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Author Topic: The start of another marathon. Ramadan packet. It's time to sprint.  (Read 772 times)
jannah
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« on: Sep 02, 2008 07:23 AM »

Nice forward I received today.-- J.
=============================
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim (In the name of God, the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful)

And so it starts, Ramadan the sprint to another year's marathon. Here after 11 months of sinning, returning to our bad habits and hardening our hearts, the month has come again to rejuvenate us in every way we see possible.

Here is something for everyone, in these 5 pts (BELOW) including audio links for those who have time, articles for others from different sources and attached charts to plot your pts.

I apologize for sending emails with huge amounts of information the day of , for those of us who just finished our first fast and not a day or two earlier. I hope those who got the Ramadan prep emails that were compiled over past couple of weeks benefited, God willing.

Problem--> Usually most people don't have time to sit and read or listen, especially on their technology diets in Ramadan.
Idea---> You can print out small packets, or download files onto my mp3 player or write pts. on note cards and while waiting for class to start, or walking to/fro from lunch or rather whenever you have a 1-15 min break  pull these things out and read/listen. As in honor of the barakah in this month, we can take advantage of our time.

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." - Sir Roger Bannister

So throughout the email, the marathon analogy is being tied in, its time to sprint folks.

Remember, that the 4 greatest events in the universe happened during the month of Ramadan,
(a) Night of power, in which the Holy Quran descended from 7th to 1rst heaven
(b) Descending from 1rst heaven to heart of Prophet (sallahualayhiwasalam) piece by piece
(c) which then brought upon, Crowning of Prophethood
(d) Islam came into the horizons, rise of our deen


RAMADAN KAREEM. May our Ramadan heal us, uplift our souls and change our lives in every way possible; May we transcend our lowly states and draw closer than we have to our Creator, the Most beneficient and May we become closer to ways of our prophet, alayhissalaam and finally experience those moments the true bliss of our deen within this month...ameen

All the best in your endeavors for next 30 days
with sincere duahs,


"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance."
 - Bruce Barton


1) Plan. from "Thinking Before planning" - Sound vision

http://www.soundvision.com/Info/development/plan/thinklong.asp

"Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I'm content with what I can do and if I'm completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner. It's only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards" - John Bingham
Understand where your faults lie and your shortcomings. Then list them out, and find the things you do that you would like to rid yourself of, change or make better.

SECTION ONE: Your personal relationship with Allah

-is Allah the most important priority in your life?

-how often did you remember and thank Allah in times of happiness and joy?

-how did you react to difficulties and tests Allah placed in your life? Were you patient or impatient?

-did your understanding of and commitment to Allah deepen with knowledge and practice this year?

-how often did you remember Allah on a daily basis? How can I incorporate Zikr into my life?

-how often did you "talk" to Allah through Dua, apart from when you wanted something?

-were you lazy in how you related to Allah?

-how often did you ask for Allah's guidance?

-how often did you turn to Allah in times of anxiety, need and difficulty?

-what can you do on a daily and weekly basis to increase your remembrance and commitment to Allah?

-how can you memorize relevant Duas from the Quran and Ahadith to remember Allah at all times?

-have you invited other human beings to relate to Allah?

Your prayers

-did you pray five times a day?

-did you pray on time at school or at work, or did you make up the prayers when you got home?

-are you praying correctly, or just assuming the way you pray is correct?

-have you been concentrating in your Salah?

-have you approached prayer with anticipation, love and fear of Allah, or with a reluctance and dread, hoping to just get it over with?

-do you read Sunnah prayers with the Fard as well?

-how can you improve your prayer?

-have you made dua for your neighbors and friends at job?

SECTION SEVEN: Your time

-what did you spent the most time on this year?

-are you satisfied with this?

-if not, where do you want most of your time to be spent?

-what changes do you need to make to accommodate this?

-do you have good time management skills?

-if not, what can you do about it?

-can you read a book about it?

-can you spend some money doing a course on time management?

-do you have a daily or weekly to do list, which lists all of the tasks you need to complete?

-what would be an example of a day in your life where time was well spent?

-how much free time did you have on average per week this year?

-what is the number one activity you participated in?

-are you satisfied with this?

-how many hours of free time do you currently have?

-how can you better spend free time?

