My Ramadan Journey By Hannatu Musawa

Columnist: 
Hannatu Musawa

It’s that time of year again that I find to have so much meaning and beauty. To me Ramadan is so much more than fasting from dusk till dawn or feasting during Iftar. Not only is it a time when I endeavour to increase my Taqwa/Iman, become more charitable and strengthen my knowledge of the Holy Qur'an, it is also a time that I become closer to Allah and have a closer relationship with the Qur'an.

 

Many of us who celebrate Ramadan take journeys at this time of the year and this Ramadan I want to take a journey on how I can get the most benefit from the opportunity Ramadan affords me and I want to encourage anyone who wishes to come along on this journey in making this Ramadan one of great triumph and blessings.

 

In my Ramadan journey this year, I wish to, first and foremost, give top priority to knowing and understanding the true contents and message of the Qur'an. And also, I wish to take a moment to reflect on which aspects of my life; my routine, attitude, personality or behaviour I need to improve on and what my plans are for changing for the better and bringing myself closer to the Islamic standard.

 

An important part of this journey for me is to be as charitable as I can possibly be. When possible, every time I see people in anguish and poverty, every time my eyes fill with tears at the sight of senseless killings, blown up bodies, devastation and displacement of innocent people, I will open my purse and give charity. I will remember to forego some of my necessities in order for provide for those who are in more need than me. I will also opt not to spend money on frivolous things and luxuries so that those who are in more need than me and my family can be helped through my charity.

 

Insha Allah, in my journey, I will sleep early after praying Ishaa and Taraweeh and go to bed with a clear and conscious intention of fasting the next day. Then, I will get up well before Suhoor time, thanking Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala for giving me life and then I hope to make special Du'aa for the mercy of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala on our Ummah. From the start and right to the end of Ramadan, I will try not to sleep after Fajr, but instead study the Qur'an. In the last ten days of the Ramadan, I will go to bed with the intention of getting up early for Tahajjud prayers.

 

Throughout the day, for the duration of the Ramadan, I will find time to revise and re-learn the Soorahs and Aayaat I already know. Once that is completed, I will learn at least one Aayah a day from a Soorah that I do not already know.

 

Insha Allah, I will be extra kind, understanding, accepting, considerate and supportive to my non-Muslims friends and neighbours. I will listen to them, carry them along and find ways to have them participate in the blessings of Ramadan by sharing my food and gifts with them. I will counsel myself on my temperamental nature and strive to become calmer. I will try very hard to be forgiving to all those who have offended me, my family or my community. I will clear my heart from anger, suspicion and grudges.

 

For the full duration of the Ramadan, I will kick at least one of my bad habits and make a special effort to speak only to add value and to say only what is meaningful and useful. When I do not have anything useful to talk about, I will remember Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala through the beautiful and peaceful words taught by the Rasul (SAW), while paying attention to their meanings and feeling the impact of the words on my heart, my mind, my thoughts and my attitude.

 


Ramadan is a spiritual cleansing month not only for the soul but also for the body. It is said in a Hadith that the Prophet (SAW) said we should leave 1/3 of our stomach for water, 1/3 for air, and 1/3 for food.

 


Therefore, this Ramadan, in addition to my spiritual journey, I will be going on a health and weight loss one as well. While I embrace Ramadan for its spiritual benefits and all the positives that it represents, it really is an excellent opportunity to shed some extra weight. It can be very tempting to devour anything and everything edible during Iftar, but the tendency of this is putting on more weight than one had to begin with and becoming unhealthier. 

 

When we fast, we are already resetting our metabolism by the protracted, long overnight fast, as well as the daily fasting. Our metabolism resets and our body begins to change the way it operates. There is no need to consume excess food at Iftar, dinner or Suhoor, but we usually do. And when we do that, our body thinks it is in a state of famine and will store everything we eat as fat, because it is worried about food supply.

 

Furthermore, eating once a day scares our body and our body starts to shut down and slow down our metabolism. A diet that is less than a normal amount of food intake but balanced is sufficient enough to keep us healthy and active during the month of Ramadan.

