So it’s finally here. The long-awaited, beautiful month our souls have been yearning. That heavy, tainted mark that clouded our hearts throughout the year, can now be polished and cleaned. This is the month where we have the opportunity to take part in higher levels of spiritual cleansing. Though I myself will start fasting tomorrow, for those who fasted today, I pray that Allah Azwajjal made your fast easy. Praise be to Allah Azwajjal for giving us another chance to breathe and worship Him in the best way possible.
Before I start, I want to take a moment to remember our loved ones who have not reached the blessed month of Ramadan with us. May Allah SWT alleviate the pain their families may be facing and widen their graves. May He give them a window overlooking Jannah’ Al Firdous and forgive them for their sins. For some of us, experiencing a Ramadan without the ones we love can be hard. I pray that Allah Azwajjal makes this Ramadan a smooth one for you and that you always remember to keep them in your deepest prayers. Anything I share with you in this post is a reminder to myself first and foremost, and then to you.
It’s safe to say that Ramadan always comes at a point in my life when my heart needs it the most. I crave that relationship with Allah where my faith is so strong, nothing can come in my way. Do you know what I’m talking about? That feeling where you’re on this spiritual high? Everything around you suddenly seems that much more beautiful and you’re in awe of Allah’s creations. Your heart feels so light and the slight mention of His name gives your entire body shivers. You love Allah Azwajjal so much that it shows in your face. You’re literally glowing inside and out. Some of us are so blessed to feel that rush of Imaan’ during and after Ramadan. Others not so much. I noticed for myself in particular, that once Ramadan is over, the habits that I had maintained for those 30 days, slowly get replaced by not so great ones. I’m sure we can all relate to this. Yet, studies show that it takes only 21 days to form a habit. That’s about 3 weeks. So why do we let our good habits fall apart? How can we make sure that this Ramadan is beneficial and the habits that we practice are carried on after Ramadan as well?
Well for one, it’s important to start off by creating realistic goals. I realized last year that my aim was to do what everyone else was doing. All over social media, there were posts being spread on “How to Finish the Quran 1,2, or 3 times during Ramadan.” I wanted to finish the Quran so badly, and though I completed my goal, I didn’t reap much benefit because I wasn’t understanding what it was that I was reading. For instance, to switch it up, my goal this year would be to read the English translation alongside the Arabic verses so that I know what I’m reading. An even better goal would be to take verses that stick out to me and write them down to reflect upon. Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of what’s running on my mind and can possibly work for you. If writing isn’t your forte, maybe try creating a list using a spreadsheet, on what you aim to achieve throughout the month. The key is to be realistic. Don’t write goals that you know you won’t practically be able to achieve like volunteer 5 days a week, for 4 hours a day, when you work 40-60 hours a week, and want to reach Taraweeh prayers. Remember, small good deeds may be insignificant to you, but great in the eyes of Allah Azwajjal.
Don’t aim to be perfect either. Falling into sin and doing whatever it is that you and I did beforehand, should be replaced by good deeds and constant prayers. Push yourself to work hard in asking Him for forgiveness. Don’t despair in Allah’s mercy. Do we not repeatedly start off reading the Quran by reciting ” بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ” ? We clearly emphasize that Allah Azwajjal is the Most gracious and the Most Merciful, so why do we feel like giving up so fast?
Dear readers, don’t lose hope in His mercy. Make this the Ramadan where both you and I will feel a change that is long lasting, God willing. Don’t let past mistakes stop you from making a change. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty for making constant dua because you feel like you’ve sinned too much. You are worth so much to Allah and you should never feel so bad that He can’t forgive you. Ignore what people say and focus on being a better version of yourself for the sake of Allah. That feeling of guilt is a sign that your heart yearns for His love. At the end of the day, Allah is the Ultimate Judge, and we should aim to have complete faith and hope in Him. All of the struggles and obstacles that are put upon your path, can now be turned into tears during this month. Cry out and humble yourself before Him. Perhaps this will be the Ramadan that will heal our hearts and bring us closer to Him.
May Allah enable us to reconnect with Him in the best way possible. May He guide us to our ultimate purpose and protect us from what He knows is bad for us. I pray that Allah Azwajjal grants us the ability to find ourselves through Him. Oh الْهَادِي (Al-Haadi), the Guider, and the One whom with His guidance His believers are guided, use Your light to guide us out of darkness. Give us the chance to take advantage of these blessed moments during Ramadan. Help us to not only read from Your Book, but reflect on it. Allow us to apply Your verses directly into our everyday lives. Help us fall in love with the Quran, and let it be our friend both in this world and the next. Oh Allah, help us to stay closer to you and forgive us for wronging ourselves and others, both knowingly and unknowingly.
Make peace with the ones you care about. Do your best to both seek and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness from your family, friends, and anyone else that you love. This is for you, yes you reading this right now. Allah Azwajjal gave you the chance to read this post as He has chosen me to type this out. Allah’s wisdom is like no other. There is a reason you are reading this. Take what you can from it as I hope I will too. I pray that this post is brought to you in the best of health and you enjoy this Ramadan with your friends and family. I also pray that Allah SWT grants us an increase in knowledge and protects us from ignorance. As the corny saying goes, let the real hunger games begin!