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Plan for Ramadhan Sheikh Haitham al Haddad 1

In the name of Allh, All-Merciful, Most Merciful

Dear respected brothers, jazakallaah khayr for allowing me to share a few ideas concerning the blessed month of Ramadan that is going to come. I will make it into points to make the maximum of our time. They say in management and by the way I thought I was the first one to come up with this when I was a quality auditor. They say failure to plan, is planning to fail. In order to get the maximum for anything you need to plan for it. Unfortunately we plan for everything except our ibadaat and our akhirah and this is a reality and this is a very sad reality. Take for example once we start any new year hijrah or Gregorian, do we look at the whole year and see what we need to do, some people plan for hajj to save money or to book time off. Most of the people pan for their holidays and trips but for Shari matters that lead to their eternal success they dont plan for it

The month of Ramadan is a very unique month and as one of the tabieen said everything Ramadan is multiplied by one thousand, so fasting one day is like fasting a thousand days and one tasbih in Ramadan is like saying a thousand tasbeeha. Some scholars said that Allaah likes the last third of everything, so Allaah likes the last third of the night, they aid Allaah likes the last part of the year, which are the last four months, starting with Ramadhan then Shawwal, Dhul Qaidah and Dhul Hijjah. If you take the month of Ramadhan, the last part of Ramadhan is more beloved to Allaah than the last part of Ramadhan.

