Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Ramadaan Reflection: O' Women! What has happened to you?



Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatu,


"What has happened to your modesty?" .....

Oh! What a question?! 
Something that crosses my mind , and I'm sure YOUR minds as well. Not a day goes by that I see the beauty of modesty in Islam being completely distorted and butchered by ignorant individuals who put forth their desires before their religion. I mean, sure, we do live in a society that teaches women to honour themselves through less clothes, more makeup, and false hopes, but does that mean that we must become followers of the mass media rather than the followers of our beloved role model, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)? 

So many individuals have chosen to memorize such lyrics from the disgusting, degrading song, "99 problems" and catch phrases from shirk-filled movies rather than learn the 99 names of their Lord, the Almighty, who created them from nothing and then gave them life. AstughfurAllah. Many individuals have chosen to sell their religion for this cheap worldly life. Fornicating, boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, pregnancy out of wedlock, cursing and behaving like a drunken, vile animal! Spending in extravagance, flaunting their bodies all over the internet, abandoning the hijab, and drowning their faces with makeup! Imitating oppressed women on television, cursing like the dirty girl in the music video, and mocking and slandering those who choose to dress modest and fear their Lord. 
Yes, this is the sad reality of the Ummah.  I hate to be all "negative' and all...but this is the sad truth. Our Ummah....the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) *sigh*.....

What you fail to realise, dear noble sisters, is that beyond all these disgusting acts of immorality, the fitrah (natural inclination) of purity, innocence, and modesty has been completely stripped away, tampered with, and abandoned. The most beautiful attribute of a woman, a believing woman, is her purity, her fear for her Lord, the fear of Angering Him and disobeying Him. Her modesty is what distinguishes her from society. Her modesty is what separates her from the diseased souls. Her modesty is what defines her as a woman. Her modesty is her honour, her pride, and one of her most sacred gifts from Allah, The Almighty. 

Is the dirty muddy pail of water similar to that of a glass of purified clean water? Is the candy with its intacted wrapper similar to that of a opened, half eaten candy thrown carelessly on the floor with a mountain of ants all over it? The answer is a simple no. So then why do many of us struggle so hard to become dirty instead of pure? When we go to a store, we want the clean, best looking NEW piece of garment. Nobody goes to a store and purchases the shirt with a hole or deodorant pit stains all over it, right?  

So as you can see, noble sisters, our modesty is even more pure and sacred than just some new shirt hanging on it's hanger in the store. Many sisters try to "dress to impress" may it be for strangers, their friends, their families or whoever (and Allah knows best) but one thing we should always keep in mind is, how would Allah, The Almighty, want me to look IN and OUTside of my home? Would He want me attracting and alluring random strangers and causing fitnah for believing brothers? Would Allah be pleased with me if I were to apply makeup under my niqab to beautify my eyes like Jasmine from Aladdin? Would Allah accept my way of dress if I was walking in high heels with red lipstick and pink blush while wearing a tight fitting abaya? Would Allah consider this modesty? If you can automatically answer "no" to any of these questions, then insha'Allah you are on the right track Alhamdulillah, and you just need to continue to educate yourself on who Allah is and what pleases Him and displeases Him (you might want to check out the book by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimuallah called "Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah".)  

Sisters, we really need to reevaluate our relationship with Allah, The Almighty. We need to really ask ourselves, "do I truly love Allah and His Messenger?", "am I willing to sacrifice my desires of looking beautiful for random people to please my Lord?", "Will the Angel of Death be attracted to my beautiful face in the grave?", "Will my perfume I wore in the dunya be smelling good in my grave?" We need to really ask ourselves. Who is Allah, and what exactly does He want from us? Would He really want us to decorate ourselves like Christmas trees (which is shirk to begin with audhubilah!) and spend in extravagance to adorn ourselves for non-mahrams? 

Remember dear sisters, 

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it will revert to its (old position) of being strange. So, glad tidings to the stranger!” [Muslim]

Being a stranger, and looking like one is a good thing! Don't let the Shaitan fool you! Hold onto that modesty that you were born with! Tight fitting clothing that reveal a woman's shape, lace crop tops, skinny jeans, and see-through hijabs constitutes as "naked" because if you think about it, the item is so skin tight, it acts as just another thin layer of skin! Would this please Allah, The Most High? Would He approve of this ? Just because it was made for the people, doesn't mean that you are meant to wear it! Shaitan is out to corrupt the society and he works hard on the women and men who have weak emaan! Don't be a culprit and fasten your heart tightly to the rope of Allah, our Lord of the heavens and the earth!

