The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


by Mehreen Khan

Almost one year has gone by and Ramadan is about to knock on our doors one more time, insha’Allah. Being able to fast the month of Ramadan is truly a gift – how many have gone back to Allah? – and it is also a trust that needs to kept with care and concern. Just like all other great things, Ramadan requires some sacrifice and determination, if you wish to truly benefit from this gift and protect this trust.

Ramadan requires preparation, which in turn, requires time and reflection. The companions of the Prophet ﷺ used to start preparing for Ramadan six months prior to it, and they would increase their worship especially during the month in which we are now, Sha’ban.

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It’s kind of hard to go into Ramadan without any specific goals in the hope to ‘wing it’, because to be able to improve one’s self, one needs to… well, obviously set some goals! Specific and personal goals will naturally vary from person to person, but here are some achievable ones that can be set insha’Allah:

  1. Make all five salawat (prayers) on time: If one of your struggles is to perform your prayers on time, make it a goal to make each obligatory salat during Ramadan on time. Once this becomes a habit, insha’Allah, it will be easier to continue praying on time during the remainder of the year.
  2. Recite the Qur’an: At least once a day, with reflection on its meaning. I know a lot of people like reading the entire Qur’an during Ramadan, which is great if you can do it, but do not forget to actually reflect upon what Allah is saying. Obtain a Qur’an with the English translation and read the tafsir of ten verses minimum each day. This is an achievable goal for anyone!
  3. Avoid backbiting: Sometimes we tend to forget that backbiting is a major sin. “There’s nothing wrong in some gossiping, right?” Wrong! Try to catch yourself when you realize you’re backbiting and stop immediately.
  4. Pray Qiyam ul Layl: I know it gets hard with school and/or work, but try to wake up at least 15 minutes before suhoor each morning and pray. This is one of the times when du`a’ is readily answered, so make sincere du`a’, ask for forgiveness, and reconnect with Allah. From my personal experience, I know that it makes a world of difference.
  5. Recognize your sins: Admitting that you are imperfect and depending on Allah is the first step – reflect on the causes of your sins and the harms they have done in your life. Think about the greatness of the One whom you have sinned against, and ask for forgiveness. Pick a sin that you commit and make it a point to avoid committing it during Ramadan. Then pick another sin and avoid that until you behave at your best, at all times, as though Allah (swt) is watching you. Which He is.
  6. Share Ramadan with your neighbors: Our neighbors have a right to know about Ramadan, and it is our duty to inform them. Think of fun ways of sharing Ramadan with your neighbors. My siblings and I usually make Ramadan goodie bags and cards and put them in our neighbors’ mailboxes. Be creative.
  7. Try the 1/3 food rule: I know this one super hard and may sound like a broken record, but really…try not to over eat this Ramadan! The moment you feel nearly full – stop eating. Drink more, eat less. This is a goal that benefits others too as you can make two meals out of your one.

At the end of the day, whatever goals you choose to set for yourself, be sure to make them realistic and precise. Make a list of 5-10 goals you can reach to make this the most wonderful time of the year. Challenge yourself, but remember, you are going to have your limits so don’t be overly ambitious and expect a spiritual conversion overnight. Perhaps the most important advice to keep in mind is the saying of the Prophet ﷺ , “The best deed before Allah is the most persistent one, albeit small.” (Muslim).

Brothers and sisters, this could be our last Ramadan ever. This month may just be our last month of mercy, forgiveness, and freedom from the Fire, and we might never be able to see another one again. Let’s not let it go to waste, insha’Allah.

Keep us in your du`a’ – Ramadhan Mubarak!

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14 Comments

  1. muslimah says:

    jzkheri sister

    done shopping for ramadan yet? add dates and this is why:

    http://www.masnet.org/news.asp?id=565

  2. UM-ABDELRAHMAN MURPHY says:

    Mashallah , very nice , we ask ALLAH subhanhu wataala to make our Ebadat , and Deeds in Ramadan this year better than the past years . Ameen

  3. muslimah says:

    I received powerpoint reminder regarding this and i thought i could share. I think we can benefit alot if we set goals.

