Success i whatever we do depeds o how clear we are o the objectives we wat to achieve ad how well we pla for it. Eve a recreatioal activity such as goig o a vacatio takes much plaig. It is ot feasible for a perso to simply just get up ad depart to a vacatio destiatio without plaig, especially if oe wats to have a good vacatio or recreatioal activity. For example, if oe is goig to Disey World, usually plaig is doe moths i advace for the trip. I additio to makig travelig ad accommodatio arragemets, people cosult frieds, read literature ad research o how to get the most beefit while there. Time ad effort is spet decidig which rides ad sites to visit, i what order ad at what times of the day so that oe ca get the maximum beefit at miimum cost i a reasoable time. People make sigificat efforts to pla the trip because it meas so much to them to make such a trip.
What does Ramadhaan mea to you? Does it mea more to you tha goig for a vacatio or to Disey World? Are you metally ad psychologically ready to attai all the goodess Ramadhaan has to offer? Are you the spedig eough time ad takig pais to pla how ca you get the most beefit from the opportuity Ramadhaan affords you?
Some people do pla for Ramadhaan, but that plaig is oly to the extet of who to ivite for Iftaar ad what special foods to prepare or how to get the best deal o dates? But is this the type of outcome that is the objective of Ramadhaan?
So, what are the actio plas you wat to udertake durig Ramadhaan so that whe it departs, you have see sigificat growth i your Taqwa, you are more givig, more ivolved i Jihaad ad more tued to the Quraan?
Ramadhaan is a woderful opportuity to help us fie-tue our ormal patters of behaviour thereby chagig us for the better. We ca ask ourselves the questio: What areas of our persoality, attitude, behaviour, daily routies ad lifestyle, etc. do we eed to chage to brig us closer to the Islamic stadard?
What aspect of your life have you decided to improve o durig this Ramadhaan ad what are your plas for achievig this chage?
We all eed may chages ad may improvemets. oe of us is perfect ad our list of proposed improvemets ca be exceedigly log if we were beig hoest with ourselves. aturally, oe caot pick a big list ad work o all those areas i oe moth. The best approach is to pick oly a few items where the most importat chage is eeded ad to devise a pla to make a defiite improvemet i those area(s) this Ramadhaan. Success i makig the chage would make you a wier this Ramadhaan ad the moth will be oe of great triumph ad blessigs for you.
If you have decided to make this a meaigful ad triumphat Ramadhaan by idetifyig areas requirig improvemet ad if you have prepared a pla of actio, may Allaah (SWT) assist you ad bless you for takig this step i your life. Cogratulatios o a good start!
How should we -- simple, ordiary Muslims -- sped this fastig moth so that at the ed of the moth we feel ier joy ad true happiess kowig that our 'Eed day will be the day of celebratig rewards from Allaah Subhaaahu wa Ta`aala
This Ramadhaan, I will establish a close relatioship with the Quraan. I will give the top priority to kowig ad uderstadig the cotets ad message of the Quraan. I will recite ad study the Quraan with traslatio ad tafseer regularly ad steadily throughout the moth from a good, authetic Eglish traslatio ad Tafseer such as the oe by Imam Maudoodi (The Meaig of the Quraan) or by Syed Qutb (I the shade of the Quraan). I will ot sleep after Fajr, but istead study the Quraan util I am ready to go to school or work. Throughout the day, I will fid time to revise ad re-lear the Soorahs ad Aayaat I already kow. Oce that is completed, I will lear at least oe Aayah a day from a Soorah I do ot already kow.
This Ramadhaan, I will sleep early, soo after Ishaa. I will go to bed with clear ad coscious itetio of fastig the ext day, as well as with the itetio of gettig up early for Tahajjud. The, while rememberig Allaah, I will fall asleep. I will get up well before Suhoor time, thakig Allaah for givig me life, offer Tahajjud ad the make special Duaa for the mercy of Allaah o our Ummah, His help for its success ad well beig, ad His iterferece to foil the plas of the eemy. I will also make special Duaa that Allaah protects my Ummah, my family ad me from the Dajjaal ad his Fitah.
