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Issue 72 September 2010

Ramadan is a time of increased connections – an increased connection to God through remembrance of Him and the search to please Him, an increased connection to the Ummah through the collective act of fasting, an increased connection to the family and close friends through the shared intimacy of fasting and breaking the fast together, and an increased connection to one’s inner self by the act of fasting; stripping away externalities. Maintaining these connections after Ramadan ends requires effort. 


Connecting to God

7. Incorporate ‘alhamdulillah’ into your life. Thanking and praising Him for the small bounties in your life, even in adversity, leads to gratitude and contentment. The Prophet said “Alhamdulillah is the statement of appreciation. When the servant says alhamdulillah, God says, ‘My servant has praised Me.’’’ (Ibn Abi Hatim)


8. Ask for help from Him even with the smallest with difficulties. The Prophet Musa was told to pray even for the salt on his food. 


9. Reflect on God by learning His names with their meaning.


10. Make a regular time to contemplate the natural world, for it is revelation from God, “And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth.” (Qur’an 30:22)


Connecting to the Ummah

11. Connect to the wider Muslim community by travelling to a Muslim country you’ve never been to before, or if that is beyond your financial means, reach out to a different community of Muslims within your own country


12. Choose a country a month and explore its traditions and history of its people through books and online.


13. Choose a charity project abroad to support


Connecting to your family and close friends

14. Iftar is a time to eat with your family – continue to have a regular, collective family meal together. 


15. Following the adage, “The family that prays together, stays together” make prayer in ja’ma regularly, spending time afterwards to reflect and talk to one another, sharing stories from Islamic history or the companions perhaps.


16. Invite others to dine with you, and accept the invitations of others for that is one of the five rights a Muslim has over another Muslim; the other four being, to return the greetings of salam, to visit the sick, to accompany funeral processions, and to respond to the one that sneezes. (Bukhari & Muslim)


17. Be the one to forgive and move on, and remember the “Three Day Rule”, for the Prophet said, “It is not allowed for a Muslim to desert his brother for over three days.” (Muslim & Tirmidhi)


18. Tell the ones you love that you love them. The Prophet said, “If one of you loves his brother for God’s sake, then let him know, since it causes familiarity to endure and firmly establishes love.” (Bukhari)


19. Put those you love first and empathise with their emotions, as the Prophet said, “Love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Muslim)


Connecting to yourself

20. Try to find a quiet time every day to reflect on yourself that day. What did you learn from that day? What could you have done better? What were the strengths of that day? What were the weaknesses? Remember if you have had a bad day – every new dawn, brings with it new opportunities.


21. List the things that you like about yourself. We may think that would be immodest and vain, but it is worth remembering that you are a creation of the Most High, and of the best of creations. The Prophet said, “God is merciful towards the one who knows his worth” – so start listing your worth.


22. List the things that you think need changing about yourself. Think of this positively. The Prophet said that “A Muslim is a mirror to another Muslim” (Abu Dawud), but we need to be a mirror unto our own selves first.


23. Create a space which you always keep tidy, scented and beautiful. The Prophet said, “God is beautiful and He likes beauty” (Muslim), so such a space will give you a place to re-charge your batteries, and to reflect upon your inner self.



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