[O Allah! Bless us during the months of Rajab and Sha’ban, and make us reach Ramadhan]
Ramadhan is the table spread Allah lays out for His believers, filled with every spiritual delicacy and incredible bounties. Beyond the optional acts a person can do, and the rewards one can receive through them, just the obligatory act of fasting reaps such amazing rewards. Allah says, “The fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it”. Allah says that He alone will reward fasting, and that for a fasting person there are two moments of happiness: firstly, at the time of Iftar, and secondly, when he meets his Lord and receives his reward. The reason there is such a reward for fasting is because fasting is the one act which is empty of Riya (lack of sincerity). Fasting creates a constant awareness of Allah, which helps in staying away from sins and keeping oneself pure. A person can easily break his fast when no one is looking, and it is only his fear of Allah that stops him from doing so. This is also why Allah mentions, “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you… so that you may develop Taqwa.”
Beyond fasting, Qur’an recitation is key during Ramadhan. This is the month the Qur’an was revealed, and it is the month of its recitation. We spend the nights of Ramadhan reciting and listening to it, and we should spend our days in a similar manner. Our houses should be filled with Qur’an recitation, whether that be through our own reading or through listening to it via the technology we are so fortunate to have. The Qur’an is not only for recitation either, and we should devote some time to understanding it and reflecting upon its meanings. In todays connected world, we are fortunate in that we have so many options to choose from if we want to understand the Qur’an, from overviews and summaries to in-depth explanations of single verses. It is our responsibility as Muslims to make the most of this and utilise the blessings available to us, and Ramadhan is the perfect time to start.
Ramadhan is a unique opportunity for forgiveness. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “whoever fasts in the month of Ramadhan, with Imaan and a hope for reward, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.” Similarly, he ﷺ mentioned, “whoever stands in prayer in the month of Ramadhan, with Imaan and hope of reward, all of his sins will be forgiven.” How fortunate are we then to fast every day, and spend each night in Taraweeh and then Tahajjud? Our sins are constantly being forgiven through our continued state of worship, and the good deeds we are accruing is a bonus on top.
Ramadhan itself is a huge gift from Allah, but in His Infinite Mercy, Allah blessed us even further through Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power). Allah mentions in the Qur’an, “The night of power is greater than a thousand months.” It was a practice of the Prophet ﷺ to deepen his level of worship in the last ten days, so as to make the most of the last few and most blessed days of Ramadhan. Ayesha (r.a) says, “with the last ten days of Ramadhan entering, the Prophet of Allah ﷺ would work incredibly hard, stay awake during the nights, and awaken his family [for worship]”. The Prophet ﷺ and his companions would search for Laylatul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan, and this is something we should strive to do also. If we can’t worship for the entire night, we should at least try and perform something extra, give a little in charity, and then sleep after having performed the ‘Isha prayer in congregation. We should then perform the Fajr prayer in the Masjid also, and doing so will give us the reward of having stood for the duration of the night in prayer. Our Messenger Muhammad ﷺ said, “the one who performs the ‘Isha prayer in congregation, it is as though he has spent half the night in prayer, and the one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, it is as though he has spent the entire night in prayer.”
We should try and make the following Du’a in the last ten days:
The Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ is incredibly fortunate for so many reasons, amongst them being given the Month of Ramadhan for its worship. How unfortunate would we then be if we don’t make the most of it? Like a man left in a bank vault with a set time to take what he wishes, but he falls asleep and leaves with nothing, we should not let Ramadhan pass without taking from what Allah has laid out for us. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said, “may he be humiliated, upon whom Ramadhan enters and passes, and his sins are not forgiven.” The Prophet ﷺ is illustrating here how easy it is for a person to leave Ramadhan pure of sins and filled with good deeds, and how unfortunate one must be to not have their sins forgiven. We ask Allah to give us the Tawfiq (divinely-inspired ability) to make the most of Ramadhan, and that our Ramadhan becomes a means of our guidance and brings about a change in our life for the better. Ameen.
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