Just for this moth, I will ot watch TV at all. My kowig of what is show i the ews does ot affect ay affairs of the world. Watchig the ews causes oly frustratio, despair ad axiety. If I do ot watch for a moth, it will ot have ay impact either o me, my Ummah or the world at large. I would rather sped the moth o my persoal improvemet, persoal spirituality ad buildig a close, persoal relatioship with Allaah, rather tha o a activity where I caot make ay differece. (Uless I am oe of those few Muslims who write letters, articles or op-ed pieces to TV producers / achors, paper editors / columists, politicias ad media i geeral to make Islamic poits or to stad up for the Ummah. If I am oe of those, I should cotiue this Jihaad i Ramadhaan).
While fastig, I will make a special effort to speak oly to add value ad to say oly what is true, factual, positive, meaigful ad useful. Whe I do ot have aythig good ad useful to talk about, istead of sayig aythig else, I will remember Allaah through the beautiful words taught by our Prophet, while payig attetio to their meaigs ad feelig the impact of the words o my heart, my mid, my thoughts ad my attitude. Or, if I do ot kow them, I will lear those words of remembrace or prayer. Or, I will sped those momets to recite the portios of the Quraan that I kow or learig those I do ot.
I will ot led my ears to aythig that is useless, idecet, egative, spiteful or iappropriate. I my car, I will liste to the Quraan or some good speech of a reputed scholar. If my car CD player has a feature that allows it to repeat the same piece over ad over agai, I will use it to help me lear ew verses or Soorah. Similarly, while ridig the trasit or subway, I will use my pocket-sized Quraan or book of Prophet's du`aas to recite, practise or revise those I kow or lear those I do ot kow.
This Ramadhaan, I will particularly watch my gaze. While glacig o a member of opposite sex, I will move my gaze away before I start evaluatig or assessig the attractive features of looks, appearace or persoality or before I start payig attetio to or begi ejoyig those attractios. I will ot participate or liste to the commets of sexual ature that my colleagues, peers or frieds make.
While rememberig Allaah i may other ways, I will more frequetly ask for Allaah's mercy i the first 10 days of Ramadhaan (Yaa hayyu Yaa Qayyoomu, bi-rahmatika astagheethu), ivoke Allaah's forgiveess i the secod 10 days (astaghfirullaah- al-azheem- alladzi laa ilaaha illaa huwa-al hayyu-l-Qayyoomu wa atoobu ilayh) ad seek salvatio from the Fire i the last 10 days (Rabbaaa aatiaa fi-dduyaa hasaatawa fil-aakhirati hasaatawa qiaa adzaab-aaar). Durig the last te ights, I will frequet the du`aa: Allaahumma iaka 'afuwwu, tuhibbul 'afwa, fa'fu 'aee.
This Ramadhaan, I will be exceptioally charitable. My heart will be ameliorated ad my purse will be widely opeed, whe tears fill my eyes o seeig, hearig or thikig of the scees of devastatio, disease, starvatio, agoy, displacemet, killigs, blow up bodies ad severed limbs of poor, helpless people caused by ma-made disasters as i Afghaista, Palestie, Iraq, Chechya ad Kashmir or by atural disasters as i ew Orleas or i the areas hit by Tsuami. I will sed all my Zakaah for their help right at the begiig of Ramadhaan through trustworthy Islamic charities. I additio to my Zakaah, I will pay whatever I ca spare from my family's ecessities for helpig those i dire eed. If I have bee payig my Zakaah to my relatives, this Ramadhaan, I will help my relatives from my other savigs ad resources, so that I ca pay Zakaah to the victims of state terrorism or atural disasters. I will avoid spedig moey o my home decoratio or gettig ew clothes for 'Eed or buyig more video games ad toys for my childre, so that those who are i more eed tha me ad my family ca be helped. I will eve pay my Fitrah very early i Ramadhaan so that it ca reach those displaced from their homes before 'Eed ad before the weather becomes too cold.
