Event Review: Safinah’s Ramadan Resolutions Day 1
Where: Singapore Expo
When: 14th July 2012
Who: Ustaz Nuzhan, Ustaz Mizi Wahid, Ustaz Yazid
By: Safinah Institute[/box_dark]
Safinah Institute organised a 2-day seminar titled Ramadan Resolutions, featuring a total of 7 young speakers. On the first day, the speakers were Ustaz Nuzhan Bin Abdul Halim (the Executive Imam at Masjid Jamiyah Ar-Rabitah), Ustaz Tarmizi Wahid (CEO of Safinah Institute) and Ustaz Yazid Bin Muhammad Salleh (Officer of Dakwah Unit at Masjid Alkaff Kampung Melayu).
The Prophet’s (S) Fasting
Ustaz Nuzhan began the first lecture by going into detail the fasting of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S): from his pre-dawn meal, his fasting, his prayers, his breaking of fast etc.
When talking about the barakah present in sahur, he explained barakah to mean “blessings and goodness and the growth of it”. He also interestingly observed that for other obligations such as prayer or zakat (alms), it is an order, but for Ramadan, Allah uses the word “prescribed”.
In Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 183,
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may (learn) self-restraint”
Ustaz Nuzhan noted how it is like a doctor prescribing us medicine & cure for our soul.
He also explained the meaning of the word “Imsak” is abstinence. This is the word that is used to indicate that we should stop eating since the Fajr azan will be called out soon. However, many fail to understand its significance during fasting. Imsak means to abstain, however, a lot of Muslims fast only to qada‘ all their meals. This means that since they cannot have breakfast & lunch, they have all the 3 meals of the day during iftar.
Performing Qiyam & Tarawih as part of Shukr
[quote]”Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Ramadan out of faith & expectation (of Allah’s Reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari & Muslim)[/quote]
Tarawih literally means rest & relaxation. Ustaz Nuzhan reminded us of another hadith that states “Allah does not tire from your deeds even when you tire.” He meant to drive the point that tarawih should be done in a relaxed manner and looked at as something that we are doing out of gratitude to Allah, instead of something physically strenuous.
He then went on to explain the 4 steps of gratitude (shukr):
- To get shukr in your heart
To see that it all comes from Allah, everything else is just a means.
- To observe & enumerate His Blessings
- To be happy with His Gifts
- Move from merely saying “Alhamdulillah” with your tongue, by saying “Alhamdulillah” with your limbs. This is done through amal and obedience to Him.
Signs of One who is Takabbur (Proud/Arrogant)
Ustaz Nuzhan then enjoined us to try remove pride from ourselves this Ramadan. He said these are the signs of one who is proud/arrogant:
- Does not supplicate to Allah (thinks he is able to help himself so does not seek help from Allah)
- Always back-biting (feels he is superior to others so he mentions the faults of others)
- Cutting others’ conversation (thinks that his words are more important and more deserving to be heard than others)
- Hates visits (does not see the point of visiting others. Thinks that others should visit him instead)
- Easily hurt (too much pride therefore finds fault with whatever anyone says about him)
These are just some of the gems presented during Ustaz Nuzhan’s lecture.
How to Eliminate our Negative Addictions
After Ust Nuzhan’s lecture were 2 slots for Ustaz Tarmizi Wahid, CEO of Safinah Institute. Characteristic of Safinah’s talks, they repackage traditional Islamic knowledge into modern, motivational-talk type of presentations. This was especially true for this particular segment of the seminar.
‘How to Eliminate Negative Addictions’ is basically ‘How to Control Your Nafs’ rebranded. Instead of using the word ‘nafs’, Ustaz Mizi Wahid used addictions instead. This seemed to resonate with the crowd, who can probably relate better with such language.
He spoke of how we need to identify our ongoing addictions, be they backbiting, smoking, watching porn, shopping etc. One way to identify an addiction is that it usually appears extremely appealing, but usually ends with heartache & pain. He also spent quite a considerable amount of time talking about the need for a new environment that will aid in a spiritual change.
Ustaz Mizi cautioned us to watch what we hear and look at, and to exercise a Godly restraint when choosing our entertainment & what our minds should dwell on.
His 3 Conditions to Change:
- Stop the act.
- Regret: key ingredient to taubah
- Have a firm resolution never to turn back
How to Make the Qur’an as our Companion
The seminar ended with a lecture by Ustaz Yazid. His lecture aims to inspire us to get closer to the Qur’an. He spent some time relating different stories from the Qur’an in a bid to get the audience more interested in the contents of the Qur’an.
He then advised us to set aside time to spend with the Qur’an instead of saying we will read it when we have the time. This will not work as the Qur’an is not yet our habit and therefore to create a new habit, we need to schedule it in and to immerse ourselves in the habit.
He also said that speech is a reflection or a code towards one’s inclination. What someone talks about the most shows a person’s deep interest or passion. In the same vein, Ustaz Yazid asked the audience what was the most repeated line in the Qur’an. He says it is “Bismillahi Rahmaani Raheem”. This shows that Allah mentions His Mercy & Love more than His Anger and Wrath and that we should always look to Him with love as well.
During the Q&A session, an attendee shared her experience about getting closer to the Qur’an. She said that she started attending Tafseer lessons to understand the meanings of the Qur’an despite her fear & reluctance. After attending the classes, she began to see the Qur’anic injunctions reflect in her life experiences and she began to really feel that the Qur’an is a guide, instead of just another book. She advised the young crowd to remove the fear that we might have and start early.
Safinah Institute’s “Ramadan Resolutions” talk for Day 1 aimed to inspire us to follow in the Prophet’s (S) teaching when we conduct our fast with Ustaz Nuzhan giving us a glimpse into how he (S) fasted, broke his fast & prayed. Ustaz Mizi Wahid then urged the participants to fight our nafs and use Ramadan to truly change for the better. Finally, Ustaz Yazid advised us to get closer to the Qur’an and make it our companion in the month of Ramadan and beyond.[divider]
Note: In between the talk, a sister also came up on stage to share with the audience her efforts in raising funds for an orphanage in Malaysia. She is selling cookies & Eid goodies made by the orphans in their bakery. For more information on this and how you can purchase the cookies, please contact Sister Nailah at 91205891.
Ameera is the Editor of Muzlimbuzz.sg, a chronic reader and a news junkie.