AbU Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said this: Two are the types of the denizens of Hell whom I did not see: people having flogs like the tails of the ox with them and they would be beating people, and the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked, who would be inclined (to evil) and make their husbands incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Paradise and they would not smell its odour whereas its odour would be smelt from such and such distance. (Sahih Muslim Book 24. Clothes and Decorations)

Let us also remember that our actions are based on our intentions,

‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said that the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Indeed, all actions are based on intentions, and surely, every man shall have only that which he intended. Therefore, whoso­ever immigrated for the sake of Allaah and His Messenger, then his immigra­tion is for Allaah and His Messenger.”[Muslim] 

Therefore if a sister was walking out and about dressed immodestly in a un-Islamic way, and her actions are immodest as well, than her actions reflect her intentions. The reason you express your feelings towards someone is because that is how you feel, correct? Whatever is in you heart, will eventually show. When one says "do not judge me, only Allah can judge me!" well sisters, yes, only He can judge you, but our job as your sister in Islam, out of the fear and love for Allah, is to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Would you rather end up in the Hellfire (may Allah protect us all from His Punishment) because you decided to ignore your sisters care and concern? Would you rather ignore her advice and end up in ignorance until the Angel of Death comes to take you away? 


Not only are men ordered to lower their gaze, but so are women. 

Allah, The Most High, The Almighty says: 

"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful." ( An-Nur 24:31)


Let us work on cleaning our souls and our hearts, and let us work on dressing our souls and hearts with modesty rather than worrying so much about dressing our outer image. So many individuals spend hours on end beautifying themselves for their Tumblr photo blog, their fashion hijab blog, and for the online and offline pool of strange men! But how many hours does one spend beautifying their hearts for Allah, The Almighty? How many hours does one spend purifying their souls for the preparation of their death? How many hours does one waste on painting their faces with chemicals and face paint just to have to take it all off hours later to pray? Does Allah, The Most High, The Sublime, not deserve our beautiful hearts and souls? Does He not deserve our attention? Why must we give up our beautiful gift of modesty just to satisfy our needs and desires of this worldly life? 

My noble sisters in Islam, I write this only as a reminder to you because I have lived this kind of degrading, sad life prior to Islam. Where I wanted to stand out and attract attention to myself because I had no other way to feel confident and satisfied. I cried out for attention through my fashionista outfits and my immodest attitude! "Look at me! Look at me!" I would cry! But nobody really looked further than my painted face and dolled up attire. You have to ask yourself, who am I pleasing by dressing immodestly? Will that strange man's attention save me from the Burning Blaze of the Hellfire? 
Will my photo's on Tumblr and hijab blog with 1,000 followers and a million hits, be the deciding factor of my Akhirah? The answer is yes, yes it will determine your destination after this life. If you do not repent to Allah and if you continue in the footsteps of Shaitan, your abode will be right along with him (may Allah protect us all from such torment and punishment!)

Let us take this Blessed Month as a time to reflect, repent, and renew our intentions. Let us make it count and let us remember that our next Ramadaan is NOT guaranteed. 

I urge you dear sisters in Islam, take those steps to purify your heart and your faces and your wardrobe, remember your Lord and do not fall prey to this dunya. 

May Allah guide us all and keep us steadfast and upright on the beautiful deen al-Islam. May He guide us to the truth and may He increase us in MODESTY AND HUMILITY AMEEN!

May Allah forgive me for anything that I said that may have offended you, all good is from Him and all evil is from myself and I seek refuge in MY Lord, The Almighty. Ameen.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

THE BACHELORETTE....HUH?!??!?!



Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatu,

(I had originally started this post and then had left it hanging until now, so please excuse the outdatedness -i.e, if the show is still airing or not? lol)

Question: What is the ruling on television today?
Answer: There is no doubt that television, today, is Haraam (forbidden). This is since television is like the radio and tape recorder, they are like all the other blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants, as He has stated:
“And if you were to count the blessings of Allaah, you would never be able to count them.”[Surah An-Nahl: 18]
Thus, hearing is a blessing and eyesight is a blessing, and so are the lips and the tongue. However, many of these blessings become trials upon their possessors because they do not use them in a way that Allaah loves and wants for them to be used.
Therefore, I consider the radio, television and the tape recorder to be from the blessings of Allaah, but when are they deemed as blessings? When they are used to bring benefit to the ummah. Today, ninety-nine percent of what is on television is evil, licentious, immoral, forbidden, and so on, while one percent of it has some shows presented that are of benefit to some people.
But the consideration is with regard to the majority (and not the minority). So when a true Muslim state exists that can place programs based on knowledge, which would be beneficial for the ummah, at that point I will not say that television is permissible, but rather I will say that it is obligatory.
[By: Imaam Muhamad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee|Al-Asaalah Magazine, Issue #10|Courtesy of: Al-Ibaanah]


OK....so normally I wouldn't dedicate a post based on a show of any sorts on my blog (unless I had a serious, major problem with it). Well, I have a serious, major problem with this show; I was browsing through my Tumblr feed and sadly, I saw this "sponsored ad" for this disgusting "reality" tv show called, "The Bachelorette."