Also this Ramadhaan, I will be geerous ad forgivig to my family, frieds ad the Muslim commuity at large. I will clear my heart from ager complaits, suspicio, jealousy, grudges or dislike agaist ay of them. I will be extra kid, accommodatig, courteous, supportive ad helpful to my o-Muslims eighbours ad colleagues. I will fid ways to have them participate i the blessigs of Ramadhaan ad happiess of 'Eed by sharig my food specialties with them or givig gifts ad chocolates to them.
This Ramadhaan, I will declie all ivitatios to dier meetigs with o-Muslims because every momet i this moth is too precious to be spet o those activities. Ad this Ramadhaan, I am goig to take my vacatios i its last 10 days, so that the precious opportuity offered by those days ca be fully utilized for developig my spiritual relatioship with Allaah Subhaaahu wa Ta`aala.
I will kick at least oe of my bad habits such as arrivig late for appoitmets or breakig promises. I will show up or do what I idicate I will do ad I will show up or do so o time. If I am a smoker, this Ramadhaan, I will ot smoke eve after Iftaar, before Suhoor or at ight. I will keep my mouth odour free for prayers ad Allaah's remembrace ad my lugs, blood ad heart from disease.
If I am a uiversity studet whose fial exams are fallig i Ramadhaan, my act of worship is to do my utmost best to study hard ad get the best possible results, give that ay momet that is ot spet o studyig is ot spet i ay other pursuit except i the remembrace of Allaah or study of the Quraan. While travellig to/from or withi campus or while takig a break from studies, I will automatically shift to remembrace of Allaah or recitatio of the Quraan. For my studies, I will keep timigs that are cosistet with the spirit of Ramadhaan, i.e. sleep early ad get up very early. Istead of stayig up late at the risk of missig Suhoor or Fajr, I will adjust my body clock to Islamic lifestyle istead of the wester lifestyle. Whe I get up to study at 2 or 3 AM, I will start with two Raka'at of Tahajjud ad the cotiue with my studies. After Fajr, I will still sped 15-20 miutes o the study of Tafseer eve o exam days.
If we succeed this Ramadhaan i livig as plaed above, we will be able to look back ad rejoice o the day of 'Eed.
"O Believers! Adopt Taqwa of Allaah; watch what each of you provides for Tomorrow (Hereafter); ad agai, maitai Taqwa of Allaah. Ideed, Allaah is aware of what you do. Ad do ot be like those who forgot Allaah, ad as a cosequece, He caused them to forget their souls (their ow well-beig). " (Al-Hashr 59:18-19)
The attitude ad approach of a Muslim towards the affairs of life that distiguishes him from a o-Muslim is called Taqwa. It is a paradigm shift resultig from a cotiual awareess, remembrace ad cosciousess of Allaah brought about by a true faith i Allaah (Eemaa).
Taqwa is a attitude of keepig oe's duty to Allaah ad a paradigm of care, cautio ad avoidace i the followig sese:
~ Beig coscious of our accoutability to Allaah ad beig midful that He is well aware of all our actios, itetios, thoughts ad behaviours.
~ Beig cautious ot to get ivolved i aythig that is prohibited or leads to somethig that is prohibited by Allaah.
~ Beig particular about maitaiig a lifestyle that will avoid icurrig the displeasure or puishmet of Allaah.
As per the paraphrased discussio betwee Ubayy Bi Ka'ab ad Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them) Taqwa is: Livig oe's life as carefully as oe holds his clothes closer to his body while passig through a dese jugle of thory bushes i order to protect his clothes from beig caught i ay of the thors.