 

I know for me personally, each Ramadan in the past, I have always had a tendency to over-eat during Iftar. But this year, I want to be disciplined, eat healthy, eat slowly, avoid binge eating at night, listen to my stomach when it is comfortably full and practice constraint. I know Ramadan is not about losing weight, but I would like to use this opportunity, to address my issue of gluttony and use control and constraint on what I eat.

 

It is nice to have support and encouragement whilst we fast during Ramadan and as part of my Ramadan Plan, I will be sharing my plan of improving myself, my spirituality and my health and diet, which I hope to follow during Ramadan, on my Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hannatu.musawa, my Twitter https://twitter.com/hanneymusawa, and my website www.hannatumusawa.com (In the Blog section under Hanneyz Honneyz), should anyone wish to follow along with me.

 

On these threads and forums, I hope we can share advise, Dua’s, thoughts on how we are coping, share things we want to improve on and share the things we are grateful for in our lives.

 

Furthermore, on these sites, for the duration of the Ramadan, I will post the balanced diet plan and menu for the low fat, high energy healthy meals I hope to eat in order to avoid the Ramadan extra weight gain. 

 

If anybody wishes to follow this diet plan and come on this health and weight loss journey with me, you are welcome to do so. I will try to make the menu detailed and provide alternatives and recipes where necessary on the forums. However, while Ramadan is an excellent opportunity for overweight people to lose weight, please note that underweight or marginally normal weight people are discouraged from losing weight during Ramadan.

 

If, like me, you have decided to make this a meaningful and triumphant Ramadan by moving closer to Allah and identifying areas requiring improvement in your life, may Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala assist you and bless you for taking this step in your life.

 

If one can succeed this Ramadan in living as planned by the true tenants of the Quran, one will be able to look back and rejoice and feel inner joy and true happiness knowing that their Eid day will be the day of celebrating rewards from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'aala.

 

As we begin this journey for Ramadan, I wish each and every person welcoming this Ramadan a Blessed, fruitful, safe and peaceful month. Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak!

 

Written By Hannatu Musawa

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Comments
21 comment(s)
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this lady a columnist, or oppressors' daughter

@MUSAWA Hannna, how will you help the illiterate girls in your vicinity with this your grammar that take you up to a month to edit and publish on saharareporters? You are an ardent muslim and it shows on your pressure group-like column here: you pressure us to understand many things and you are being egoistic for not using your grammar and talent to persude your jealous men, who would not want another men to see your faces and body parts with your masquerade atire, with enforcing into law the use of little girls in marriage so as not to miss tasting the virgins they know that they will miss when they enter hell fire.

be focus

No warnder the bible says, in the bk of matt ch13:13 that, seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Imagine these mentally derailled people called christians how they undermine the subject of this column and turns it into a battle ground. In Islam the true religion of jesus christ our noble prophet muhammad pbuh said: if any one of you believes in the last day, then he should say what is good or be silent. Then let me ask you worshippers of christ how do you expect us to embrace christianity with those sort of absurdities?
??

bokoharam

You claim this sect are not muslims,but each time they kill and commit any atrocity, they bodly say all what they do is in the quran and it is God who had sent them.For Nigerians to know they are not muslim let all islamic clerics gather together and make it known to the public that this sect are not muslims.

be careful of your words

to those people that choose to categorically insult people of other religions, please be careful. these people did not invent their religion (islam) a prophet was sent by ALLAH ALL MIGHTY , with this message, so please, look at your words, one by one, and consider WHO it is you are offending. may ALLAH forgive us all ameen

Ha ha ha

30 children killed and all this bunch of retards can think of is how to wash their hands and feet. I don't blame them, how does one reason, when one is hitting ones heads on the ground five times a day? Would one not develop some form of mental disorder? A constant dripping will wear out a rock, nocking ones head on the floor five times a day, equals a very heavy blow to the head.

