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Selma Cook


Khalid

Belgium

Question: I am wondering, how can I make the best of Ramadan? I feel lonely because there is a small community Muslims in the country I live, but I don't live near them. I only have one Muslim friend in my town, and my family is not Muslim. ok thank you.

Answer:
Assalam alaikum Khaled, Selma’s Ramadan Questions and Answers

Khalid
Belgium

Question: I am wondering, how can I make the best of Ramadan? I feel lonely because there is a small community Muslims in the country I live, but I don't live near them. I only have one Muslim friend in my town, and my family is not Muslim. ok thank you.

Answer:
Assalam alaikum Khaled,

Many thanks for your question. I ask Almighty Allah to grant you patience and strength and a joyful heart throughout this Ramadan.

I can imagine that being lonely and having few Muslim friends could lead you to feel somewhat sad and down hearted. But I always find it helpful to remember that Almighty Allah only allows us to experience things that we have the strength to bear and for the person who loves and trust Almighty Allah, everything we go through turns to be a blessing - somewhere along the line.

So you have one friend where you are. I presume you could have iftar together at least some times during Ramadan and you could also do the maghrib and isha and taraweeh prayers together. Remember also, if you both are sincere to Almighty Allah, you will be breaking your fast and praying in the company of angels. You will know this, when you feel a sense of tranquility and peace; when you feel satisfied with your lot and enjoy the moment at hand.

Also, you and your friend or even by yourself, could read stories from the prophets and the sahaba. Reading such stories makes us feel that we belong to a wider community; a community that began with Adam (peace be upon him) and ends on the Day of Judgment.

The thing about being a Muslim, is that no matter where you are, you still belong to the Ummah. Wherever you go and you meet Muslims or if you see them on TV like the taraweeh prayers televised from Makkah, you really feel that you belong and i think this helps to take away some of those feelings of lonliness.

If you have internet, perhaps you could also join some Muslim chat room because, without a doubt, there are many people throughout the world experiencing similar things to you. Sharing our feelings and experiences and also our ideas can really help.

Have a wonderful Ramadan!




Noura    
Singapore

Question: Assalaamo Alaykum.  I love going for the taraweeh prayers in Ramadan, but I am very slow in completing the entire Qur'an. I cannot read quickly, but I try. I don't know why I feel guilty about this, because I was told I must finish the whole Qur'an.

Answer:

Many thanks for your question and I pray that you have a blessed and fruitful Ramadan!

The idea of Ramadan is to fast, pray as much as we can, read as much Quran as we can, and do lots of good deeds. Allah the Almighty is merciful and He judges us according to our intentions. This is a hadith from the Prophet (peace be upon him), so read as much Quran as you can - do your best - and know that Allah knows the intention in your heart and how much effort you are exerting.

Remember, that for every letter we read in the Quran there is blessing and we actually receive more reward from Allah the Almighty when we struggle to read the Quran. So I think you should be happy, continue trying and keep your intention pure for the sake of Almighty Allah.

Have a wonderful Ramadan!




Hassen    
Nigeria

Question: Saalamu alaikum. Does one have to follow a specific diet in Ramadan?
Thank you

Answer: Assalam alaikum Hassen,

Many thanks for your question. I pray that Almighty Allah bless you and your family this Ramadan and makes the fasting easy and blessed.

There are certain things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to eat to break the fast. He (peace be upon him) used to break his fast with dates or water.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also recommended that we have suhoor (early morning meal) close to the time of Fajr and he also advised us not to delay breaking our fast.

It is recommended not to over eat at any time, but especially during Ramadan because this makes our digestive system overworked and makes us feel sluggish when we are supposed to pray and be active in worship and doing good deeds. Eating small amounts of healthy food and drinking enough water is important and more beneficial.

People have different cultures of eating; but it is not recommended to eat salty or spicy food early in the morning as this will make us thirsty throughout the day.

Have a great Ramadan!




Kamaal  
India

Question: Salaam,

Can you please tell me the effective ways or tips for the Muslim students studying in eastern Europe in order to return to Islam and lead in rightful way ?