To capture all the aspects of Taqwa i traslatio is difficult. Hece, differet scholars have traslated Taqwa as beig God coscious, keepig oe's duty to Allaah, or fearig Allaah Subhaaahu wa Ta`aala. I fact, Taqwa is all these thigs
Taqwa is the source of all virtues ad goodess. It is the catalyst that reforms a perso from iside. Oce a perso's paradigm shifts geuiely towards Taqwa, he embarks o a path of cotiuous self-improvemet. He moitors his ow thoughts, motives ad actios to esure that they remai pure ad aliged with the guidace of Islam. He becomes motivated, eager ad ethusiastic to do good, or rather excel, i his ethics, morals, dealigs, huma relatios, ad every aspect of his coduct i day to day life. He tries his best to avoid ay bad behaviour i ay affairs of life. Good actios please him. Mistakes give him axiety, i which case he immediately repets, seeks Allaah's forgiveess ad makes up for them by doig more good. He loves Allaah's creatios ad cares for them. He becomes geerous, gracious, forgivig ad kid. He becomes a champio for the rights of the weak, eglected, disadvataged ad persecuted people of the society. He courageously stads up ad struggles for the establishmet of justice, fairess, equity ad equality of all people. He dedicates himself selflessly, ever expectig or acceptig ay thig or ay beefit i retur because his goal is Allaah's pleasure, mercy ad forgiveess.
This process of ogoig, cotiuous self-improvemet i terms of oe's thoughts, motives ad actios regardig all affairs of oe's life is called Tazkiah (Purificatio) Thus, true faith makes a perso cotiually remember Allaah Subhaaahu wa Ta`aala with love ad awe. This all results i a attitude of Taqwa which, if properly uderstood ad adopted, results i purificatio (Tazkiah). The result is a perso at his/her best - the best a huma beig ca be.
The successful defese at Badr agaist the first Makka attack (o the 17th) ad the fial victory over Makkas (Coquer of Makkah o the 20th) both happeed i Ramadhaan.Sowm used to be a process of traiig horses to edure hardship ad develop edurace whereby they were kept hugry ad thirsty but drive extra hard durig the hours of Sowm.
This Jihaad icludes chagig oe's ow behaviour to the Islamic way; ifluecig oe's family, frieds ad relatives to practice Islam completely; ivitig oe's eighbors, colleagues ad citizes of oe's tow to Islam; startig the Islamic movemet i oe's locality; helpig Islamic movemets i the world; helpig oppressed people of the world i geeral ad Muslims i particular; etc. All this Jihaad work ca be doe i multiple ways through word-of-mouth, writte words, good actios ad behaviour, charitable acts, etc., as log as each actio fits i a overall strategy developed to achieve clear time-lied goals ad objectives.
If Jihaad for clearly defied goals is so critical a resposibility that shirkig it puts your faith (Eemaa) i questio; if Ramadhaan is the moth of Jihad that remids ad prepares you for this resposibility; ad, if you have heard Allaah callig you for Jihaad whe recitig or listeig to Soorah Al-Baqarah, Aali-Imraa, A-isaa`, Al-Afaal, At-Towbah ad Al-Hajj,
Tomorrow, whe Allaah Subhaaahu wa Ta`aala asks you, "I called you to do a extremely importat task for me, what did you do?" What would be your respose? Would you say:
"What task, O Allaah? I did ot kow you called? I did ot read/liste to the Quraan." Or, "I recited the Quraan ad listeed to it as well, but could ot uderstad your call." Or, "I recited ad listeed to the Quraan for Blessigs. Was I supposed to respod to its call as well?" Or,
"O Allaah, I heard you callig whe I was recitig the Quraan i Ramadhaan ad whe I was listeig to it i Taraaweeh prayers, but I chose to disregard it."ï¿½ Or, "O Allaah, there were problems i our commuity. The circumstaces were ot right. I aloe could ot have doe much. So I just wet to the Masjid, quietly prayed ad came back home." Or,
"O Allaah I was too busy i Masjid politics ad too caught up i fightig for subsidiary, isigificat ad/or irrelevat Fiqh issues that I did ot have time or eergy to do what you were callig me for."
"O Allaah, I listeed to you ad I obeyed. I did my best i the circumstaces. Whatever little capabilities I had, I dedicated them for your cause. Please, my Merciful Lord, accept my humble efforts ad reward me with your limitless grace ad geerosity."
So, what are your actio plas to perform Jihaad of chagig lives for the better, your mai duty to Allaah SWT?
If we succeed this Ramadhaan i livig as plaed above, we will be able to look back ad rejoice ad feel ier joy ad true happiess kowig that our Eid day will be the day of celebratig rewards from Allaah Subhaaahu wa Ta`aala.
Post By: Zubia Kiran