-how can your free time make you closer to Allah?

-how much tv do you watch?

-do you spend more time watching tv or talking to your spouse and children?

-can you reduce your tv time?


2a) Understand the importance "Excellent Article on Ramadan" http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=287&CATE=6

"I just run as hard as I can for 20 miles, and then race" - Steve Jones, marathon runner

Here is where it starts. Rejuvenation.

Ramadan
by Suheil Laher
 
It is appropriate that every Muslim should receive the blessed month of Ramadan with repentance, sincerity, resoluteness and earnestness. He/she should make the intention to perform extra acts of devotion and worship therein, including the Night Prayer (qiyam), recitation of Qur'an, and abundant charity to the poor and needy.
 
On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), used to say the following when the month of Rajab began. 'Oh Allah! Bless us in Rajab and Sha`ban, and bring us, oh Allah, to Ramadan.' [Narrated by Tabarani and Ahmad]
 
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, 'Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.' [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]
 
In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says, 'Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.' [Narrated by Tabarani]
 
The preceding hadiths bring attention to readiness and preparation for receiving Ramadan. This is achieved by having a clear understanding of this month in one's mind, and greeting Ramadan with love and yearning. Also, one should have the determination and intention to perform good deeds and worship, and one should lay down a program to accomplish this in the days of the blessed month.
It is communally obligatory upon the Muslims to seek the crescent at the time of sunset on the 29th day of Sha`ban, and the 29th day of Ramadan, in order to verify the status of the start and end of their fasting. When seeing the crescent, it is sunnah for the Muslim to supplicate with the following supplication, which has been reported from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
On the authority of Talhah ibn `Ubaydullah (may Allah be pleased with him): when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saw the crescent, he used to say, 'Oh Allah! Cause it to appear over us with prosperity, faith (Iman), security and Islam. (Then to the moon:) My Lord and your Lord is Allah.' [Narrated by Tirmidhi, who said it is a good (hasan) hadith.]
 
Qatadah said that he was informed that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to say, when seeing the crescent, 'A crescent of goodness and orientation, a crescent of goodness and orientation, a crescent of goodness and orientation. (To the moon:) I believe in Allah who created you.' (Three times), and then he would say, 'Praise be to Allah who has taken away such- and-such month and brought such-and-such month.' [Narrated by Abu Dawud]
 
The month of Ramadan has excellences over the other months, as is testified to by the Qur'an and Sunnah, and out of these we will bring to attention the following virtues:
 
1. It is the month of the Qur'an, with regards to revelation and study. ('The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Qur'an.' [Qur'an, 2:185]). On the authority of Ibn `Abbas: Angel Gabriel used to meet the Prophet every night in Ramadan and used to study Qur'an with him.
2. It is the month of seclusion. Ibn `Umar said, 'The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to seclude himself for the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.'
3. It is the month of generosity. Ibn `Abbas said, 'The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to be at his most generous in Ramadan.'
4. It is the month of standing (in voluntary night prayer). On the authority of Abu Hurayrah: The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'Whoever stands (in voluntary night prayer) during Ramadan, with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him.'
5. It is the month of the compulsory fast, because of Allah's saying, 'So, whoever among you witnesses the month should fast.' [Qur'an, 2:185] A terrible error prevalent among people is to talk about Ramadan just as they talk about the obligation of fasting, as if Ramadan and fasting are synonymous, each carrying the meaning of the other and not anything more nor less. Yet, fasting is one of many acts of worship in Ramadan.
 
Many reports have been narrated from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) explaining the distinction of Ramadan, of which we have selected the following.
'The month of Ramadan has come to you; a month of goodness and blessing.' [Ibn Khuzaymah]
 
'The Master of the Months is Ramadan, and the Master of the days is Friday.' [Ibn Khuzaymah]
 
'Whoever fasted Ramadan with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him.' [Bukhari and Muslim]
 
'When Ramadan comes, the gates of Heaven are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.' And in a narration from Nasa'i, the following words are added: 'and a caller calls out every night: 'Oh seeker of Good, draw near! Oh seeker of Evil, desist!' '
2b) Understanding Importance of Ramadan "Virtues of Ramadan"
http://islamqa.com/en/ref/13480

"I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!" - Sasha Azevedo

Why are you fasting? What does this month involve for you directly? What do you want this?


