Are You Ready for Ramadhaan?

Ramadhaan – the month of four seasons is approaching! Are you ready?

Success in whatever we do depends on how clear we are on the objectives we want to achieve and how well we plan for it. Even a recreational activity such as going on a vacation takes much planning. It is not feasible for a person to simply just get up and depart to a vacation destination without planning, especially if one wants to have a good vacation or recreational activity. For example, if one is going to Disney World, usually planning is done months in advance of the trip. In addition to making traveling and accommodation arrangements, people consult friends, read information brochures and research on how to get the most benefit while there. Time and effort is spent deciding beforehand as to which rides should be given preference, which shows should be watched and which sites or theme parks should be visited, in what order and at what times of the day so that one can get the maximum benefit at minimum cost in reasonable time. People make significant efforts to plan the trip because it means so much to them to make such a trip.

What does Ramadhaan mean to you? Does it mean more to you than going for a vacation? Are you mentally and psychologically ready to attain all the goodness and blessings Ramadhaan has to offer? Are you then spending enough time and taking pains to plan how can you get the most benefit from the opportunity Ramadhaan affords you?

Some people do plan for Ramadhaan, but that planning is only to the extent of who to invite for Iftaar, where to go for one, what special foods to prepare or how to get the best deal on dates and iftaar delicacies. But is this the type of outcome that is the objective of Ramadhaan?

The objectives of Ramadhaan are to:
  • Increase our Taqwa
  • Make us more charitable – both financially and in our social dealings
  • Develop patience and will power to resist temptations
  • Prepare us for our life-long Jihaad to remain steadfast on the path of Allaah’s obedience
  • Strengthen our relationship with the Holy Qur-aan, celebrate its revelation; and
  • Thank Allaah for guiding us so kindly.

One way to look at it is that the Ramadhaan is a month that has the attributes of all four seasons. Like winter, it makes our lusts, desires and temptation get so cold that they shrivel, freeze and then melt away in the spring. It is a spring of virtues wherein virtues grow and bloom to beautify the surroundings. Then, like summer, the good side of the believers’ brightens up and shines, as does the bright summer sun. And finally during this month, the sins of believers fall like the dead leaves in the fall season.

However, it bestows all these four season benefits only to those who plan, prepare and work to reap them. If a farmer has not prepared the soil and planted the flowers, the spring will come and go without anything blooming for him. In the same manner, a believer needs to prepare his psyche and intentionally plant virtues in his personality and nourish them with the water of Dzikr, the warmth of Ikhlaas and the fertilizer of Tawakkul and protect the plants with Taqwa from weeds (time wasting pursuits), frost (worldly worries and fears) or extreme heat (passions and lusts), as the case may be. Your character will brighten up and shine only if you work hard on polishing your manners, refining your interpersonal skills and serving fellow human beings. You will shed your sins only if you deprive them from nourishment by stopping to justify them and from warmth by repenting and then blowing them away by wind of Allaah’s mercy brought about by seeking His forgiveness. The lusts, desires and temptation will shrivel and freeze only when they are deprived of attention, ignored and left in the cold. Thus, it is a month of great opportunities. So, what are the action plans you want to undertake during Ramadhaan so that you make the best use of the opportunities it has to offer?

How do you plan to ensure that when it departs, you see significant growth in your Taqwa, you are more giving, more patient, more able to resist personal desires and temptations, more involved in life-long Jihaad of Allaah’s obedience and more tuned to the Qur-aan?

Ramadhaan is a wonderful opportunity to help us fine-tune our normal patterns of behaviour thereby changing us for the better. We can ask ourselves the question: What aspects of our personality, attitude, behaviour, daily routines and lifestyle, etc. do we need to change to bring us closer to the Islamic standard?

We all need many changes and many improvements. None of us is perfect and our list of proposed improvements can be exceedingly long if we were being honest with ourselves. Naturally, one cannot pick a big list and work on all those areas in one month. The best approach is to select only a few items where the most important changes are needed and to devise a plan to make a definite improvement in those area(s) during this Ramadhaan. Success in making those changes would make you a winner this Ramadhaan and the month will be one of the great triumphs and blessings for you.

So, what aspect of your life have you decided to improve on during this Ramadhaan and how do you plan to achieve this improvement?

If you have already decided to make this a meaningful and triumphant Ramadhaan by identifying areas requiring improvement and if you have prepared a plan of action, may Allaah (SWT) assist you and bless you for taking this step in your life. Congratulations on a good start!

If you have not done so, there is still time to do it. May Allaah help us all to get the most benefit from the opportunities provided by the coming Ramadhaan.

First written on November 8, 2000, expanded in 2007


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