Sunday, 21 August 2011

The last days....

Aisha (RA) said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?

' He said: 'Say: "Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee"

O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' "(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).

And your Lord has said: “Call upon Me, I will answer you. Verily, those who scorn My worship they will surely enter Hell in humiliation.” [Qur’an 40:60]

"Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering.” [Qur’an 27:62]

As Ramadan is preparing for its glorious exit, what better time could there be to make a Positive change in our lives. If the last three weeks have not gone to plan, and you feel your Eeman taking a dip, due to you working, performing house chores and looking after the family. There is still an opportunity to make the best of these last few days, and at the end of Ramadan still come out squeaky clean saying “Yes Ramadan changed me”! Now is the time to pick up our pace and aim to receive the special gift of “Laylatul Qadar”

Mothers what can you start doing in order to reap the maximum reward of the last ten nights? Remember the Prophet saw was commanded to wake is family and spend the nights in prayer. You need to devise a plan for the next few days.

Here are a few tips to get you on track to having an outstanding Ramadan:

Ramadan tips for Moms!

Ibaadah Break - Take time for an ibaadah break with Allah; let’s actively seek the pleasure of Allah for our family, friends and ourselves. Let’s scale down on our worldly activities and increase our worship to Allah. If you are working mom or stay at home mom, and you think you area yet to make the most of Ramadan – there is still time to make things happen and make this an outstanding Ramadan. If you can, take a few days leave/holiday to spend time in worshipping Allah and seeking Laylatul Qadr.

Cook less, fry less - We have now reached the final phase of Ramadan; try to plan your meals and sort out your groceries for next the ten days, freeing your time up for worship. We cook food and freeze it, and all we need to do is warm the meals at Iftar time. To replenish our energy levels, we should have a healthy diet and eat light meals, its much easier on the soul and you will find waking up for Tahajjud easy, inshAllah. So - “cook less, fry less – and step up your ibaadah!

Self Evaluation
"Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves." [Qur’an 13:11]. Our theme this Ramadan has been “changes a habit, change your life”. I know its not easy to make sudden changes and we will slip back into our old ways, lets intensify our du’as over the next days asking Allah to get rid of all the old habits we do not want and give us the will power, zeal and energy to commit to the new habits we have adopted during the month of Ramadan – and may HE give us the ability to maintain and sustain these habits over the months to come –ameen.

Do an evaluation of where you are, Where you want be, and where you are going. What habits have you changed so far? Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the things that you have not changed. This should make it easier for you to seek Allah's sincere forgiveness when making du’a to Allah,

Let the Change Begin, today, let it begin NOW!

Massive Du’a list – People would rarely mention that their number one goal in life is, "Pleasing Allah, Jannah Al-Firdaws - the highest level of
Jannah, and being with Rasul Allah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam,
in the hereafter." But ... isn't that the correct answer? Let's
make this is a reality as to how we live our lives during and after Ramadan.

There is a great saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail” – get a journal, book, laptop or whatever floats your boat and start writing out your MASSIVE Du’a list, if you have not already done so. Write down everything and anything, and choose your top ten dua’s that you would like answered, or whatever is best for you. Consistently and repeatedly ask Allah for these things till the end of Ramadan – it will be guaranteed that your du’as would have landed on Laytaul Qadar – the night of power.

Recite, reflect and ponder over the Qur’an - If you can only manage a page from the Quran Alhamdulillah – just make sure you remain disciplined, consistent and focused. Allah loves deeds that are small and consistent. Do not overwhelm yourself Mom! Do your best with excellence and forget the rest. Engage and connect with the Quran -reciting, reflecting and pondering over its verses, this was the etiquette of the Sahabah.

Ramadan Resolutions – A few years ago some of my clients and myself chose Ramadan as the month for defining resolutions/goals for the year ahead. We found this a perfect opportunity to make du’a in the last ten days asking Allah profusely to grant us our goals and make them become a reality - and Allah has been kind to us all, Allah azza wa jal!

Ramadan tips for kids!
My kids are planning for an i’tikaf night in the Masjid, they are so excited . InshAllah, it will be such a memorable experience for them. What are you and your kids planning for the last days? Please share them with fellow moms on my face book page click here or email them to
 Okay a few tips to keep the kids excited and enthusiastic about the last few days:

Take them to Taraweeh - Nothing teaches community spirit like congregational prayer. Take the kids with you to the mosque for Taraweeh prayer on a Friday and Saturday nights when homework or tiredness will not be an issue. I am not a great advocate for taking small kids to the Masjid, I see them get agitated, people frustrated because they cannot focus on their ibaadah (worship) neither can mom do her prayers in peace. It might be a good idea to arrange a baby sitter, or better still get dad to stay at home whilst you pop off to the Masjid – as I always say do what works best for you. 

Charity giving – my kids have been giving some of their pocket money to charity, it gives them a sense of feeling that they are giving to the poor and needy at the same time learning to be selfless and showing empathy for others.

