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Ramadan in Lockdown

Ramadan. A time for prayers, self-reflection and repentance.

By Daanish Khurram
Photo by: Craig Adderly

Ramadan. A time for prayers, self-reflection and repentance. And although the entire world is going through an incredibly tough period, it is imperative we all maintain a positive mindset, and a great way of doing so is through this year’s Ramadan. No better opportunity will we get to worship our Lord. No better opportunity will we get to repent for our sins, and no better time will be available to us to evaluate our lives. So, it is essential we make the best use of this Ramadan in lockdown. To be able to do that we need to prepare. Physically, mentally and spiritually.

I’ll be honest, amidst these worrying times it had completely slipped my mind that this blessed window was right around the corner. So, I decided to prepare by setting myself some goals for the 30 days. Although these goals are such that would’ve been more challenging in during any other Ramadan, I see myself fulfilling them to a greater extent as a result of this lockdown.

It is a common practice to complete the recitation of the Holy Qur’an within the month of Ramadan, as it was in this month that the revelation of the Holy Qur’an commenced. During Ramadan, the Angel Gabriel (as) would revise whatever had been revealed of the Holy Qur’an up to that point with the Holy Prophet (sa). However, in the final Ramadan of the life of the Holy Prophet (sa), the Angel Gabriel (as) revised the entire Qur’an twice with him [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 61, Hadith 129]. It is for this reason that my first goal for Ramadan in lockdown is to attempt to complete the recitation of the Holy Quran twice in these 30 days.

“Sadaqah wipes out sins like water extinguishes fire”[Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Book 6, Hadith 74]. From this small yet comprehensive hadith, the importance of giving sadaqah (charity/alms) could not be clearer. Especially in the month in which the gates of hell are shut and the gates of heaven are open [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 30, Hadith 9], giving sadaqah is an excellent way to attain the mercy of God Almighty. Therefore, my 2nd goal for Ramadan is to give as much sadaqah as I can, and that too on a regular basis. However, by giving sadaqah, I don’t mean to be emptying my bank balance. In fact, the Holy ProphetPBUH said that the most desirable deed to Allah is that which is done with regularity even if it is little [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 2, Hadith 36].

Along with everything else, the main goal for every Muslim should be prayer, as without it, our fasts, our good deeds, our sadaqah, and the everything else is useless. Prayer is that nucleus around which everything should revolve. Especially in the unprecedented times in which we are currently living in, the standard of our prayers must go up.

Our beloved Imam, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) in his Friday Sermon on the 10th April 2020 stated:

“One should remember that prayer is the most powerful of means. One ought to pray with the belief and conviction that God listens to prayers. Pray for yourself, your family, the community and the whole of humanity.” 

Further, beloved Huzoor (aba) in his Friday Sermon of 24th April 2020, emphasising the importance of Ramadan; especially in these times, expressed how no Ahmadi Muslim should let this Ramadan go to waste. Huzooraba mentioned the fact that the whole family is at home, so it is a great opportunity for parents to themselves along with their children get closer to God Almighty, and as long as our intentions are pure, then Allah the Almighty, who is the Knower of the unseen, will accept our prayers.

In the end I pray that may this ‘Ramadan in lockdown’ enable all of us to get closer to our Creator, and may He shower the rain of mercy upon humanity. Ameen.

Letters to the Editor

Mental Health, Effects of Prayer & Fighting Stigma

If someone is experiencing symptoms of psychosis at a level where medical help is required, this often means that their mental health symptoms are causing significant distress. Prayer can be very useful in times of distress however, they should still seek help from conventional medical means and not delay treatment. Delay in treatment is well known to be associated with alleviated long term outcome and medical help should be sought as soon as possible.
Stigma is a potent force in patients with mental health illnesses where mental illness is seen as a mark of shame. There can be many facets to this stigma: it can be enacted such as through discrimination, perceived (where the individual perceives that they are victims of stigmatising behaviours) or there can also be self-stigma where the individual feels they have less of a right to have an equal share of society than others due to their mental illness. The discrimination itself can be through individuals or structure such as through the use of discriminatory policies against people with mental health conditions.
Prayer, no doubt, is a means to cope and seek the blessings of Allah. But medical treatment should always be sought for mental health issues.

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Letters to the Editor

Why We Undertake Duties at Islamabad

Islamabad, Tilford, serves as the residence of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba. The responsibility of protecting the home of the Khalifatul-Masih is an honour and a source of blessing. Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK is fortunate to have been given the opportunity to protect Khilafat.
It is narrated that after the migration to Medina, there was a night when the Holy Prophetsa was unable to sleep. In his anxiety, he said to Hazrat Aishara, “I wish some servant of God were on guard-duty today.” At that moment they heard movement outside. The Holy Prophetsa asked, “Who is it?” Someone outside replied, “I am Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas.” The Holy Prophetsa asked, “Why have you come?” Hazrat Sa’ad bin Abi Waqasra replied, “I felt, in my heart, a premonition of danger regarding the Messenger of Allahsa. Therefore, I have come to guard you.” The Holy Prophetsa prayed for Hazrat Sa’ad bin Abi Waqasra and slept peacefully. It is narrated that once a man passed away and the Holy Prophetsa arrived for his funeral prayer, some companions advised that this man lacked good deeds. The Holy Prophetsa addressed the gathering and asked if anyone had ever witnessed the deceased acting upon any good in his lifetime? Some people testified that he had done duty during the night to protect the Prophetsa. Consequently, the Holy Prophetsa led his funeral prayer and partook in his burial himself, and then addressing the grave said, “Your friends think you will enter hell, but I bear witness that surely you will enter paradise.” These narrations show us, therefore, that monetary reward and incentive is not what we seek, but it is nearness to Khilafat and a reward from God Almighty.

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Letters to the Editor

Waqf: Not Just For Islam, But For Humanity

On April 3rd, 1987, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IVrh launched the Waqfenau scheme. Huzoorrh requested parents to follow the traditions of the Prophets and offer their most prized possession: their unborn children in the way of Allah. In so many ways, I believe this is the future. Not just for the propagation of Islam, but for the propagation of humanity, justice and love too. After all, Huzoor’srh vision was to create a magnificent army of waqfeen children, who are willing to relinquish this world and enter the next century with passion and determination to serve God and mankind. Here it is important to remember that it is only when one truly relinquishes materialistic aspirations, that he or she can properly serve mankind. It is thus, necessary for waqfeen to embody this sentiment at the rededication of their waqf at 15 years of age.

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