The ultimate objective of Ramadan is to get closer to Allah.
Getting closer to Allah is relative, I don’t care if you perform salah only on Jumuah, I don’t care if you pray 3 times a day and miss Fajr and Isha during other days, and I don’t care if you’re someone who wakes up everyday to pray Qiyam. Whatever your level of Emaan is, ensure that at the end of this Ramadan, your relationship with Allah is better than when you began the blessed month of Ramadan. This is the least you can achieve in this blessed month.
The second objective is to earn Allah’s forgiveness. The month of Ramadan is full of bounties and blessings. Don’t miss out on Allah’s extended mercy toward those who fast in this month. Constantly seek forgiveness and ensure that at the end of this month, you are forgiven. Imagine concluding the month of Ramadan being fully cleansed and forgiven and you come out of it sinless like a new born baby?
The third objective is to earn protection from the fire. This is the highest objective for those who want it. what this means is that on the day of Qiyama (judgement) when everyone will be worried about their destiny, you will be stood there, given VIP access into Jannah because Allah Al-Kareem released you from the fire of Jahannam. Also, in the Shariah, there are instances where you can’t go back on your word even if you were joking. For example, if you say “I divorce you” to your spouse even as a joke, you can’t go back on your word. It means you have divorced the person (or given your first thalaq for those who want to be more technical!). Also when you have said “I release you” to your slave, even as a joke, you cannot go back on your word from the point of the Shariah. So my dear brothers and sisters, would you think Allah the Most High, would ever go back on His word when He has given you freedom from the hell fire? If He says this Ramadan that “you, O My servant, I have freed you from the fire”, Allah Most High would never go back on His word! Can you imagine what a huge achievement that is? SubhanAllah, only a fool will let this month pass away without trying to earn the freedom from hell fire.
Having said that, I am aware not everyone’s motivation will be the same. So in order to achieve at least the minimum goal this month, let us put together an action plan.
This is aimed at those wishing to go for the lowest objective in this month of Ramadan. May Allah Azzawajal make me among those who have gotten closer to Him even by a foot-span. Ameen!
1) Make sincere intention that this year, you will connect with Allah in a deep and meaningful way. Actions are judged by intentions, so make sincere intention.
2) Set a target of attending Fajr and Isha in congregation. This one is for the men. Please don’t be among those who miss Fajr and Isha in congregation but pray all of the prayers of tharaweeh in jamath. Your 5 fardh salah is your first priority. The tharaweeh is to add to the 5. If you offer Fajr and Isha in congregation, then ensure you also pray tharaweeh. I don’t care if you pray 4 rakath, 6 rakath, 8 rakath or 20 rakath. The important thing is to pray Fajr and Isha in congregation. You ask why? Because Habibina Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam said that the one who prays Fajr and Isha in congregation, will get the reward of praying the whole night. So even if you went to sleep and didn’t pray tharaweeh, you will get the reward of praying all your tharaweeh and more! Also imagine that you slept through the laylathul Qadr, based on this hadith of our beloved Nabi sallallahu alaihiwasallam, you will still get the reward of praying the whole night of laylathul Qadr just by offering Fajr and Isha in the masjid in congregation. Sounds like cheating right? This is how important these two fardh salaths are in the Shariah. The Ummah has lost focus on priorities, so aim to offer these two fardh salath in congregation!
3) Use this month to memorise 60 ayath of the Quran. This would amount to memorising 2 ayath a day. I don’t care if you have never memorised an ayath of Qur’an before. Trust me, memorising 2 ayath a day is extremely easy! Allah Himself promises that this Qur’an has been made easy to memorise! Just imagine getting 2 ayath a day closer to Allah’s book? By memorising the ayath of Allah, you are taking the Quran which is preserved in the Lauwhul Mahfooz which is above the seven heavens right into your heart? SubhanAllah, there is no relationship with Allah Most High without a relationship with His book. Also, when you start memorising know that for every letter you recite you receive 10 good deeds recorded. So when you try to memorise an ayath, you end up repeating an ayath over and over again. This means your rewards are multiplied by 10 good deeds PER LETTER every single time you repeat it. Also, you will notice that when you are going about doing your daily routine, you will still recite the ayath you memorised in the morning, so throughout the day you will be earning ajr (rewards). It’s amazing how the rewards for memorising Qur’an are multiplied during a regular day; so can you imagine the rewards during the month of Ramadan? SubhanAllah! So please don’t ever let this month go by without being able to look back and say this month, I have gotten closer to Allah’s book in a meaningful way.
