We are already halfway through Ramadan and soon enough, like every year, we will be wishing we had done more in this blessed month. Many of us view this as a month to increase our worship and obedience towards Allah and His Messenger Muhammadﷺ. But this worship is not just limited to giving up food and water or praying five times a day (we should be praying five times a day every day of the year anyway!) Worship in Ramadan extends to giving up any desires or bad habits for the sake of pleasing Allah. Worship in Ramadan helps us to realise the things that we waste our time on throughout the year, when we could be using that time to bring us closer to Allah and Jannah.
Ramadan is definitely a time to increase our reading and understanding of the Qur’an. But on many occasions, some of our Muslim brothers and sisters act like it is a time to have a competition of who can say they have completed reading the Qur’an the most times! If you are a fast reciter, then it may well be that you are able to complete the Qur’an before others. But we should by no means make this into a race. It is better for us to recite and study the Qur’an during this blessed time. It is an unfortunate case that there are many Muslims who cannot understand the Arabic language, but Ramadan is a perfect time for us to sit down and study the translation and tafsir of the Qur’an so that our understanding grows. Don’t boast about how much salah you have offered or how many times you have completed the Qur’an – you have no knowledge of how much has been accepted by Allah! Ramadan is a chance to improve ourselves in the sight of Allah and this should be our ultimate goal.
A common illusion is that Ramadan is only limited to fasting in terms of food and drink – there is a lot more to it than that. We are in fact fasting against desires. These desires could be watching too many movies, or watching TV shows, or listening to songs whilst we study or work. We must understand that Ramadan is a time for us to increase our Ibadah and decrease the acts that we waste time on. It is a perfect opportunity to fix our routines and rid ourselves of unnecessary things. Reflect on the value of a fast by someone who does not give up their desires and un-Islamic acts. Another important factor is our intention. Do you think – as it has become increasingly popular – of Ramadan as a burden? Has it become too difficult to dedicate a few hours each day to the worship of Allah? Have we forgotten the enthusiasm of the early generations? This is the time when our deeds are multiplied (no matter how small we may think they are). This is the time when the blessings of Allah are multiplied. This is the time that we can make our Imaan stronger.
We have been given the platform: it’s up to us how we use it. We can use it to raise ourselves towards Jannah, or we can lower it to take us towards the Hellfire. We may not be blessed with the occasion to experience another Ramadan for we have no control over the length of our lives – do we really want to waste the chances that we do get? Yes, we should definitely make the most of this Ramadan, but don’t limit your intake of knowledge to this month only. Carry on learning about Islam throughout the year and implement it into your daily life – it will only bring great rewards. If you can give up certain acts for Ramadan, you can give them up for good. And if you can perform certain acts in Ramadan, you can do them every month. May Allah bless us with the opportunity to make Ramadan the best and most successful of our lives so far, and help us to fulfil our obligations throughout the entire year.