Musings of a Muslimah

Making the Most of Ramadan When You Can’t Fast

There are many reasons as to why someone may not be able to fast from being on your period to having a chronic illness that prevents you from fasting. Maybe you have to travel or you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It can seem isolating or frustrating that you can’t fast because it can feel like you are missing out. But Allah has given us this for a reason even if we don’t know what it is. Even if we can’t fast we can still make the most of Ramadan because this month is not just the month of fasting it is the month of the Quran. The month in which the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) and so we can still build that taqwa to help us become closer to Allah.

And remember that if you had wanted to and intended to fast but couldn’t because circumstances prevented it, you will still get the reward for fasting. We know that we are rewarded for our intention for doing a righteous deed as if we did it, if we were prevented and the same is for fasting.

So here are some things you can still do even if you can’t fast:

1 Give money to charities that provide food to those who are fasting in places that they cannot afford to get food to open their fast.

2 Read and reflect on the Quran as much as you can and set a goal for yourself. What do you want to achieve in Ramadan when it comes to reading Quran. Read it daily, set aside time each day to read the Quran.

3 Pray your salah on time and also incorporate a nafl prayer into your routine eg. salah ad-duha (after fajr but before zuhr)

4 Incorporate Dhikr into your routine. Saying them after each salah, when you wake up, before you go to sleep etc

5 Dua is worship. Learn new duas that were taught to us from the Quran and sunnah. I recommend using Fortress of a Muslim and an app called MyDuaa. Write down your duas, all the things you want to ask for from Allah so that you don’t forget them.

6 Make istaghfar and incorporate it into your routine whether it’s before bed or after each salah

7 Give money to charity throughout the month. Even if it isn’t a lot even 50p is a lot in the sight of Allah. I also recommend spreading out what you want to give each day especially in the last 10 nights to make sure you catch Laylatul qadr

8 Stay up a portion of the night to pray. Even if you can’t pray because you are on your period you can read Quran, do dhikr and make dua.

9 Increase in Islamic knowledge. There is so many incredible Ramadan series running, my favourite is Omar Suleiman’s. Every year he has a different topic. This year is about the Prophet (pbuh). Read Islamic books and reflect on what you learnt and how you can incorporate it into your life.

10 Give up a bad habit or something you do that you know you shouldn’t as it’s haram. This is the perfect time to give up the haram. Replace it with something good. Eg replace listening to music with listening to vocals only nasheeds or play nature sounds instead.

I hope these are of benefit. If there’s anything else you think would be a great tip please do share in the comments!

Monthly Wrap Up

May 2020 Monthly Wrap Up

This month it was Ramadan so I didn’t read as much but I also took part in Ramadan Readathon which I love taking part in every year. It’s so much fun and Nadia does an amazing job hosting it every year!

I managed to read 10 books this month including several rereads of some of my favourite books so I think it’s been a great reading month.

So here are the books I read this month:

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia – I listened to the audiobook and it was amazing I loved it so much! I cannot wait to read the sequel!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig – I really loved this book. It’s a book I really needed to read.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – I have to admit I didn’t love the book like I thought I would unfortunately

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala – I really loved this sequel! I cannot wait for the next book! You can read my full review here

Rating: 4 out of 5.

That Can Be Arranged by Huda Fahmy – This book is absolutely amazing and this is my third time reading it and I will definitely be reading it again several more times. You can read my full review here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – I love this book so much. The Muslim rep, the romance, just everything is amazing! You can read my review here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman – I love the short insightful reminders in this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Bystander Effect by Catherine Sanderson – This book was such an interesting read. I will definitely be coming back to reread

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Kingdom of Copper by Shannon Chakraborty – I think it’s well established by now that I adore these books and I reread this as part of Zulfa’s (@lovelyowlsbooks) readalong

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust – I really enjoyed this story with morally grey characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I also shared these posts this month:

Muslim Shelf Space books available on scribd

Books to give you a Spiritual Boost

Why Love From A to Z means so much to me

Inspirational Woman Throughout History – Aisha bint Abu Bakr

Muslim Shelf Space Debut Books I Love

Netflix Adapts Daevabad

Book Reviews I shared this month:

And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

The Challenger by Taran Matharu

Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew

Book Tag, Muslim Shelf Space, Ramadan Readathon

Once Upon A Ramadan Book Tag

This year Ramadan Readathon is themed around a wonderful anthology, Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslims. So YA Book Corner has created a wonderful book tag inspired by the anthology!

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I had the opportunity to read an arc of the anthology and it is full of the most beautiful joyful stories which encompass so many traditions and cultures and how Eid can be so different for each of us all over the world. You should all read this book!