    How to read the whole Quran during Ramadhan‏:

    4.5 pages if possible after every prayer

    4.5 * 5 prayer * 30 days =675 pages.

    depending on which quran version you have its very possible to complete reading the whole quran. (if its plain arabic its for sure ) i checked the few that i have the pages vary with the leghth of translations. Muhsin khan is about 700 pages, where us pickhall mamduke medium size is 603 pages but small ones are 1000 plus pages. Abdullah Yusuf translations is much longer hence more pages.

    And ofcourse attending taraweeh prayer every night is another qurantee that one will finish reading or listening to the whole Quran.

    Ramadan mubarak to the owners of the site and the readers. May Allah swt have mercy on all of us Ameen.

  4. Anon says:

    Could you recommend books on tafsir please?

  5. Farooq says:

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    These are really good tips. Jazakallahu Khaira. One thing we all notice is that we start our objective of completing the Qur’an with much vigor in the beginning of the month. But then slowly our motivation drops.

    Alhamdulillah, here is a very useful competition to keep us engaged with the recitation of the Qur’an throughout the month.

    is absolutely free to join and anyone from anywhere in the world can participate. Over 220 participants have already registered. Register soon!

    “… Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! …” (Surah Al Ma’idah : Verse 48)

    Reflecting upon the verses that we recite is also very important. May Allah make this Ramadan for me the best ever!

  6. maryam says:

    jazaki Allahu khayran for a very beneficial Ramadan prep reminder! barak Allahu fiki!

  7. pani says:

    hi
    I am so excieted!iٌm a women from iran !i was searchikg for ramadan and fonud your blog
    I like it
    I have a blog about life sport but in farsi

  8. Brother says:

    For sharing Ramadan with your neighbors what else would you recommend to do if you aren’t really good with making cards?

  9. Arif says:

    Anon: Regarding books for tafsir-

    I asked Dr. Jamal Badawi which tafsir he prefered in the English language. He replied: Tafhim ul Quran by Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi. This is a set of about 12 volumes. The complete tafhim has not yet been translated but that’s ok because all your really need for personal development is the 1st and/or 2nd volume.

    My personal advice to you is:
    1. Get The first volume of Tafhim (aka. Towards understanding the Quran)which includes surah Fatiha and Baqarah.
    2. Get the LAST volume of “In the shad of the Quran” by Syed Qutb. This includes the 30th chapter of Quran.

    These two would be SOLID for a tarbiyah understanding of Quran.

    3. With this I recommend getting the 1 large volume version of “Thematic Commentary of Quran” by Muhammad Al-Ghazali. This gives a nice summary of EACH surah of the Quran so you can increase your literacy of the greater themes covered in Quran.

    I pray the best for you.

    Salam
    Arif

  10. Anon says:

    Thank you Arif. May Allah swt bless you this Ramadan, may He grant you the hidayat and tawfik to make this the best Ramadan of your life. May Allah swt grant you a place in paradise. WSalam, Anon

  11. Mansoor Ali says:

    Assalammualaikum,

    This is a great to all the Muslim brotherhood ……… and how to become the truly muslim .. May ALLAH bless you all

  12. Zahara says:

    Masya Allah

    I thank Sheikh for the reminders of the Ramadhan and opening the hearts and minds of my kid and other youngsters.

    The “HYP” youngsters felt that you made Islam is our way of life. It’s easier being a Muslim than others, your only job is to obey- the wahy: do good, leave the bad.

    May Allah shower you with the greatest blessings.

  13. tabassum says:

    salaam
    I was just wondering if reading the Quran in English counts? but if not then I can just read it in Arabic and in English later.

  14. madiha says:

    Alhamdulillah, Syukran for the info shared..Insyaallah, i’m really looking forward to it…:)

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