Lecture Notes – “Towards An Outstanding Ramadan” by Muhammad Al Shareef
August 4, 2009
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This talk was given last year and was highly acclaimed and InshAllah, this year on August 17th, Muhammad Al Shareef is presenting another highly anticipated talk live, titled “The Fasting and the Furious”. I got a chance to watch/listen to “Towards An Outstanding Ramadan” on Youtube today and decided to share some notes I took down as I listened. Here we go:
- When Allah(swt) gives the command to fast, the ayah begins with “O you who believe…” – this is always important to note, as either a) some good will be highlighted for you to do, or b) you will be warned about some harm that may come to you for a certain act.
- Various religions today have some remnant of fasting, modified from the original fast but only Islam has the original method of fasting preserved through centuries. SubhanAllah!
- What is your goal for Ramadan? It is illogical not to have a goal – like a traveller who would turn up at the airport without knowing the destination he wanted to travel to!
- Imagine Ramadan as a “marathon”. There are some who are just spectators at the start and finish lines (likened to those who just worship at the start and end of Ramadan). In the middle are the participants who’re putting in all the effort to win the race, from the start to the finish, likened to those who do Ibadah throughout, consistently.
- Ramadan is the month of feeding people – giving charity, cooking food for the needy. It is not about about eating more ourselves or attending dinner parties where we stuff ourselves with food.
- We have lots of excuses for not being regular in prayers or not waking for Fajr or being unable to control anger throughout the year. In Ramadan, we are able to do many of these things – there is no substance in “excuses” then – we are only lying to our ownselves.
- Ramadan is a time to build up Taqwa. There are only two instances in Islam where Halal things are temporarily denied for us – in the Hajj (eg: cutting hair) and during Ramadan (eg: not having food while fasting) – why? It is to…
– recognize the blessings we have and
– to train the body to avoid what is Haram
This is training for after Ramadan!
- The Imam of a masjid is the person to look to – he leads the prayers throughout the day, is not able to attend iftaar parties that are far away as he has to be in the masjid. What about the people who come to the masjid? Very easily, they cite an iftaar party far away from the masjid as the excuse for missing Taraweeh.
- The Imam cannot eat much at Iftaar as he has to lead Maghrib and Isha, then Taraweeh while the people stuff themselves with food and then are late for Taraweeh.
- We have forgotten past Ramadan that we spent but is there any time that we particularly remember? Usually, it has something to do with offering Taraweeh regularly and with concentration – it makes Ramadan unforgettable!
- Ramadan makes us disciplined – why not continue after Ramadan?
- Make your intention now – do not be like the traveller who shows up at the airport and does not know his destination.