Thursday, September 3, 2009

Personal Jihad

During the month of Ramadaan Shaytaan the accused and his shayateen are all locked up, so any bad that we do is of our own personal naafs. We have no one to blame for them. So I find it is a good time to assess one's personal jihads and faith, and bump themselves up with a booster shot of knowledge and imaan before Shaytaan returns to peck away at us with his accursed nagging.

There was recently alot of controversy on Ange's Mama I Married a Masri blog (with some sisters being downright rude, profane, and catty all on two sides of the same subject) since she admitted she struggles to fast because she didn't like grouchy fasting people, headaches from dehydration, and being hungry. But she still fasts people. Personally, I don't like complaints without solutions also presented (or what is the point) but some people are asking for advice in the same breath as their complaint? You shouldn't freak. I know some sisters struggle with the jihad of hijab (ex. my head gets hot, people know I'm a Muslim if I wear it and I am not acting like a Muslimah yet ect), some people struggle with the jihad of praying on time (ex. fajr, ugh, I cannot meet you unless I stay up for you, and asr, you can be so easy to miss coming home from work), some people struggle with Ramadaan. Alhamdulilah, I have never had trouble with fasting. Sometimes I get colds and I have to work while fasting and that SUCKS, but other than that, it I eat a full meal at Magraib, drink a tonne of water after taraweeah time (I mean four bottles of) and eat say, a thing of Mr. Noodles for filler), then wake up for sahoor and eat a small bit of sliced peaches, a croisant, and three dates, and drink another bit of three medium glasses of water, I hardly get hungry at all, and I don't get thirsty. If you are eating overly salted food at 11 o clock at night you might anyways (sometimes I like to indulge in Saudi capsa oversalted cuz I love my salt) but fasting doesn't feel like jihad for me in the same way as learning Arabic is for me. Where I physically squirm and lose attention span pretty quick after my eyes start swimming in fluid script and a the KH I can't make in my throat without reducing any Arabic speakers present to a fit of girlish giggles. While I hang my head in shame. On the otherhand, I am TOTALLY one of those people that runs around skipping and jumping a month before Ramadaan comes singing, Ramadaan is coming, Ramadaan is coming, I can't wait!

Because on top of the rewards of salat and Qu'ran and the peace of the month, I feel an extended community spirit among my friends and other sisters, as well getting to eat lots of foods from different countries :p

What is difficult for us, often brings the most reward for us, so never call a sister out for saying something is difficult for her. Give her tips. Tell her what you do to make it easy for yourself. I know alot of sisters struggle with hijab and jilbab so they like to read this blog, and maybe some of my tips for that help, because these things are easy for me (if you've noticed, I haven't started a "learn to read Arabic perfectly" blog yet lol). I am still struggling to convince m husband that me wearing niqab here is a good thing because he's afraid that someone will hurt me or that being alienated by so many prejudiced people will make me less good at dawah because I might become resentful of non-muslims. LOL, make dua for me to become an Arabic whiz and to protect me in mind and spirit.

Also, Ramadaan is not just about food and drink. Swearing breaks your fast. Backbiting breaks your fast. Gossiping breaks your fast. Arguing breaks your fast (as in raising your voice and not being patient). (Now please don't be embarrassed but a brother on an online forum didn't know this) masturbating breaks your fast. Physically fighting definately breaks your fast. Lying breaks your fast. Cheating breaks your fast. After Magraib, halal things you refrain from for the duration of your fast such as legal (married) sexual intercourse, food, and drink, become available for you again, but unlawful (haraam things) such as alcohol, fornication (unmarried), lying, cheating, backbiting/gossip, arguing, swearing, ect (still remain forbidden for you during Ramadaan even after you are allowed to break your fast).

And if your break your fast in anyway, you STILL have to continue to fast the rest of Ramadaan, AND make up the spoiled day of your fast, AND to repent from the sin you have to free a slave (and if you cannot do that) you have to fast for two consecutive months (and if you cannot do that) you have to feed sixty poor persons ( and note, you have to fast the two months OVER feeding the poor people since that is mentioned first, if you are physically healthy enough to). So no more swearing and backbiting online my sisters!


AlabasterMuslim said...

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek! i didn't know cussing breaks your fast! i knew your not suppose to - but i didn't know it actually breaks it!

amy said...

Assalaamu Alakimum Sister, we all have our personal jihads, mine starts from fajr, many occasions I hit the snooze button of the alarm, wanting 5 mins more, then 5 mins turns into 20 mins, I get so dehydrated during fasting to the point my voice becomes muted by afternoon, but I thank Allah that I make it to break my fast in the evening. Although I try my best, I think I really need a pick me up in my Arabic. I try my best to heed other, even none muslims(I think dawah is important part of being a Muslim) such as refraining from human traits(backbiting, arguing, etc) social ills( things you are not supposed to do, bad things). It is only through Allah's mercy that we are able to get through these hurdles. Happy Ramadhan Sisters.

Alina said...

I don't agree it is said that you have to fast for sixty days, OR feed sixty people, or pay an equal amount to that.

And Not:

You have to fast the two months OVER feeding the poor people since that is mentioned first, if you are physically healthy enough to.

Or is it i misunderstood what you said Pixie ? ;-)

Pixie said...

Alina: Salaam alaykom ramatullahi wa barakto. Hope your Ramadaan is going well, inshaAllah.

Your don't misunderstand, I meant what I wrote. And you can disagree but on what grounds I wonder?