I know about this show, because I used to watch it in my days of jahaliyyah (Alhamdulillah Allah, The Almighty guided me.) Obviously, this is not something to admit to nor be proud of, but the only reason I tell you all, my dear sisters in Islam (and my dear non-Muslim sisters), is because I used to watch this show and follow blindly the excitement and the concept of such a degrading, demeaning show. Alhamdulillah, after Islam, I have been able to open up my eyes and clearly perceive the detrimental dangers of such "reality" tv shows, and what it does to society and it's women. 

Please do note, this blog post is in NO WAY encouraging ANYONE to watch this show. The point of this post is to deter you as far away as possible from all this television nonsense and to insha'Allah help you understand (bidhniAllah) just exactly WHY nobody in their right minds (Muslim or not), should watch such show(s).

Shall I begin?


So, the concept of such a show, sits around one woman and she is portrayed to be some kind of "American-sweetheart -daisy-duke-worthy-of-marriage-material."  Her biography makes her seem like an all-around kinda gal that every single man would get along with. Subhana'Allah.   
We are to sympathize with her because she was hurt in the past by some dirty pig and to cheer her on for her new mission to find the "man of her dreams." She goes on dates with these lowlives and makes the audience assume that she commits zina with all of them (I wouldn't be surprised if she did) and then she kicks one out and the number of men decrease until she decides who she wants to wrap around her finger. So she starts off with this "sweetheart" persona but by the end of the show she is some dirty drama queen who can't make up her mind. Of course Allah Knows best what she really did/does on and off camera, but one thing is obvious and that is she is nonetheless corrupting, oppressing, and humiliating herself. Not only is she giving herself a terrible image, but she is setting low, degrading standards for every other woman out there in today's society. And THIS my dear sisters in Islam, is the garbage that is polluting our youth, our sisters, our mothers and our brothers. Oh and let us not forget about the fitnah of the men on these shows! Remember, zina is not just committed through the body, but it is very well committed through the eyes as well: 


It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has decreed for every son of Adam his share of zina, which he will inevitably commit. The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the tongue is speaking, one may wish and desire, and the private parts confirm that or deny it.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5889; Muslim, 2657

May Allah save us all from the Fire, Ameen.

If I sounded harsh, well, May Allah forgive me, but seriously? If I don't tell you and if I don't try to put things into perspective for you, then who will ? Really? Will the hijabi bloggers who blog about fashion and makeup exposing their awrah to the entire on and offline world, will they really tell you the truth about these kinds of "reality" tv shows? No. Will those women who mix with their husbands friends openly like nobody's business, or those who have male friends claiming that it is not haraam, tell you? No. Will those women who go to movie theatres every Tuesday night with their girl friends and then update their Facebook status gushing about the male celebrities, will they tell you? Definitely not.

You see, shaytaan is really working OVERTIME and he is trying to take down as many people as he can with him to the Hellfire (audhubilah! May Allah protect us from the FIRE ! AMEEN) and he doesn't care what he does and how he does it. Allah gave him respite until the Day of Judgement and he is using it to his advantage.
Don't think for one moment, that the minutes, hours, and days that you spend watching this garbage television series and dramas, that they will avail you on the Day of Judgement. They will be working AGAINST you and not FOR you, and considering the amount of sins you have piled up on your bad deeds scale already, this may be the LAST thing that you would want on that scale. 

Sisters in Islaam, this Ramadaan may be your last, so make it count and work hard to fix yourselves. Take that step to cut back on these pollutive toxic diseases of the heart. Give yourself a break from the television screen, the music, the fornications of the eyes, ears, mouth, and body. TAKE A BREAK...A PERMANENT BREAK.
And ask yourselves, is submitting to your desires truly worth it? Will it really help you at the time of your death? Will muttering the catch phrases of your favourite television show or the lyrics of your favourite love song really as your last words really save you from the torments of the grave? Will this really earn the Pleasure of Allah? Islam is not a religion where we pick and choose what we can or can not practice. Islam is FULL SUBMISSION to Allah, The Almighty, The Most High. We must fight to put restrictions on ourselves otherwise we will fall into deep, dark, misguidance (audhubillaah). Let us reflect on the following, and remember, the Torment and Punishment of your Lord is not a light one. Surely He is Oft-Forgiving, but remember, He Forgives whom He wills and He Forgives those who repent. Do not be a slave nor fall into shirk by worshipping shaytaan and your own desires. 