Na wao

What do you expect from people who knock there head on the ground, five times every day. One must not be surprised at signs of madness and magafication. 30 children murderd by idiots and all some retards can think of is how to wash their hands and feet

GAME OVER JANUARY 01.2014

Dear BH Mistress:

Just to remind you, Amalgamation Expires Jan. 01.1914.
Try and shift that date so as to accomodate and force your religion on the other entities. I am sure that date makes you shiver? The game is over Miss. Hannatuu!
From now onward set your religion aside and concentrate on building the Northern nations. You guys have already wasted too much of your precious time in vain attempts to Islmaize the continent.

Let the SULTAN OF SOKOTO, the

Let the SULTAN OF SOKOTO, the NSCIA, & other
respected clerics call a WORLDWIDE PRESS
CONFERENCE, and denounce these PIMPS!
Below is the url to one of the world's most respected, BBC airing the Sultan's response to boko haram

m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14342863

(Christian conspiracy against Islam - the truth is clear from lies)

Get an english qurian and do honest research on it, you will be convinced of the true religion. Get a comparative video of Dr William Campbell vs Dr Zakir Naik and you will be amazed of the truth in Islam, its very clear. You will clearly be disappointed of a false religion, try it brother.

In developed countries, Islam is the most growing religion. Africa is understandable.

i beg go away with your yeye

i beg go away with your yeye ideas-we don tire for u

hypocrites

it is supposed to be between them and God.
- because other religion followers dont fast like muslims does not make muslims hypocrites, pls check your dictionary again.

God Almighty will judge every lie and form of religion blackmailing.

The end time has come and its clear that muslims are the most persecuted people on hearth, God will judge.

will the bh keep killing during ramadan 4

My brother, have you seen the best of a united Nigeria before at least on a football pitch, did you notice that the whole team was not made up of boys either from Ogun state, Abia or Zamfara only. The point now is that we the youth must move forward progressively without looking at our religious and tribal interests.

Mr KENIGBO, if you don't have an issue knowing that there is a language called arabic, Islam means peace there, you can look for a bible written in arabic and you will be surprised to see how the words like peace, God, thank God etc are represented. Its far more than what we think.

On a personal note I will like to commend the writer of the article above, you have done a good job, we need more of people like you in Nigeria in our circle, may Allah (God) reward you.

God bless everyone

will the bh keep killing during ramadan 3

Have you ever unsentimentally perused articles that have been written on Taliban and Alqaeda relationship with the US before. Normally are the Boko Haram suppose to be smarter than our Joint Task Force for the school massacre to be so easy for them like that, is there any reason behind President Barack Obama refusal to branch Nigeria during his first and second trip to Afican countries for even the fact that we are the most populated black african country on Earth...only God knows what we don't know...
(kevindjakpor.blogspot.com)

(sorry a lot of people are under this spell of being religiously brainwash especially in Nigeria, its a land of opportunity)

will the bh keep killing during the ramadan 2

A. A group of rag-tags demented, mentally unstable, ideologically brainwashed individuals killing for unknown reasons. Every sane individual knows that No one has power to islamize or christianize Nigeria or the whole world without the absolute authority of the Almighty God, even Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and other prophets (may peace be upon them) could not do it!.

B. A group of brainwashed individuals being used by some politicians in Nigeria(from all the corners of the country) to kill innocent lives in order to win the sympathy of the people for their political gains - whoever they may be may Allah (God) turn their heads to stop from the act and repent

C. A group of brainwashed poor indviduals used by some powerful world leaders to further upset the already fragile political situation in our dear country (where christian and muslim must co habitate) in order to take our advantage and give us unimaginable aids.
(Pls continue from from below)

WILL THE BH KEEP KILLING DURING RAMADAN 1

@IBO KENIGBO

I must respond, everyone now accepts that the issue of boko haram terrorism in Nigeria if not already vastly threatening the bond of unity our country stands on, it has certainly consumed the major part of tremendous effort which our forefathers actually fought and suffered to embroider.

