By Shakirah Abdullah   I seek refuge in the perfect word of Allah from the accursed shaitaan. In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful. As salaam alykum my dear brothers and sisters in Islam. Ramadhan is around the corner and as the days come closer and closer while we grow more exited each day, we need to ask ourselves this: Are we excited for Ramadhan as it is the time where we fill our belies with good food or are we excited to fill our hearts with Imaan? We need to understand the true purpose of this month and importance there in to answer this question. To be honest, the fast is really worth it for the good food at Iftar, but so should the joy of breaking the fast the Sunnah way. So what is the importance of Ramadhan? Allah commands us in the Qur’an when he says: “o ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may ( learn) self-restraint” 2:183 It was also related by Abu Huraira that the prophet SAW said: “Allah the majestic and exalted said: ‘Every deed of man will receive 10 to 700 times rewards, except Siyam ( fasting) ,for it is for me and I shall reward it( as I like). There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts: one, when he breaks his fast and the other when he will meet his lord” ( Muslim). As we can see, there are so much benefits to fasting. Let us make this the reason we pray to teach Ramadhan. From the ayah above we can clearly see that it is a ‘must’ for every Muslim to fast, unless they are afflicted with conditions where they are unable to fast but even then, Allah has made a replacement for the fast in other ways like paying the days or feeding the hungry etc. Fasting literary means ‘to abstain’ from food and other things. This dos not mean that we should not have a delicious meal set up for Iftar. We should, but let us not make the reason why we pray to witness Ramadhan. We need to focus on the spiritual purpose of Ramadhan and once we get that in our hearts, the rest of the  things will be a bonus and we will learn to appreciate Ramadhan and enjoy it more. The main aim here is to be sincere and increase our worship in Allah and to attain ‘Haqq’ in our hearts. Here are ways we could use to attain sincerity and Taqwa in Allah and to make Ramadhan more about filling r hearts rather than our bellies.
  1. Firstly we need to make an intention. Lets make an intention in our hearts and be  sincere in our aim for this quest. As the prophet SAW said : “Every action is according to its intention and to each person what he intends…” narrated by Ibn al- khattab
  2. Let’s ask Allah the Almighty for guidance and for help, as all things comes from him.
  3. Thikr we can make regular short thikrs ( remembrance of Allah) during whatever we do a little ‘ la ilaha illallah’ once in a while wouldn’t hurt. If we do this constantly, it could be a habit even after Ramadhan. Insha Allah.
  4. Nafil( sunnah) prayers . let us get to work with our sunnah and get into the habit of obeying and following our beloved prophet SAW. As Allah says in the Qur’an: “oh you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger (SAW)” 4:59 and again in the same surah: “He who obeys the messenger has indeed obeyed Allah…” 4:80
  5. Reciting the Qur’an . its the month of the Qur’an. Let’s make an effort to honour and recite the Qur’an. Even if it is a page a day, then Insha Allah we can increase a little day by day. Hopefully we can continue to do so even after Ramadhan Insha Allah.
  6. Acquire good companionship that will constantly remind you of Allah. The prophet SAW said in a hadith reported by Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi: “a person is likely to follow the faith of his friends, so be careful whom you befriend”. Remind each other of religious remainders and encourage each other to do things that pleases Allah.
I pray that this message serves as a reminder for other and for myself as well and also be the beginning of our journey to get closer to Allah. Insha Allah. May Allah recognise our efforts and guide us through what ever we do to please him. My Allah grant us a all a blessed Ramadhan and a joyous Eid Mubarak Ameen. Was Alaykum Salam, Warahmatu llahi wa barakatuhu.