Praise be to Allaah.  

Ramadaan is one of the twelve Arabic months. It is a month which is venerated in the Islamic religion, and it is distinguished from the other months by a number of characteristics and virtues, including the following:

1 – Allaah has made fasting this month the fourth pillar of Islam, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…"

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

and it was narrated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16) from the hadeeth of Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; fasting Ramadaan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka'bah)."

2 – Allaah revealed the Qur'aan in this month, as He says in the verse quoted above (interpretation of the meaning):

"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…"

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree)."

[al-Qadr 97:1]

3 – Allaah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).

And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah's Permission with all Decrees,

(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn"

[al-Qadar 97:1-5]

"We sent it (this Qur'aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]"

[al-Dukhaan 44:3]

Allaah has blessed Ramadaan with Laylat al-Qadr. Explaining the great status of this blessed night, Soorat al-Qadr was revealed, and there are many ahaadeeth which also speak of that, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There has come to you Ramadaan, a blessed month which Allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived."

Narrated by al-Nasaa'i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.

And Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760.

4 – Allaah has made fasting Ramadaan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins, as was proven in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 2014; Muslim, 760) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven." And al-Bukhaari (2008) and Muslim (174) also narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."

The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to pray qiyaam at night in Ramadaan. Al-Nawawi said that what is meant by praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is to pray Taraweeh, i.e., one achieves what is meant by qiyaam by praying Taraaweeh.

5 – In this month, Allaah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils, as is stated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 1898; Muslim, 1079), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up."

6 – Every night Allaah has people whom He redeems from the Fire. Imam Ahmad (5/256) narrated from the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "At every breaking of the fast, Allaah has people whom He redeems." Al-Mundhiri said: there is nothing wrong with its isnaad; and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 987.

Al-Bazzaar (Kashf 962) narrated that Abu Sa'eed said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah has people whom He redeems every day and night – i.e., in Ramadaan – and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered."  

7 – Fasting Ramadaan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadaan, so long as one avoids major sins. It was proven in Saheeh Muslim (233) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The five daily prayers, from one Jumu'ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins."

8 – Fasting in Ramadaan is equivalent to fasting ten months, as is indicated by the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (1164) narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime." Ahmad (21906) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year."

9 – Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1370) and others from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer." Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Salaat al-Taraaweeh, p. 15

10 – 'Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj. Al-Bukhaari (1782) and Muslim (1256) narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to a woman among the Ansaar, "What kept you from doing Hajj with us?" She said, "We only had two camels that we used for bringing water." So her husband and son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other for them to use for bringing water." He said, "When Ramadaan comes, go for 'Umrah, for 'Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj." According to a report narrated by Muslim, "… is equivalent to doing Hajj with me."  

11 – It is Sunnah to observe i'tikaaf (retreat for the purpose of worship) in Ramadaan, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) always did that, as it was narrated in the hadeeth of 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to spend the last ten days of Ramadaan in i'tikaaf until he passed away, then his wives observed i'tikaaf after him." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1922; Muslim, 1172.

12 – It is mustahabb in the sense of being strongly recommended in Ramadaan to study the Qur'aan together and to read it a great deal. You may study the Qur'aan together by reciting it to someone else and by having someone else recite it to you. The evidence that this is mustahabb is the fact that Jibreel used to meet the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) every night in Ramadaan and study the Qur'aan with him. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6; Muslim, 2308.

Reading Qur'aaan is mustahabb in general, but more so in Ramadaan.

13 – It is mustahabb in Ramadaan to offer iftaar to those who are fasting, because of the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person's reward in the slightest." Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 807; Ibn Maajah, 1746; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 647. see question no: ( 12598 )

And Allaah knows best.
3) Inner dimensions of fasting.
http://www.tasawwuf.org/basics/ghazali_fasting.htm

"There are actually people who cheat at race walks; they enter a race walk, then run to win. You know you've given up in life when you cheat at a race walk. You've decided that you're so pathetic the only way you can win is by cheating against people who aren't even competing." - Michel Logsdon

Where will your maqam (level with God) be? Where do you want to go?

The Inner Dimensions of Fasting
By Imam al-Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him)
Three Grades

It should be known that there are three grades of fasting: ordinary, special and extra-special. Ordinary fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.

