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Ramadhan 2013: Start your Ramadhan guilt free!
Bismillah

Ramadhan 2013My deepest love and respects to you and your beloved ones on the advent of Ramadhan. Like the other 1.5 billion Muslims on this earth, I am sure we cannot wait to start fasting daily and enjoying the blessings of prayer and Holy Quran in this month. Many positive feelings overtake us this month: excitement, happiness, anticipation of blessings and reward, joy upon meeting family and friends regularly and the delight of amazing delicacies on the Iftar table!

However for many of us, it is the negative emotions that predominate at the start of this month: fear of yet another unsuccessful Ramadhan, apprehension and guilt. We start this month of Ramadhan feeling guilty for being away from Allah (SWT) for so long; for not having read Holy Quran this year until now; of not having prayed any Tahajjud prayer until now; of not having fasting throughout the year - except for now. This guilty feeling leads to a lot of negativity in our approach to this month and perhaps to the lack of optimism in retrying those special attempts we had made before to read the whole Quran or to pray Tahajjud every night or some other good deed in Ramadhan. In fact for so many of us, guilt takes us away from Allah (SWT) and makes us feel inferior and sometimes cripples us to lesser levels of aspiration and success. "What can this poor slave of Allah (SWT) achieve anyway, when he is so engrossed in sins having done so many evil deeds?" For many - the thought of what we have done in the past - cripples us to what we can do in the future.

However, I would like to ask you all to approach this Ramadhan guilt free! Free of guilt of the past. Why worry about something you can't change? It is not the past that should worry us or bother us, rather what could happen in the future. The past is the past - we can't change the sins we have done in the past - so to constantly focus on that for the vast majority of us - is far more crippling for the future than anything else. The prophetic guidance is to regret the past sins and missed opportunities, whilst fearing the future possible sins and being weary of missing future opportunities.

It is as Ibnul-Qayyim said in Nooniyyah: "By Allah, I don't fear my past sins, since I have sincerely repented to Allah (SWT) and Allah (SWT) loves to forgive. However, what I truly fear is that in the future this heart of mine will cease to rule by this Quran and this revelation."

Remember that Allah is Al-Wadud - the loving God - He is the one who loves you more than your own parents! So overpowering is Allah's mercy that it has transcended His anger. So wide is His Mercy that the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said: "If the disbeliever knew of the extent of the Mercy of Allah, then none would have despaired of entering His Paradise!" [Reported by Muslim] And plus, what past sins, when your sincere repentance with Allah's Mercy would have wiped it away and replaced it with equivalent good deeds: "Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." [Al-Furqan 25:70]

My friends, how do you dare to think that Allah (SWT) does not love you? If He hated you, why did He keep you alive till another Ramadhan? If He hated you, why does he provide for you even when you disobey Him? If He did not love you, why is He allowing you to taste the sweetness of loving Him this month by fasting and praying? If He didn't love you, why did He keep you upon Islam?

So come back to Al-Wadud - your loving Lord - the one who loves you more than anything else. He is waiting for you and is more happy with you remembering Him than you can imagine. If you come to Him today, He will rush to you. If you remember Him, He will remember you. If you talk about Him, He will talk about you to those with Him. If you say sorry O Allah, He will forgive you and turn them into good.

So start your Ramadhan guilt free and enjoy a month of renewed emaan and focus on the good that you can do this month. Learn from the past mistakes, but focus on the future! It is truly as the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said: "Verily actions are judged by their endings."

With all my love and prayer for your success in this holy month of Ramadhan.

Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury

Ramadhan is the month of Holy Qur'an

Ramadhan is the month of Holy Qur'anAlhamdulillah, we are truly blessed to welcome Holy Month of Ramadhan 2013, which is another opportunity to invigorate our spirits, strengthen our faith and pray for our resolve during this month of mercy and forgiveness. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, in his sermon at the approach of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, has said: "And for the one who spreads his kindness, Allah (SWT) will spread His mercy over him on the Day of Judgment."

This is the month of Allah (SWT), the month of repentance, the month of fasting, the month of charity, the month of supplications and recommended prayers, but on the top of all and according to Holy Qur'an, this is the month of Qur'an.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) said: "Everything has a spring and the spring of Holy Quran is the month of Holy Ramadhan."

Allah (SWT) has revealed this book to his last and our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam as a clear sign of guidance and judgment between right and wrong. It is an irony that we Muslims even after 1400 years are debating the method of understanding this book while ignoring a basic fact that the piety and purity of soul is the pre-requisite to understand this book. Though Arabic language skills and qualified teachers also required but if we look at the current Arab Governments it is evident that they failed to distinguish between right and wrong.

This is, perhaps, why we have the "Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr)" after almost 20 days of catharsis. The night of power, the most precious one, comes every year in this month of Ramadhan. This night is superior to thousand months and the divine revelation of the Holy Quran took place in this night. It is recommended to search this night every year so the purified souls can be elevated to the domain of revelation to comprehend the teachings of Holy Qur'an and finally be able to differentiate between right and wrong.

The attitude of indifference and idleness of people around the world, particularly in Muslims, will only be removed when they will be able to differentiate between right and wrong. That is why Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (RA) extended the idea of purification and self-restraint in the month of Ramadhan to include the International Day of Al-Quds on the last Friday, because only the purified and free souls can take brave actions for the oppressed people of the world.

It is customary among many peoples to set New Year resolutions. The majority of people lose their new found resolve, however, within just a few months. This is mainly because few of us know how to set goals for our self-promises. Even less have an action plan to achieve them.

The best time to set resolutions or renew intentions for Muslims is not in Muharram or January, but Ramadhan (R is for Ramadhan and resolution), for Ramadhan is divinely designed to be a month of personal and communal change. No surprise, then, that it is also the lunar period in which Allah Almighty changed the destiny of humankind by blessing them with His final and universal Divine Guidance.

The blessed month of Ramadhan offers a unique opportunity and convenient time for Tahajjud prayer, especially when the time of commencing the fast is favorable. Allah (SWT) gives abundant reward for all our acts of worship during this blessed month of Ramadhan, therefore, we need to make special efforts to pray the Salatul Layl and keep it up for the rest of the year to raise our level of spirituality.

We urges all Muslims to refrain from indulging in the moon sighting debates, which only divide us further and instead, we should all focus our energies towards activities that unify the Muslim Ummah and make us responsible and caring human beings by:

  1. Purifying soul and understanding of the Holy Qur'an
  2. Helping people in the Canadian community and around the world who are suffering from both man-made and natural disasters
  3. Raising voices against occupying Zionism and colonial Imperialism to bring justice and peace to this great world we all live in

May Allah accept all your good deeds in this blessed month of Holy Ramadhan

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RAMADHAN & HOLY QURAN
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint, (2:183)
(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew. (2:184)
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Holy Ramadan is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016