Tell Stories - about the revelation of the Qur’an and Laylatul Qadar – it’s important they understand the significance of this special night and the circumstances surrounding the revelation of the Qur’an. I have made it clear to my kids that we do not single out one night and call that the “night of power”. The Prophet SAW asked us to seek the night of power in the odd nights of the last ten days and we will be praying every single night inshAllah. The Prophet woke up his family to take advantage of the last nights, lets do this with our own families, revive and emulate the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad SAW.

One question you will probably get asked is – If the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet SAW over a period of twenty three years, why do we say the whole Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan? See if you can come up with the answer? I will give the answer my Shaykh gave me in a few days time 

If you were to learn anything in the next ten days with your kids let it be this dua: " Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee " "O Allah you are the pardoner and you love to pardon so pardon me." This what Allah's messenger (SAW) advised his most beloved Aisha (RA) with for the last ten nights. O Allah you are the pardoner and you love to pardon so pardon us.

What is it that you really want from Allah? If Allah were to say to you ask for anything you want? What would you ask for? Just Ask, Ask and Ask, whether it deals with this world or the hereafter. Allah loves to hear from us.

Have a productive last few days and may Allah accept all our dua’s yours and mine

Mommy Coach

Khafayah Abdulsalam

Monday, 1 August 2011

**UMMUKA's Ramadan mellow moments:) ** Change a habit, change your Life - part 1

Asalam Alaikum Mom!

Ramadan Kareem! UMMUKA would like to thank you for your continued support of this much needed service within the community.

This month we will be exploring “Habits”. We will be looking at how we can rid ourselves of negative/bad habits and replacing them with good ones.
We know that “Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves.” (Al-Anaam, 8:53) And He, the Almighty says, “Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah)." (Ar-Ra'd, 13:11)

The comprehensiveness of fasting allows the servant of Allah to change through making changes to; the time of her sleep, her waking up, her meals; the ways she spends her time with Allah and her family; the arrangement of her priorities and interests; and even her emotions and passions, so the ability to change becomes greater and stronger.

"Allah the Almighty has said: 'O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds in the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins and were you then to face Me, without having associated anything with Me, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon' - how great is the mercy of Allah azza wa jjal.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle.

Most of you have you have expressed a will to change certain habits in the month of Ramadan, and how you can inculcate this in your kids. Once we can change our habits, the kids will mirror the new habits, since they are great at copying adults’ behaviour. We are their role models! Get them to list a few habits they want to get rid of and make a family challenge!

It is known that it takes 30 days to change a habit, which sits perfectly with the month of Ramadan. After Ramadan, I will provide you with some tips on how to maintain these habits for the next 11 months, InshAllah. Okay so you have mentioned some key habits such as:

1. Waking up early for fajr
2. Praying on time
3. Reconnecting with Allah azza wa jjal
4. To perform Qiyaam layl/Taraweeh/Tahajjud
5. Memorisation of the Quran
6. Reading the Quran – reflecting and pondering on its meaning
7. Being an excellent Mom
8. Stop yelling at the kids
9. Spend less time on the phone, internet, face book etc.
10. Stop backbiting
11. Spend more time doing fun things with the kids

Ok. Let us start – our CALL to ACTION, how do we make these changes?

The simple steps of habit change ( edited original article from zenhabits) While the tips below will seem overwhelming, there are really only a few things you need to know. Everything else is just helping these to become reality!

1. Write down the habit you want to change, e.g. – missing the Sunnah prayers.

2. Start small – you want to wake up early start by waking up 10-15minutes early than usual.

3. Identify your triggers habits – when, where and what triggers the habit. Make yourself aware of this habit and how frequently you do it.

4. Replacement Habit - Next, focus on how willing and committed you are to making a change and on doing a counter habit. Think into the future – how it would be to not have the negative habit and to replace it with a positive one.

5. Take Action - Then write a specific action that you will do to counter the habit and start the good habit. Be very specific and be regular and consistent so the new habit becomes embedded. Remember – a habit is something that you do regularly! Your new action could be to come to prayer 10minutes early so you can do the Sunnah prayer on time.

6. Focus - on doing the replacement habits every single time the triggers happen, for the next 29 days. Make sincere du’a to Allah to help you in this new transformation process.

7. Small and consistent – Remember the actions and deeds most beloved to Allah, are those simple deeds that are done regularly and consistently
rather than the major ones done irregularly!

Remember Allah loves what is continuous, consistent and small. Alhamdulillah you have taken the first step to making a Habit change, it is not that complicated, all it requires is strong will and conviction.

Our level of Eeman (faith) in this holy month reaches a new height it has never experienced during previous months.

Let me know how you get on.

Click Here to get the HABITATOR so you can start changing that habit NOW! Share your progress with us on our face book page ---- UMMUKA