i’ve been wanting to make an entry bout my kids bday but unfortunately my head spins each tim ei wanna go tru all the photos. gonna take some time till i have the strength to do so, insyaAllah.
Meanwhile i wanna share with you an email my brother gave me. He just got back from South Africa yesterday to watch the World Cup. No, this is not about the Paul the octopus ;). Hope you can take a min or two to read through it. May Allah give His blessing and guidance to all of us, insyaAllah
How’s everyone? I pray Allah’s guidance is upon all of us and He
blesses us with all that is good.
What did you guys think of the World Cup? I’m sure it left as quickly
as it arrived. Conveniently I was supporting Spain:D
As some of you know, alhamdulilah I managed to experience the world
cup fever in South Africa and it was definitely an experience to
remember. It’s obvious that there’s many aspects of it that, as
muslims, we don’t agree on. Be it the wastage of money, alcohol
consumption, heedlessness or the amount of time it distracts us from
But back to our daily lives, I believe as muslims we are obliged to
take lessons and learn from it. To use the teachings of Islam to study
history with wisdom. Then use history as a yardstick to measure our
progress, rather then be stuck in the glory or failing of the past.
Many lessons can be extracted from the world cup. South Africa held a
hugely succesful world cup. Much was said before the event started.
South Africa had a reputation of a country rife with racial tension
and discrimination. A third world country naysayers were saying doomed
to fail under the limelight. But as the final curtain comes to a
close, everyone can see it was an event to be remembered, one of the
best runned world cup ever perhaps. And we can only see that it only
comes with detailed planning and investments. They invested billions
into infrastructure and many man hours. From the state to the
volunteers to the residence, everyone put in their share of work.
Logistical planning was a nightmare especially since S Africa is only
a third world country. It needed to practically built brand new
stadiums, transport infrastructure, and plan for each detail of
hosting world cup. As you can attest now they pulled it off and the
fireworks display at the end of the final proved to be a fitting end.
As we approach Shaaban and Ramadhan, it’s important for us to
reevaluate our planning for it. Do we want to have a successful
Ramadhan? Do we have a plan in place? It starts with Shaaban, the holy
month where we start to prepare ourselves physically and spiritually
for hardship of Ramadhan.
We saw Spain lifting the cup the first time in history. I’d say it was
a deserving victory for them as they played some of the most
entertaining and consistent football. I’m certain it came with
preparation. They ply their trade at one of the best leagues in the
world, harnessing their skill through good competition and company.
Just like it, it shows the importance of the crowd we mix around with.
Our prophet S.A.W warned us to always keep with good company as we are
upon the religion of our friends. So we need to check ourselves and
see if our friends are bringing us closer to Allah or otherwise.
Spain also had a good coach who displayed his tactical acumen and
courage. He got his tactics and selections correct, even leaving out
the hugely popular but under performing Torres for the semifinals and
We saw how the french team went into complete disarray under their
coach. The vastly talented team disintegrated into chaos through
rebellion of their captain. Immediately we saw the effect on the
pitch. They left in disgrace, the wrath of their whole nation behind
them. Showing the importance of the management and coaching team.
For us, we need to see who our teachers are, who are guiding us,
whether it’s in accordance to Quran or the Sunnah. Whether we have the
right teacher to teach, befriend and guide us on the correct path.
Whether we have a healthy relationship with the Quran or not. It also
teaches us the importance of communication as the french team brought
the whole world into their internal feud. The spanish team was mainly
from Barcelona(without Messi) so we could see the special togetherness
within them that brought them their success. Unity of the ummah is of
utmost important as we all know. It’s one of the most integral part of
And we know at the end of the day, regardless how well you are
playing, it is Allah who decides as He wish. Teams like Germany played
well, Argentina was the overwhelming favourites but it is Allah who
will permit the winner.
Regardless of our talent or experience, we must always pair our effort
with constant dua and remembrance of Allah. It comes in hand in hand.
On our part it is our effort and resolve, we leave the matter of
success to Allah. As we are rewarded for our effort, inshaAllah with
the correct intention, our success will be in the Afterlife,
regardless of what happens in this transient world. It is Allah swt
who decides who He honours.
So as the team progressed and the world cup comes to an end, we see
it’s all about organisation, about planning, about resolve, about
collaboration between groups and people. I saw inherent in everyone,
the quality that we can work together, we can live together regardless
of our background if we share a common goal. We are talking about
South Africa who only 20 years ago had the apartheid system in place
and they could put their differences aside to host and enjoy the world
cup together. A country with many ethnicity and 11 official
I saw the spirit of the humanity in beautiful colours. The fan walk in
Cape Town, the route of around 2.5km from the train station to the
stadium had a reported volume of 300,000. It was an amazing
electrifying atmosphere. People from all spectrum of lives came
together to enjoy the environment. I saw tablighis, maulanas, hijabis,
non hijabis, non muslims(not scantilly clad because it was winter!)
and fans from all over the world. Everyone was just enjoying their
time, getting along with each other and soaking up the atmosphere. I
know of families who just came out for the walk and then return home
for the match. It was such an uplifting experience that puts aside
whatever differences that we have with each other.
