Quote of the week: “There is no Islam without unity, no unity without leadership, and no leadership without obedience.” Umar ibn al-Khattab (rta)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Family Comes First - Nouman Ali Khan

Before we can preach the message of Islam to our family, we must establish a loving relationship with them. The Messenger (saw) said "The best of you are those whom are best to their families, and I am the best among you to my family." "(Ibn Majah)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Traveling with the Quran

By Fiza Fatima Asar

Many of us often deny the presence of the Quran in our daily lives, because of our concern over the rulings surrounding the question of traveling with the Quran. All scholars agree that the word of Allah (swt) is above all other words in the world and has to be treated with respect by every Muslim. While it is important that we are careful of how we treat the word of Allah (swt), especially in Arabic, it should not imply that we do not travel with the Quran. Nowadays, when we spend so much time traveling by car, bus, train and plane, it would be a great loss, if we decided not to take our favourite copy of the Quran with us.

There are several ways we can keep the Quran close to us while traveling. We can creatively use technology for not missing out on the holy book:

(1) The Quran can be nicely covered and kept in a safe place in our bags. Most of us are careful and have an outer covering for our phones and electronic gadgets. We can use the same strategy here. SunniPath.com states that it is best to carry the Mushaf that has a plastic cover/jacket, which is not sewn or glued to it – that way it can be touched even when one is not in Wudhu.

(2) Women, who have their periods, can wear gloves or avoid touching the Arabic script of the Quran.

(3) If we want to be extremely careful, we can carry our favourite Quran in a translated language, which does not have the Arabic text.

(4) The Quran can be carried in the form of digital books or software. Islam-QA.com says that it permissible to have the Quran on one’s mobile phone or in any other digital form.

(5) Many of us have ipods, iphonesand cell phones with enough memory to save the complete Quran text on it. There are styluses (or pens), which can be used to scroll up and down within these gadgets. When the electronic gadget is off, the Arabic text will not be in direct contact with anything else and, therefore, cannot be disrespected.

Scholars have addressed some of the frequently asked questions regarding carrying the Quran:

(1) Mufti Ibrahim Desai, Darul Iftah, South Africa, has specified that it is permissible to carry the Quran while traveling. However, one must be careful about Wudhu (ablution). If it is difficult to perform Wudhu repeatedly while traveling, then care must be taken only to recite the Quran (from the Mushaf, computer or a digital form) and not directly touch the Quran.

(2) He has also advised to try to sit in the front seat, so that no one has his/her back to the Quran.

(3) Also, according to Islam-QA.com, the Mushaf can be put in one’s pocket, pants or other clothes while traveling, as long as it is protected against tearing or mishandling. Mufti Ibrahim, along with Faraz Rabbani (SunniPath.com), has emphasized that it is best to carry the Quran in one’s shirt or jacket pocket rather than in the pockets of pants, as it is more respectful and keeps the Quran elevated. For similar reasons, it is best to carry the Quran in hand-carry, rather than send it off in the baggage.

Whether it is a working professional commuting to and back from work, a mother dropping her children off and picking them up from school, or someone flying to another city or even country, we all spend a considerable time of our lives traveling. May Allah (swt) give us the opportunity to make the best use of our time and remain close to Him and His word, Ameen.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ramadan Videos for Kids

As the Ahmad family is taking a Ramadan break this week, we bring to our young readers a selection of Ramadan videos. We hope you will like them and will tell your friends to view them as well. 

Creative Kids - My First Fast

Aaliya's First Ramadan

A Ramadan Story: The Latern

Upin & Ipin: Taraweeh Episode

Zaky Ramadan Nasheed (without music)

Ramadan Advice by Zaky

Lets Learn Quran with Zaky

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who is the most deserving of Zakah?

Sumaira Dada discusses the different types of charity and the recipients of Zakah in the light of the Quran, the Sunnah and scholars’ opinions

Piping-hot Nihari at Sahoor, crispy Pakoras at Iftar, touching recitation of the Quran during Taraweeh prayers and the excitement surrounding the preparations for Eid are some of the sights and sounds associated with Ramadan. In-between the prayers, fasting and recitation of the Quran, we must also remember an obligatory duty that we have to perform - paying Zakah (obligatory charity). Contrary to popular perception, Zakah can be paid throughout the year. However, most people wait until Ramadan to dispense with this duty, so as to gain the blessings of the month.