So that Muslim students can change starting from this Ramadan as its the beginning of the academic year.
Answer: Assalam alaikum Kamaal,

Many thanks for your question and may Almighty Allah bless and guide you and your community.

Ramadan is such a great time to make change within ourselves. It is like making a fresh start and because fasting makes us feel humble and vulnerable we seek Almighty Allah more and more. Our weaknesses, our sins and our mistakes become clearer to us as our spiritual insight sharpens, and our souls become more sensitive.

As the fasting day draws to a close - around Asr time - people often start to feel tired and maybe bored. Perhaps this is the best time to give them a pep talk. If you can round up some people in your community and call them to gather in a certain place to pray Asr (for example) you could also get someone knowledgeable who is an inspiring speaker to give them a short talk about any subjects you feel are important to them.

The important thing to remember is that we, as individuals, do not have the power to guide anyone. Guidance comes from Almighty Allah. Our duty is to say the truth, call people to Almighty Allah in a beautiful way, be a good example and always keep the door open for people to return whenever they want to change.

Treating people kindly and generously often touches their hearts and makes them more likely to listen to your advice. Why not organize some iftar gatherings where people can come together to break their fast, pray together and listen to a short talk filled with beautiful advice and inspiration.

Be sure that people who get carried away with worldly pleasures are missing something within themselves; there is a void; a spiritual yearning for meaning in life. Often, if you answer this yearning and accept the person on a human level, with mercy and good treatment, you can have a positive impact.

In the end, we all make the decisions that direct our lives - either closer to Allah or further away from Him. May Allah enable us to make decisions wisely and to make the necessary changes that will make the soul feel complete and satisfied and the mind at rest.

All the best...



Rooksana    
India

Question: Salaams sister,

We have an old problem in India, where various people don't realize the significance of keeping fasts. Some don't keep at all and some keep only a few. In fact, i confront this problem with some of my family members, so how could I convince them that fasting is obligatory?

Answer: Assalam alaikum Rooksana,

Many thanks for your questions and I ask Almighty Allah to bless you and your community and fill your hearts with the joy of fasting.

If people do not fast and do not feel the need to, it is most likely that this is due to lack of knowledge. I suggest that you take out the Quran and read the passages in it that talk about the importance of fasting and that it is obligatory.

You could also read them hadiths that talk about the rewards of fasting and the times when people are not expected to fast, like when they are ill or on a journey and so on.

Some people have basic knowledge of Islam; perhaps they already know the
'rules' but have not caught onto the spirit of Islam; the spirit of fasting.

Helping someone to catch the spirit of fasting means speaking to them about the love and mercy of Almighty Allah and how He only obligated things for us that are beneficial.

Explain to them the benefits of fasting - how it makes it us humble and aware of the state of the needy people who are hungry every single day of their lives.

Remind them, that fasting is a time when we can draw close to Almighty Allah and pray, make dua, meditate and recite the Quran and so understand more about our own selves and the meaning of life.

Try to organize a gathering for iftar and call the people who are hesitant to fast. After the iftar, pray together and have someone there who can give an inspiring talk. Mix with the people and try to bring their hearts together.

But before organizing any such an event, pray two rakats and ask Almighty Allah to grant you success..

All the best.



Nelley  
Australia

Question: Assalaamu Alaikum Sis Selma. Thank you for this opportunity. As Ramadan is approaching, what is the secret to success in this holy month?
How should we prepare for Ramadan? how do we make it last for the rest of the year?

Jazal Allah kheir

Was Salaam
Nelley

Answer: Assalam alaikum Nelley,

Thanks so much for your question and for the great work you guys are doing at Al Ghazzali Center in Sydney, Australia!

The secret to success in Ramadan or anything else in life, is with our relation with Almighty Allah. Ideally, everything we do in life should bring us closer to Almighty Allah, and be done for His sake, seeking His pleasure. Ramadan is the peak of life's activities that can help us to do this. If we reduce Ramadan to simply a time of eating and socializing and meeting people's expectations - we have surely lost the plot.

