Sunday, January 29, 2012

Visiting Saudi Soon Insha Allah

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman, Ameen.

Insha Allah soon I will be traveling to Saudi for 3 months.  I currently live in Raleigh, NC, USA and have never been out of the country.  My twin's hubby is a Saudi born muslim.  They live in Dhahran with their 3 children.  Her hubby's parents, siblings, cousins and other family live in that same area.

About a week ago, my twin's hubby got the Visa approved from the Saudi government.  Next on my list is to send my passport and other documents to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C.

They are looking at flying me out in March.  They are paying for my ticket and all my expenses.  I'm excited because I get to see my twin again, spend time with her and her kids.  They were just here a few months ago for like 5 weeks.  Plus I get to make Umrah, do some traveling and experience what it's like in an Islamic country.

Simple Ways to Prepare for Ramadan Ahead of Time

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman, Ameen.

I know this is WAY AHEAD OF TIME.  But this has been on my mind the past few days so I decided to do a post.  In case you didn't know, the Sahabah started preparing for Ramadan about 6 months ahead of time, which is right about now.  They would pray more, make more.

Time moves by so fast.  Ramadan will be here before we know it.  Now is the time to work on making ourselves better people so that we can be totally ready for when Ramadan gets here.  Lots of people don't do anything until the first day Ramadan gets here they they are in a type of "Shock" because they have to go cold turkey on different things, which starts their Ramadan on the wrong foot.

Preparing ourselves will set us up for a more successful Ramadan Insha Allah.  Plus preparing will only benefit us and will increase our scale of good deeds for the hereafter!  And who couldn't use some good deeds?!


1) We can fast a couple of days in February, then double the days each month.

2) If that isn't enough for you, you can fast one day each week in February, then increase as you feel comfortable doing so.

3) For those of us that are really serious about preparing, we could fast every Monday & Thursday like Prophet Mohammad Salallahu Alaihi Wa Salaam and many of the Companions Radi Allahu Anhum did.

4) For those that listen to music, you can gradually decrease your listening time and replace music with Quran.  If you don't have any way of listening to Quran on cd, tape or the internet, just turn off the music and listen to silence.  I personally turn off the radio when I am driving.

5) Read more Quran, even if it's 1 ayah a day.  Then gradually increase as time allows.  For those that watch tv, mute the tv during commercial breaks and read Quran.

6) For those that watch tv, you can gradually decrease your watching and replace it with listening to Quran or reading Quran.  #5 is a great start.  You can ask yourself if a tv program is of benefit or if it's just filling up time or maybe you are bored.  I assure you, if a show is not Islamicly based, it will not benefit you in the hereafter.  If you are after the visual aspect, you can watch Islamic videos and YouTube or other websites.  This will fulfill the obligation of you seeking Islamic Knowledge too.

7) If you don't ALWAYS eat Halal or Zabiha foods/meat, you can make a step in the right direction by buying Halal at a local Halal market rather than buying non-Halal meat from a regular grocery store like Kroger, etc.  You can also buy non-meat foods in the regular grocery store that say Halal/Kosher/have the letters K or U printed on the packaging.  I know for some it's hard to find Halal restaurants, depending on where you live.  I live in Raleigh, NC and there are a few restaurants that are completely Halal.  Some Halal grocery stores have a small cafe inside that serves cooked foods as well.

8) Do more good deeds gradually.  You can implement very simple things into your everyday life that will turn into habit.  For example, you can smile more, hold the door open for a woman, child, elderly person.  You can start to say, "Thank You" or do it more.  If you have kids or are married, hug them more, spend more time with them and such.  If you can afford it and have extra food when you cook, take a plate to a neighbor.  If you know someone that is having a hard time or is maybe lonely, you can check on them to see how they are doing and ask them if they need anything.  Give someone a ride to the grocery store or maybe go to the grocery store for them.  Just get their list and their payment and this will make things easy on them, especially if they are sick or something.  See what your masjid could use help with.

9) Some Muslims think that they need to give large amounts of money in order to give charity.  That is totally wrong.  Even if you give a few pennies, every penny counts towards your scale of good deeds for the hereafter!

10) Make more duaas.  It is said that for those duaas that are not answered in this life, they will be saved for you in the Hereafter.  Start small.  Say something when you wake up or right before you go to bed.  If you don't say BISMILLAH before everytime you eat or drink, you can start with that.  Say ALHAMDULILLAH after everytime you eat, drink & sneeze.  You can get a dhikr book that is FULL of duaas.  Take some household type duaas, write them on index cards or pieces of paper and tape them in your home.  For example, I have the exiting and entering duaas on my front door.  You can come up with whatever system or duaas that work for you.  Then gradually increase.  I personally like things or times that trigger me to do something Islamic, as mentioned in #11.

11) Make dhikr or do it more.  I sometimes get so wrapped up in my daily life that I forget to do things.  For Dhikr, what I do is when I am driving and come to a red light, I make dhikr.  I'm sitting there anyway doing nothing, so I might as well be getting some good deeds.  GOOD DEEDS ARE MULTIPLIED BY 10 OUTSIDE OF RAMADAN!!!!!  When I am on my menses and the prayer time comes in, I make dhikr.  If you do things at certain clock times or for certain events in your daily life, then they will become habit and you will do them without really thinking about it.

If I have forgotten anything, please forgive me.  It's late and my brain is getting numb!   

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