Different Forms of Charity

We can gain the blessings of Allah (swt) by giving other forms of charity as well. In the Quran, there are five words used for charity:

1.      Zakah (or Zakat-ul-mal): obligatory charity paid on wealth that exceeds the prescribed limit. The amount differs according to the type of property - on gold and silver, for instance, one has to pay at the rate of 2.5%;
2.      Sadaqah: voluntary charity;
3.      Khairat: good deeds;
4.      Ihsan: kindness and consideration;
5.      Infaq Fi Sabil Allah: spending for the sake of Allah (swt).

In addition to the above, there is what we refer to as Zakat-ul-Fitr or Sadaqat-ul-Fitr, which is paid only in Ramadan or before the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer. On the other hand, Sadaqah (translated as voluntary charity) does not have to be restricted to certain people, as is the case with Zakah. Moreover, the word ‘Sadaqah’ also has also a wider meaning. The Prophet (saw) said: “Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.” (Tirmizi)

Imposition of Zakah

The word ‘Zakah’ means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth.’ The Quran points out the due recipients of Zakah. It is stated in Bukhari that during the lifetime of the Prophet (saw), some greedy people expected him to give them a share of the alms. However, the Prophet (saw) ignored them, so they defamed him. Upon that Allah (swt) revealed: “And of them are some who accuse you (O Muhammad (saw)) in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms. If they are given part thereof, they are pleased, but if they are not given thereof, behold! They are enraged! Would that they were content with what Allah and His Messenger (saw) gave them and had said: ‘Allah is Sufficient for us. Allah will give us of His bounty, and so will His Messenger (saw) (from alms). We implore Allah (to enrich us).’ As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara (poor) and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun – those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” (At-Taubah 9:58-60)

The revelation of the above verses clearly pointed out the recipients of Zakah, thereby putting an end to all unlawful claims on this type of charity.

Recipients of Zakah

According to the above verse, eight categories of people are entitled to receive Zakah:

1.      The poor (Faqeer): the person who does not have anything.
2.      The needy (Miskeen): a person who has something, but it is not enough for meeting his needs.

Dr. Monzer Kahf, a scholar in Islamic economics, suggests that we may resort to the following four criteria to help select between the poor and the needy:
       a)      The degree of need: a starving person must be given priority.
       b)      The person's relation to the payer of Zakah: a relative is preferred over a non-relative. The Prophet (saw) is reported to have said: “Charity given to the poor is charity, and charity given to a relative is charity and maintaining of family ties.” (Ahmad, An-Nasai)
       c)      The degree of religiosity of the receiver: this is within the spirit of the advice of the Prophet (saw): “And let your food not be eaten except by a pious person.” (Tirmizi as narrated by Abi Saeed)
       d)     Availability of other sources for a specific poor/needy person.

Moreover, according to general scholarly consensus, one cannot give Zakah to one’s dependents (parents, wives and children). A wife can, however, pay Zakah to her husband, if he is in genuine need, as we learn from a Hadeeth narrated by Zaynab (rta), wife of Abdullah, and reported by Bukhari and Muslim.

3.      The collectors of funds: those, who are appointed by the Imam (leader) to collect the Zakah. They are to be given an amount that matches their efforts, even if they are rich.
4.      Attracting the hearts of those, who have been inclined (towards Islam): this refers to those, whose hearts the Prophet (saw) wanted to soften, so that they would become Muslims, or so that he could ward off their evil, or those, whose resolve he wanted to strengthen and help them to be steadfast in Islam. These are the three types of people, whose hearts were to be softened.

According to Sheikh Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee: “The majority of scholars are of the view that non-Muslims should not be given from the money of Zakah, except those, whose hearts are inclined to Islam, though there is a difference over whether such stipulation is still relevant or not and the permissibility of giving them of the Zakah money is haunted with controversy.”

5.      The captives: this refers to slaves, who had drawn up a written contract with their masters to purchase their freedom; or the amount needed to purchase their freedom, without a prior contract.
6.      The debtors: it refers to the debtors, who are unable to pay off their loans.
7.      For Allah’s (swt) cause: it refers to the soldiers, who are devoted to waging war for the sake of Allah (swt) and making the word of Islam prevail.

