Musings of a Muslimah, Muslim Shelf Space

Islamic Talks and Series I Recommend Listening To

It’s Ramadan and a time of self reflection and building our relationship with Allah and one way to do this is to learn more about Islam and what it teaches, to learn from the Muslims in the past and to learn more about Allah and the Prophet (pbuh).

I have already shared a post about book recommendations to read to help work on our spiritual relationship which you can read here but I know many of us like to watch talks and attend classes. I miss the weekly Ramadan iftars at my masjid where our imam would give a short talk on various topics before we opened our fast. So I thought that I would share some of the online talks I have listened to and benefited from and inshalAllah they will be of benefit to you all too.

Imam Omar Suleiman does a Ramadan series every year and this year is called Meeting Muhammad (pbuh). These are short 10 minute reminders to help us connect to him and our faith. I absolutely love them and me and my husband watch them together while we open our fast every evening.

I absolutely love Hesham al-Awadi’s series about Women around the Prophet (pbuh). He shares so many incredible women that lived at the time of the Prophet (pbuh). It’s been a while since I listened to it but I did love it a lot.

Yasmin Mogahed is one of my absolute favourite teachers and I recommend you listen to all of her talks that are available online. This one she discusses unhealthy attachments and true love.

Another series that I loved when I listened to was about the Mothers of the Believers by Suhaib Webb. Again, I haven’t heard it in a while but I did love it when I listened to it.

The Firsts series by Omar Suleiman is an incredible series and a unique take on learning about the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) and Islam through their lives. This is an ongoing series.

Maryam Amir is another great teacher who I love listening to. In this one she discusses sustaining a healthy marriage.

I also want to share last years Ramadan series by Omar Sulieman that was about Angels in Islam. A topic that is rarely discussed but so important for us to know more about.

There are so many more I could share but I don’t want to overwhelm you all. These are all of course things we can continue to listen to after Ramadan as we won’t be able to get through all of these in a few weeks.

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!

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!

Musings of a Muslimah

Quran Reflections – A Glimpse of Jannah

I have been meaning to share some of my quranic reflections on here as it is an important part of my life and I thought that as Ramadan is approaching, I would start sharing some now. Sometimes I read an ayah (verse) in the Quran and I am left amazed at how it is the one ayah I needed to read at the time. It really makes me reflect on what I was reading so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all.

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I love that in the Quran, Allah gives us a glimpse of what Jannah (heaven) will be like. He (swt) tells us about gardens, rivers, food; things that we can see on the earth. And because we can see these things, we can imagine, to our best ability, what Jannah will be like. And because we can see the beauty on the earth, it makes us long for Jannah. We know that no matter how beautiful earth is, Jannah will be so much better. The beauty of the earth is nothing compared to the beauty of Jannah and I just long to see it. If we could not understand what was being described about Jannah, we wouldn’t long for it like we do. This longing helps us to strive for Jannah.

When I’m struggling, when I’m going through something difficult and I am really stressed, Allah has put these beautiful descriptions of Jannah in the Quran to help us through. Not only describing what Jannah will be like but also telling us that we won’t experience any hardship or sadness or pain or fear in Jannah. That’s one of the most amazing things that Allah could have shared with us. That in Jannah there is no pain, no sadness, no suffering. At all. Ever. For eternity. This completely blows my mind. Please let me be able to experience that.

Sometimes there are things that I really want or something I am hoping will happen, but it doesn’t. We are disappointed and we can’t always have the things we want. But in Jannah we can have whatever we want. We just have to think it and we will get it, whether it’s food, books, clothes, anything! It will literally be a thought in our head, and it will be in front of us. I could spend days doing everything and anything I want. Just thinking about it makes me sob.

Knowing these things about Jannah helps us to keep going when we feel like we can’t continue. When we feel like the pain won’t ever go away, knowing that we can live pain free for an eternity can push us to keep going. Because my life on earth is temporary and nothing stays the same in our lives on earth. We have good times and bad times; it is always changing. But in Jannah it is only good things, only exactly what we want. I can’t begin to explain how much my heart longs for this.

I could literally spend my days in Jannah reading and chilling with Sherlock all day, every day if I wanted. That’s the dream! Thinking of Jannah honestly gives me such motivation to continue to strive because oh my gosh I really want to spend an eternity in Jannah.

Reflections

10 Things You Can Do In Ramadan If You Can’t Fast

Following on from my previous post about how I am no longer able to fast in Ramadan, I thought I would share some things that I can still do. Especially as I know there are many people who, like me, are unable to fast. Whether it’s because of health reasons or because many women will be on their period at some point and unable to fast then.

There are so many reasons as to why people can’t fast but here are things we can all do regardless of whether we are fasting or not, to be able to increase in our worship and gain that closeness to Allah.

1 Read the Quran – try reading on a daily basis, even if it just a few pages a day. For every letter you read you get rewarded. It is what will help you gain that connection to Allah because He is talking directly to you through the Quran.

2 Listen to the Quran recitation – you can play the Quran recitation during your commute to and from work or any other time during the day especially if you cannot physically pick up the Quran to read at the time.

3 Read the translation of the Quran – read it in a language you understand best. For me, that’s English. I read the Sahih International version as I find that easiest to understand. It will help you to understand the Quran so much better.

4 Read the tafsir of the Quran – the translation only gives us a superficial knowledge of what the Quran is teaching us but reading or watching a lecture on tafsir will give you a much deeper understanding. For reading I recommend Ibn Kathir and listening, I recommend Omar Suleiman or Nouman Ali Khans lectures which are available on YouTube

5 Dhikr – remembering Allah throughout the day and is probably the most easiest form of worship to do. You can recite Alhamdulillah, Subhanallah, Allah Hu Akbar while you are at work, driving, cooking basically doing almost anything.

6 Dua – there are so many duas we can learn and recite and I highly recommend picking a few and making it a goal to learn and implement these. It can be anything from the dua to enter your house or a dua for ease in your studies. Fortress of a Muslim is a great book to have and small enough to fit in your pocket. There are also special times when dua is most accepted so we can make the most of our worship by praying especially in these times. The last third of the night, laylatul qadr, at the time of breaking the fast are some of these times.

7 Increase in Islamic Knowledge – pick a topic you want to learn more about and focus on learning something new about it. It could be anything learning about the Prophet (saw) or the mothers of the believers or self improvement or anything else. Learning more will help us to gain that connection with Allah. It can be reading, audio, watching lectures, attending a course.

8 Making Istighfar – seeking forgiveness is something we are all taught we should do regularly. None of us are perfect so our worship won’t be perfect. We forget, we make mistakes, we commit sins. And so we should also seek forgiveness for those.

9 Feed a fasting person – if we can’t fast we can still help those who are fasting. Maybe make something and give it to a neighbour or send money through a charity so they can provide food for those who fast and can’t afford to buy food to open their fast. We gain the reward for feeding a fasting a fasting person.

10 Give in charity or volunteer for a charity – we are always more generous in Ramadan, and there are always charities that are doing great work across the world in need of funding. Even if you can’t afford to give money, maybe volunteering a few hours to help them is an act of charity too. Smiling is a charity, helping an elderly neighbour, babysitting or helping out a friend or family member, so many possibilities.

There is so many more things we can all do to try to benefit the most from this month but don’t compare yourself to what others are doing. Allah knows what you are doing and He will not compare you to anyone. Do your best to take advantage of this Ramadan as the rewards are innumerous.

PS. Even if you are fasting you can still do all of these too! 🙂

I hope you find this beneficial and I hope you all have a wonderful Ramadan.