The Prophet said if you break your fast a. you have to free a slave. B. (if you can't do that) you have to fast two consecutive months. C (If, and only IF you cannot do that, then you must feed sixty people). This is from the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam himself, not me. If you cannot fast two months (health and time restraints) and you are two poor to feed sixty people, you may feed poorer people than yourself (this is ONLY if you never could afford to feed sixty people), and if you cannot afford that, you can feed yourself. Here is the evidence that is based on:

Abu Hurairah reported that a person came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, I am ruined. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "What has brought about your ruin?" He said: I have had intercourse with my wife during the month of Ramadan. Upon this the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Can you find a slave to set him free?" He said: No. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Can you observe fast for two consecutive months?" He said: No. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Can you provide food for 60 poor people?" He said: No, and he sat down. In the meanwhile, there was brought to the Apostle of Allah a basket which contained dates. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Give these dates in charity." He said: Am I to give to one who is poorer than I? There is no family poorer than mine between the two lava plains of Madinah. The Prophet (pbuh) laughed so that his molar teeth became visible and said: "Go and give it to your family to eat." Related by Muslim.

For more on the subject of what breaks it:
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Abu Huraira related that Rasulullah said: Many people who fast get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst, and many people who pray at night get nothing from it except wakefulness (Darimi). Abu Huraira related that the Prophet said: If a person does not avoid false talk and false conduct during Siyam, then Allah does not care if he abstains from food and drink (Bukhari, Muslim).

Also those that want the hadith about cussing breaking the fast: The Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam said "Fasting is a shield. Let no one who is fasting commit any obscenity or foolishness. Should anyone engage him in a fight or a slanging match, let him answer him by saying: I am fasting, I am fasting."

Izzati said...

Salam..during Ramadhan so far, I only engage in arguing with Islamaphobes who tried to cause fitna' in front of my Muslim brothers and sisters online..does that count? Hee I suppose I should try to control myself. Allah, I need more guidance (Well, we all do)

izzati said...

And, wow you wear niqab I admire women who have strength to do that. make d'ua that I am also able to do so one day.

Sarah Plain And Short said...

Salam Aleikom,

"No one starts at the top" that's what I always say! Don't be so hard on yourself about the Arabic. MashAllah at least you're trying. The one who struggles and has a hard time reading Qur'an in Arabic will get twice the reward of the one who can read it in Arabic with knowledge and ease! InshaAllah it will be easier once you are immersed in Arabic out in the Gulf :D

Pixie said...

AlabasterMuslim: If you didn't know it didn't (which is the scholarly consensus for a woman who is unaware of something that negates her fast) but obscenities and profanities were not allowed while fasting, same with riasing the voice in arguements, insulting, backbiting, or gossiping. And of course lying:D

LOL, don't worry, my first Ramadaan I didn't know I was allowed to eat (like at all) lol, so you can imagine HOW THAT WENT, he he he. Thankfully people told me after A WEEK!!!!

Pixie said...

Amy: Wa alaykom ramatullahi wa barakto sister! InshaAllah your Ramadan is going well. Yes, I have to remember to say alhamdulilah that I am a mornign person, because I know alot of people struggle with rising for fajr. I find sleeping in a jalibiyia (that I can pray in only adding a hijab I can wrap without pins) and keeping a bowly of water to make wudu with on my bedside dresser) makes this easier, since it means I don`t have to change or go to the bathroom to make wudu, lol. Or I have a full on shower to wake me up, but the otheer way isd good if you have time to go back to bed after fajr. InshaAllah you can use some of that advice, and may Allah make it easier for you, ameen.

Assalaamu Alakimum Sister, w

Pixie said...

Izzati: I try to, but am STILL not a full-time munaqaba since I believe it is mustahaab stronger than I believe it is fard (though it could be fard so I want to be careful), and my family is making it difficult.So I wear ti when I can and definately when I should (heavy make-up anyone lol).

Yeah, I think speaking the truth is fine (even if some would call it debate) but not in getting angry at the response of another, or using accusatory or insulting language.

Candice said...

We definitely all need to just be more supportive and understanding of each others' struggles.

Pixie said...

Sarah: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakto! InshaAllah YOUR ramadan is going well... Jazzakallah kheir for the reminder. Shiekh Younus said that every letter we pronounce gets reward so I am trying, lol, to read two pages every night (since it takes me an hour). Y came in to listen last night, and was like, why don`t you read one of the shorter surahs and I was like, it really doesn`t matter what I read so long as I keep it up and increase my vocab and grammer (and pronunciation) as I go. InshaAllah. I hope to see you tonight.

iMuslimah said...

Nice post, I enjoyed this one. I learned a few things too sister. May Allah bless you for this.

Ramadan Kareem ;)

Maz said...

Salaam Aleikhum Pixie,

I've been a muslim for 3 yrs and this is my first Ramadan... and yes, I find it hard.
To be honest, I haven't even done all of it (women's thing & illness) but what I've done i've found difficult. My husband keeps on telling it'll get easier and I try to keep that in mind.
Ramadan makes me extremely tired : I feed my baby around 1am then wake up around 3am to eat/pray ... and then I don't go back to bed. If I do then I can't get up anymore (I know, I've tried and had my eldest daughter waking me up cos she was late for school). So I do housechores whilst I wait for my girls to wake up (I'm better at reading Quran in the evening). But hey, we all got our own battle and I'm sure with duas and Allah's help, I and all my struggling sisters will one day enjoy the Ramadan.

Alina said...

Walaykoum-salam. Please do excuse me. I forgot to greet you first.
Like i said, i misunderstood what you said. I thought you said that someone has to fast for two consecutive months and in addition to that feed 60 people. I know its either fasting or feeding the 60 persons. Thank You very much for the explanation Pixie.

However, I would also like to know if someone commits one of those above sins (lying, swearing, etc..), does this person needs to repent IMMEDIATELY (I know it sounds like a silly question but please try to get my point)by doing one of those acts. I mean if i don't repent immediately by doing one of these acts, does my fast counts for the rest of Ramadaan?