Ramadan is awaited with much anticaption - a special guest that visits us annually. To ensure that we are prepared for our visitor the following is a ten point check list that we should try to uphold to see the best of Ramadan.
1. Do with the heart – There should be no ulterior motive in welcoming our guest. Become cognisant of the actions of the heart. Do everything with a clear intention and purpose. Trying to earn recognition from people and is not what good acts are for. Do for Allah Ta’ala alone.
2. Be at your best – Be sincere, true, alert and awake. Constantly ask Allah for ability (tawfeeq) to benefit from the blessings of Ramadan daily. Never rely on one’s actions, means and abilities.
2. Month to incinerate sins – To sin in Ramadan is like discarding the guest. Ramadan is here to scorch and burn away our evil and wrongs. Don’t add anymore to the pile. Be determined and steadfast in the face of temptation and abstain from all forms of sin and vice. Avoid frequenting places where sin is committed. Special care should be taken to abstain from the vices of the eyes, ears and tongue as these are the tributaries to the heart and mind.
3. Repent sincerely – Our guest has brought many precious gifts - among them is 10 days of forgiveness and a night better than 1000 months. Repent daily in Ramadan and remain steadfast on the pledges made. We have oppressed our souls greatly through sin. Learn from the Ulama the proper method of Taubah. Also engage in a lot of Istighfar.
4. Free up your time – Our special guest wants our full attention. Try to lessen one’s mundane engagements and free one’s time for solitude, prayers and company of the pious Ulama. Let us begin to value the capital of time especially in Ramadan.
5. Pious company – You would not want your guest to know the bad company you keep. Make a point of dedicating some time of the day or night to sit in good company. Company of the pious is highly beneficial and can take a person forward very quickly.
6. Read for motivation – Our guest will indeed enjoy the melodious recitation of Quran and recalling the stories of the pious. Together with the abundant recitation of Quran, one should endeavour to read some literature on the lives of the pious and how they spent their Ramadan. This could be easily achieved by reading a few pages after the recitation of the Noble Quran.
7. Live the Sunnah – Show quality conduct to our guest. Utilise the auspicious month of Ramadan to build a Sunnah lifestyle. All progress depends on following the beautiful way and life of our beloved Master Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Memorize and recite the masnoon duas for particular occasions with regularity and make a covenant to continue with this for life.
8. Intensify Dua - Include among the gifts and favours of our guest is the acceptance of Duas. Something we can never do without - make Dua whenever possible for every form of good. Pray for oneself, family, fellow ones and humanity at large. The Ummah is in great distress and collective Duas are imperative for our fellow Ummatis.
9. Focus on purifying the inner – With the presence of such an esteemed visitor we will be surprised how quickly and easily we could identify our weaknesses and faults. Be watchful of the dangerous traits of anger, arrogance, vulgar speech, hatred and ill feelings for others. Develop patience, humility, gratitude and sincerity.
10. Think of others – Our guest has brought with the rich lessons of charity, kindness and concern for humanity, being kind and affectionate to others, not causing inconvenience to anyone and thinking of the plight of those who have less than us. These are qualities we must adopt in Ramadan.
Honouring the guest is a great Sunnah. What better way to show honour to the esteemed guest of Ramadan than to value and appreciate it fully. If these brief guidelines are adopted with zeal and sincerity there is great hope that Allah Ta’ala will bestow one with the true rewards of Ramadan.
Darul Ihsan Centre