Preparing for Ramadan

We are only a few days away from Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims around the world. The Muslim fast, which consists of abstinence from food, drink and marital relations, is from the morning (dawn) to the evening (dusk). Some physical and mental preparation is in order for a successful Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to fast a few days a month throughout the year, so the fasting itself should not be an issue for most people. However, there is a spiritual aspect to Ramadan that we must prepare for to get the most benefit from the month of Ramadan.

The purpose of fasting is to get Taqwa or consciousness of God (hope for His mercy and fear of His wrath). Taqwa is a sought after quality for every believer. Taqwa requires effort on the part of the believer to acquire. Allah says in the Quran about fasting:

ياايهاالذين أمنوا كتب عليكم الصيام كما كتب علي الذين من قبلكم لعلكم تتقون

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –

[Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 183, Al-Quran]

The prescribed way to establish a connection with our Creator and Sustainer Allah is Salah or the prayer. The month of Ramadan is not just the month of fasting but it is also the month of the Quran. Islam is not practiced in isolation. Ramadan is specially a time when the whole community comes together.

To prepare for the blessed month of Ramadan, it is important to bring our focus toward the worship of Allah with the Prayer, increase in the study of the Quran and to reach out to people around us to really get into the spirit of Ramadan inshaaAllah. In summary, just remember these three points:

1-Worship of Allah with prayer more
2-Study of the Quran more
3-Reach out to people around you more

May we reach the blessed month and may this Ramadan be the best Ramadan yet, Ameen.

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Learn Mathematics on YouTube

Who doesn’t love Mathematics? Actually, I think most people I know don’t really like Maths. And I believe the reason for this is primarily the lack of good Maths teachers. Teaching is tough and if you don’t love it, you will likely not be able to do a good job of it. And Maths is an important subject in high school and has long reaching and long lasting impacts on the lives of students. Mathematics does matter a lot in everyday life. I used to think when would I ever need such and such concept from Mathematics as well. But you’d be surprised.

If you’ve had good Maths teachers, chances are that you’ll love or really like Maths. On the other hand, if you’ve had mediocre Maths teachers or worse, then you might just hate Maths. Teachers play a huge role in students’ lives, some of them might not even be aware. I’ve been blessed to have absolutely legendary Maths teachers wherever I went to school. So I really like Mathematics. I wouldn’t say I absolutely love Maths, but I do really appreciate and enjoy it. I really love Physics. But I digress.

I recently discovered a fantastic YouTube channel where an Australian Maths teacher makes Mathematics fun. Mr. Eddie Woo’s channel, called WooTube ( is filled with videos of Mathematics classes where he demystifies Mathematics concepts for his students and the world. His style of teaching had me hooked and I binge watched several videos such as his Visual Proof of the Pythagoras’ Theorem

and the one about Thinking Deeply about Simple Things

Since I love Physics, I also found some really interesting Physics channel on YouTube, For the Allure of Physics. Do check it out:

Finally, if you know how to teach and love explaining concepts to others, you might want to try teaching as a career. If you’re good, you have a real chance to make a huge impact on the lives of many students.

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Learn something new every month

As human beings and students of knowledge it is important for us to keep learning new things constantly. Seeking knowledge is a lifelong journey. In my humble opinion, seeking knowledge be it through reading or through exploring or traveling or speaking with people or through any other means is necessary for a truly fulfilling life. Therefore, I think it is good to put a system around this thought and learn something new every month and keep track of it to give yourself the motivation needed to keep going.

Seeking knowledge doesn’t have to a boring exercise. In fact, in order to be successful it has to be something you enjoy so focus on the subject areas that interest you the most. But do not shy away from anything as you never know if you would enjoy something until you have tried it. Obviously this doesn’t mean trying everything because there are clearly things to avoid in this world. So avoid the bad and focus on what is good.

Last month, I was intrigued with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Astronomy as I made my way through A Brief History of Time. The world of science is a fascinating experience and I truly enjoy learning more and more. There is so much to learn 🙂

This month I’m focusing on learning Python programming as much as I can. I find it intriguing and have been wondering why I didn’t explore Python before! It has become a very important programming language recently due to the demands from Data Science, Machine Learning, Big Data and AI.

Next month it might be something different. But the point is to keep acquiring knowledge (there is a sea of knowledge for every domain out there just waiting for us to embrace it), putting it into practice if possible (because what is knowledge if we don’t act upon it?) and propagating what is good to others (sharing the knowledge with fellow human beings to make this world a better place).

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