A number of modern jurists, such as Sheikh Muhammad Abduh, Rashid Rida, Maulana Mawdudi, Amin Ahsan Islahi, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and some Fatwah organizations in Kuwait and Egypt, are of the opinion that the phrase, “in the cause of Allah” covers a broad category, and it should not be restricted to Jihad only; rather, it should be applied to all those situations, where there is a need to serve Islam and Muslims. They say that the expression, “for the poor and needy” can also mean “for the benefit of the poor and needy.” Such scholars consider it permissible to use Zakah money to finance Dawah and public welfare programmes, such as building mosques and schools, Dawah institutes, activities concerning Dawah objectives, etc.

8.      The Wayfarer: this means a travelling stranger, who is cut off from his wealth; he may be given whatever he needs, even if he is rich in his own land.

Ultimate Purpose: Allah’s (swt) Pleasure

Any believer would wish to see that his hard-earned money reaches the deserving, light up a sad face or fulfill a need. No matter how hard we all try to do just that, we must remember that our intention should be to gain Allah’s (swt) pleasure and reward. Therefore, we must pray to Allah (swt) with great sincerity that He may accept our efforts and clarify our intentions. After all, it is not Allah (swt), Who needs our wealth; rather, we need Him.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spicy Meatballs


450 g minced lamb
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp garam masala powder
¼ tsp cayenne (red) pepper powder
2 tbsp fresh green coriander (finely chopped)
3 tbsp natural yogurt


Combine all the ingredients for making the meatballs. Dip your hands in water whenever you need to and form about 30 meatballs.

Put all the meatballs in a single layer on a greased oven tray and place into a preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

* The image is not original.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Taraweeh: The Essence of Ramadan

Umm Usman highlights some important Ahadeeth discussing the rulings for Taraweeh.

The Ramadan nightly prayer has a special merit over other nights. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Whoever observes the night prayer in Ramadan as an expression of his faith and to seek reward from Allah, his previous sins will be blotted out.” (Muslim)

In this Hadeeth, ‘faith’ means the faith in what Allah (swt) has promised the observers of night prayers. ‘To seek reward’ means that the observer’s intent is not for the eye service.

Taraweeh is derived from the Arabic root word Raaha, which means ‘to rest, relax and use as recreation.’ It is so called, because the believers used to prolong it. After every four Rakahs, they would stop for rest and resume, until Taraweeh was complete.

Taraweeh in Congregation

The Messenger of Allah (saw) was the first to establish the Sunnah of congregational (Jamah) prayer of Taraweeh in Masjid. Then, he did not continue with this Sunnah, because of fear that it might be made mandatory on the Ummah in Ramadan, and they might not be able to do it.

Aisha (rta) said: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) observed Taraweeh prayer in the Masjid one night and people prayed with him. He repeated the following night and the number of participants grew. The companions congregated the third and fourth night, but the Messenger (saw) did not show up. In the morning, he told them: ‘I saw what you did last night, but nothing prevented me from joining you, except my fear that it might be made mandatory on you in Ramadan.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Number of Rakahs in Taraweeh

The worthy ancestors Salaf as-Saalih disagreed on the amount of Rakahs for Taraweeh and Witr. The following numbers are mentioned: 39, 29, 23, 19, 13 and 11 Rakahs. According to a particular view, of all the numbers mentioned, none is sounder than 11 Rakahs. When Aisha (rta) was asked regarding the prayer of the Prophet (saw), she replied: “He did not pray in Ramadan or some other times more than eleven Rakahs.” (Muslim and Bukhari)

However, there is nothing wrong with praying more than 11 Rakahs. Perhaps, this is why different numbers are observed. When the Prophet (saw) was asked about the night prayer, he said: “It may be done in two Rakahs, and if anyone fears the appearance of morning, he should pray one Rakah as a Witr for what he has already prayed.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In their desire to pray more Rakahs, some people make Taraweeh in extreme speed. This is wrong, especially when the speed leads to a breach of certain rules of prayer. In that case, the prayer will not be valid. Similarly, it is undesirable for an Imam to pray with such speed, whereby the followers would have difficulty observing the necessary deeds in Salah.

Neglecting Taraweeh

No one should neglect Taraweeh without a good reason. It is part of physical and spiritual training, and observing it soon after Iftar insures timely and proper digestion of food. Besides, there are spiritual rewards awaiting the observers of this prayer.

