My believing Brothers and Sisters in Islam, listen up, an important announcement is about to be made.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” 1
Such an important announcement! An opportunity is being given to us by Allah to become righteous and adopt taqwa. It is the one of the keys to gaining the pleasure of Allah . For the past year , we have been trying to be righteous. As weakness is part of humanness, there have been many instances in which we were exhausted from working hard to be righteous all the time. So either we slackened in our efforts or went on a long break all together.This i am sure , you will agree with me , is not good at all.
It is immensely important that we aim to be righteous as not only will it increase our chances of being called into Jannah through a special gate called Ar Rayyan, but also benefit us in this world. Those people who are righteous are great achievers in all walks of life. The month of Ramadan is specially designed to help us make up for the progress that we lost during the previous year and at the same time prepares and energizes us for the coming year.
Let us see how.
- These fasts not only detox our body from the toxins that have accumulated in our system from unhealthy eating but at the same time detoxes our life from those unwanted habits that we stuck to or developed during the past year . At the same time, they help us develop our self restraint so that we can keep away from the slew of temptations that surrounds us, even after Ramadan.
- The reward for any good deed is immense, even as small as a smile or a dollar in charity. When we consciously do good deeds, we get bonus good points and that should in sha Allah make up for at least some of the good that we lost during the past year.
- This is a month of forgiveness; when we seek genuine forgiveness, Allah will forgive us and by the end of the month, our score card, will look much better than it looked when we first started.
- The duas that we make, especially in the last ten nights, will help us navigate our life after Ramadan is over as well.(Hence, be careful and mindful of what you ask Allah .)
This Ramadan, you are presented with an opportunity once again to rise high and to understand yourselves.
So let’s see how we can give ourselves a much needed makeover this month!
There are two essential steps to restyle ourselves as righteous :
- Know yourself
- Unique Restyle Techniques based on knowledge of oneself
- Know your self.
To truly succeed, a person needs a moderate to high emotional, mental and physical stability. Look deep into yourself, into your heart and try to figure out what is that makes you cry, laugh, happy, sad, angry, who adds toxicity in your life, who is always there for you in your hour of need and guides you towards righteousness. Do your own SWOT analysis.
- `What are your strengths that make you go higher in righteousness? Maybe it’s a regular attendance of a halaqa, or listening to a sheikh?
- What are your weaknesses that make you slacken your speed to being righteous – watching few/many hours of TV everyday or a conversation to a certain person which always ends up in gossip?
- What obstacles threaten you in your endeavour to be righteous? Maybe its your inability to understand what the Quran says?
- What opportunities can you avail to help you stay righteous and enhance it? Maybe an online course from the comfort of your home or a weekly meeting with other righteous folks in the masjid?
- What will you miss the most during those hours of tiredness, hunger and thirst?
- What kinds of food will you crave for?
- Which gadget or TV program will you miss terribly?
- What kind of talk will you miss?
- Will it be hard to forgive and overlook the mistakes or harsh words of people, or will it be easier than you thought?
- Do you find it hard to hold on to that remark or reply that can be hurtful to others?
- When are you the most happy in a day?
- Do you find it easier to control your hunger than your temper?
- Do you like rising early than sleeping till late?
This is a month of knowing yourself deeply. As you fast, you will be full of energy and motivation, but as the days progress, the motivation will slacken.
Look deep into yourself. When you do that, you will see yourself clearly.
IMPORTANT: Don’t Judge yourself based on what you see and become disheartened. None of us are perfect as we all struggle with our own vices. It takes immense strength to look within and see oneself clearly; the good, the bad and the ugly. Ma sha Allah you are a strong person by just attempting to do that.
Now, it’s time to restyle ourselves in sha Allah!
II. Restyling Tips
The SWOT analysis will help you know your self better.Once you know your strengths, you can use them to leverage your weaknesses. You can keep your eyes focussed on opportunities that make you work harder at being righteous and avail them at the first instant. You can ask Allah to protect you and your heart from what threatens you and to give you the confidence to strongly face them.
List of tremendous opportunities this month that you can use to strengthen your strengths and weaken your weaknesses further: Best times for Makeover:
1. Bare your Soul to Allah at Suhoor: Use the time of suhoor (by waking up a little earlier) to pray tahajjud and quietly talk to Allah . Talk to HIM, like you talk to your best friend. Complain, discuss, ask and listen. Allah always answers .
2. Befriend Al-Quran: The best make-over artist in this world is the Quran. It cleanses the heart, entertains and teaches with its stories of war, conflict, love, patience, intrigue and mercy. It shows us what qualities we should aim for in our makeover and comforts us when we feel lonely and tired after a long day of trying hard. As a bonus, it becomes our only friend that will stay with us to hold our hands when we are alone and terrified in our graves. This Ramadan, befriend the Quran, by reading it and contemplating on what you are reading.
3. Strengthen Your Hands: by giving in charity daily. Be it a smile, a dollar, cooking little extra food and sending to someone needy. A small but consistent act each day.
4. Meet and Greet our Awesome Predecessors: This month, get a book or bookmark a website and learn about the lives of either one or all the Prophets, companions of the Messenger of Allah , or our great scholars. They were human beings like us and struggled with the same emotions that we do while facing trials that were far greater than ours. And they succeeded. Learn how they dealt with situations and pick up points that you can apply in sha Allah.
5. Go to Allah : Each day, at least five times, get dressed and go to meet Allah . The ONLY being, who no matter how many times you knock on His door, is always happy to see you, to listen to you. He never tires of hearing you tell the same story for the 100th time. He is the only being who can truly guide and help you, who has the solution to all your problems, who has all that you seek to give you. Meet Him in your salah, in your nawafil, in your taraweeh. When you step on the prayer mat and say Allah Akbar, know that the Most Majestic, the Most Merciful, the Most Loving being in this whole world is listening to you and looking at you with love .
If we apply these tips and more, then in sha Allah by the end of this 30 day period, our make over will be evident to us and to those around us. May Allah accept our efforts and count us among those who attain righteousness this month, Ameen!
P.S.: To fully benefit from this article, please check out the links to other resources that have been shared in this write up.
- Surah Baqarah :183 ↩