Tips

Ramadhaan Reminders

We are coming towards the end of the first week of Ramadhaan, the best of all months, the month of the Holy Qur’aan. It is a time of reflection for us, whether we are better in our spirituality than before, whether we are engaging in more Ibaadah or whether we are continuing our bad habits and not making a conscious effort to change our ways.

The Shayateen have been locked up and they are no longer whispering into our heads. We are free of their influence, yet we continue our sins. Why is that? Simply because, through the course of the year, we have been conditioned to sin without even thinking about it. We sin without realizing we are sinning, we sin without realizing the negative effects on our hearts and souls. We sin without realising that it is Shaytaan who is influencing us, without realising that he even exists!

Our hearts have become rusted through the course of the year and this is our chance to polish our hearts. Let us take these few weeks and use them to the best of our abilities. By the end of this month, we should be able to say that we have done away with ATLEAST one bad habit and gained one good one. May Allah accept our efforts, Ameen!

A few Ramadhaan Tips that will, inshaAllah, be of benefit:

  • When you wake up, before checking your phone etc, engage in some dhikr.
  • Prioritize your Salaah before anything else. Do not let Shaytaan win even when he is locked up.
  • Do not become frustrated at your inability to change instantly. We have been conditioned towards sinning for a long time, and it will take time to change!
  • Allah’s help comes to those who want it and to those who are patient, do NOT give up!
  • It is Mustahab (preferable) to take a break after 4 Rakaats of Taraweeh. Use this time to read Qur’aan/do tasbeeh etc.
  • Reading 1/4 juz of the Qur’aan after each Salaah will enable you to finish the Qur’aan in 24 days. (This is very helpful for sisters who need to take account of days they will not be praying.)
  • The reward for every deed is multiplied by 70! So, every £1 given to charity, it is as though you have given £70! Take advantage of this!
  • Listen to recitations of Surahs that you are trying to memorize. It is much easier to learn the Tajweed!Record yourself reciting the Qur’aan. This will make it easier to rectify mistakes you make!
  • Make sure you understand verses before moving on to the next one. This will inshaAllah benefit you in Salaah as well. The Qur’aan was revealed over 23 years and it’s not going to run away. No cramming!
  • This month is not about food. Don’t waste your entire day preparing for Iftaar.
  • This may be your LAST Ramadhaan! Make good use of it! In fact, we have not even been promised tomorrow!

Follow me on twitter @IslamIsTimeless for more #RamadhaanTips!

10 Tips For Concentration in Salaah

Salaah is our time to communicate directly with our Creator. But many of us pray Salaah as part of a routine without thinking of why we are praying. Without realising that Allah (swt) has given us this gift, not because it benefits Him, but because it benefits us!
Allah does not need our worship but we need to worship Allah in order to have healthy souls and be successful. Salaah is what we will first be questioned about on the Day of Judgement and so we need to make sure that when we read Salaah, we read with full concentration and taqwa. Here are a few tips to help us all long the way.

1. Think of what the action you are doing signifies.
What does your Salaah signify? Submission to your Creator? What else does it signify to you?
And you can also think of what the particular action you are doing signifies. E.g. When raising your hands for Takbeer, you are sayin ‘Oh Allah, everything belongs to you and I am putting away the dunya to worship you’. When in Ruku, you say ‘Oh Allah, I am lower than you’ and Sajdah ‘Oh Allah! Am am far lower than You and You are Greater than anything’. First Sajdah can also represent that Allah created you from earth and when going into your second Sajdah, He is going to bring about our death. And when you rise from your second Sajdah, think of how He will bring us back to life again for judgement.

2. Look at specific spots and don’t let your eyes wander.
Qiyaam – Look where you will place your head for Sajdah
Ruku – At your feet
Jalsa & Qaidah- At your lap
Sajdah – Your Nose
Simple but effective.

3. Allah is watching you.
We should be aware of this all the time but we forget. But He is here watching you. Seriously think about this. You wouldn’t rush Salaah in front of others, so why in front of Allah? He is All-Seeing.

4. SLOWWWWW DOWWWWWN.
When you rush, that is from Shaitaan. You give him power over you. Think clearly and focus and force yourself to slow down.

5. Stay in position until you are completely relaxed.
This ties in with number four. Slow down and don’t rush. We’re not in a race. Take your time and relax before moving on to your next position. It is waajib (compulsory) to remain in any posture in Salaah for the duration of one SubhanAllah.

6. What is your state before Salaah?
Your state before Salaah will effect your state in Salaah. So try and do some ibaadah like tasbeeh or read Qur’an before you start.

7. Remember the translation of what you are reading.
Learning the translation of the Arabic will help you reflect on whatever it is you are reading and help your concentration levels.

8. Don’t make your Salaah repetitive.
Learn new Surahs and remember their translation too.

9. Remember the Greatness of the one you are standing before.
If you were going to meet someone of high importance, like a king, you would be very  attentive. Well, Allah is the King of kings, give Him your utmost attention. This is also why you should dress properly during Salaah. If you wouldn’t go out in those clothes, why would you stand in front of Allah with them?

10. Don’t leave your Salaah till the last 10 minutes.
This is quite obvious. If you leave your Salaah till late, you’ll be more worried about finishing your Salaah then praying properly.

Our Beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW) has said: “Perform your Salaah as if it is a ‘farewell’ Salaah (i.e. the last Salaah of your life). (Mishkaat)

May Allah affirm our hearts to Salaah and let us read it with the concentration it deserves. Ameen, Allahumma Ameen!

There are many other ways to improve your concentration. Please share in the comments if you think of any! JazakAllahu Khair.