Everybody should attend the Masjid prayers, including women, provided they are properly covered. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Prevent not the women servants of Allah, from going to the Masjid of Allah.” However, some scholars state that there must be separate arrangement for ladies, when they attend the Masjid, to avoid creating Fitna. They should also neither wear perfume, nor raise their voices, nor show their beauty. Allah (swt) states: “They should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof.” (An-Nur 24:31)

‘What ordinarily appears’ refers to the outer garments, for when the Messenger (saw) commanded women to attend Eid prayer, Umm Atiyah (rta) said: “Messenger of Allah, some of us do not have the outer garment (Jilbab).” The Messenger of Allah (saw) told her to let a sister (who has more than one) give her one to wear. (Agreed upon)

It is Sunnah that women pray behind the men in the rear lines. The Messenger (saw) has been reported as saying: “The best lines for men are the front lines, and the worst lines for men are the rear lines. The best lines for women are the rear ones, and the worst lines of women are the front ones.” (Muslim)

The women should leave the Masjid as soon as the Imam says ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum.’ They should not delay without a valid reason. Umm Salmah (rta) said: “When the Messenger of Allah (saw) saluted to end prayer, the women would stand up to leave, and the Messenger (saw) would remain in his place for a while. Allah (swt) is the Best Knower, but perhaps the Messenger (saw) did this, so women would leave, before men could overtake them.” (Bukhari)

Taraweeh is significantly the essence of Ramadan. Qiyam-ul-Lail might not be possible for many throughout the year, except in the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims flock to the Masjid or other Taraweeh congregations in hope of reaping optimum benefit. And why not? Ramadan is the only month when Nafl Ibadah (optional worship) equates to the reward of Fard Ibadah (obligatory worship). May Allah (swt) bless every believer with this golden opportunity to earn His Pleasure. Ameen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Four easy steps for quitting bad habits in Ramadan

Have you made yet your Ramadan resolutions for quitting bad habits? If not, then it's the best time for it now, as Shaitan is chained up and Allah (swt) is on your side to help you. In this short video, Wisam Sharieff offers four powerful tips for making your Ramadan resolutions come true.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Are you fasting or feasting?

Before visiting any fast food outlet or restaurant, either for Suhoor or Iftar, ask yourself the following questions: 

1) What is my purpose of visiting? Am I going because of an important family occasion or is it simply a mixed gathering of my classmates that can easily be avoided?

2) Will the venue comply with the sanctity of Ramadan? Will it be free of music, for instance? Will it ensure that the Dua for breaking the fast is recited, either over the speakers or through the television?

3) What is the cost per head? It is Ramadan and each good deed will have multiple rewards. Do I think that this money could be given to a deserving individual or organization?

4) Is the Iftar menu simple? Or does it contain twenty plus dishes, which will make me indulge, eat too much, delay my Maghrib prayers and make me too lethargic to perform the Taraweeh prayers properly?

5) After having eaten out, will I remember that this is Ramadan and the whole point is to rise above food, instead of feasting at the end of the day?

6) Ramadan is the time to train the soul. Will this feast fulfill the essential purpose of this month or further deteriorate the state of your soul?

7) How many examples of lavish feasts have been cited from the life of our Prophet (saw) and his companions during the month of fasting?

Compiled by Umm Ibrahim and Umm Amal

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Life with the Ahmad Family: Jamal's Ramadan Lesson (part 2)

The second part of the Ahmad family's Ramadan comic is here! Now you can finally discover, what Jamal was up to in the first few days of Ramadan.

(Please click to enlarge)

Life with the Ahmad Family comic for Muslim children: Jamal's Ramadan Lesson

Don't forget to leave some feedback in the comments below!
To see other comics of The Ahmad Family, please, click here
(Absar Kazmi may be contacted at: absar.kazmi@gmail.com)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Preparing for Ramadan

By Kiran Ansari

“O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Shaban, and let us reach Ramadan (in good health). Ameen.”

When I told a friend that I was doing research for an article on preparing for Ramadan, she said: “What are you going to write? We know everything there is about Ramadan. We’ve been hearing it over and over again!”

It’s true that Ayahs and sayings related to Ramadan will be the same, because our Deen is complete and will remain so till the end of time. But the fact that we have heard them many times makes us more accountable. We have no excuse to forget the guidance. We shouldn’t tune out thinking: “Oh, I’ve heard this before.” Instead, we need to pay extra attention to revising, internalizing, applying and then sharing this knowledge.

