Preparation for Ramadhan

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Interest, Islam, Pearls of wisdom

Assalamu’alaykum,

Alhamdulillah, Ramadhan is drawing near and we ask Allah to lengthen our life so that we will be able to reach Ramadhan and benefit the most from this blessed month. Today’s halaqah is dedicated for Ramadhan for we will be entering Ramadhan in just a week or so. So the discussion today revolves around how we should prepare ourselves to grab the most from this month and what we should strive for so that this coming Ramadhan will be the best Ramadhan in our life and will make the changes that we have been longing for in our entire life, inshaAllah.

Ramadhan is one of the most special month in Islam. It is the month where the Qur’an was revealed and it is the month where Allah will multiply the rewards for every good deeds that we do. This is also the month where there’s a night that is better than a thousand months called laylatul qadr. This is the month of opportunity and when we come to think of how many people this year has passed away not knowing that the past Ramadhan was their last Ramadhan, we should realize how important it is for us to make full use of this upcoming Ramadhan by filling our time in this blessed month with good acts. We have to treat this coming Ramadhan as our last!

In this month, the only thing that will stop us is ourselves. We need to strive to get rid of our old bad habits and train ourselves to be proactive and productive. If we look back at our glorious history, how many great achievements the muslims had accomplished during the month of Ramadhan? The Battle of Badr, the conquest of Andalus and the conquest of Jerusalem (by Salahuddeen al-Ayyubi), all happened during the month of Ramadhan! Thus, we need to work hard and not using fast as an excuse for us to get lazy! And to achieve this, we need to prepare for Ramadhan, physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s like attaining khusyu’ in prayer, one needs to be in constant khusyu’ throughout his day in order to be khusyu’ in prayer. It’s not a ‘plug and play’ thing! It requires training and effort!

Imam al-Ghazali has stated that fasting is of 3 types:

1- Fasting of the masses- only fast from food, water and relationship with spouses but still get involve in haraam transaction, haraam business, backbiting etc.
2- Fasting of the righteous- not only fast from food, water and relationship with spouses but also restrain self from getting involve in haraam acts.
3- Fasting of the elite- the heart is also fasting by staying connected to Allah along with the fast from food, water, etc.

For this coming Ramadhan, let’s make our intention to achieve the fast of the elite as mentioned by Imam al-Ghazali. We should make our goal for this Ramadhan to work on our heart. One of the best way to check on our heart is to record our thoughts on a piece of paper. Any thoughts which includes anger, jealousy, insincerity etc should be recorded so that we can evaluate ourselves. This way we can see how often our hearts get astray from remembering Allah. By doing this, inshaAllah, we will be more aware and conscious of our thoughts thus, making it possible for us to make the appropriate corrections to correct our hearts and clean it. It is also beneficial for us to balance our deeds with hope and fear. Hope that Allah will accepts our deeds and fear from having any insincerity in performing the deeds. We need to constantly question our intentions so that we will attain the sincerity.

Blacken hearts will not be able to ‘see’ the signs of Allah just as the blind eyes cannot see the beauty of a flower. Therefore we need to evaluate ourselves and take the opportunity of the blessed month of Ramadhan to make the corrections within our hearts. It was mentioned in the halaqah that if you want to know how clean your heart is, try to contemplate on the things that you see around yourself. Do you just look at it without any feelings or you glorify Allah out of awe and amazement? Because this world, in of itself, has signs of Allah ‘written’ all over it. May Allah makes our intentions sincere for Him and Him only. May Allah accepts all of our deeds and may He makes it easy for us to make the changes that we have set for ourselves so that we will become a better muslims, ameen.

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