You can read their post here 
Also make sure to use #RamadanReadathon and tag @muslimreadathon on twitter

 

Culture – Name a character that identifies with one or more cultures.

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The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad is full of different cultures and Nafiza completely immerses us in them from food references to clothes and more.

Tradition – Name a book where the character(s) have a tradition.

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Yes No Maybe So by Aisha Saeed & Becky Albertalli is set during Ramadan.

Generosity – Name a character that is generous.

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Ayesha from Ayesha Dean and the Istanbul Intrigue by Melati Lum is a wonderful character who is kind and generous and I really loved her.

Community – Name a book where community plays an important role.

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The Muslim community in All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney played an important role in helping Allie to discover her faith.

Faith – Name a character who has a strong sense of faith.

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Alizayd al-Qahtani from The City of Brass is a character who’s nuanced Muslim rep I will forever be thankful for. He seeks refuge in prayer and has a strong sense of social justice and Shannon showed through him that practicing your faith doesn’t automatically make you a radical.

Gratitude – Name a book you are thankful for.

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I will forever by thankful for Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali because this book reminded me of how I met my husband and I am so happy to see a love story with Muslim characters and that they still hold on to their faith too.

Sacrifice – Name a character that makes a sacrifice for another.

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An Ember in the Ashes quartet by Sabaa Tahir is full of characters who make sacrifices for each other.

Light – Name a book with light in the title.

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The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah came to mind instantly!

Hope – Name a book or share a quote about hope.

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Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed is full of inspiring and hopeful quotes and reminders.

“This world cannot break you—unless you give it permission. And it cannot own you unless you hand it the keys—unless you give it your heart. And so, if you have handed those keys to dunya for a while—take them back. This isn’t the End. You don’t have to die here. Reclaim your heart and place it with its rightful owner: God.”

Love – Name a book with an epic love story.

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Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin! I absolutely loved the romance and misunderstandings and it was just perfect!

Forgiveness – Name a character who is the forgiving type.

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A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby is a story about forgiveness and coming to terms with their grief.

Memories – Name a book that holds special memories for you.

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Yes, I’m Hot in This by Huda Fahmy is a book that my husband gifted to me on behalf of my cat, Sherlock. He had Sherlock ‘give’ it to me and everything.

Belonging – Name a book or character that struggled with belonging.

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One of the main characters in Mirage by Somaiya Daud struggles with finding her place as she comes from two different cultures and doesn’t fit into either.

Family – Name a book that features strong family bonds.

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We Hunt the Flame has a great found family and I love the family bonds between Zafira, Yasmine and Deen.

Joy – Name a book that brought you joy.

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That Can be Arranged by Huda Fahmy had me grinning and laughing the whole way through the book and I have already read it multiple times.

I hope you enjoyed the tag! I tried to use books my Muslim authors and I highly recommend checking out their books!

Everyone is welcome to do the tag!

Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space, Ramadan Readathon

Books To Give You A Spiritual Boost in Ramadan

Growing up I didn’t have much access to attending classes for Islamic studies past learning to read the Quran as a kid so the main way I learnt about Islam was through reading and over the years I have read a lot of books that helped me to learn about Islam.

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While I have been attending Islamic classes for about 10 years now I still love reading these books and learn so much and they have helped me get through some really difficult times. So I thought I would share these books and I hope you all benefit from them too!

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Spiritual Boosting Books

Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman
Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman
Patience and Gratitude by Ibn al-Qayyim
The Eternal Challenge: A Journey Through the Miraculous Quran by Abu Zakariya
Love and Happiness byYasmin Mogahed
Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed
Signs of the Day of Judgement by Ibn Kathir
Diseases of the Heart and their Cures by Ibn Taymiyyah
The Heart of the Quran by Asim Khan
Al-Ubudiyyah: Being a True Slave of Allah Ibn Taymiyyah
Weakness of Iman – It’s Signs of Weakness, Causes and Cures by Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid
Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan
Morals and Manners in Islam: A Guide to Islamic Adab by Marwan Ibrahim al-Kaysi
The Abandoned Prayers by Adanan Aali Uroor
Light Upon Light by Nur Fadhilah Wahid
The Relief From Distress by Ibn Taymiyyah
Dua: The Weapon of the Believer by Yasir Qadhi
Lesson from Surah Kahf by Yasir Qadhi
Muhammad: How He Can Make You Extraordinary by Hesham al-Awadi
Children Around the Prophet by Hesham al-Awadi