For instance, your husband has asked you to pay the telephone bill. If he reminds you once, you could forget. But if you forget after being reminded several times and seeing that note stuck on the refrigerator, you will be left with a late fee and a lot of explaining to do. You heard the same message over and over again and still paid no attention.

Alhumdulillah, we have been taught the basic tenets of Ramadan since we were children. Let’s make Dua to take it a step further this year. We are the selected recipients of this blessed month. There are many non-Muslims and Muslims alike, for whom Ramadan comes and goes without making an iota of difference in their lives. Allah (swt) says that unlike other acts of worship, fasting is only for Him. What an honour! We have the opportunity to do something, for which Allah (swt) will personally decide the reward.

Just like we make preparations well in advance when a favorite guest is coming, we have to prepare in advance for Ramadan, so that we don’t waste time during the precious month.


Gather books/tapes/Dua pamphlets in one place, so you avoid wasting precious Ramadan time looking for stuff. If you have loaned some books to a friend or vice versa, see that they get to their respective owners before Ramadan. If you know you have two hours to complete an exam, you wouldn’t want to waste time sharpening pencils or looking for erasers, would you?

Host or attend a Welcoming Ramadan Talk and invite friends, who usually do not frequent these circles.

Plan where you will be going for Taraweeh. Find out which venues welcome women. Make child care and transportation arrangements beforehand.


Make small packets of dates with the Dua for breaking the fast. Pass these out to people in the Masjid, or your family and friends two weeks before Ramadan. This way you can hope for part of the reward each time they break their fast.

Complete your to-do list or postpone unimportant stuff for after Eid.

Buy small gifts for the children to mark the beginning of Ramadan. Blow up some balloons and give out candy, so that they know this is a special time. Hang up a Ramadan calendar, so they can count the days till Eid.

Complete Eid shopping for clothes beforehand. When I was in school, I used to envy my friends, who would go Eid shopping during the last ten days of Ramadan for bangles on ‘Chand Raat’. My mom made it a point to get us what we wanted for Eid before Ramadan began. We might not have understood the beauty of the lesson she was teaching us then, but, Alhamdulillah, now when I make my decisions about Eid shopping, I emulate her. If you really do need to go to the bazaar, get what you need and don’t loiter around.

Buy Eid gifts for family, friends and domestic help and don’t forget the kids. It is up to us, how important we make Eid for our children. If you’re planning to throw an Eid party for them, do the preparations before Ramadan or schedule the party at least a week after Eid.

Involve kids in wrapping gifts for the domestic help, so they see you giving them something new, as opposed to your old stuff all the time.


Make up the missed fasts before Ramadan.

Plan an ideal day by using the natural pegs of Salah. For example: “Between Fajr and Zuhr, I would like to memorize three Ayahs, and between Zuhr and Asr, I would like to listen to a Seerah tape.”

Evaluate your previous Ramadan and set goals for this year. Two days of a believer’s life should not be the same, just like each day should be better than the previous one. Similarly, two Ramadan’s should not be alike. Think about what you could have done better and avoid making previous mistakes. Set special, specific goals for the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Identify time wasters. Is it a talkative friend, an addictive computer game, the TV or surfing the Internet? Resolve to stay away from these things in Ramadan.

Household Duties

Freeze, freeze and freeze. Samosas, rolls, Kebabs, Chutneys - whatever your family enjoys. Make it beforehand, so you spend minimum time in the kitchen.

Practice moderation. Fasting is not postponing three meals only to make up for at Iftar. Eat what you like but in moderation, so that you are not so full that you can’t even go in Ruku at Maghrib! 

If you are obsessed about cleaning, do all the detailed tasks before Ramadan, so that you and yours can take a breather. If you are fortunate to have help around the house, plan on being easy on them, as they will be fasting, too.


Limit lavish Iftar parties as much as possible. When you want to share a meal, send Iftar to the Masjid, deliver it to your neighbour in advance or find a deserving family. This way, you’ll be reaping the benefits of providing Iftar without having to take out fancy tableware and wearing your prettiest clothes!

Take out your phone book and call a relative you haven’t been in touch with ‘because she never calls.’ There might be some hurt feelings or unresolved issues that you can sort out before Ramadan.

