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Ways To A Sweet Taraweeh

Sujud Ramadan is here! Alhamdullilah! It's a beautiful time of year for Muslims all around the world. It's time to tighten that belt and fast those long days. It's a time to connect with Allah, even if you've fallen below your own bar for the last 11 months. Alhamdullilah, you made it to another Ramadan - when the gates of the hellfire are closed, the gates of paradise are open, and the devils are chained. The good deeds are multiplied by 70 or more, and in it is a night that is better than 1,000 months.

During the month of Ramadan, the Holy Prophet (P) used to urge the people to perform optional taraweeh prayer at night. He did not order them or make it obligatory on them.

"Whosoever performs optional Taraweeh prayers at night during the month of Ramadan, with Faith and in the hope of receiving Allah's reward, will have his past sins forgiven." (Muslim)

Taraweeh can be tough sometimes. You want to make that connection with Allah, but the prayers can be long sometimes - standing for extended periods of time and sometimes not understanding the verses being recited. Well here are some ways we can all work on making that connection and finding that sweet taraweeh.

1. Eat a light iftar

So your stomach shrunk, but your eyes haven't. You're starving and the iftar looks great. Take it easy. Eat when you get back from prayer if you need to, but don't overdo it before taraweeh.

2. Make a proper wudu.

Concentrate on your wudu. Think of your sins dripping as the water washes away. Sure, you're rocking the leather socks and are ready to wipe, but try washing your feet anyway.

3. Dress comfortably

Nobody's saying you have to wear a thobe or shalwar kamees… but it doesn't hurt to try it out every once in a while. Nevertheless, just make sure you're comfortable (and modest) in whatever you decide to wear.

4. Smell nice

This is more for your taraweeh neighbors who just finished reading this article and are also searching for that sweet taraweeh. But the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether that stench is really you or the guy standing next to you. Brothers, the Prophet (P) loved nice-smelling musk, and so should you.

5. Drink green tea

Drink green tea 30 minutes before taraweeh for a natural energy boost. The light caffeine will make you feel more alert. It'll also keep your breath fresh, and the person next to you will thank you for it.

6. Get to prayer early

Don't be stressed about parking and whether or not you'll get a good spot. Get in your zone before prayer starts. Do some pre-game warm-ups (sunnah) if there's time. It's unfortunate that we worry so little about Isha prayer and concentrate more on taraweeh. Remember that the obligatory prayer in its time is the best of deeds.

7. Sit close to the front if you can (brothers)

Don't let the congregation distract you. Sitting in the front is the best for the brothers, and in the back rows for the sisters. I know you want that spot in the fifth row right under the ceiling fan, but you're the first person at the masjid. Sit as close to the front as you can.

8. Take the grudge out of your heart

Yes, that sister talking loudly on her cell phone is being inconsiderate to people praying. But, it's that time of year, so let it slide. "Let them forgive and overlook. Wouldn't you love that Allah would forgive you?" (24:22)

9. Be aware of which chapters are being recited

If you're not very familiar with the Quran yet, at least try to get the chapter title. Maybe ask the imam or the person following with his or her own Quran. You can even ask the organizers to post a schedule on their website. It'll help you concentrate when you know which surah you're on.

10. Memorize key words that shake the heart

If your Arabic isn't good, or nonexistent, memorize a few common words that shake your heart and help you reflect - words like mercy (rahmah), Forgiver (ghafoor), believe (aminu), paradise (jannah), hell fire (jahannam), punishment ('athab), and anything else that moves you.

11. Make dua'/ istaghfar before going

Stand before Allah with a pure heart. Ask that He open your heart to Him, that He protects you from an eye that doesn't shed a tear and a heart that doesn't ache. In His hands are all matters, so ask for His guidance and help to benefit from the taraweeh.

12. Have heart softening discussion/reflections

Talk about Islam on the way there - with someone in the car or on the phone. If you have no one to talk to, reflect a little, listen to a short lecture, and get yourself in the mood to stand before the Lord of the Universe.

13. Leave the world (and your cell phone) behind

Stop thinking about school, work, troubles, Facebook, Twitter, replying to texts, emails, or anything else. Turn the ringer off… not vibrate so that when someone calls you can spend the next 20 minutes of prayer wondering who it could have been, only to find it was a wrong number. Turn the ringer completely off.

14. Reflect on your regrets and moments of closeness to Allah

Stand before Allah as a needy beggar and ask Allah to give you. Remember what you've done, and be humble enough to ask Allah to forgive you.

15. Concentrate on the message

Listen to the words as best as you can, and know that this is a message to you from the Lord of the Worlds. Know the depth of the Quran and how heavy it really is. Had it been revealed on a mountain it would have crumbled out of the fear and love of Allah.

Now go get it! Enjoy this beautiful month. May Allah allow us all to find that sweet taraweeh, and may He grant us the most out of the blessed month of Ramadan.

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The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186
info@islamicbulletin.org

Vol. XXIV, No. 28
Note from the Editor
Fifa and Your Spirituality
World Heavyweight Champion
Forgiving in Ramadan
Ways to a
Sweet Taraweeh
Why I Embraced Islam
From The Editor's Desk
Involving Children
in Ramadan
California Prayer Locations
Mus'ab Ibn Umair
Cook's Corner
7 Daily Spiritual Habits
The Importance
of Dhikr
Kids' Corner
Just Close Your
Eyes and Imagine
Sayings of the Prophet