Brother, its so saddening, the amount of innocent lives, the trauma, muslim and christian lives that have been wasted by the boko haram insurgent.

Most of us actually need to read beyond what we are told in order to understand what the true picture of things are, what the media put forward for us to believe, what the big brother conspirator is planning, well no one is there when the whole thing is being planned but well it takes an extra grace of God to understand what's going on, still through the media outputs.

If I may share my opinion with you, the definition of boko haram cannot be outside of the following:-

(Pls continue as above)

Muslims are Hypocrites

Muslims are hypocrites.They pray five times a day and kill five times a day. When they fast, the whole world will know whereas it is supposed to be between them and God. They are like the pharisees in the bible. The only food they miss when they are fasting is the lunch. They eat the whole north in the morning and south in the evening. So if Akpos1 misses his luch, he is fasting and must be an alhaji. They are decieving themselve pretending to be holy. Boko Haram are fasting. Babangida, Abacha, Ciroma, Atiku, Saudi's king who behead human beings every day are all fasting and praying five time a day.

Mallam Gamus, but d 'Mix up' is 4rm u Guys...

Mallam Gamus; Assalamu Alaikum.
U hav spoken quite well my brother..u hav spoken quite well. But to be frank with u, it will take more than yur rebuttal for myself, 'ibo kenigbo' & other non Muslims to believe those punks r not Muslims. Unfortunately, its yur word against theirs!
They say they(BokoHaram) r Muslims..u said they r not. They (BH) said you r NOT Muslims..u say u are! So my brother, WHICH OF U DO WE BELIEVE??
Mallam Gamus, in as much as I like yur view, u r unknown. I mean u r a Ghost to us. The 'mix up' is neither 4rm u nor the Haramists. The Mix up is 4rm those authorised to speak on yur behalf.
Let the SULTAN OF SOKOTO, the NSCIA, & other respected clerics call a WORLDWIDE PRESS CONFERENCE, and denounce these PIMPS! Then, mallam Gamus,the 'mix up' might just be cleared. Very simple..but very true..

Masha Allah you write well.

Masha Allah you write well. Just want to correct you on the saying of "Ramadan Kareem". Here is the fatwa by Sh. Uthaimeen and Sh. Al-Fawzan on the issue. http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rl8b27
Jazakallah khair..

Re: will boko haram keep on killing in Ramadan

My dear Ndi Igbo.. Really you have spoken the truth that its an irony ASSALAMU ALAIKUM means peace upon you but the Boko haram sect are acting contrary. Well I may wish to inform you that those sects are not Muslim and please from now henceforth never mix it up ? They are not Muslim and they are not practicing Islam . May God keep us unite for ever

My Ramadan Joureney By Hannatu M

Mhm! a very lofty idea my Allah SWT reward you abundantly and increase your AttaqwaAllah in an unquantifiable measure.My you share the shed excess dietary products this Ramadan,part of your wardrobe and financial benefit in the previous year,etc with the most vulnerable of our society,THE ORPHANS.JZKALLAHU KHAYRAN SISTER.

WILL THE BOKO-HARAM KEEP KILLING DURING RAMADAN?

Will the brutal killing of women and school children be sustained by the BH during this Islamic Ramadan?It would be interesting to see because these terrorists claim to be doing a job designated on them by "Allah".
In Syria,the rebels are asking the government for a brief interlude in the brutal blood-letting going on there,after which they intend to continue the blood-bath.
Muslims greet by saying"ASALAAM MALEKUM",meaning peace be with you,but the on-goings in the Islamic world suggest that there might be a different interpretation of peace holding sway in these lands.
As for us the Christians of Nigeria caught up in this quagmire,we can only hope that Muslims use this Ramadan to really introduce peace in their lives,a few days ago 30 school children were killed in the Islamic north just because they dared to be educated,those killers will be amongst those observing Ramadan,what an irony.

may GOD help us Hannatu

May GOD help us get the maximum benefit of RAMADAN hannatu. RAMADAM MUBARAKH to all muslim brothes & sisters around the world.

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