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Friday, September 22, 2006

Sheikh Ibrahim Osi Efa

Advice on Ramadhan


Assalamu alaykum

(Notes kindly provided by Arshad Mahmood, Jakallah khair)

If there are any mistakes in the notes, they are due to us, not the original dars of the shaykh and may Allah (subhanu wa ta'ala) forgive us for our shortcomings.

"Subhanallah, we have been doing these blessed Mawlids for 6 months now consistently, and I want you all to concentrate on the word "consistency" carefully for the next few weeks, particularly in Ramadhan.

The Prophet (Peace and blessing be upon him) was/is the most consistent person on the face of the earth, and he (Peace and blessing be upon him) said in a hadith, "Allah loves those acts which are consistent, although they may appear small and insignificant to you, but with Allah (Subhanu wa ta’ala), they are highly regarded and that is what really matters".

The Prophet (Peace and blessing be upon him) said that, “Ramadhan is such a blessed month, that if my Ummah understood its blessings properly, they would wish for this month to be all year round.” This is a month in which we can practise consistency and implement it after Ramadhan too,inshallah.

Ramadhan is surely a blessed month and Allah (Subhanu wa ta’ala) wants to forgive you by the end of this blessed month, and that is why he is offering you opportunity after opportunity in this month, just look carefully at the opportunities within it "5 times Salah with Jama’at, Lailatul Qadr which is better than 1 thousand months, Taraweeh prayers, Suhur, Iftaar, Itikaaf in the Masjid, the multiplication of rewards, the Nawafil acts getting elevated to status of Fard in terms of reward, the reward for Fard being multiplied.

Shaykh also mentioned that in Ramadhan Allah (Subhanu wa ta’ala) provides you opportunities to become people of Allah. Allah (Subhanu wa ta’ala) has placed the five pillars of Islam within this month.

1) Tawheed - The Prophet (Peace and blessing be upon him) said that, “Repeat the recitation of the shahada in abundance in Ramadhan”.

2) Salah - 20 rakaat nafl is equal to 20 rakaat faraid in Ramadhan. Then on top of that you have the Taraweeh prayer.

3) Fasting - The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that the reward of fast is paradise.....according to the Hadith Qudsi by Allah(Subhanu wa ta’ala)

4) Zakah - The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) was more generous in the month of Ramadhan. He was generous anyway, so you can’t imagine him being more generous. Sadaqah in the month of Ramadhan is equal to giving Zakah.

5) Hajj - The Prophet (Peace and blessing be upon him) said that the one who makes Umrah in the month of Ramadan, it is as he did Hajj with me.

The shaykh also mentioned that we should “increase in our istighfaar”, “increase in Quran recitation”, “increase in Salawat upon the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him)” and try to do “Qiyamul Lail (staying up at nights)”.

And once you do become the people of Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, you won’t talk about things that have been made a duty upon you as Muslims, but you will talk about privileges of being Muslims. You will say “what a privilege it is to be a Muslim”. You will remove something harmful in someone’s way, you will not think that it’s my duty, but you will feel privileged to do so. Once you become people of Allah Subhanu wa ta’la, you will see things that a normal person won’t see.

The sheikh mentioned the story of Imam Nawawi (May Allahs mercy be with me) that when he was 7 years old. He woke up at night and started waking everyone up and shouted “what is this light everywhere?” and from that his father realised that it was Laila Tul Qadr that night.

Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala also made all those things Haram upon you while fasting (some haram in any circumstances but some specifically in Ramadhan), which are the barriers to attaining his love and pleasure (food, water, backbiting, slandering, lying, see how Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala has put it on a plate for you in this blessed month.

Spend this month wisely, like the people of Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala do. If you have holidays from work, then take them in this month because this is the holiday of the people of Allah. Forget ibiza, costa dela , the people of Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala take holidays from the Duniya in Ramadhan and spend this month in giving it its dues.

But most importantly, take the month of Ramadhan with you, after Ramadhan, and keep up these actions, because that’s the whole point.

One who can do 20 Rakats in Ramadhan Taraweeh prayers, can do 20 rakats nawafil daily after Ramadhan.
One who can increase his recitation of the Quran in Ramadhan, can continue it after Ramadhan too.
One who can control the eyes, ears, mouth, limbs inside Ramadhan, can surely do so after Ramadhan.
One who can fast for 29/30 days in Ramadhan, can surely , fast the fasting of Shawaal, Ashura etc etc.

Oh believers, don’t let this month slip without realising the purpose of it, become people of Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, increase your charity, increase your smiling at others, increase your love for children, elders, neighbours, community.
Don’t just focus on the Faraid in this month, focus on the Sunnah too, focus on the Nawafil too.

May Allah (Subhanu wa ta’ala) forgive us all. Ameen

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