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Saturday, June 15, 2013

PREPARATION FOR RAMADAN

Praise be unto Allah, for connecting His servants to His favours and kindness, filling their hearts with lights and love of religious obligations. He allocated periods for worship, and divided worship in accordance to His judgement and wisdom. We praise Him, we seek His help, forgiveness, and repentance. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls and actions. Whom Allah guides, none can mislead, and whom He misleads, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner, none can reject His decree, and no consequence can trail His decision. I equally bear witness that our Master, Muhammad (pbuh) is His servant and Messenger- the most dignified creature. O Allah! bless Muhammad, his families and all his companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the day of recompense. Thereafter, I admonish you and me to revere Allah, be obedient to Him and strive with good deeds towards Paradise and God’s forgiveness. Be grateful to Him for His bounties and favours. Beware of sins! It is the door to the annoyance and wrath of God. Allah says: {وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ} (الحجرات 10) {and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.} (2:197). ARRIVAL OF RAMADAN: The Month of Ramadan is close by with its bounties. It is granted honour over other months for there is no month similar to it. Fasting in Ramadan is made a pillar of Islam, while prayers in its nights are made supererogatory, it is the month of Quranic recitation, mercy, forgiveness and emancipation from the hell. Many prayers are answered in it, good deeds increase in manifolds, sins are cleansed, and status elevated. PREPARING FOR RAMADAN: Dear Muslim brothers, Sha’baan is a month for training and educational adaptation. A Muslim relates with the month in a manner that prepares him for active obedience in Ramadan. He should read topics specifically about maximizing the gains and benefits of Ramadan, he plans his Ramadan programmes in it, he schedules charity functions, and makes the month of Sha'ban a training session for proper adaptation in Ramadan including doing lots of Qur’an reading, fasting and other acts of worship. Therefore, he will make the month, though neglected by many, a strong impetus for increasing in obedience and goodness in Ramadan. Sha’baan is also a training arena of adaption for fasting in Ramadan. Through this approach, a Muslim will not reach Ramadaan filled with discomfort and burdensomeness, rather he would have drilled himself and practised fasting such that he will be able to have derived the joy and sweetness of fasting in Sha'baan before Ramadan fasting. This would also enable him to be in a high level of strength and agility in Ramadan. In order to achieve these goals, the following adaptational programmes will go a long way to assist a Muslim in Sha'baan in his preparation for Ramadan: 1- Faith and devotional preparation: - Sincere repentance from all sins and evils, turning to God, and opening a new leaf in life. - Increasing in the supplication thus: “Allahumma Baarik lana fi Sha’baan, Wa balligna Ramadan” meaning: “O Allah bless us in Sha’baan and permit us to reach Ramadan” Also: “Allahumma Sallimna liRamadan, Wa sallim lana Ramadan, Wa tasallamhu minna mutaqabbalan” meaning: “O Allah facilitate us for Ramadan, and facilitate Ramadan for us, and he accept it from us.” Prayer is the strongest support for faith and spiritual preparation. - To engage in lots of fasting in Shaban: this is a practical training for the minds and a proper preparation for the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. - Living in the vastness of the Quran: to achieve full co-existence with the Qur’an in Ramadan. - Tasting the sweetness in tahajud and remembrance of Allah in Sha'baan and adherence to dhikr in the morning and evening and in all conditions. 2- Preparation of Strong Determination: - Having strong resolution and determination of intention and sincerity to seek the pleasure of Allah and generating more than one intention cutting across various kinds of acts of worship from now onward. Examples of such intentions include: intention for repentance, intention to turn a new leaf before God, intention to correct and reform behaviours and morals, intention for sincere fast, intention to complete the Quran more than once, intention to observe tahajjud and night prayers, intention to observe lots of supererogatory prayers, intention to seek for knowledge, intention to enjoin good and forbid evil, intention to help people over their commitments or predicaments, intention to work in support of the cause of Allah, intention for striving with one’s wealth and so on. - Making the days of Ramadan different from the other days - Frequenting the mosque and observing all solat in Jamaa’h in the mosque and reviving forgotten sunnah- practices of the prophet, such as: staying in the mosque after the subh prayer till sunrise, eagerness to be in the first row before the Adhan- call to prayer, with the intention of ‘Itikaaf- seclusion in the mosque. - Clearing the heart of grudges and ill- feelings. 