Ramadan-The season of change
SO it’s a few days into Ramadan and people around you keep talking about how they love Ramadan. They love how they can focus and worship, they talk about how they love the feeling of the shayateen being chained, and they are just so…happy. And all you can think is, “I want to feel that!”
You’ve read articles, listened to lectures, and tried to get yourself pumped up but it just isn’t there. You’re not “feeling” Ramadan.
Maybe Ramadan didn’t start off like you planned. While it’s true that Ramadan is a time to focus, life doesn’t stop because it’s Ramadan. We still have our jobs and responsibilities but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit.
Life is stressful at times and things won’t suddenly become easier once Ramadan starts. Yes, the shayateen are chained but we still have to work on ourselves.
I used to think that as soon as Ramadan came in, I would feel better. I would plan to officially sit down before Ramadan started and repent for all of my shortcomings and resolve to do better- start off on the right foot. And I would get my Ramadan goals in order. But despite doing all of that, something was still missing.
I realized that Ramadan isn’t just about outside changes. You can read all the Quran and hadith, listen to all the lectures and read all the Ramadan articles, but it might not affect you. And when that happens, we need to look inside. You’ve heard that you can’t pour water into a dirty glass…
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the raan which Allah mentions in His Book: ‘Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn’.” (Al-Tirmithi)
So we need to polish and soften our hearts.
“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. (2:74)
Maybe you have given up and wonder “what’s the point of fasting and praying if I can’t be a better Muslim?”
Or maybe there is something in your life right now that you don’t want to address. Maybe you know what you need to work on but you just don’t want to. Allah says,
“Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah? Then will you not be reminded?” (45:23)
Maybe you are not on good terms with another Muslim.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “The gates of Paradise are opened on Mondays and Thursday s, then every servant of Allah is granted forgiveness if he does not associate anything with Allah in worship. But the person in whose heart there is rancor against his Muslim brother, they will not be pardoned. It will be said about them, ‘Hold both of them until they reconcile.” (Muslim)
Or maybe you’ve overloaded yourself with preparing for Ramadan and you felt overwhelmed and gave up before it even started.
Whatever the cause, start correcting it now. Go back to the basics. Renew your intentions and remind yourself about what Ramadan is all about. Make specific, smaller goals and don’t feel sad if you got off to a slow start. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “May his nose be rubbed in the dust (an Arabic expression for humiliation) who fasts Ramadan and Ramadan ends without him being admitted into Jannah.” [al-Tirmidhi]
Insha Allah, Let’s not let that be us!
Ramadan is a perfect time for everything. It is a perfect time to ask for forgiveness from Allah, energize and pace ourselves to do more good. As I say that it is a perfect time to pace ourselves to do more good, don’t forget that it is also a perfect time to put this good into practice in our daily lives.
I once heard a lecture that in the beginning of Ramadan there are 5 rows for Taraweeh in the Masjid. In the middle of Ramadan there are 2 rows for Taraweeh in the Masjid. And in the end of Ramadan there are 4 rows for Taraweeh in the Masjid. Hence from this example we can clearly see that the moment we reach at the middle of Ramadan we drop off our consistency. Why you ask? Because we surround ourselves with a lot of ‘tasks to-do’ in the beginning of Ramadan & later in the middle or after Ramadan, we find it hard & eventually we give it a break!
So how can one be consistent in his deeds during Ramadan?
Make du’a: For everything to turn out the way you want it. Ask Allah to make you consistent in your deeds during Ramadan & grant you the ability to continue your good deeds for the rest of your life!
Be balanced: As Ramadan approaches, we set a huge ‘good deeds to-do’ list, only to realize that at the middle or end of Ramadan, that same ‘good deeds to-do’ list is becoming a burden. This time, just for a change, try adding only one little ‘good deed to-do’ in your Ramadan plan & try continuing that same good deed during Ramadan consistently & see the difference! Remember that the ‘good deed’ can be as small as making dua for the Ummah, working hard on any one of the Sunnah of the Prophet (SalAllahu alaihy wassalam), etc.
As goes the hadith of the Prophet (SalAllahu alaihy wassalam):-
“The deeds most loved by Allah (Subhan wa Ta’ala) are those that are done regularly even though they may be few” (Bukhari)
Remember that to start a good is no big deal. Continuing it is what matters to Allah. Just like my experience, I wasn’t ready to fast at all, because I hadn’t made dua to Allah nor had I planned anything. And that’s why things got messed up for me in the end. So, I pray all goes well for you this Ramadan.
The best time to begin a deed & keep it consistent is Ramadan.
So hurry up & Start now!
When winds become soft and gentle, when sunshine changes from heat to warmth… when rain is more cooling than ever before… when clouds move calmly dressed in peaceful white… when the rustling of trees is like a familiar chanting… when whispers of prayer fill the earth, when mountains stand motionless echoing Divine praise… when a lull of serenity lingers in the air and Mercy embraces the earth, the Awaited Beloved graces us: Ramadan— the season of change.
To disrupt this beauty would be ever unwise,
With our human faults, sins and lies
How perfect if we were to harmonize,
With the rest of nature when Ramadan arrives!
It trades perfumes of forgiveness if you repent from vice
And sweetness of faith for restrained eyes.
A breath better than the smell of musk,
For fasting sincerely from dawn to dusk
It gifts robes of respect for honesty,
And jewels of Jannah for a little in charity.
For constant glorification of Allah,
A face that shines brighter than the stars!
It reveals the treasures of Paradise
To those who pray in its blessed nights.
Its most special gift is the Night of Power
With immense reward in its every hour.
If you can sacrifice your sleep,
To stand through this one night and weep
Allah promises to forgive all your sins
If you beg for forgiveness and surrender to Him.
Full of forgiveness, mercy and wealth,
Blessings, happiness and health,
Ramadan changes, Ramadan revives
Our rushing yet meaningless lives.
Ramadan closes the gates of Hell
And shows us the Paradise where we could dwell,
But this Beloved is soon going away,
With the end of a mere 30 days…
To come back after almost a year,
When maybe neither I… nor you are here.