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History Books

Lost Islamic History by Firas Al-Khateeb
Muhammad The Last Prophet by Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
Misquoting Muhammad by Jonathan A.C. Brown
Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary
Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir
Muslim Girls Rise by Saira Mir
Ibn Battuta: The Journey of a Medieval Muslim by Eduardo Albert
Child Companions Around the Prophet by Sameh Strauch
Sala ad-din and the crusades by Qaiser M. Talib
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf
When the Moon Split by Safi-ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri

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Books About Women

The Forgotten Queens of Islam by Fatima Mernissi
Al-Muhaddithaat: Women Scholars in Islam by Akram Nadwi
Beyond the Veil by Fatima Mernissi
Women in Islam: Challenging Narratives by Ismail Adam Patel
Islam: The Empowering of Women by Aisha Bewley
Muslim Women: A Biographical Dictionary by Aisha Bewley
It’s Noy About the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan
Women in the Quran by Asma Lamrabet
The Veil and the Male Elite by Fatima Mernissi
Golden Stories of Sayyida Khadijah by Abdul Malik Mujahid
A History of Islam in 21 Women by Hossein Kamaly
Believing Women in Islam by Asma Barlas
Gendered Morality by Zahra Ayubi

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Other

Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Afshan Khan
Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet by Abdul-Matin
The Unchallengeable Miracles of the Quran by Yusuf Al-hajj Ahmad
Slavery and Islam by Jonathan A.C. Brown
Hadith: The Foundations of Islam by Jonathan A.C. Brown
Islamic Medicine: Key to a Better Life by Yusuf Al-Hajj Ahmad
Worship During Menses by Muhammad al-Jibaly
The Quest for Love and Mercy by Muhammad al-Jibaly
Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet by Ibn Qayyim
The Productive Muslim by Mohammad Faris
Scents and Flavors by Charles Perry

I hope you’re able to find something you want to read and I am always happy to answer any questions or give you other book recommendations if you’re looking for something specific!

This isn’t all the books I own but ones I definitely recommend!

Monthly Wrap Up

May Monthly Wrap Up

Another month has gone by and honestly I cannot believe it’s the end of May already!

This month is Ramadan so my timetable has changed quite a bit (even though I cannot fast) but I have loved every second of it! It will be Eid in a few days and I am simultaneously sad to see Ramadan go but also excited for Eid! Honestly Ramadan is my favourite month in the whole year and every single year it always comes and goes so quickly. I’ve also written a couple posts about it which I will share at the end.

I also got to meet Ashley Poston and Susan Denard this month! I absolutely adore the Geekerella books and I am so glad I got to meet Ashley! They were both so lovely and the event was so much fun!

I also took part in the Ramadan Readathon again this year which I love! Nadia is an amazing host and it was also so great to take part in the twitter chat with Yasmin Rahman who is the author of All the Things we Never Said (out in July). We spoke about representation in books and having Muslim characters and own voices stories and mental health as Yasmin’s book deals with mental health issues.

So what books did I read this month, you ask? Well I had a pretty decent reading month and read some really great books!

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So the books I read this month are:

1 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – this was a reread as an audiobook and I still absolutely adore this book!

2 Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly – I really loved this retelling and I ended up really rooting for the “ugly” sister. You can read my full review here

3 The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – I really enjoyed this book and I’m really looking forward to reading the next book. You can find my review here

4 The Chosen by Taran Matharu – I love the Summoner books, so I was excited to read this, and I really loved it! You can read my review here

5 The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake by Sif Sigmarsdottir – I have mixed opinions about this book, I did like it but I was disappointed by the ending

6 The Weight of our Sky by Hanna Alkaf – This book deals some very heavy issues and does so really well. Highly recommend reading this!

7 Light Upon Light by Nur Fadhilah Wahid – I really loved the short inspiring letters and they really resonated with me

8 Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman – I absolutely loved this book! Full of inspiring and uplifting gems and a book that I will come back to time and time again

9 I Will Not Be Erased: Our Stories About Growing up as People of Colour – I related to the stories in this book so much! Some of the stories are written by Muslim women and one of the stories brought me to tears.

10 Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford – This book is really funny and sarcastic and made me want to tear down the patriarchy!

11 All The Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman – I read this book in one sitting, basically stayed up until 5am to read and I have no regrets! The mental health rep in this book is so relatable, and I was a sobbing mess just by reading the first chapter.

So these are the books I read this month. Have you read any of these books? What were your favourite books you read this month?

I also wrote reviews for these books:

My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
Nocturna by Maya Motayne

You can also read my posts about Ramadan here:

It’s Ramadan but I can’t fast
What you can do if you can’t fast
Favourite books by Muslim authors

These are my Ramadan Readathon posts:

Non-Fiction books
Non-Western setting

So that’s everything for this month!