By Umme Ammarah
(For our readers in the Northern Hemisphere save this article for later in the year when winter creeps in!)
It is said winter is a time when people suffer from so called winter blues. But it is interesting to see how many people welcome winter because they see it in a different light. Instead of being down and in active you can be pro active revive your energy in ibadah (worship), increase your good deeds, take care of your obligations and earn the pleasure of Allah all at the same time. Here are some tips to benefit from winter:
Winter is the best season for the believer because Allah Ta’ala makes worship easy for him. This is because in winter, the believer can fast during the day with ease without suffering from hunger and thirst. The days are short and cold, and he therefore doesn’t feel the hardship of fasting…
It is reported The Beloved Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Fasting in the winter is the easy prize’
‘Umar bin al-Khattab(RA) said: “Winter is the prize of the worshippers.”
2. QADHA (missed)FASTS
We all know that making up the days of missed fasting is fardh (compulsory) on every adult Muslim man and woman and not doing so is a sin. So if we have missed a fast for a valid reason (travel, sickness etc) we need to “catch-up”.
Thus, we should hasten to fast the number of days we missed and what better opportunity than this? How much easier could it get? The days are short and the weather is cool, so you don’t really get thirsty or even feel hungry.
The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “Winter is the best season for the believer. Its nights are long for him to pray in, and its days are short for him to fast in.” [Hadith-Majma’ az-Zawa’id’ (3/203)] As for praying at night in the winter due to its long nights, one can have his share of sleep and then get up to pray afterwards and recite all that he usually recites of the Qur’an while he has enjoyed enough rest.
The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Whoever feeds a hungry believer will be fed by Allah on the Day of Judgement from the fruits of Paradise, and whoever quenches his thirst will have his thirst quenched from the Sealed Nectar, and whoever clothes him will be clothed from the green silk of Paradise.”
Try and involve our own family in these activities. Buy some blankets, gloves and warm hats and take your kids along to distribute it to the needy. There is so much good we can do if we just put ourselves forward.
5. HOT SOUPS
We can prepare some nutritious soups for our family and also hand out to the poor in and around our neighbourhood. I’m sure a hot cup of soup would definitely be appreciated on a cold winter day.
The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Worship the Most Compassionate, Feed people and spread salaam (greetings) and you will safely enter paradise.” (Hadith –TirmidhiI)
6. COZY FAMILY TIME
Allah says in the Noble Qur’aan :”Oh you who believe save yourselves and families from the fire.” (Quran 66:6) .So plan such activities that will bring us closer to Allah. Be innovative and have fun within the confinements of Shariah.
As it is cold, we can enjoy quality time indoors with our family which we often find difficult because we are so “busy”! Plan and do such activities that will bond the family and bring us closer to Allaah. Let the kids be involved in what you plan. Ask them for suggestions so they feel they are part of it. Sit around the warm fire/heater and read some stories of the Sahabah (RA) to the children and introduce them to the true heroes of the world or engage them in any such activities that will be beneficial.
Mums and dads… use these long nights to re-kindle that flame of love.
7. KNOWLEDGE AND WORSHIP
Allah Ta’ala says in verse of Quraan: “verily, in the Remembrance of Allah hearts find peace and satisfaction.” (Qur’aan 13:28)
Use this time indoors to learn duas (prayers) from the sunnah, in recitation of Qur’aan, make the Zikr of Allah etc..The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said; “everyday Allah showers kindness and charity on his slaves and no kindness is better than inspiration of His remembrance that Allah grants to his slaves.(Hadith-tabarani)
Choose a good Islaamic book and increase your Islaamic knowledge. A Believers thirst for knowledge is never quenched. He continues to hear and learn until he enters Paradise Hadith-Tirmidhi. It was narrated that Ibn Mas’ud (RA)said: “Welcome to winter! Blessings descend in it, its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in.” This is why Mu’adh(RA) wept on his deathbed and said: “I weep because I will miss the thirst I felt when I fasted, praying at night during the winter, and sitting knee to knee with the scholars during the gatherings of knowledge.”
8. PONDER OVER ALLAH’S GREATNESS & THANK HIM FOR HIS BLESSINGS
Actually, if you think about it, winter is a big blessing from among the innumerable, uncountable blessings of Allah. He is honoring us by the bounty of His Giving, His Gracious Blessing and His Great Favour, so that we may be able to pray at night, fast during the day and worship Him
9. REMEMBER REALITIES OF HELL
The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)said: “Hell complained to its Lord, saying: “Parts of me have consumed the other parts.” So, He allowed it two breaths of exhalation: one in winter and one in summer. As for its breath in winter, that is the bitter cold, and its breath in the summer is the extreme heat.”
Among the virtues of winter is that it reminds one of the extreme cold of Hell and pushes one to seek refuge from it and to do such noble actions that will ensure one is protected from Jahannam (Hell)!
May Allaah Ta’ala, Most High enable us all to make best use of our winters. Ameen.