‘Ramadan is like a rare flower that blossoms once a year, and just as you begin to smell its fragrance, it disappears for another year’
A few days before Ramadan came, I read a quote from one of my friend’s status. Instantly, I grabbed a marker to write it on the whiteboard as a reminder of how I should not let this holy month pass by like any other ordinary month and shall not waste it. As I would like to say, we should prepare mentally, physically and spiritually for the upcoming days.
How I wished to Allah, to bless our time in Ramadan and plead that it lasted for more than a month, and does not to feel like it is fleeing away.
It is important as a Muslim, to understand why Islam emphasizes on its values of time management. In order to answer the question of why, especially in this holy month of Ramadan, we should look into this one particular hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, the Prophet (PBUH) said;
“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained”
From this hadith, we knew that when Allah open the gates of heaven as wide as possible, it shows on how Allah, the Most merciful, care and compassionate to His believer, by giving this opportunity to Muslims on seeking for forgiveness and increase the act of good deeds and worship, as well as refraining ourselves from doing wasteful things in a way to control the Nafs, and this Nafs do not apply only for eating and drinking habits but restrict oneself to do things that would decrease the reward in fasting. So, we should value time well.
From the previous writing that was shared about tips to embrace yourself in Ramadan during Restriction Movement Order (RMO), right now, I would continue and share with you on how to improve our Ramadan this year and make it a better one, oh yes, it is something that we should practice during this restricted season. We may not be able to tackle all the lists that we have made, however, we should hold on to the thoughts in our mind that what’s important is not about the number of deeds that we have done but the value of each deed that we already made and how it impacts our soul, our character and reaching ‘Islah’ which is reforming to be the best person by the end of this month.
Remember! There is always room for improvement.
With that being said, I share with you these tips and hopefully they are beneficial for all of us to improve on our activities during this fasting season: –
- Do not just recite it, but feel and reflect upon it.
Ramadan symbolises as the month of not only fasting but the month of the holy Quran. History has proven that this holy book is descended during this month. It is not wrong to say that the more you read, the more rewards shall be given to you during this month. However,, I cannot help but wonder how most people would aim to recite it as much as possible during Ramadan, but continue to make sinful act as if we forgot to reflect upon the message that Allah conveys through the verses in His book.
So, let us reflect upon a verse:
قُلۡ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِى الۡاَعۡمٰى وَالۡبَصِيۡرُ ؕ اَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُوۡنَ….
…Then ask them: ‘Are the blind and the seeing alike?’ Do you not then reflect? [6:32]
I believe that in this holy book contains a lot of beautiful messages, secrets and stories that we could reflect and think upon, hence relate it to our whole purpose of existence. Seek what lies within and immerse yourself to read its meaning and learn as much as possible from the translation and tafseer, so that we can shield ourselves from any wrongdoings that we never realise and try as much as possible to do what our lord favours and forbid ourselves from any wrongdoings.
- Increase our supplementary in Ibadah and good deeds.
Unlike any other months, Ramadan is giving us a chance to chase after the abundance of rewards and blessings just like Allah has promised. Now, is the time to collect the extra rewards by enhancing the supplementary deeds like, performing Taraweeh at home, reciting Quran together with family and friends, improving our Tajweed in reciting Quran, studying, donating our money to the charity, sharing new knowledge that we learn from a book or videos on social media, helping your family and friends with their chores, and even preparing for someone to break their fast is counted as a random deed. In conclusion, it is a race to compete against yourself to make as many good deeds as possible in a way to make the entire time that you spend at home as an Ibadah during this holy month. As the reward too, will be multiplied. But remember, before doing it, set our intentions right. To add on it, we are advised to avoid makrooh acts because the continuity and being insisted on doing so will be considered sinful. Hence the consequences will be affected upon lessening our daily fasting reward. So, be careful and cautious before doing something unbeneficial.
- Aim for the special night of power and make a lot of du’a.
How many days has it been since Ramadan? Do we count the days left to reach for the powerful night as well? Laylatul Qadr is indeed the most important night of the year. From the name, it holds a variable meaning from the scholars’ view. Some of the scholars defined the meaning of ‘Qadr’ as power, indicating the greatness of the honour and might of this night. This night offers the opportunities for us as a believer to focus on getting intense with spiritual experiences, connected soulfully towards God and seeking forgiveness. Thus, this involves setting aside the worldly matter (Dunya) and its distractions. This night is incomparable with any day or night as the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,
“Whoever spends the night of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins”
For one night that holds a benefit more than a thousand months, a Muslim should strive for the best in preparing for it. One of the reasons why Allah kept hidden about the occurrence from it as to test its believer, to distinguish which amongst them who struggles and make effort to find it and from the ones who are negligent. It is advisable that we make a list of du’a especially during the last 10 days of Ramadan, begging for forgiveness, so that we could be the one amongst the believer who opens that night as a gift from Allah to the ones that is obedient.
Overall, it may conclude that fasting month holds a time for us to make a reflection, thought, change, and for us to be a better Muslims by the end of it. Upon reaching the last day of Ramadan, ask yourself, “Did I succeed in getting the aim that I had been targeting on? Did I achieve that victory on defeating and weakening our Nafs? Did my relationship with Allah is stronger than before?” To succeed all of the questions, we must work hard on the remaining days especially during the last 10 days of Ramadan as to serve the purpose on attaining Taqwa.
A true believer sincerely waits for the night of glory,
The night that is cloaked with mystery,
And nobody can surely speak of its identity,
But the presence can be felt,
For there is a certain calmness about the night,
That makes the believer’s wet with tears and melt for the sight.
Hanis Afiqah Binti Hisamuddin,
Deputy Head of Academic Bureau.