News & Islam From the Imam’s desk... Winter is a time for contemplation and increased worship By Shaykh Abdul Qayum Summary Ponder and reflect upon the changing of the season Ponder over the final abode and the severity of Allah’s punishment Relish in worship Fast during the day Stand steadfast in night prayers (Tahajjud) Recite a lot of Qur’an, Make lots of dua and dhikr Give charity (Sadaqah) Do more good deeds in your homes or the community by caring for others Spend quality time with family Seek knowledge Fasting During Short Winter Days Al-Hasan al-Basri (RadiAllahu Anhu) said: Winter is the believer’s most beloved season. Its nights are long for those who wish to pray, and its days are short for those who wish to fast. Alhamdulillah, this life is a blessing (ni‘mah) of Allah. An excellent opportunity for us to do so many good deeds through His countless bounties for us to secure our salvation and Jannah. In this life, every day and every night is important. Allah has reminded us in the Qur’an: He created the concept of day and night, for who will take this opportunity of the day and night to think, reflect, plan, take lessons, and be grateful to Allah. [Qur’an, 25:62] Once this life comes to an end, all of the opportunities to do good are gone. Many people pass away every day who do not have the chance to worship Him again. They will regret the lifespan Allah has given to them because they feel they did not utilise it properly and did not do enough to secure their salvation. We need to take lessons from hearing the news of any deceased, that one day we will all return to Allah, and what good deeds will we take with us? During the year, Allah has given us different opportunities to reap the rewards and blessings. One of them is the winter season, with shorter days and longer nights. The Prophet ﷺ reminded the Sahabahs about the goodness of winter: Oh Muslims, the fasting in the wintertime is a cold booty. [Ahmed]. That means that it is easy to fast during winter, unlike the summer, which can be difficult due to the heat and longer days. And we know that fasting one day in Allah’s cause to seek His pleasure will keep us away from hellfire for a distance covered by a journey of 70 years [Sahih Bukhari]. It is also a beautiful sunnah. The Prophet ﷺ fasted every Monday and Thursday, and the middle of the month, that is the 13th, 14th and 15th – the white days (Ayyam Al-Beed). As the night is longer, it is also recommended to pray night prayers (Tahajjud). Being Grateful This time is also an opportunity for us to thank Allah for everything He has blessed us with, compared to many poor and needy around the world. For example, the clothes that we wear to keep warm, heating in our homes and hot water. We need to remember our brothers and sisters in Syria, Rohingya, Yemen, and other suffering countries who are less fortunate than us by giving more in charity (sadaqah), donating clothes, and making lots of dua. May Allah save us from the punishment of the extreme cold (Zamhareer) in Jahannam, Ameen. Build Family Ties We also need to utilise this time to strengthen our family ties, including with our children, especially during the holidays. The house is the central institution for our children. Parents are role models and responsible for the upbringing of the children; giving them the right guidance and knowledge, making them good citizens, and instil strong faith to worship Allah. The house of a Muslim is where there is the act of worship, seeking Islamic knowledge, dua, recitation of Qur’an and dhikr, and fulfilling all the morning and evening adhkar. A house without prayers, dhikr, recitation of the Qur’an is as though it is a barren home. We recommend that you have a plan to spend some quality family time together, go outdoors, eat together, talk to each other, pray, and allocate some portion of the day to learn the Deen of Allah. This will, insha’Allah, bond and strengthen the family and reap the reward of winter.