Alhamdulillah another month of Ramadhan has come upon us. As we know, this is a month in which the mercy of Allah descending upon the earth is unlimited. It is this mercy that gives us the strength to abstain from food and drink for most of the day and then to stand for prayer late into the night. In fact, all of the virtues promised to us regarding Ramadhan make it clear that Allah wants us to take maximum benefit from this month and use it to make a change in our lives for the better. However, we find that year after year the month passes us by, and we are left to rue the fact that we did not do as much as we should have. Many of us continue our lives after Ramadhan as they were before with little or no change. My aim is to mention a few points which will allow us to utilise our time as best as we can inshaAllah and reap the rewards of this sacred month.
“There is no intelligence like planning” (Bayhaqi)
Prepare for the month of Ramadhan in advance. Ensure that you are ready physically and mentally for this month. Those with medical conditions, ensure you seek both religious and medical advice related to fasting.
“The most beloved actions in the sight of Allah are those done regularly though they may be small” (Muslim)
Make a timetable. For those working, differentiate between working days and holidays. There are enough hours in the day to work, have enough rest and read your allocated portion of the Quran. Be moderate in your planning and make a timetable that you can stick to.
3. The Month of the Quran
“The month of Ramadhan in which the Quran was revealed” (Quran 2:185)
This month is about the Quran. Those that cannot recite the Quran fluently, ensure you learn this month. Remember it is your duty to learn to recite correctly, so find someone who can teach you. Those that can recite correctly, plan to complete the Quran at least once. Follow the guide which shows how much to recite, and fit it into your timetable.
4. Avoid Sins
“There may be people who fast and gain nothing from their fast except hunger” (Ibn Majah)
Make sure you are not the recipient of this Hadith. All the worship will be of no avail if you commit sins whilst fasting. Avoid unnecessary social gatherings as it can lead to backbiting, lies and time wasting.
“Dua is the essence of worship” (Tirmidhi)
Allocate time for supplication, in particular the time before iftar. Allow the family to become free from iftar preparation 10-15 minutes before in order to become busy with supplication. Times of acceptance are many so take advantage. Make dua that Allah accepts our worship, and enable us to live our lives according to His pleasure. Do not forget the Muslims around the world who are in suffering.
These are just a few points which if acted upon will allow us to utilise our time and benefit from this month of virtue. May Allah accept our fasts and prayer, and may He remove the suffering of the Ummah through the blessings of Ramadhan.
By Maulana Tahir Talati