillah Khairan, mashAllah some great answers to some interesting questions and Alhamdulilah, just benefitted from your talk for just very practical advice and tips that we can incorporate even just in our house in Ramadan inshaAllah. We thank you so much from the Ramadan prep team. We thank you for doing a lecture with us last year, we thank you again for your time this year. May Allah accept from you and from your family and bless all of us in our Ramadan.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. ummmanar

    July 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    mashallah barka allhu kairn for beautiful reminders .May allah (swt) reward jental ferdus.

  2. Sanaa

    July 15, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Jazakallah Khayr for transcribing the lecture, Sister Zara. :D

  3. Muhammad

    July 18, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    MashaAllah! i am waiting for lectures concerning single men too. JazakAllah Khayr!

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