My dear brothers and sisters, the month of Ramadhan is upon us. This month has the potential to carry so much weight for us into the next life. Repeatedly, Allah SWT talks of repentance in the Quran and one example of this is in Sura An-Nur, ayat 31 in which He ends it by saying:
And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.
Dear brothers and sisters, with the month of Ramadan approaching, we need to take full advantage of the month and what it offers to us.
So how can this month serve to assist us in repentance to our Lord? The next hadith illustrates just how much as the Prophet SAWS said:
Whoever fasts, prays nightly prayers in Ramadan with belief and expectation, he is forgiven of his past deeds.
Dear brothers and sisters, we can deduce from this then that the month of Ramadhan is truly a mercy to us. It is a time to rest and revitalise our faith. It is a time to strengthen our connection with our Lord and to polish up on our faith.
For those of us who have been blessed with the ability to fast in this current month, the following advice is one to be mindful of. The Prophet SAWS said:
Do not fast a day or two before Ramadan expect those who used to fast so he can fast
Dear brothers and sisters, this is telling us that the preparation for Ramadan is to be carried out with thought and therefore if you are fasting this month, consider a break in the days leading up to the start of the next month so that you can remain fresh during it.
As Ramadhan approaches it is imperative that we begin thinking about how we can benefit from the journey ahead of us. Here are five simple ways that we can benefit from the month of Ramadhan:
1)Intention Make the sincere intention that you want this Ramadan to be a sacred and special Ramadan.
2)Make a plan: Plan how you would like to spend each day this Ramadan. Postpone things that can be postponed, and focus on activities that will benefit you,insha’Allah, in the hereafter. Here are some examples: Set a target for how much Qur’an you will recite, and make a plan for when you will recite it. Set a target for how many prayers you will pray at the masjid, and make a plan for how you will reach this target.
3)Make adu’a list: Make a list of supplications and include the following: a) your needs for this dunya; b) your needs for the hereafter; c) the needs of your family members and friends; d) the names of your friends and family members.
4)Serve: Go beyond just yourself and your own needs during the month of Ramadan. Before Ramadan begins, find an avenue for community service so you can serve others throughout the month.
5)Charity: Figure out how you can spend less on yourself so you can spend more on the needy during Ramadan. Begin calculating your assets, so that when Ramadan begins, you are ready to pay your zakat and sadaqah.
This month is so much more than just fasting. We know this from the example set by our beloved Prophet SAWS and just to highlight through one hadith, he said:
Fasting is not about stopping food and drink, but it is fasting from useless conversation, marital relations, and if someone bad mouths you then you say ‘I am fasting’
Dear brothers and sisters, this month has the potential for achieving so much for us. This is the SOS call our hearts send out 11 months of the year being answered. This is the remedy from the toll this life has on our hearts outside the month of Ramadan.
And in only a few days time inshAllah it will be here for us all to reap its benefits from.
May Allah SWT allow us all to experience the forthcoming month of Ramadhan. May Allah SWT accept our acts of worship in the month of Ramadhan. And May Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in the month of Ramadhan.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.