Ramadan Success: Do these 10, but don’t try them!
The best month of the year is here and it only lasts for 30 days. Counted days, ayaman madoodat, as Allah (swt) Calls them in Al-Baqarah chapter, verse 183. If you haven’t said alhamdulilah from deep of your heart that you are one of the honoured ones given another opportunity to be amongst the saymeen this year; then pause for a moment and sincerely do so (as millions, below and above earth; would do anything for a Ramadan day).
Ramadan is yours, Gifted to you by your Creator to get you back on track and above, with its limitless rewards, locked up shayteen, laylatul Qadr, mercy, forgiveness, salvation from fire and an invitation to Al-Firdaus; why would you do anything in this month except to own it? It literally has the power to change your destiny forever.
With all of this in mind, “trying” to do your best shouldn’t even be an option. Because there is no such a thing as “try” – you either “do” or you “don’t” – a state of “try” is a state of nothing. So here are 10 simple yet powerful things to *do* for your most successful Ramadan yet, in sha Allah:
The heart matters:
- Sincere repentance from all that you have done and didn’t do (which you must’ve!): this will be one of the most powerful activities you do; but take out a piece of paper and write down all the sins you have committed that you can remember! I know it sounds horrendous, make sure you are alone and destroy the paper afterwards- but write whatever you can remember and think off, stare at that paper for sometime and sincerely repent for every one of them as you cross it out. Why should we all do this? Because our nafs makes us overlook our sins and magnify our good. This will make you begin worship in this month in a state of humbleness and brokenness and need for your Creator, a state we should always reset ourselves back to.
- Seek forgiveness from people: not just from your friends on social media like most of us do, but most importantly, privately with our family members. Seek forgiveness from your spouse, your parents, your children (individually) and your siblings – best of us are those best with their families as the prophet (pbuh) narrated.
- Intention: Purify your most important asset, your intention, which no action is accepted without its sincerity. Ask yourself why am I fasting and who am I fasting for? Practice intention intervention in every action you do by making a conscious intention for any act you find yourself doing like driving, vacuuming, chopping onions, sleeping and even your thinking! Intention it all so you are rewarded for it all and able to collect rewards from the daily tasks on demand as well.
The Soul matters:
- Update your belief system: Every action you will take in Ramadan (& after) is shaped by what you believe – if you believe that you will recite the entire Quran once then you will; if you believe you will do so twice, then you will do so twice. This is the case with any of your goals this month; what you say to yourself in the privacy of our own mind matters – it drives your behaviour, which drives your outcomes in Ramadan and beyond.
- Master your ego (nafs): mastering the nafs, or that voice that wants you to take things easy, is a habit which ultimately becomes an approach to life. A person who is in control of their nafs can become unstoppable. Make this one of your Ramadan duas; because achieving this means that one has conquered the highest level of human experience in this life; contentment- where worldly cravings are easily turned down for akhirah
- A cave to reflect and disconnect: the prophet (s) retired from the Meccan society before Islam and retreated in Hira cave. Withdrawing from our surroundings at least for an hour a day (also is an act of worship and called Itikaaf) has phenomenal effects on the overall wellbeing of a person and their connection to their Creator. Find a cave in your house (a room) and make it your Hira; where you disconnect from the lower world and ascend your soul to higher realm.
The mind matters:
- Quran your day: Ramadan is about the Quran; as its the month in which the words of Allah were revealed to illuminate mankind. The most amount of your time in the day should be spent on either: reciting Quran, listening to Quran, doing Quran tafsir, memorizing Quran, reflecting on the Quran, etc. If the bulk of your day is spent on anything else; then re-evaluate. Ive decided to assign a certain number of hours in the day to recite Quran, rather than certain number of chapters (or pages) like I used to do before; I believe that this way will allow me to read more Quran (just an idea!).
- Plan plan plan: one of the most repeated phrases I say in my seminars any plan, is better than no plan, I know I sound like a broken record but this is crucial; there is a massive difference in terms of results when planning in our minds and planning ink on paper, its at least 10x better! I have been using a Ramadan Journal for the last 6 years, which is simply a notepad that I use every year for Ramadan to write my Ramadan planning, and most importantly, write my Ramadan master dua list which consists of two tables one for dunia and akhirah things (best part is when you see what has been answered from a year to a year subhanAllah! Makes one more grateful and increases commitment to dua, the brain of all worship as the prophet (pbuh) mentioned). Having a Ramadan journal is also great because you get to see how you did in the previous year so you can fill the gaps and improve; one can better what they can measure!
- Focus on your character, no one else’s: Nothing weighs heavier on the scale of good deeds on judgment day than good character – smile, help, give, suggest, call, offer, carry, cook, reassure, counsel, forget, forgive, etc focus on beautifying your character by doing any good that comes your way without calculating too much how it will fit in with your schedule.
The Ummah Matters:
- WHATEVER you can do for the ummah this month do and increase no words describe the state our brothers and sisters especially in Al-shaam are experiencing as we welcome a Ramadan in peace with our loved ones their Ramadan is nothing like our one; the minimum you must do is to include them in your DAILY dua especially in the top 3 times for duaa during Ramadan: the hour before Iftar, the hour before fajr, the hour after fajr.
As a Muslim; be proud that you belong in a deen with an rewardful 30 day renewal month called Ramadan; which expects you and I to grow, transform, become and unbecome. Its compulsory for us to change to the better. So Lets allow our bodies and souls to experience a Ramadan unlike any other, a Ramadan where we end up with a more refined version of ourselves a version with taqwa, in sha Allah.