If we plan to fast, it must be for Almighty Allah. If we get up to pray and read Quran at the dead of night, it must be for Almighty Allah, if we give charity or invite people to iftar, it must be for Almighty Allah... without any feelings of showing off or trying to impress or appear pious! Truly the hardest thing to govern and keep in line in the intention in our hearts. From our intentions come our words and actions - they tell everything about us.

So to prepare for Ramadan, we have to get our intentions firm and pure, prepare a schedule to organize our time to we can do everything necessary in our lives, finish off any work or tasks now before Ramadan so we have some breathing space... and also, put together some goals that we want to achieve by the end of Ramadan.

These goals should be realistic and attainable. They should be concerned with our inner development and spirituality because after all, our closeness to Allah and the way in which we strive in His way, is the clue to our success in this life and the next.

If we can be sincere, humble, do the Sunnah fasts and give charity and strive all year round - we will keep the spirit of Ramadan, insha Allah.

All the best and salams to your team over there!!

Many thanks for your question. I ask Almighty Allah to grant you patience and strength and a joyful heart throughout this Ramadan.

I can imagine that being lonely and having few Muslim friends could lead you to feel somewhat sad and down hearted. But I always find it helpful to remember that Almighty Allah only allows us to experience things that we have the strength to bear and for the person who loves and trust Almighty Allah, everything we go through turns to be a blessing - somewhere along the line.

So you have one friend where you are. I presume you could have iftar together at least some times during Ramadan and you could also do the maghrib and isha and taraweeh prayers together. Remember also, if you both are sincere to Almighty Allah, you will be breaking your fast and praying in the company of angels. You will know this, when you feel a sense of tranquility and peace; when you feel satisfied with your lot and enjoy the moment at hand.

Also, you and your friend or even by yourself, could read stories from the prophets and the sahaba. Reading such stories makes us feel that we belong to a wider community; a community that began with Adam (peace be upon him) and ends on the Day of Judgment.

The thing about being a Muslim, is that no matter where you are, you still belong to the Ummah. Wherever you go and you meet Muslims or if you see them on TV like the taraweeh prayers televised from Makkah, you really feel that you belong and i think this helps to take away some of those feelings of lonliness.

If you have internet, perhaps you could also join some Muslim chat room because, without a doubt, there are many people throughout the world experiencing similar things to you. Sharing our feelings and experiences and also our ideas can really help.

Have a wonderful Ramadan!



Noura    
Singapore

Question: Assalaamo Alaykum.  I love going for the taraweeh prayers in Ramadan, but I am very slow in completing the entire Qur'an. I cannot read quickly, but I try. I don't know why I feel guilty about this, because I was told I must finish the whole Qur'an.

Answer:

Many thanks for your question and I pray that you have a blessed and fruitful Ramadan!

The idea of Ramadan is to fast, pray as much as we can, read as much Quran as we can, and do lots of good deeds. Allah the Almighty is merciful and He judges us according to our intentions. This is a hadith from the Prophet (peace be upon him), so read as much Quran as you can - do your best - and know that Allah knows the intention in your heart and how much effort you are exerting.

Remember, that for every letter we read in the Quran there is blessing and we actually receive more reward from Allah the Almighty when we struggle to read the Quran. So I think you should be happy, continue trying and keep your intention pure for the sake of Almighty Allah.

Have a wonderful Ramadan!



Hassen    
Nigeria

Question: Saalamu alaikum. Does one have to follow a specific diet in Ramadan?
Thank you

Answer: Assalam alaikum Hassen,

Many thanks for your question. I pray that Almighty Allah bless you and your family this Ramadan and makes the fasting easy and blessed.

There are certain things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to eat to break the fast. He (peace be upon him) used to break his fast with dates or water.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also recommended that we have suhoor (early morning meal) close to the time of Fajr and he also advised us not to delay breaking our fast.

It is recommended not to over eat at any time, but especially during Ramadan because this makes our digestive system overworked and makes us feel sluggish when we are supposed to pray and be active in worship and doing good deeds. Eating small amounts of healthy food and drinking enough water is important and more beneficial.

People have different cultures of eating; but it is not recommended to eat salty or spicy food early in the morning as this will make us thirsty throughout the day.

Have a great Ramadan!



First published on youth 4 the future at islamonline.net

Ramadan