Your Plan for Ramadhan Sheikh Haitham al Haddad

So it is a very unique opportunity, which is why the prophet s.a.s gave the sahaba the glad tidings that this month is about to come. In this month as has been reported in the sahihain, the Prophet s.a.s mentions on the authority of Abu Hurairah this month is about to come to you, and in this month the gates of paradise are open and gates of hellfire are close and the shayateen are locked up and in this month is a night better than a thousand months (laylatul qadr). The prophet s.a.s whever is deprived the virtues of this night is really deprived of khayr because of the level of reward in this month. If you do not prepare well for the month of Ramadan you will miss so many opportunities. I will mention at the end of this lecture, planning for Quran in Ramadan, but before that let me give you other examples. It might be too late to take a holiday this year, but inshallaah next year you can prepare to take a holiday, especially with the long days. We should plan for this holiday. What actions of ibadat will you do in this month? Most people fast and perform tarawih and think they have done more than enough, even when they pray tarawih they find an imam who prays a short prayer, while there are many other opportunities. The Prophet s.a.s said the one who prays 12 rakats everyday; Allaah will build a palace for him in jannah. So many people in Ramadhan miss the 2 rakat before Fajr. The Prophet s.a.s said these two rakat are equal to the dunya. The four rakats before Dhuhr is equal to the salah at night and Aisha r.a. said the Prophet s.a.s never left these salah. Also, continuing to pray all the sunan is important.
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It is also important to plan to go to the masjid early and to constantly go to the masjid. The person, every single one of us, should have an amount of daily tasbeeh he should say every day. The prophet s.a.s said whoevers says La illaha illallah, wah-dahu la sharika lah, Lahul-mulku wa lahul hamd, wa huwa 'ala Kul-li shayin Qadeer one hundred times in one day, it is equal to ten freed slaves from bani ismaeel and it will be protection for him from shaytaan. The Prophet s.a.s said in Sahih Muslim the one who makes 100 tasbih in one day, will have all his previous sins forgive. As part of your plan for Ramadan, say you will make 500 or 1000 tasbih, dont worry its not a bidah, were not saying it is a Sunnah but take it as a commitment. These are ibadaat that can be done. Im sure if you read about the virtues of dhikr, you will see many of the virtues of dhikr. Other than dhikr, sadaqah during Ramadan is a very virtuous act, and the prophet s.a.s used to be more generous during Ramadan when he would review the Quran with Jibreel a.s. So how to plan for this? Collect some money to give it, as a saqah and also part of your plan, make sure you give sadaqah on a daily basis. One of the tabieen used to give sadaqah everyday. One of his companions once saw him carrying an onion and they said, you know the onion spoils the smell of your clothes, he said after I heard one of the companions Suleiman ibn Amr saying the prophet s.a.s said the mumin will be in the shade of his sadaqah on the day of judgement, I took it upon myself to give sadaqah everyday. I looked in my house and could not find anything except this onion and I though let me take this onion and see if there is a poor person I can give it to. So part of your plan is to collect money in order to I've a daily sadaqah.
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To whom should we give the sadaqah, many people after many days think about where to give it, and the whole month passes and they still havent given it, so have a plan where you will give it. Also as part of your plan, remember the narration of the Prophet s.a.s, as we know Umar bin Khattab and Abu Bakr r.a would compete with each other. Once Prophet s.a.s asked: Who began this day fasting? Umar r.a said Oh Rasoolullah I was planning to fast but then I ate something. Abu Bakr said: I did. Abu Bakr said: I did Prophet s.a.s said: Who fed a needy person today? Umar r.a, said it is too early to feed a poor person. Abu Bakr said: I did I was a bout to leave my house and I saw a poor person, and I saw my son, Muhammad ibn abee Bakr had a piece of bread, I took it from him and gave it to the poor person. He s.a.s said: Who visited a sick person today? Umar r.a, could not handle this and said O rasoolullah, it is too early, Fajr time, when can we visit a sick person. Abu Bakr said: I did , he said when I left my house, I remembered akhee Abdur Rahman ibn Awf was sick, so I passed by and visited him. The Prophet s.a.s said: These things cannot all meet in a single person but that they will enter Paradise. (Sahih Muslim). In another riwayah, the Prophet s.a.s said: Who participated in a funeral procession today? Again, my dear brother, part of the plan, we must see if we can do these things on a daily basis. Everyone should plan for this; it is a very virtuous time. We will be fasting anyway, we should try and give sadaqah in the daytime and see if we can visit any sick person, just take the opportunity and visit him. The prophet s.a.s said the one who visits the sick person will walk in jannah and pick the fruits of jannah. Also, it is mentioned, that the one who visits the sick person will receive 70,000 salah from the angels, though there are questions over the authenticity of this.
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It is also an opportunity to bring our community together and the impact of visiting the sick can have a good effect on non-practising people, in fact it is a good opportunity for dawah and tell them that it is the month of Ramadan, do you need any help and also we should try and follow a janazaah. This is part of planning what we can do during Ramadan. I advise sisters in particular to collect the money with the intention to give it as a sadaqah and to encourage children to put money in a box and make your house an Islamic house during Ramadan. We will talk about the Quran in a moment. So please brothers go and think what am I going to do in Ramadan, read some books that talk about the virtues of Ramadan in general e.g. Riyadh us saliheen and fortress of a Muslim. How will we plan our day, if we work from 9am to 5pm. Fajr will be very early, so if I pray Fajr at 2am, how do I spend my time. If I pray Fajr at 4:40 maybe I can stay in the masjid until sunrise, like the Prophet s.a.s said, the person who stays in his place from Fajr to sunrise will have the reward of hajj and umrah. During the day what will I do? Can I spend time at 9am or 10am to pray the duha? Can I make sure I will pray Dhuhr and Asr in jamaah in the masjid; can I pray all of my Sunnah? Can I have time to read Quran? When can I make my tasbih? If you do not plan, you will see that all the time will go. Wuhaib ibn al Wardh, one of the tabieen from the second generation, they said to him just take it easy he said yes I am taking it easy, I want rest for myself. Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullah) said all people agree if you ant to have rest at the end of your life, dont rest now.

