If somebody told you about a potential business deal that would guarantee you an unlimited profit with only minor investment and labour on your part, would you not rush to sign it? We are all drawn to such lucrative activities. Fortunately, it is that time of the year when Allah throws this offer at us, but most of us are too busy with other things and tend to miss the spirit of this blessed month.
Abu Hurairah (R.A) related that the Prophet (S.A.W) said: Whoever fasts during Ramazan with sincere faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramazan with sincere faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Laylat al-Qadr in prayer with sincere faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. [Bukhari, Muslim]
I always try to make a set of resolutions in the beginning, because 30 days are more than enough to make any habit a permanent part of your lifestyle. So, if there is a bad habit that you have been too lazy to rid yourself of all year, or if there is something good that you have been meaning to start doing for ages, now is the perfect time to do it. Do not wait for even a second, start right away!
The other thing we really need to do is to build a strong relationship with the Quran. For Allah says,
(It is) the month of Ramazan in which the Qurían was revealed as a guidance for mankind, clear proofs giving guidance, and the Criterion (for distinguishing right and wrong). So whoever of you witnesses this month, let him fast it. (Surah Al-Baqarah verse 185)
The interesting thing to note here is that Allah couples Ramazan firstly with the Quran as if to say that Ramazanís first and foremost role in our lives should be to increase our relationship with the Quran. Only after that does He follow it with the command to fast in the month. If you do not recite the Quran, then start reciting it regularly, even if it is just one page per day. And if you already recite it regularly, try to read the Quran with meaning.
Try the same thing with namaz, keep moving one step ahead. If you pray one namaz, start praying two, if you pray two, start praying three, and so on. Prayer is a wonderful exercise for the mind, soul and body.
Then comes zikr (the remembrance of Allah) and durud, and here I donít mean tasbeehs. Even if you read Alhamdulillah just ten times, try to read it with meaning.
And lastly, try to be nice to everyone. Help others, give iftari to the poor, give charity, and smile at strangers. Give up backbiting and whining, and learn to be in a good mood with an empty stomach instead of fighting all day. Do some soul-searching as well, and try to think of those who are not so blessed and think of everything that you have been blessed with all your life. Respect and love your Mom and Dad. Make good use of your time Ė pray, repent and try being saintly!
Allah the Almighty has said: O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds in the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you!
Our Prophet (S.A.W) always emphasised the importance of this month. He waited for Ramazan the whole year and used to pray that he got through this month safe and sound, because it is the month of multiplication of rewards and blessings.
When the month of Ramazan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and devils are chained. (Sahih Bukhari, hadith no 123)
So everyone, letís resolve to make good use of this Ramazan. More importantly, letís vow to continue implementing whatever we learn throughout the remaining eleven months, because that is the whole point of Ramazan. Think of this holy month as a refresher course, a summer camp, where you get to rejuvenate, rediscover and reinvent yourselves. So folks, Let us reinvent ourselves in style!