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Ibadah World Cup

29 July 2011 2,940 views No Comment

Imagine for a moment you got a pair of tickets to your most favorite sporting event.  Let’s say it is the soccer World Cup!  With great excitement you start making preparations, you book your tickets, you pack your clothes, you leave your home early and you head out on your journey.  Finally, you make it to the arena, and it is pack-filled with people holding their vuvuzelas out ready to go nuts.  The teams come out to the field, they do their introductions, they sing their national anthems.  They are about to do the coin toss and then they notice something is missing.  Everyone looks down field and sees there is no goal set up.  The nets and poles were forgotten.  They inquire and find that the equipment manager forgot to bring them and only brought soccer balls.  Confusion rises and people begin to wonder what kind of lunatic would not bring the net?  What was he thinking?  The announcer comes on and says, “Ladies and gentleman, due to technical difficulties today’s game will be played without a net.”  After the coin toss the ball starts to be kicked around… and around… and around.  And you and everyone else in the crowd starts wondering…Am I dreaming?

Brothers and sisters.  Every year we make a lot of preparations for Ramadan.  We purchase dates, we speak to our bosses at work, we schedule time off, we cancel our normal plans.  Those in college ensure their classes give them time to make Iftar and attend the Masjid.  We make tons and tons of preparation.  Unfortunately, we forget the most important thing.  We forget to set goals for Ramadan.  Fasting is not the goal of Ramadan.. that is unless you are ten tears old.  Likewise, tarawih itself is not the goal of Ramadan.  Fasting and Tarawih are the means to the goal.  What is the goal?  Taqwa.  The goal is to get closer to Allah (swt).  The goal is to become better Muslims, stronger believers, and people who increase in our love for Allah, the Messenger (sws), and striving in the cause of Islam as a result of a Ramadan well spent.

I’d like to give one suggestion, and only one suggestion this Ramadan.  Set your goals in terms of what you want to fix about yourself.  Consider right now, the things you don’t like about yourself, in your character, and/or in your personality.  What are the things that you simply despise about yourself?  What are the bad habits that you just can’t kick?  Where are you neglecting in your religion?  You know what I am talking about.. the things you do that you would not want anyone to know, not your parents or even your spouse.  Once you’ve isolated these things, ensure you make dua every night in Ramadan to correct them.  Make Dua not ONLY before you break your fast, which is of course a super-awesome time to make dua!  But also throughout the day and ESPECIALLY during Tarawih.  We all know that Tarawih is not Fard, but the great implication of that is, we don’t have to make dua in Arabic when we are in Sujood.  Therefore, consider now everything about yourself that you just thought above..now make Dua every night in Sajdah in your native tongue for Allah to give you the ability to correct those things.  Do it every night, and do it every Rakaah.  And if you are at a Masjid that does not extend the Sajdah, change Masjids, because this is a chance to communicate to Allah swt.  We all know that the closest a person can get to Allah is in the Sajdah, so that is our vehicle for change my brothers and sisters.

This Ramadan, let us make our fasting and our prayers a means towards our spiritual upliftment.  When we approach Tarawih this year it is not only going to be about finding the best reciter, but Tarawih will be the fuel for our personal revival.

Ask yourself a question right now, “What do I remember from last years Ramadan?”  Maybe you remember the awesome iftar parties.  Maybe you remember the beautiful recitation you heard at the Masjid.  Maybe you remember catching up with old friends.  This is all fine and good, but the #1 thing we should remember from Ramadan is our personal triumph.  This Ramadan, let us approach it differently such that when this time comes next year we will say: “Last Ramadan, I eliminated the Shaytaan from my life in many ways that he used to hold me back before, and I got closer to Allah.  And I got rid of so many things that I was embarrassed about myself.”

Let’s make it happen.  This Ramadan, don’t forget the bring your goals.  This Ramadan it’s all about you and your inner thoughts and Allah (swt).  Confess them to Allah and seek personal purification in a way that you will truly glow my dear brothers and sisters when the day of Eid comes.  Allah alone can cure us from our illnesses both physically and spiritually so whatever you need in your life, ask Allah every night in Sujood.

May Allah grant us all Tawfeeq to make the most of this Ramadan.  May He give us the ability to make sincere Dua to him, pure Dua to him, honest Dua to him such that we may be freed from our sins and bad habits.

This Ramadan our tears will dampen the rugs of Masajid throughout New York.


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