Your Plan for Ramadhan Sheikh Haitham al Haddad

If you want to enjoy later, dont enjoy now. If we want to enjoy our akhirah, we should really work hard in this dunyah. Many people, who miss the month of Ramadan, regret that they did not do much in their Ramadan. As I always say, imagine there is this king who is going to visit England (rich gulf sheikh or king) and tells you where his palace will be and says anyone who gives me salam, I will give him a palace and any luxury car you want, but he says Im not going to tell you when I will be there. Do you think anybody is going to leave this opportunity? Allaah has given us this opportunity; we should make the maximum of it. Imam Malik used to teach, he was a scholar and during Ramadan, he left everything and concentrated on ibaadah. Imam Shafi and Imam Abu Hanifah would finish the Quran sixty times in Ramadan. Some of the salaf used to finish the Quran once every day, this was their norm. They left everything in Ramadan, because of the multiple read in Ramadan. Obviously we are going to fast long days. On the first days, Maghrib is at 9:0apm and Fajr is at 1:42am, so this is a very long day. For those who are not used to fasting, they will find it difficult. Ibn Umar r.a said once I die I will miss two things those long days we used to fast and praying at night. They mentioned one time he was travelling with a group of companions and it was very hot in the desert and they found a shepherd and they insisted he at, he said, I am fasting They said are you fasting on this long hot day? He said yes I am preparing for my akhirah, not wasting my time. I came across a very strange story when a group of brothers in Saudi Arabia stopped to change the oil and it was extremely hot and during the time it took to change the oil, we drank about 2 or 3 bottles of soft drinks and the guy who was changing the oil was sweating and they offered him a soft drink, he said sorry, they insisted and he said I am fasting. They said it as a shock for all of
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us, all of us were tulabul ilm and mashaikh and of course we had many excuses as musafir, but this man was fasting in this heat.

Allaah says, Eat and drink for what you have done in the previous days. Hasan al Basri says on the day of resurrection, the person will be sitting next to one of his wives from the hoor al ayn, next to his big palace, next to a river and then they will be drinking and enjoying their time. Allaah says, Whatever you wish you will get in jannah. This is the maximum of happiness anyone can think of. She will ask him do you know when Allaah created me and appointed me as your wife? He will say No, when? She will say do you remember that day you fasted on that long day and it was very hot and it was very difficult for you to fast and you did it for Allaah, since that day Allaah created me and Allaah appointed me as your wife. Abu Musa al Ashari was once travelling in a boat and then they heard there were some fasting people in that boat and it was a hot day and then they heard a hatith a hatith is a caller, who they could not see, they say these hartith, who they could not see but are calling are from the righteous jinn, that Allaah sends sometimes to give reminders and they said that Allaah says, whoever become thirsty in a long day for his sake, Allaah will extinguish his thirst on the day of resurrection. Du to this Abu Musa al Ashari would pick the long hot days to fast or he used to fast consecutively unless he had a guest. Abu Dharr al Ghafari, one of the righteous companions with a soft heart said Ayuhan-nas, Ayuhan-nas, listen to my advice, I care for you, pray at night in the dark, to avoid the darkness of the grave, fast and be thirsty in long days, in order to not be thirsty on the day of resurrection. We have to remember, that when we fast these long days, we will be rewarded for it.

Your Plan for Ramadhan Sheikh Haitham al Haddad

We should not expect to fast and not be tired and expect to still get the maximum amount of reward. We will go through difficulties, but these difficulties will be easier when we remember the rewards. Most of the hadiths in siyam and the virtues of fasting are reported by Abu Hurairah r.a. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet s.a.s descended from the pulpit saying ameen three times. The companions asked why the Prophet s.a.s said ameen three times. He said Jibreel a.s came to me and said O Muhammad, say ameen. He said what for oh Jibreel, he said ameen for the one who witnesses the month of Ramadhan and leaves it without the forgiveness of Allaah and Allaah will kick him away, because he lost three opportunities for forgiveness for all of his sins. This is why he told the Prophet s.a.s to say ameen, because he does not deserve the maghfirah and rahma of Allaah because he missed all of his opportunities. Two conditions for having your fast accepted is to 1) believe that Allaah obliged you to fast 2) seeking the forgiveness of Allaah. You may say that everybody fulfils these conditions when they fast. However, many people fast because they want to get rid of it as a burden and an obligation, so they do not get the maximum reward. Some people do not get the spirit of fasting, which is why Ramadhan does not affect us, because we do not fast Ramadan with the true spirit. I advise you all to take this on board. When you are fasting and your are tired, talk to Allaah, talk to your Lord and tell Allaah you are tired. Most people say the most difficult time for them is the morning because they need a cup of coffee or at work when they see everybody eating and drinking.

