Ramadan Mubarak!

In the Name of God, the Most Kind, the Kindest

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ramadan is here, to greet us with good cheer,
To enliven our life, and remove our strife!
Ramadan Mubarak dear friends,
The first ten days are upon us, are you ready?
Last Ramadan I joined a fabulous productivity course that had us implement BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits method for a transformative month. It was a life-changing experience, my habits were rather modest because I was still struggling to faithfully perform the ritual prayer consistently. Our wonderful coach asked us to create a core, bonus, and character habit. Mine were:
  • Core: After I pray Fajr Salah, I will read the Arabic Quran for 5 minutes.
  • This was something of a Ramadan hack for me because I wanted to pray Fajr regularly and acted as if I was already doing it (something Jack Canfield in The Success Principles highly recommends). I was also putting my trust in Allah and the blessings of the month!
  • Kindly note that 5 minutes is NOT tiny by BJ Fogg’s standards. Now I say, “open the Quran,” and read as much or as little as I like.
  • Bonus: After I pray Isha Salah, I will read one page of The Study Quran.
  • Loved this practice and am a big fan of The Study Quran.
  • Character (Shukr Start aka BJ Fogg’s Maui Habit): After I crawl out of bed, I will say “Alhamdulillah, it’s going to be a MIRACULOUS DAY!”
  • I chose this character habit because I find mornings hard, and needed to shift my mindset. If you have ever struggled with being too hard on yourself or depression then you’ll know what it’s like to not want to get out of bed or to face the day. The Shukr Start or Maui Habit helps you begin in the best and most beautiful way!
  • I also wanted to act on the Hadith: “The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are ‘Isha and Fajr [because they prefer the comfort of sleep to prayer], but if they only knew what they contain, they would come even if they had to crawl” (Ahmad).
There is a saying in Urdu that if you are fantasizing about biryani, be sure to leave nothing out, which is why this Ramadan I’ve decided to be a maximalist instead of a minimalist by creating a HYPER ambitious schedule. I’ll be happy if I fulfill my obligatory duties (fard) and one khatm of the Quran, but I wanted to push myself this year and put everything out there that is meaningful to me or that I would like to one day do habitually by His grace.
The schedule is attached here in case you’d like to use it, or make it your own (i.e. modify it to reflect your Ramadan goals, aspirations, and metrics). I received it from Ustadh Zuhair of Aafiyah Healing in his pre-Ramadan course and customized it accordingly. Given how daunting this schedule is, and inspired by Sr. Mariela’s sublime example, I created Tiny Habits to help actualize this plan!
* * *
“Praise be to God, whose compassion is all-embracing and whose mercy is universal, who rewards His servants for their remembrance with His remembrance,” said Imam al-Ghazali in the opening lines of Kitab al-Adhkar wal Da’awat. We know from the authentic Hadith that “Ramadan is a month whose beginning is mercy; its middle, forgiveness; and its end, emancipation from the fires of Hell.” And Allah says in the Glorious Quran that “My mercy encompasses all things” (7:156).
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ١٥٦
Let’s begin by showing mercy to ourselves, by being kinder to ourselves, and accepting who we are, and where we’re at because where we are at is exactly where we need to be. How often have we been our own worst enemy through guilt, fear, anger, negative self-talk, or secretly holding onto the feeling of being unworthy and not good enough? Allah made us in the best form (94:7), and He forgives ALL sins, for He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful (39:53).
I invite you this Ramadan to look at yourself in the mirror with loving-kindness and say: “I love and accept myself, exactly as I am” (You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay) and “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you” (Ho’oponopono by Dr. Hew Len c/o Zuhair Girach’s Deep Trauma Masterclass). When we love ourselves, truly and deeply, we can love the world and live fully in the NOW.
THE WATER said to the dirty one, “Come here.”
The dirty one said, “I am too ashamed.”
The water replied, “How will your shame be washed away without me?”
—MASNAVI II : 1366-7
Our tears are the water, may they be healing.
From one needy of your dua,
Your sis,
PS. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with others: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/En9bIzH