With Ramadan approaching fast and Sha’ban almost off the calendar, who cannot smell those ‘pakoras’ in the air? =P At least that’s what we relate Ramadan with. And some of us even go as far as visualizing their eid dresses along with matching accessoires and chand-raat shopping to complete the picture. Don’t really blame you guys. =D Who doesn’t look forward to a little flavored up excitement here?
But hey, while we’re at it, let’s work on making this Ramadan worthwhile, shall we? Let’s step up and make this Ramadan far better from our previous ones (which went more like dictated hunger strikes for some of us).
‘Cause there’s more to this blessed month than fried-mouth watering tray-laden dishes, iftar parties, diet plans, full day sleep outs and chand-raat glitz and glamour.
You’ve probably heard of these ahadith,
Allah’s Apostle said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Bukhari]
“There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night, those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is, for every Muslim, a supplication which he can make and will be granted.” [al-Bazzaar, Ahmad, Saheeh]
So, why do you think Ramadan is this important? Why has the Almighty singled out this month for His Divine Blessings?
The answer lies in the following verse:”Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong).” (Q 2:183)
It’s ‘cause of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an that Allah (swt) holds this month in high regard. Qur’an_the Word of the Creator, the Criterion_ for differentiating between the right and the wrong. How do you suppose people are freed from the Fire in these nights? What do you think bails them out?
It’s the Qur’an. It’s the Qur’an that contains the guidelines for man’s salvation. And they are supposed to be put into practice. You see, everything’s interlinked.
So, this Ramadan, make it a routine to devote at least one hour of your day towards understanding the Qur’an. There are websites that host pretty good brief-explanatory lectures on Qur’anic verses. My recommendations are http://www.alhudapk.com/audio-video/fahm-alquran-english/ (for lectures in English) and http://www.farhathashmi.com/dn/Audio/Quran/ExplanationTafseer/tabid/77/Default.aspx (for lectures in Urdu). Of course you can always carry out your own research regarding this mater.
Also, Allah (swt) has left no loopholes by chaining the Satans. With those devils away, we’re free to don our angelic façade and get busy. This is probably why we see people thronging the mosques round the clock, taraweeh banners everywhere, Qur’an classes in full swing, etc.
The question is, ‘What can we oh-so busy uni students possibly do to avail this month?’
Like I said earlier, you’ve got to take some time out for comprehending the Qur’an. That’s a MUST. Call your folks or friends over and do it together. If that isn’t possible, then flip on your iphones and put them to some good use. Download your lectures there if you live an on-the-go lifestyle.
Do something this Ramadan that you’ve never done before: Sign up for taraweeh prayers.
For “Whoever watches the night in prayer in Ramadan with trust and expectancy, will be forgiven all his previous wrong actions.” [Bukhari]
If after reading this hadith, the feat still remains herculean, at least pray 8 raka’hs or whatever number you can manage with ease. Just don’t walk out on this opportunity.
Apart from this, you can whirr your social self to life. Get involved in fund raising campaigns for the unprevliged, or any other charity work that clicks you. Donate generously. Consider yourself lucky ‘cause you’re the giving hand here, not the one in dire need.
So let’s not waste this chance to get connected with Allah (swt) and have our prayers answered.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says, “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [Narrated by Tabarani]
May Allah (swt) save us from the torment of the Fire.
May He (swt) makes us steadfast on the Path that He has chosen for us, and accept our deeds. Ameen.
Jazak Allah (for going through the boredom of reading this), and remember me in your prayers. =)
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلۡ مِنَّآۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ وَتُبۡ عَلَيۡنَآۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
P.S: Some parts of this note are extracted from these lectures:
- “Istaqbal-e-Ramadan” by Afshan Khalid (Regional Director, Alhuda International)
- “Khushamdeed Ramadan” by Dr. Farhat Hashmi (Scholar; Founder, Alhuda International)
For detailed info on the topic, you can listen online or download from here, http://www.farhathashmi.com/Ramadan-2010/index.html