July 25, 2012 § 5 Comments
The holy month Ramadhan is here, and everyone is trying to maximize his good deeds to reap the benefits the month brings. The gates of heavens are all open to fulfill our du’as (supplications). Everyone has their own plan on how to go through the month in the best way possible and the key word is to have a “plan“.
1. Plan your daily activities around the Salah (prayers) times
Your lives should revolve around the Salah times, not the other way round. Map your routines so as to accommodate the Salah times and you shall reap the Barakah (Blessings) it brings. Additionally, ensure that you perform your Salah in the mosque. Essentially, you should be able to drop everything when the times for Salah is near.
2. Plan along your energy levels
Throughout each day of Ramadhan, everyone has their own unique energy ups and downs. You feel fresh at certain times and so very tired at other times. And these times are quite individualistic and understanding your energy levels throughout the day may help you maximize your performance. Schedule your hard/difficult task during your peak moments and arrange your simplest of tasks when your energy levels are very low
3. Increase your spiritual/faith (imaan)
As Ramadhan is a month of submission, where worshiping Allah SWT is the most singular important thing, ensure nothing else distracts you from it. Avoid unnecessary activities that will not increase your spiritual development. Do remember that rewards are multi-fold (up to 70 times) and as such, spend most of your time reading the Qur’an, perform the Salah, learning and doing as many Sunnah as possible. And the best of times to engage in all these activities is during the night, even staying awake until Fajr. Effectively, do your Tahajjud (night prayers)! And while at that, make lots of du’a as this is the month where du’as are easily granted.
4. Delay (or even Delete) Tasks
Evaluate each task and decide if you could delay it for months outside Ramadhan or even remove it altogether. This is the month to change, start anew. Changes are much easier to make during this month of huge blessings. Take this opportunity to do that.
5. Enjoy this Ramadhan
After engaging the above steps, do enjoy your Ramadhan. Yes, it could be better where you could do certain things in a much better way but do not put too much concern into it. Do not ever feel that you have wasted your Ramadhan, ever. Put it in your minds that you did the best you could have and will try to improve in the next Ramadhan. InsyaAllah, it will happen.
May Allah SWT continually choose all of us for His Mercy, Grace and Blessings. Ramadhan Al-Mubarak.
July 25, 2012 § 4 Comments
One of the most effective ways to get yourself into a productive mindset is to take your productivity day by day. Don’t worry about tomorrow and how productive you’ll be tomorrow, just think of today and what you can do today. It’s all about today.
Many Ramadhans ago, I had always wanted to finish reciting the Qur’an at least once during Ramadan (that’s the whole 30 Juzuk). I had it all sorted out (or so I believed). I had this plan of finishing 1 Juzuk per day and come 30 days later, I should have finished the whole Qur’an. But as most of us had experienced, procrastinations set in, maybe I’d do it later or even tomorrow. Some of the days I did manage to complete the 1 Juzuk goal but there would be days when I couldn’t. In the end, I never did manage to finish it.Shoulda, coulda, didn’ta!
Sweet talking to myself, maybe I’ll get it done in the next Ramadhan. And many Ramadhans came through, and I still could not get it done i.e. finish reciting the whole of the Qur’an during the month of Ramadhan.
A few Ramadhans ago, I took a very different approach, a “doing-my-best-for-the-day” approach. Instead of taking a monthly approach, I took a daily approach. Small baby steps, if you’d like. So each day, I sat down and finish as much recitations of the Qur’an as I could. As if, it was the last day of Ramadhan. And guess what? I did manage to finish it, and then some. Just last year, I actually did manage reciting the Qur’an twice! That surely felt good, a lot better than the many Ramadhans that I could not even complete it, Alhamdulillah!
Doing a daily approach eliminates a lot of the pressure to complete 1 Juzuk a day. In fact, it frees you up to do a lot more, without having any bearings on the monthly outcome. It definitely worked for me!
So, how about yourself? Perhaps you do have a better plan? You are indeed most welcome to share it with us here.
June 16, 2012 § 3 Comments
In our journeys through life, so many things happened beyond our expectations and plans. Some are welcome, while some are definitely something that we can do without. Most of us, right from when we were young, made some serious plans on where we want be at a certain point in time.
Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian) over all things.
(Az-Zumar, Chapter #39, Verse #62)
Perhaps to be successfully climbing the corporate ladder, or even excelling in our career choices, or having a beautiful family with equally wonderful kids who are great in what they do, especially their studies. Never do one anticipates of the stumbles that life brings along with each joy. And when that happens, we are clueless on where it just went wrong. Marriage breaks apart, the high-flying kid becomes a college-dropout, careers terminated due to corporate down-sizing, and even unexpected death or traumatic incidents.
The sudden emergence of individuals in our lives, when we least expect, bringing us hope and joy. Could be just friendship that bonds nicely, or even love blossoming as fragrant lilies do, offering warm and bright colors, much to our joy. These are all part of the grand scheme of design, where everything has been arranged and destined.
We can only plan and make du’a but know that, in each and every event, Allah SWT has already decided for us on our journeys. Pit-stops to make, junctions to take, and all irregularities have been mapped out for us. We are simply actors/actresses, each fulfilling their roles as Allah SWT has intended.
“And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record (Loh Mahfudz)” – (Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #59)
And do not despair if things don’t work out, the alternatives are always the best for us. Though we do not realize it at that particular moment, Allah SWT certainly knows what is best for us. And bear in mind, Allah SWT is never cruel nor is He ever unfair. He is the Supreme-Master-Planner.
“And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is Ever All-sufficient as Disposer of affairs.” – (An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #132)
“Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs?” They will say: “Allah.” Say: “Will you not then be afraid of Allah’s punishment (for setting up rivals in worship with Allah)?” – (Yunus, Chapter #10, Verse #31)
Finally, put complete trust onto Allah, as certainly He knows what is best for us. Never should your hearts and minds flinch, as having Allah is Sufficient. Engrave it deeply into your hearts, for we do not need anything else.
“Such is Allah, your Lord! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone), and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian) over all things.” – (Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #102)
“Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said, “Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.” But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: “Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us). ” – (‘Ali-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #173)