Offer to watch a friend’s child, when she tries a mini-Itekaf for a few hours. She could return the favor on the days she doesn’t have to fast.

Family Time

Decide on a new Sunnah you want to adopt as a family. Miswak? Wudhu before bed?

Provide a list of options and have fun choosing.

Delegate chores to children according to their age. Your work load will be less, and they will get into the spirit of Ramadan.

Make a Sadaqah box and keep it in the kitchen. Encourage family members to pitch in every day.
This very moment, make Niyah to recharge your batteries and make this the best Ramadan yet. So even if, for some valid reason, you are unable to do all that you have planned, you can get reward for your intention, Insha’Allah.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baked Pizza Sandwich


   1 lb lean ground beef
   15 oz tomato sauce
   1 tsp oregano leaves
   2 cups biscuit baking mix (available  
   in supermarkets)
   1 large egg
   3/4 cup milk
   8 oz mozzarella cheese
   2 oz mushrooms (drained and sliced)
   1/4 cup cheese (grated)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook and stir the meat in a large skillet until brown.
  3. Drain off the excess fat.
  4. Stir in half of the tomato sauce and the oregano leaves into the meat mixture.
  5. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  6. While the meat mixture is simmering, mix the baking mix, egg and the milk.
  7. Measure out 3/4 cup of the batter and set aside.
  8. Spread the remaining batter in a greased baking pan.
  9. Pour into the remaining tomato sauce over the batter, spreading evenly.
  10. Layer 4 slices of the cheese, the meat mixture, the mushrooms and the remaining cheese on top of the batter and tomato sauce.
  11. Spoon the reserved batter on the top of the cheese.
  12. Sprinkle the batter top with the grated cheese and bake, uncovered, until it is golden brown (20 to 25 min).
  13. Cool for 5 min before cutting into squares and serving.
* The image is not original.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Five easy habits to pick up this Ramadan

By Ruhaifa Samir

With Shaytan locked up for the month of Ramadan, we all find it easier to do good deeds compared to other months around the year. We all do extra Ibadah in the form of reciting the Quran, doing extra Nawafil, performing our prayers on time, etc.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon, noticed that amputees took, on average, twenty-one days to adjust to the loss of a limb. From further research, he established that people take twenty-one days to adjust to major life changes and form habits. We engage ourselves in productive activities throughout Ramadan for thirty days, by the end of which we perform extra Ibadah almost habitually! So why not consciously continue them, so that these habits last us not only during Ramadan but for our whole lives?

Here are some easy habits that you can pick up this Ramadan:

(1) Block a slot for the Quran every day
Choose a time during the day, when you find it easiest to sit and recite the Quran and ponder over its meaning. For some, it might be before Fajr and for others - after Maghrib. Choose a time that best fits your schedule and block it for the Quran for the rest of the year.

(2) Plan life around your Salah, not the other way round
Allah (swt) has promised great rewards for those who perform their Salah in their earliest times. Most of us get into the habit of praying Salah on time during Ramadan (especially Fajr and Maghrib). Continue the trend. Set your biological clock to Salah time and plan all other things you need to do around it!

(3) Choose three to five goals every month
A Muslim must constantly strive to better himself. Choose three to five goals to achieve this Ramadan and for every subsequent month afterwards, so that by the time Ramadan rolls around again, you are a stronger, better Muslim. Use these goals to get rid of some of your bad habits, such as procrastination, anger, gossiping, etc.

(4) Use the time before and after Fajr
We all diligently wake up for Fajr during Ramadan; in fact, some of us wake up with enough time to perform Tahajjud as well. By the end of Ramadan, our bodies are wired to wake up early. Don't let Shaytan dissuade you from continuing this once he is set free at the end of Ramadan. Remember, Allah (swt) waits for us to invoke Him for our needs before Fajr; He has put great blessings and mercy in the time after it. Make it a habit to use this time wisely after Ramadan as

(5) Continue fasting after Ramadan
Our bodies get used to fasting during Ramadan, and it gets easier as the month progresses. Don’t let go of this habit. The Prophet (saw) used to fast every Monday and Thursday, and on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every Islamic month. Other special fasts include those of the six days in Shawwal, 9th and 10th of Muharram and on Yaum-e-Arafa (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah). Remember, the gate of Ar-Rayyan in Jannah is reserved for those who fast.