For those of you who have never memorised, here’s a quick tip on how to. Recite the first ayath 10 times while looking at the Qur’an’s text and once you have done that, then recite the ayath 10 times without looking at the Qur’an’s text. Once you are able to recite this ayath without looking at the text, then go to the next ayath and recite it 10 times by looking at the text. Then recite the first ayath and the second ayath together another 10 times. That’s it! Wallahi it’s that easy. Now just like an annoying song stuck in your head throughout the day, you will automatically be repeating these two ayath throughout the day without even trying. It really is a miracle that Allah Most High has made memorising the Qur’an easy. 2 ayath are obviously the bare minimum, so if you can do 3 instead, go for it. Trust me, you yourself will realise that memorising 2 ayath a day is a joke and is super easy. Try it!
4) Makes lots of dua. Fasting is enjoyable when you make lots and lots of dua. Allah promises to answer the dua of the one who fast right up until she breaks her fast. So make dua abundantly. When you make dua our Habibina Muhammad sallallahu alaihiwasallam siad three things happen. The first is that his dua is answered. The second is that a calamity that was meant to befall the person is averted, and finally if it is not answered in this world then Allah Most High keeps it until the day of qiyamah in order to protect you from the hell fire! The sahaba radhiallahu anhum who heard our beloved nabi say this replied by saying “By Allah! This is amazing! No dua is ever lost so we will make dua abundantly!” Also Allah is Al-Hayyiy! He is the One who when His slave raises his hands to ask Him something is “shy” to return him empty handed. Imagine, when someone asks you a favour and you are in a position to help (if you have a heart) you will feel bad turning that person away without helping that person right? Imagine Allah Most High – who is above any example – the one who has power and control over all things, how “shy” would He feel to not respond to your dua? It is important to stress that the word Habibina Muhamad sallahllahu alaihiwasallam used was Al Hayyiy when describing Allah swt’s characteristic here. Hayyiy comes from the word Hayah which means shyness. But shyness in English is a sign of meekness. However, this particular shyness of Hayyiy, does not come from a position of meekness but from a position of power and honour. It is like a ruler who has power to help his subjects and doesn’t do it, is considered a bad ruler, Allah Most High takes it upon Himself to answer your dua because not answering your dua does not befit His Majesty. I hope my attempt at trying to explain this word was successful and Allah is above all examples.
So please do ask Allah for everything and anything you can imagine (which is halal obviously!). If you want a Lamborghini, ask Allah, if you want to pass your exams with flying colours, ask Allah, if you want a righteous spouse, ask Allah, if you want your debts to be repaid, ask Allah, if you want to go to Jannah ask Allah, if you want to go on Hajj ask Allah, if you want pious kids and progeny ask Allah, you want world peace, ask Allah, you want forgiveness, ask Allah, you want hidaya for your brothers, sisters, uncles aunties, neighbours, colleagues, ask Allah, you want barakah in your work, in your time, in your health, in your wealth, ask Allah. Ask Allah if you don’t have salt in the house, ask Allah if your shoe broke, ask Allah if you want to migrate to another country. Wallahi no dua is too small for Allah and no dua is too great for Allah azzawajal!
I hope the above 4 tips will help you make this month of Ramadan your best ever! Also when you make dua, please don’t forget to remember me in them too!
Baarakhallahu lee walakum!
Thaqabballahu minna waminkum!
Wasaalamu alaikum warahmathullahi wabarakathahu!