Message from Moutasem Atiya
March 29, 2021
As-Salamu Alaykum wa RahmatulLah dear Al-Madina Family,
I pray that you have all had a beautiful week inshaAllah! We are excited to announce that our Arabic Online Summer Intensive for Adults is now open for registration!
Please scroll down to see this week's updates and please feel free to share this channel link with friends and family.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!
Hadith of the Week
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
"The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind."
May Allah bless and protect our teachers and allow us to follow in their footsteps, amin.
5 Steps to Get you Ready for Ramadan
1. Reduce Your Food Consumption
"Eat of the good things we have provided for your sustenance, but commit not excess therein." (Qur'an 20:81). Lessening our caloric intake (Qilatul Ta’am) keeps us healthy, sharpens our memory, reduces hours of sleep, helps smooth breathing and saves one from being sluggish. There is a beautiful Prophetic practice of eating what is in front of you, chewing slowly, and not piling the plate. “Eat and drink, but be not extravagantly wasteful. Lo! He loveth not the extravagantly wasteful." (Quran 7:31). Beautiful cultural traditions aside, strive to eat more natural and simple foods to engender better eating habits throughout the year.
We each have our own unique recommended daily intake (RDI) based on our individuated lifestyles. Small steps towards lowering caloric intake include meal planning and tracking what you eat. Keep in mind these Prophetic tips to control your portion size,
i. “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach…
ii. “1/3 food, 1/3 liquids, and 1/3 for his breath”.
iii. Get in the habit today of not skipping breakfast (“Take suhoor because there is blessing in it")
iv. Eat dinner early (“The people will be fine so long as they do not delay iftaar”)
v. No snacking afterwards.
2. Jittery? Start Cutting out the Caffeine
If you are a caffeine junkie (like 90% of us), you probably spend the first three days of Ramadan suffering from caffeine withdrawal. The migraines can be excruciating. To avoid this pitfall, start by slowly reducing your caffeine intake. If coffee is your bane, consider ordering/making a half-cafe blend (50% Decaf mixed with 50% Caffeinated), switching to decaf (2-12 mg), or Green Tea (24-40mg). Week over week, reduce intake, or switch to a lesser evil until upon the arrival of the blessed month you have nearly weaned yourself off. This will make those first few days easier.
3. Dust off your Quran
Do you ever get to Ramadan, only to realize your IKEA bookcase could really use a dusting? This is the month of the Quran (2:184). Year over year we tell ourselves, “I will learn how to recite, memorize, and implement it all”, and yet we arrive to the next Ramadan the same as we left that last one. The Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) loved to read the Qur’an. In fact, it was his primary form of worship during Ramadan. Most Muslims rarely interact with the Qur’an outside of their five daily prayers. Take this time to brush up, getting out of the routine of recycling the same surahs in prayer, or simply pick up this fascinating book and start reading it in the language you understand best.
4. Unplug Yourself: Use your DVR & Give Facebook a Rest
“Status Update: Hungry”. Ramadan is a month of reflection and habit changing, look at it as a spiritual diet. You have 30 days to cut out all that noise around you and concentrate on your relationship with Allah and His Messenger. Attempt to minimize social media and television. You can watch/follow/status update after Ramadan. Doing so will give you ample time to talk to connect to The Real, letting go of the virtual. If TV/ Media time is eating into your social time, or your prayer time, something has gone seriously awry. Keeping a healthy balance is the key to a happy, spiritually fulfilling life.
5. Practice the Art of Silence
Aisha (May God be Pleased) was once told about some people that talk a lot. Her response was “Tell them to give their angels a rest”. Mental and audible chatter prevents us from fully being present within our work, relationships, lives, and worship. Lessening speech (Qilatul Lisan), and actually listening to our thoughts, insecurities, fears, will consciously withdraw our attention from the temporal to the eternal while reacquainting us with your true selves.
The Messenger of Allah (Peace & Blessings upon Him & His Family) said, “The intelligent person is the one who examines himself and works for what will come after death”. By listening we can start to work on governing our minds and emotions positively, eventually quieting our mental chatter. “If you believe in God and the Final Day have positive speech, or keep quiet”. This practice of self examination (Muraqaba) allows us a window into our reality and the ability to observe and learn about ourselves so as to exist in balance with our surroundings.
With God’s grace, we can prepare now in the blessing of Shaban, to enrich our lives in the “treasures” of Ramadan.
As Zayn Al Abideen prayed, “Praise belongs to Allah who appointed among the paths that lead to Him (Exalted Is He) His month, The month of Ramadan, The month of fasting, The month of submission, The month of purity, The month of putting our faith to the test, The month of standing in prayer, “In which the Qur'an was sent down as guidance to the people, And as a clear sign of the Guidance and the Criterion!” [2:185]”.
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Announcing Arabic Online: Summer Intensive for Adults
Take your Arabic skills to the next level with our Arabic Online: Summer Intensive program!
Featuring live in-class instruction with some of the top Arabic teachers in the world, you can effectively learn Arabic in the comfort of your own home.
In our beginners course, our instructors will gently guide you in learning the Arabic alphabet and develop basic speaking, reading, and writing in this beautiful language.
Or, qualify for our more advanced courses - where we delve deep into the study of Arabic rhetoric and analyze incredible texts, both classic and modern.
For more information click here.
JUMU‘A REFLECTION: A DIRTY CUP
The blessed night of the 15th of Sha‘ban is almost upon me. In two weeks, I will enter into Ramadan.
As the spiritual lead-up to Ramadan, the night of the 15th of Sha‘ban teaches me that if I do not enter Ramadan’s sacred space with a clean heart in my relationship with others, I may be deprived of many of Ramadan’s gifts.
The texts teach that Allah does not forgive those who sever relations and harbour ill feelings.
How is my relationship with my parents, relatives, teachers, companions, neighbours and others?
Is my heart poisoned by the diseases of hate, jealousy, rancour, suspicion, spite, malice and anger?
I must mend my relationship to free my heart. Let me be the first to forgive, pardon, reach-out, re-connect and mend. Let me ask Allah in du’a to save me from me. And with Allah is all success.
Let us not forget to read Surah al-Kahf and to send abundant salawat on the Beloved ﷺ.