Our souls and hearts migrate to a place of satisfaction, bliss and inner peace when we dive deeper in to following Quran and Hadith…
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Being deprived from praying on Laylatul Qadr, which is “better than a thousand months” is a huge deprivation (97:3). Below are some ways to help maximise on the remaining time of this precious month.
- INCREASING KNOWLEDGE AND GOOD ACTIONS
Ramadan is the month in which Quran was sent down to us. Reading Quran and books which increase us in beneficial Islamic knowledge should therefore be a top priority this month – and every month.
Do they not comprehend the Qur’an, or is it that they have locks on their hearts? (47:22)
Strive to pray more prayers, ideally in congregation, and make every prayer perfect by pondering on the meaning of the words recited. Make effort to increase the night prayer and actively seek Laylatul Qadr in the last ten nights. Reciting and listening to Qur’an is a good thing but we should also strive to focus on its meaning and teachings. Reaching paradise through the mercy of Allah ﷻ is the ultimate goal for every Muslim, and it depends on the sincerity of our efforts and the accuracy of our knowledge. With every ayah, ask how does this ayah apply to me and what do I learn from it? Within every ayah is a message from our creator to each one of us. Analytically pondering on what we read and deducing lessons takes our understanding to a much higher level. Every time there is a question, or story, we can extract the lessons and message it teaches us and apply it to our lives. We should find out the ‘tafsir’ to help us achieve the correct understanding.
Be generous. We know that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to be more generous than the fast wind during Ramadan (al-Bukhari).
Give something every night. Your giving may be rewarded multiple fold if you catch Laylatul Qadr.
Every good deed will be given at least ten-fold reward… Our Lord says: ‘Except fasting, for it is for Me, and I shall reward for it, for he gives up his desire and his food for My sake…’ and the fasting person has two joys, one joy when he breaks his fast and another when he meets his Lord.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hasan al-Basri said, “Improve your performance in what is left (of time) and you will be forgiven for that which has already passed. So, take special care of the time you have left because you do not know when your soul will be turned over to Allah’s Mercy.” Patience and supplication coupled with perseverance is the key to succeeding and achieving that reward.
- REMEMBERING TO REMEMBER
The Quran states, ‘Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.’ (13:28) Only Allah can heal; make easy; alleviate hardship; and provide inner peace. Everything is easy for Him. Peace comes from within, and remembering our Lord always lays the foundation for a constant, strong connection and an energized heart.
- SUPPLICATING AND SEEKING FORGIVENESS
Pour out your heart to your Lord. Learn new duas. Hope and believe that perfection and Ihsan is possible. For a strong believer laziness and pessimism is not an option. Everything can change because Allah ﷻ is the Most Powerful and has the ability to transform the universe. We should ask with 100% certainty that He (Al Mujeeb – Answerer of Prayers) can, and does respond. Make a dua list and then beg in a pleading, crying, desperate, needy way as the prophets did in their times of need. Seeking forgiveness for our sins can transform our lives. When we feel lazy, frustrated or down this can be because we humans are exposed to disobey our Lord and commit sins in ample situations, knowingly or unknowingly. These sins become heavy on our bodies and hearts. Sinning reduces our inner enthusiasm and inspiration, and can lead to laziness. We should continually seek forgiveness, especially on the last ten nights of Ramadan whilst seeking Laylatul Qadr. We should say:
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي Allahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni’
O Allah You are The One Who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.
Asking for ‘Afuw’ is asking Allah to forgive the sin and completely erase it from our book of deeds so that it doesn’t appear on the Day of Judgement. Our Prophet (ﷺ) said this is the best Dua to make on Laylatul Qadr (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi). We should say this dua all the time — especially in the odd nights — and as much as possible as part of our daily morning and evening athkar and prayers.
- CONTROLLING THE SELF (NAFS)
True inner happiness comes from knowing and obeying Allah ﷻ. By submitting to the commands of the one who blessed us with life, and the ability to choose, we can choose to make every day a blessed one.
“Help each other in Al Birr and At Taqwa (virtue, righteousness & piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah…” (Surat Al-Ma’idah, 5:2)
Controlling the self includes avoiding activities that take us away from the true purpose and purification of Ramadan. Every second should be spent wisely to gain in good with the realisation that the currency of life is time — and time is fleeting.
When the Prophet ﷺ was asked about which deeds are most beloved to Allah ﷻ, he said, “Those which are continuous, even if they are little.”
Poor are the ones who leave Ramadan exactly the way they were before. One of the signs of an accepted Ramadan is that our life changes, even by a few inches, but there is change. Where are you on your journey back to your creator? How well are you nourishing your soul and growing spiritually? What are your next steps?
We pray Allah ﷻ accepts our fasting, prayers and efforts. May our lives, homes, surroundings and communities be transformed by infinite and eternal mercy, guidance and blessings. Ameen.