For the opening match, since it was on a Friday, the muslim society
organised a jumuah solah on an empty field near the stadium. The
attendance was so overwhelming it overflowed out of the field. Men and
women came in their bafana bafana colours, some with flag coloured
hijabs and the field was overflowing with people. It was especially
memorable since women overthere don’t usually go to the masajid for
friday prayers due to the lack of space.
There were concern that South Africa was unsafe but mashaAllah there
were polices everywhere. Every one of them were happy to help you out
and guide you to the places you want to go. They were like tourist
guide in police uniforms.Together in enjoining good and forbidding
evil, even the most notorious of places can be a secure place.
So Shaaban is our opportunity to start planning for Ramadhan. We need
to create the buzz for Ramadhan so that when it comes, we are ready to
receive it’s bountiful blessings. We need to start talking about the
virtues or Shaaban and Ramadhan to each other. Remind each other of
the Sunnahs. Do voluntary fasting together with friends, encourage
people to do good. If they have trouble waking up for subuh, call and
remind without being judgmental. Go to mosque together and remember
it’s a colloborative effort of all muslims. Bring out the Vuvuzelas,
the jabulanis, the flags, the banners of Ramadhan. I don’t mean it
literally but you know, our Quran, attires, banners, Cds or whatever
it is that we can to create that buzz. Let us feel the atmosphere of
Shaaban and Ramadhan so that at the end or Ramadhan we are among the
succesfull ones. The ones lifting the trophy and enjoying the fruit of
As I left South Africa, everyone was saying how they feel sad that the
world cup is coming to an end. Let’s make sure that we feel the same
towards the end of Ramadhan.
Just in the space of a month, the world’s view on africa seems to have
changed. From a country known languishing in myriad of issues like
poverty, HIV infection, languid infratructures and high crime rates to
a country beeming with hope and potential. Let’s make our Ramadhan our
month of change and paradigm shift.
Make Shaaban and Ramadhan a process to attain taqwa, which will lead
to charactor refinement. With superior character don’t you think we
can live together in a better world? InshaAllah by being better
people, we’ll be equipped to serve, provide and engage to form a
better society. We ask Allah to give us taqwa so that we will be
better people Ameen.
Shaaban is our training ground for Ramadhan. Remember that the
accursed Shaytan is tied in Ramadhan. It only means that he will be in
overdrive in Shaaban, calling us away from our ibadah, so that in
Ramadhan we are already in autopilot to neglect Allah and our duties.
Shaytan will create emnity in any way. Shaytan will use females, TV,
celebrities, games or whatever ways he can to deceive us. We ask Allah
swt to protect us all from it.
So in Shaaban there’s many practical things that we can do.
Start our voluntary fastings on Mondays or Thursday, or the 13th,14th
and 15th of the lunar month.
Start eating less and drinking more.
Sleep slightly earlier so that we can wake up slightly earlier to
acclamitise for sahur.
Remind and motive each other. Talk about the virtues and merits of
Shaaban and Ramadhan.
Attend pre Ramadhan courses to cover the fiqh of fasting. Review the
fiqh of prayers to enhance and perfect our prayers.
Set a new goal for Shaaban and Ramadhan and share it with others so
they can help you achieve it. Create a vision that we want to achieve
in inspire us to be patient.
Increase our zikr and shukr to Allah for all his blessings. Be
grateful for Allah swt who’s given so much yet ask in return so little
Start voluntary prayers before sleeping to acclamatise for teraweh.
Exercise to be in better physical condition. We can do more ibadah if
we are in a better shape.
Check within ourselves on our discipline and organisation of our daily lives.
Reduce watching TV, using our computers for unnecessary endeavours and
Let’s make this Ramadhan one to remember. We can emulate the same
fervour, the same excitement that we put to the world cup to our
special month. Put the same passion that we had in cheering for our
teams, for staying up late into the night to watch the games, into
talking about our favourite players and their profiles, into team
tactics and their blunders. With all the buzz going around, we get
those who usually don’t watch football suddenly become temporary fans.
Let’s start talking about our prophet pbuh, his companions and stories
that would uplift our spirits. Let’s make our intention and start
planning and lay down the infrastructure now to reap the benefits of
Ramadhan. Start early because change is not meant to be forced or
rushed but nurtured. Like they say in Khosa languange, it’s Ayoba
Lastly we make dua that Allah allows us to meet Ramadhan this year,
give us the guidance to fully benefit Ramadhan. May He accept all our
ibadah and let us meet Syawal with increase taqwa and all our sins
Obviously I’m addressing myself first before all of my friends that I
care about. All that is good is from Allah and whatever error from
myself and the accursed syaitan.