May Allah Forgive me for anything I said that offended anyone, any good is solely from Him and Him alone, and anything that is evil is from my own self and I seek refuge in Allah from shaytaan the accursed. AMEEN!!!


Ahmad (17803) and Abu Dawood (4753) narrated that al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib said: We went out with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for the funeral of a man from among the Ansaar. We came to the grave and when (the deceased) was placed in the lahd, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat down and we sat around him, as if there were birds on our heads (i.e., quiet and still). In his hand he had a stick with which he was scratching the ground. Then he raised his head and said, “Seek refuge with Allaah from the torment of the grave”, two or three times …” – Then he mentioned the soul of the believer and how he is blessed in his grave. Then he said: “But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allaah and His anger.’ Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.” Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning): 

“for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle”
[al-A’raaf 7:40] 

He said: “Then Allaah says, ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen in the lowest earth, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is cast down.”  Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and whoever assigns partners to Allaah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place”
[al-Hajj 22:31] 

He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’ Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come, do not let the Hour come.’” 
[This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz, p. 156]

And also, 

It was narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a person is placed in his grave and his companions leave him, and he can no longer hear the sound of their sandals (footsteps), two angels come to him and make him sit up, and they ask him, ‘What did you say about this man Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?’ He says, ‘I bear witness that he is the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’ It is said, ‘Look at your place in Hell which Allaah has replaced for you with a place in Paradise.’” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “And he sees them both. But as for the kaafir or hypocrite, he says, ‘I do not know, I used to say what the people said.’ It is said, ‘You did not know and you did not follow those who knew.’ Then he is struck a blow with an iron hammer between his ears and he screams a scream which everything around him can hear apart from the two races (of mankind and the jinn).” 
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1222) 


May Allah protect us from ignorance and arrogance and may He open our hearts to understand the proper teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah. May we implement them in our every day lives and May He protect us from the Hellfire and His Punishment. May Allah guide us ALL to the STRAIGHT PATH!!!!!!! AMEEN! 

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ramadaan Mubarak? OR Ramadaan Kareem?



Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatu!

Question: When some people, for example, lie in Ramadan, or when he cheats or backbites, and others prohibit him saying to him, ‘This is haraam (forbidden),’ he says ‘Ramadan kareem’. What is the ruling for that?
Answer: The ruling of that is that the statement ‘Ramadan kareem’ is not correct. Rather it should be said ‘Ramadan Mubarak’, or whatever is similar to it, because it is not Ramadan itself that gives so that it can be kareem (generous), in fact it is Allah who placed the grace in it, and made it a special month, and a time to perform one of the pillars of Islam. 
It is as if the one saying this thinks that the sacredness of the time allows him to commit transgressions. This is turning around what the people of knowledge have said that bad deeds are greater at special times and places, the opposite of what the one saying this imagines. They say that it is obligatory to fear Allah – the honourable and majestic – at all times, and in all places, especially in special times and special places.
Allah – the honourable and majestic – says,
O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2). [2:183]
Allah shows that the wisdom of fasting is taqwa (God-consciousness) of Allah – the honourable and majestic – by fulfilling His commandments and avoiding His prohibitions. It has been ascertained from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he said,“Whosoever does not leave speaking falsehood, or acting with it or ignorance, then Allah has no need that he leaves his food and drink.”
Fasting is cultivation of the self, guarding it from the prohibitions of Allah, and not as this ignoramus says that due to the sacredness and blessing of this month it allows commiting transgressions. 
Translated by Rasheed bin Estes Barbee



Video by Shaykh Fawzaan (hafidhuAllah)



Saturday, July 6, 2013

O My Ramadaan!!


Assalamu'alaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatu!

(visit www.nostalgicabstract.tumblr.com for more Ramadaan Reminders!)


My beloved readers ! Insha'Allah everyone is well and gearing up for the Holy Blessed Month of Ramadaan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I firstly want to apologize for the long delay in posting! I have just been super busy and I needed a long but much needed break from the online social networking (and will continue to). Alhamdulillahi Rabbil 'Aalameen... Allah is the Most Merciful and Most Generous!

