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Ramadhan Journal

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#16 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd May 2020 21:50
I am getting too much hatred on this forum - especially from Muadh Khan. I don't want to waste my Ramadhan. So I am out.

@Admin please close the thread.
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#17 [Permalink] Posted on 4th May 2020 00:44
DawudIsrael wrote:
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Please continue posting. This thread is very informative.

PS: Brother Muadh is our own resident Maulana Ahmad Sadiq Desai (DB). Everyone loves him because of his colourful language.
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#18 [Permalink] Posted on 20th May 2020 11:18
I guess this thread is still open so I will post some reflections for posterity's sake for next year.

- I read the hadith of good deeds being multiplied by 70 times in Ramadhan is weak. Then I found a saying of Imam al-Zuhri that its multipled by 1000x. :)

- I aimed for 20 juz a day and fell short to 13-15 a day. So I changed to 10 juz a day, now I am falling short to 4-5 a day. Was better off with harder goal. Its like shooting an arrow, you have to account for wind, gravity, curve of the earth, etc. in order to hit the target. So aim higher than your goal is key.

- So far I have done 8 khatm Qur'an and I am hoping to do 2 more = total 10 khatm Qur'an this Ramadhan. I made a x,y graph to chart my juz per day and it seems I average 9.5 a day. Metrics and analytics may be too modernist for some people on this website, but I think we should utilize them for ibada. It showed me my weak spots and patterns I fall into.

- If it were not for the lockdown and quarantines, it would have been hard to achieve the ambitious goals I had this year.

- People have been dropping off iftars...I haven't touched them because of COVID-19 fears, so I just gave the food away to my bachelor friends.

- The key to achieving Ramadhan goals is just forgetting about your smart phone and computer. Also, exercise can give you a boost but you need more sleep to recover so next year I think I will reduce fitness goals.

- I have been reducing my eating smaller portions now...some days given me a headache. I think that is why I have lost roughly 10 lbs.

- The best blessing of Ramadhan this year has been seeing family members becoming attached to Qur'an - listening to Qur'an, reading Qur'an, learning to read Qur'an, whereas they weren't attached before. My Sufi friend told me this is why you should read Qur'an in different places in the house - so that blessing comes to every place and others start to read Qur'an in the house.

- Years from now we will remember this time as the “Pyjamas Ramadan” (due to lockdown)


Laylatul Qadr

- I have been tracking the sunrises for odd nights in last ten days, and I have not seen the signs of Laylatul Qadr. Except on the 23rd night photos of sunrises in India, Spain, UK on Instagram/Twitter show the sun rising without rays...so I think it may have been Laylatul Qadr in those parts of the world. But nothing too clear for USA/Canada region...lets see for 27th night.

- 27th night - just dhikr but I did those adhkar we forget about that have mega rewards like this one, some Qur'an, taraweeh and nawafil.

- One new thing I did was set a timer to Fajr time (ie. 5 hours after iftar) so I could be cognizant of how much time I have left.
- The other new thing I did was multiple online sadaqa in small increments spread out throughout the night, more reward for more instances of giving. Some charities have even a 'sadaqa jariya' you can donate to which is great.
- I also tried to take advantage of the reward for wudu/siwak and listening to Qur'an since that is easy ajr to get.

- I did some very rough math: If Laylatul Qadr is equal to 83 years of reward...than each hour of that night is equal to... 10 to 14 years ... and each minute = ~60-85 days. Allah knows how He rewards, but just a guess as to how it works out.

Here is some 'spiritual' motivation which helped me focus :
- Baba Aziz Poem of the Butterflies: t.co/vuusVN2BUn?amp=1 (note: has traditional instrumental music)
- Tilawat: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0hM8DLuSUk and www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3q29pvDkl4


di.
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#19 [Permalink] Posted on 21st May 2020 11:49
A member asked me to post about my i'tikaaf journal. Whereas I like to track Ramadhan as a whole, I see it as a warmup for i'tikaaf which is the real competition where the race gets on. Unfortunately, I haven't done full sunnah 10 day i'tikaaf in some time, but still did the nightly i'tikaaf - in the Shafi'i madhhab you can do niyyah for i'tikaaf anytime even for a moment in the masjid in Arabic (google it) but the continuous 10 days i'tikaaf is best. Sisters forget they can do i'tikaaf at home.

I'tikaaf Journal layout
- Date (Islamic and Gregorian)
- Maghrib / Isha / Fajr time (i.e. start - finish)
- Notes from lectures heard at the masjid (highlights only) (ex: Ayatul Kursi when entering home increases love in the family, Ibn Hajr said tasbih helps tazkiya, tahmid makes you praised, and takbir makes you great)
- Reflections about the Qur'an (ex: Surah Insan is the most humanistic religious scripture)
- What is my spiritual routine (what ibada, dhikr, duas) (ex: Burda Shareef, 10,000 salawat, khatm after tarawih, etc.)
- What is my bodily needs so I don't waste time (ex: 500 ml water, salad and no oily food at iftar (to prevent gas), share food with people, go washroom 30 mins before Isha and sit in 1st row, tissue in pocket, no talking to anyone, 1/2 bottle water halfway through tarawih, smile at people for reward)
- Random reflections on masjid life (ex: I'tikaaf is a commune, I'tikaaf in Madina/Mecca, uncles getting angry at me not talking to anyone)
- Dreams, spiritual experiences and good khawatir you have (because angels give you good khawatir when you do a lot of ibada)
- Signs of Laylatul Qadr - its all speculation, guesswork and never 100% but still (ex: 29th of Ramadhan in 2014 I saw an argument in the masjid and people started texting me non-stop as soon as maghrib entered - I see fitna as a sign of Laylatul Qadr as it makes the reward harder to get, Sufis say you feel Jibreel embrace you and once I had a feeling while in salah like being hugged from the back)
- Post-i'tikaaf notes - stuff I did not have time to write out by hand during i'tikaaf (ex: maybe better to do i'tikaaf somewhere else, what I was weak on and need to improve)

The idea is each Ramadhan you come out wiser and smarter and plan for efficiency because your brain stops working in fasting. You also see through the excess in our communities and in our nafs. We waste time re-learning everything each Ramadhan when its a month of ibada. Also scholars will use 27th night to lecture, masjids to fundraise, masjid loafers want to socialize, you have to ignore people and just focus on your ibada because you don't know if you will die before next Ramadhan and they will be alive.

Really, it never made sense to me that people aren't sprinting inside the prayer hall on the odd nights.

Its bittersweet writing this, being barred from even a moment of i'tikaaf this year, but at least our sisters are not prevented from i'tikaaf so maybe this will benefit them and I will get a share of that reward.

di.
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#20 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd May 2020 00:37
DawudIsrael wrote:
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In Fazail Amaal, it is mentioned that the musafaha/muanaqa of Gibreel (AS) is manifested in the form of a softening of the heart and tears begin to flow.
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