3- Educational preparation: - Attending circles of knowledge, mosque lectures and open lectures in preparation for Ramadan. - Reading the laws and jurisprudence guiding fasting, knowing the details of any matter concerning fasting and knowing the functions and the wisdom behind Ramadan fasting and also reading the tafseer- interpretation of verses of fasting. - Listening to tapes of lectures by scholars on Ramadan and preparing for it. 4- Family preparation: - All members of the family should be adequately prepared for the blessed month in addition to creating relevant programmes. - Early and proper arrangement of gift packages to be distributed to people in Ramadan in order to create a friendship atmosphere in obedience to Allah. 5- Preparation for utmost striving (the real struggle): - Readiness to endure and persevere in difficult and challenging situations. - Training the tongue for the jihad of the tongue and guarding it from obscenity, training the abdomen and guarding it from despise, regulating one’s passion and desires, and guarding against the influence of shaytaan. - Preventing the soul from luxury lifestyle, and striving towards Az-Zuhd- asceticism, moving away from the worldly thing and what resides with men and not to engage in the extravagant lifestyle of food, drink and clothing. 6- Material preparation: - through the earning of Halal and avoiding Haraam, Allah is pure and will accepts only pure things. Therefore, get ready to maximize the gains in Ramadan, commit yourself to obedience to God in its nights and days, surely whoever Allah grants the opportunity to engage in righteousness in Ramadan has been greatly favoured which could lead him to great rejoice. May Allah make one of those to fast in Ramadan and observe prayers in the nights and spend the rest of our lifetime in the pleasure of God. Having said this, I seek Allah’s forgiveness for us all and all Muslims, He is verily The All-forgiving, Most Gracious. THE SECOND SERMON All praises are due to Allah, Who have completed the religion and His favour on us. We praise and thank Him and seek His forgiveness. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that prophet Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May the peace and blessings be showered upon him, his household, and all his companions. Thereafter, fear Allah in the right measure of piety. Dear Muslims, the tragedies confronting Muslims today are great, the massacre, slaughter and persecution ramping our nation around the world are terribly horrifying. These incidents cause the bleeding of the heart of every conscious Muslim looking at a scenario where a tribulation succeeds another before its conclusion. The massacre and humiliation in our nations is unending, the humiliation is so conspicuous, that the muslim nations are the mostly affected in the world experiencing such precarious situation and the blood of a Muslim became the cheapest blood anywhere. Dear listeners why is this so? Summarily, the obvious reason for this inability in the Muslim nations is because they have distanced themselves from the religion- Islam and its principles, where Islam is actually the source of our honour and victory. The solution is no other than a sincere return to Allah in order to regain our pride and power and to protect ourselves and our people, and to earn the help from God against our enemies. This is the basis for solution and it is deserving of every Muslim to struggle towards it. Allah says: { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ} (الأنفال : 24) O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered. (8: 24) {وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِنْ بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ اْلأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ , إِنَّ فِي هَذَا لَبَلاَغًا لِقَوْمٍ عَابِدِينَ } (الأنبياء : 105 - 106) Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth." Verily in this (Qur'an) is a Message for people who would (truly) worship Allah. (21:105- 106) {وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لاَ يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ} (النور : 55) Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion - the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: 'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. 'If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked. (24:55) O Lord, grant us recourse and strive towards You and grant us the sweetness of supplication and submissiveness in Your presence, answer our prayers and actualize our requests and never return us disappointed and fruitless. O Allah grant honour to Islam and Muslims, and humiliate idolatry and idolaters, protect the possession of religion, humiliate the enemies of the religion. O Allah grant us security in our country- Nigeria, make this country safe, secured, generous, comfortable, and all other Muslim countries. O Allah, grant victory to your religion and your book and your Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and your righteous servants. Oh God, make our leaders merciful to us, and guide them to the truth, O Lord of the universe.

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In a Few words, I am a Muslim, a preacher, a traveler, a data base admin (Dip.) SYSTEM MANAGER (TEC). & (UWNT).

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