I wanted to dedicate a post to the Blessed Holy Month of Ramadaan
As you should all know, this month is a very beloved month; Ramadaan is a month to kick bad habits, to develop good habits, and to hold onto those good habits so that we can carry on throughout the year as a better Muslimah and a weaker slave to our Lord, The Almighty. 

Ramadaan is a month to recharge our emaan, replenish our soul, and to revive our spirits. The goal of this month is to get closer to Allah Subhanahu wa'ta'ala, to prepare ourselves for our death, to increase our scale of good deeds and to keep all that going even after Ramadaan has passed us. I'd like to call this month, the month of developing ENDURANCE. This month we all strive and increase in our 'ibadaah so that we can reap the rewards from Allah, The Most Generous. But why must it stop after Ramadaan (and I speak for myself first and foremost because there are still many things I struggle to keep up with once Ramadaan is over , may Allah make it easy for all of us, ameen)?? 
It should not stop. Our worship to our Lord should never stop nor should it ever slow down. We must constantly remind ourselves that death is around the corner and our next Ramadaan is never guaranteed. We must live our lives seeking forgiveness and repenting to Allah as often as we can. Remembering Him on our tongues, in our hearts and through our actions. Endurance. This is the only way that can keep us going. This is one month out of the entire year where we train for our marathon, our marathon to the Akhirah. This month is not the marathon rather this is just the period where we prepare ourselves; we nurture our emaan and we pay close attention to our own self. This is the period where we pinpoint problems within ourselves, within our souls and we figure out what we can do to fix it so that Allah, The Almighty, will be Pleased with us and so that we will be PREPARED TO MEET HIM. We work on fixing those bad habits, those things that Anger Allah and the things that we KNOW are the reasons for Allah's Punishment (Audhubillah). 

If you have noticed, this year has flashed before our eyes, another year came and another year gone. What have we done in between? Have we been productive after Ramadaan? Were we able to keep up with the routine that we strove so hard to keep during the blessed month? Well, for me, the answer is "not really"...There are many things that I know I must keep doing even after Ramadaan is over. I reflect upon this year and things that I would like to keep with me in my marathon to my Akhirah, and I know the only thing stopping me is my nafs. Being lazy is the biggest hindrance and it is through being lazy that we end up in regret. Insha'Allah, I would like to strive hard this Ramadaan to remain steadfast even after the Holy Month for I do not know the unseen and it could be that I won't even make it until the next Ramadaan. We all don't know if we will make it til the next Ramadaan and it will not suffice to say "well I fasted the entire month and I stood in prayer for TawareeH and taHajjud, so I'm good"...no this will not suffice us because we are Muslims 24/7 all year round. We are not just "Ramadaan Muslims" where we practice for one month and khalas but rather we are Muslims who strive to practice until that very moment of our last breath and insha'Allah we will die upon TAWHEED and with "La ilaha illa'Allah, Muhammad ar'Rasoolullah" on our tongues.

Let us make our scale of good deeds so heavy that it will break and let us train for endurance this Holy Month so that we can race our marathon to al-Akhirah. Let us die as believing Muslims and let us die in the highest state of emaan. Let us die with Allah's Pleasure and let us die upon Tawheed and al-Haqq. May Allah grant us tawfeeq for a successful, productive month and may He  make us successful to carry on our worship for Him even after the month of Ramadaan. 

Here are some reminders about Ramadaan and insha'Allah if you want to read about my last two Ramadaans: Ramadaan posts 

The month of ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar; Allah is the Most Great] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.
(Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #185)

Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allah in Islam) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islamic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allah), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allah has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allah has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord - Allah), the men and the women who give Sadaqat (i.e. Zakat, and alms), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of ramadan, and the optional Nawafil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).
(Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #35)

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, "Allah's Apostle died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of 'Umar's Caliphate." 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Abdul Qari said, "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, 'Umar said, 'In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)'. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked, 'What an excellent Bid'a (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night."   (SAHIH BUKHARI) 

Narrated 'Ubada bin As-Samit: The Prophet came out to inform us about the Night of Qadr but two Muslims were quarreling with each other. So, the Prophet said, "I came out to inform you about the Night of Qadr but such-and-such persons were quarreling, so the news about it had been taken away; yet that might be for your own good, so search for it on the 29th, 27th and 25th (of Ramadan). (SAHIH BUKHARI)

Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 120
Narrated Sahl: The Prophet said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.”
Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 123
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 124
Narrated Ibn Umar: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can’t see It) then regard the crescent (month) of Ramadan (as of 30 days)”.
Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 125
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”