Ramadan is here once again, a yearly feature in our calendar. As a matter of fact, Ramadan was there before human existence on earth. It is the month of forgiveness and mercy. No other month in our calendar can be compared to this month for its warmth and kindness to the believers. As we travel in life, we commit mistakes regularly. In this month, we are afforded abundant opportunities to cleanse ourselves and purify our souls. We need to ponder deeply on how we deal with it, focus on our goals in it and strive to make the best of it. We need to prepare ourselves also to benefit fully from it. Let us gird ourselves and saturate our beings with the mercies that flow in it.
Mercy in the month of Ramadan
In this stunning month, Allah’s mercies flow like a tsunami. Night and day the Most Merciful opens the door of His mercies. He chains the Shayateen (Satans) so that His prized creation (humans) will have enormous freedom without major obstacles to benefit from His mercies. He increases the rewards for both compulsory and voluntary actions manifoldly. The Taraweeh salaah is added to our sunnah salaah in order to be in His presence with intimacy. The Holy prophet said, “Whoever stands for prayer (the night prayer) during Ramadan with Iman, hoping for rewards, then all his/her sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
In the first part of Ramadan, His mercy is so abundant that we will be prepared to be forgiven in the second part, and be delivered from the punishment of Hell in the third. He rewards the fasting one Himself. There is a night in this month that is better than a thousand months. We are asked to seek it in the nights in the last third of the month. In this month the believers demonstrate their kindness and care for humans through charity and through inviting the fasting one to break the fast. It is important that we don’t deny ourselves these opportunities. It is a natural part of life that we work hard to achieve anything in life.
We strive, make sacrifices and utilize our energies to garner provisions to make our earthly life enjoyable all year round. With the pouring of mercies in Ramadan, we need to switch gear to garner provisions for our eternal life which begins with death, the transition from this life to the next. Do we organize our lives to benefit from these limitless mercies, particularly for the nights in the last third of Ramadan? Do we reserve time to recite and ponder on the Quran? Do we prepare ourselves to seek forgiveness from those we wronged and make a lot of Taubah? What resolutions have we made to give regular charity this month? What plans are in place for us to make extra Salaah in the month of Ramadan? What arrangements do we have to visit relatives, friends, the sick and feeble in this month of unfathomable mercies?
Ramadan is not a routine
We need to think deeply about Ramadan. It is not a routine, but a time for deep reflection about our sojourn in this life and how we are using it to return to Him to report on our mission here. It is the time to reconnect with Him and solidify our connection with Him. This is a month He has made for us and has poured His mercies on us while we seek to make the best out of it. There is nothing that is too much to keep us away from Him. He is the source of everything we need and want. We can never fathom Him mercy. The spouse we have and cherish is His mercy. The children we have and love so much are His mercy. The job, the health, the strength and the honor we have are His mercies. The air we breathe, the food we eat, the sleep we take, Salaah we make, the journey we make to the Masjid and the charity we give are His mercies also. “Which is it of the favors of your Lord will you deny?” (Surah Rahman)
The Qur’an is guidance
Allah has sent the Quran as Guidance for His prized creation, humans. He has revealed it for us to read and ponder on it, reflect on it with devotion and vigilance, enrich our souls through its remembrance, construe it in the best of manners, affirm it, strive to establish its commands and prohibitions, and reap the fruit of its precious knowledge that connects us to Him. We also inhale its fragrance of wisdom from its meadows and flowers. This is His Book that guides to Him all who seek His deep knowledge. This is the way that leads us to Him. The Quran is His brilliant light that removes all darkness; it is His compassionate guidance for the benefit of all of His creation. It is the rope that connects us to Him, which is the best door to Him that always remains open when all others are closed. It leads to the straight path untainted by the opinions of men, its wisdom is pristine, free from base desires.
The friends of the Qur’an are never satiated with its lavish banquet. Its marvels never end. Its clouds are always drenched. Its symbols never dissipate. Its meanings are always coherent. The more one explores into its depths, the more one achieves discernment and guidance. No sooner are its water supplies unearthed than wellsprings of wisdom gush forth. For it is the illumination of the eyes against impaired vision, the therapy for all against the innumerable disorders of the heart. It is the life of the heart and the charm of the soul, and it is the marshal that manages the soul towards the territory of delight.
Allah singles out the people of the straight path for unqualified blessing, though all, believers and non-believers, enjoy blessing because His blessings encompass all His creations. As He, the Exalted said, “If you count God’s blessing, you will never encompass it; surely man is sinful, ungrateful!” [14:34]. — “Whatsoever blessing you have is from God” [16:53]
As we ponder on the Quran for guidance, we first need to have an intimacy with the Creator, The Merciful One. To develop that intimacy and awe, we need to contemplate deeply on the signs (Ayaat) in the creation. If we are able to grasp Him in His Glory and Creative Genuis, then our Salaah, Fasting, Charity, Duaa, search for the night of Qadr and His forgiveness will have new meaning and proportions.
Besides fasting, salaah, charity, and seeking forgiveness let us use this Ramadan to develop intimacy with Allah and with the Quran.