Special Fasting means keeping one's ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet -- and all other organs -- free from sin.

Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but God, Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world.

Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of God, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.
To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya and the intimates of God. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication to God, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than God, Exalted is He. It is bound up with the significance of His words: 'Say: "Allah (sent it down)": then leave them to play in their vain discussions.' [al-An'am, 6:91]
Inward Requirements

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one's organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment.
See Not What Displeases God

A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.'

Jabir relates from Anas that God's Messenger, on him be peace, said: 'Five things break a man's Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.'
Speak Not...
Guarding one's tongue from idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of Quran. This is the fasting of the tongue. Said Sufyan: 'Backbiting annuls the Fast.' Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: 'Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.'

The Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: "I am Fasting, I am Fasting!"'

According to Tradition: 'Two women were Fasting during the time of God's Messenger, on him be peace. They were so fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing. They therefore sent a message to God's Messenger, on him be peace, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, on him be peace, sent them a bowl and said: "Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten." One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished. Then the Prophet, on him be peace, said: "These two women have been Fasting from what God made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what God, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!"'
Hear Not...

Closing one's ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why God, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, in His words, Exalted is He: 'Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain.' [al- Ma'idah, 5:42]

God, Great and Glorious is He, also said: 'Why do their rabbis and priests not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit?' [al-Ma'idah, 5:63]

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is He, said: 'You are then just like them.' [al-Nisa, 4:140] That is why the Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'The backbiter and his listener are copartners in sin.'
Do Not...

Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast -- to abstain from lawful food - only to break one's Fast on what is unlawful. A man who Fast like this may be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food injurious in quantity not in quality, so Fasting is to reduce the former. A person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison. The unlawful is a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in small doses but harmful in excess. The object of Fasting is to induce moderation. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'How many of those who Fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!' This has been taken to mean those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who do not guard their organs from sin.
Avoid Overeating

Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the point of stuffing one's belly. There is no receptacle more odious to God, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food. Of what use is the Fast as a means of conquering God's enemy and abating appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of extra foods? It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all kinds of foodstuffs, so that more is consumed during that time than in the course of several other months put together. It is well known that the object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to reinforce the soul in piety. If the stomach is starved from early morning till evening, so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified, and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are Satan's means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut down one's intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not Fasting. No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one's powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night, making it easier to perform the (tahajjud) and to recite the praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one's heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven. The Night of Destiny represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed. This is what is meant by the words of God, Exalted is He:'We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.' [al-Qadr, 97:1]

Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but God, Great and Glorious is He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.
Look To God With Fear And Hope

After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum between fear and hope. For one does not know if one's Fast will be accepted, so that one will find favor with God, or whether it will be rejected, leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of al-Hasan ibn Abil Hasan al-Basri that he once passed by a group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: 'God, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By God, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.' In too full of joy to indulge in idle sport, while for one who has suffered rejection laughter will be precluded by remorse.

Of al-Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: 'You are an aged elder; Fasting would enfeeble you.' But he replied: 'By this I am making ready for a long journey, Obedience to God, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.'
Such are the inwardly significant meanings of Fasting.

4) Take advantage of blessing of Ramadan (3 audio clips)

http://sacredlearning.org/audio/ramadan/1426/mercy_allah.mp3
http://sacredlearning.org/audio/ramadan/1426/countless_blessings.mp3
http://sacredlearning.org/audio/ramadan/1426/packaging_fast.mp3

Some notes from 3 of lectures under Ramadan classroom

"The marathon can humble you" Bill Rodgers, American marathon runner

If you believe in what your doing, and are serious, miracles can happen in your life. You can achieve more in 30 years in Ramadan, than you can achieve in 30 days outside of Ramadan.

5) Log your daily activities (3 attachments)

"Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win." - Tom Fleming's Boston Marathon Training Motto

In order to change and see your results, chart out your activities and review go over 1-3x a day.

There are 3 attachments. I was sent the first one and I altered the second one, to resemble one I had received last year and the third one I created on my own. iA you can just mix and match and make your own chart that works best for you.


-- end of 5 pts --

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"If asked whether you love God, say nothing. This is because if you say, 'I do not love God,' you are an unbeliever. If, on the other hand, you say, 'I do love God,' your actions contradict you." - Fudayl
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