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When you see haram things the weather might be hot and when we travel we see women not dressed properly, try and lower your gaze and tell Allaah, you are lowering your gaze to please him, though it is difficult for you. The one who keeps himself away from the desires, Allaah will give him in return the jannah. All of us know Allaah says in surah Baqarah that we fast to increase our taqwa. Yesterday, a brother sent a message on whatsapp. If you find ibaadah heavy on yourself, you should doubt yourself and think that Allaah is not concerned with your ibaadah and you should work hard and repeat this ibaadah until you find Allaah facilitates this ibaadah for you. Sheikh Uthaymeen said look at how easy the dhikr is. The Prophet s.a.s said the person who says subhanallaah will have twenty rewards and twenty sins removed, the person who says Allahu Akbar will have the same, similarly the one who says la ilaha illallah. The one who says Alhamdulillah will receive thirty rewards and have thirty sins removed. How long does it take to say these words? How much do we say these words? Why> because we have not been receiving a lot of support from Allaah to do this dhikr. Many of us forget this dhikr. I remember sheikh Bin Baz when I had a few meals with him, while he was chewing, he was making tasbihah and thanking Allaah as if he was eating for the first time and the dhikr was easy on his tongue, without him realising. One of our mashaikh from today, sheikh Abdul Azeez ad-Dawud completes the Quran once every three days, and is constantly reciting, while he is walking or sitting. When the heart is pure, Allaah will facilitate you in doing well. We are

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in jihad against the shaytaan and we need to keep pushing our hearts until Allaah is pleased with us.

Allaah says about the munafiqeen, Allaah did not want them to go for jihad, so Allaah made them heavy and not willing to go for jihad. Ibn Ajalan, a scholar said that the real strength is the strength of the heart. You will see an elderly person fasting long days, and praying Qiyaam, but the young healthy person will complain and not fast nor pray qiyaam. Ash-Shafi said a person would go the whole day, teaching the girls how to dance and when it came to praying he would sit. When it comes to ibaadah, push yourself and you will find your heart will become stronger. Allaah mentions the ayat of Siyam in Baqarah. In these ayat Allaah mentions Quran, dua and itikaf, which shows these are the three most virtuous acts in Ramadan. Imam Malik left everything in order to recite the Quran. My dear respected brothers, I want all of you to test how you read Quran, do you read it fluently or not? Take a copy of the Quran and open Juz Ama and see if you can read it properly, if you cant shame on you, shame on you. If your relationship with what Allaah spoke is weak, your relationship with Allaah will be strong? Many of us complain about depression and jinns, because we are way from this book. You will not enjoy Islam, if you are not enjoying Quran. If you are not
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enjoying Quran, consider yourself as a bad Muslim if you cannot read the Quran fluently. The first step to be a good Muslim is to read the Quran properly and not to read broken Quran. This should be a target for all of us. It hurts me to hear many Muslims when they read, they do not read fluently. When a person who is from abroad speaks incorrectly or pronounces words wrong, we laugh, but we are a joke when we recite the Quran incorrectly. We put more effort in our children to learn English then we do for them to recite the Quran properly. We must put an effort in our life to recite the Quran properly. Make this month of Ramadhan as a turning point with your relationship with the Quran. Make a target for yourself that by the end of month that you can read the whole of Juz Ama properly. How? Every day take a short surah and listen to one of the reciters and repeat after him continuously, even 1000 times, until you read it properly and it sticks into your mind and then proceed until you finish Juz Ama. After this, we must take a commitment that we memorise the whole Quran within four years, dont say it is difficult, dont you feel embarrassed when you see young children in the madrasah have memorised the Quran. There is no nima you can get in this dunya like the nima of being attached to the Quran. One of the Salaf was in prison for twenty yeas and they said that he did not get bored. He said how can I get bored, when I want to talk to Allaah, I pray, when I want Allaah to talk to me, I read Quran. One of the duaat was in prison for 12 years and he said he never asked Allaah to be released because most of his time was with the Quran. Nothing will give you comfort in the akhriah like the book of Allaah.

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