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A Ramadan Message: A Time for Growth in Love, Devotion and Lasting Change

A Ramadan Message

The time for Ramadan is here again, so once more we will be actively involved in Ibadat, or acts of devotion, including fasting, prayers, Taraweeh, late night prayers, Quran recitation, and other forms of worship. However, before we become too engaged in our Ibadat, let’s remember our larger goals for this month so that we can make the most of the coming days and weeks. Therefore, as part of our Ibadat and obedience to Allah this Ramadan, let us seek to improve our relationship with Allah by asking for His forgiveness and blessing, getting a broader perspective on doing good, striving to excel in all good acts, and making lasting changes in our inner and outer lives.

Drawing Nearer to Allah

First and foremost to remember as we engage in the various Ibadat during Ramadan is that these acts of devotion offer us the opportunity to get closer to Allah and to increase the love we have for Him in our hearts. As Muslims, our faith requires that our love for Allah and his Prophet (Sallalahu alaihi wasallam – May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) supersedes any love we have for any other object or creation. Many scholars agree on the basis of sound ahadith that Allah creates the individual—his soul and his heart—in such a way that his natural tendency is to love Allah. However, as a person’s heart is gradually intruded upon by doubts, desires, and temptations, that love has to be rekindled from time to time through both faith and knowledge.

Allah is the Only Lord for All – Surah Zukhruf Verse 64, Quran

Ramadan provides us with the perfect opportunity to increase the love we have in our hearts for Allah by devoting this period to perfecting our Ibadat. For example, as-salat (prayer) is one of the key Ibadat we will engage in during Ramadan, so during this time, we can focus on increasing the quality and khushu of our prayers. For those new to Islam, “khushu” refers to the soft, silent, humble, devoted state of the heart in prayer as it stands or bows before Allah. We can improve this state during that Ibadah by perfectly focusing our hearts and minds on our prayerful recitations and on Allah.

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The Prophet (SAW) said:

“When one of you stands in prayer, he is conversing with his Lord, so let one of you know what he is saying to his Lord and do not raise your voices above one another in reciting when praying.”

Narrated by Ahmad (4928) and classed as saheeh by Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad

The importance of prayer is also evident from this hadith, in which Abu Hurairah quoted the Prophet (SAW) as saying:

“Whoever goes to the mosque in the morning and evening, Allah will prepare for him an honorable place in Paradise every time he goes and comes.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 631, and Muslim, 669

Allah is the Sole Creator and has no partners – Quran Surah Furqan Verse 2

We should use the same principle when engaging in other Ibadat such as reciting the Quran, performing dhikr (the remembrance of Allah), giving charity, and other devotions. Let’s make sure, therefore, that our intentions when performing Ibadat are solely for the purpose of pleasing Allah and that we devote our worshipful efforts to increasing our love for Him in our hearts.

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Broaden the scope of your good deeds

In Islam, the practice of good deeds extends beyond the realm of such Ibadat as prayer and fasting. Unfortunately, for many devout Muslims, the broader definition of good deeds is often lost. Many Muslims are quite steadfast in prayer and fasting, but they tend to be less committed to other moral standards stressed by both Allah and His Prophet (SAW). Ramadan provides us with an excellent opportunity to broaden our horizons when doing good deeds, as we have repeatedly learned from both the Quran and the hadith but rarely practice in our lives.

Such opportunities include:

  • Visiting the sick
  • Repairing family relationships and other personal ties
  • Being kind and respectful to our spouses
  • Paying our respects at funerals
  • Helping others in their time of need
  • Other acts of kindness and devotion

In another hadith quoted in Sahih Muslim, Abu Huraira narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said:

“Who began this day fasting?” Abu Bakr said: “I did.”

The Prophet (SAW) said: “Who participated in a funeral procession today?” Abu Bakr said: “I did.” The Prophet (SAW) said: “Who fed a needy person today?” Abu Bakr said: “I did.” The Prophet (SAW) said: “Who visited a sick person today?” Abu Bakr said: “I did.” Then, the Prophet (SAW) said: “These things cannot all meet in a single person but that they will enter Paradise.”

Doing such good deeds during Ramadan could earn us even greater rewards. However, let’s make certain that whenever we perform any good deeds or charity, we don’t boast about them by telling other people. Good actions are solely for the purpose of pleasing Allah, so whatever we do should be between Allah and us. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (RA) related Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying:

“… one who keeps reminding people of what he has given, will not enter Paradise.” (Tirmidhi)

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Religious Wisdom

Raise your standard for doing good

Islam encourages us to constantly increase our levels of doing good. Efforts of this type, which we would not normally do except for Ramadan, help us to improve even further. We know that even the behavior of the Prophet (SAW) became better during Ramadan. Many ahadith tell us that the Prophet (SAW) was the most generous person, and he was even more generous during Ramadan. During that time, he would give more in charity and treat people even more kindly than usual. He would also devote more time to reading the Quran, praying, reciting dhikr, and spending time in I’tikaaf (retreat).

Imam Ahmad remarked:

“And nothing he was asked for but he would give it.”

Al-Bayhaqi, too, reported that ‘Aaishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said:

“When Ramadan would start, the Prophet (SAW) would release all prisoners of war and fulfill the need of every person who would ask him for something.”

In the light of that guidance and motivated by Allah’s promise to reward us more during this month, we should push ourselves to increase the range and quality of good deeds in our lives.

Commit to permanent change

With all its blessings and opportunities, Ramadan shifts us into high gear for increasing our obedience to Allah and seeking His pleasure. Yet, though many of us start this period with enthusiasm, our usual habits often prevent us from achieving permanent change. So as we start the month of Ramadan, let’s dedicate ourselves to real, lasting change—to increasing our heartfelt love for Allah and reflecting that love in our daily actions. We can do this best by leaving behind what He dislikes and wholeheartedly embracing the good, not only during Ramadan but throughout the entire year and, even better, throughout our entire lives. To encourage sustained change, we must allow the seed of sincere intention—the gift from Allah of our true nature—to grow in our hearts and guide our behavior. In doing so, we will notice that Allah will lighten things for us and elevate our status in this life and the next.

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Remember the Hadith Quudsi, which says:

“… if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, Hadith No. 502

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Since permanent change requires breaking through old habits and mental barriers, let’s ponder what our pious salaf tell us about the kind of effort needed to effect a lasting change:

  • Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir said: “I struggled against my own self for forty years until it became right.”
  • Thaabit al-Banaani said: “I struggled for twenty years to make myself pray qiyaam al-layl, and I enjoyed it (qiyaam al-layl) for (the next) twenty years.”
  • ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said: “The best of deeds are those which we force ourselves to do.”
  • ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Mubaarak said: “The souls of righteous people in the past used to push them to do good deeds, but our souls do not do what we want them to do except by force, so we have to force them.”
  • Qutaadah said: “O son of Adam, if you do not want to do any good except when you have the energy for it, then your nature is more inclined towards boredom and laziness. The true believer is the one who pushes himself.”

Sometimes doing good may involve a lot of patience, so let’s remember that Allah rewards us according to the effort we expend. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“Ahead of you there lie days of patience, during which being patient will be like grasping a hot coal. The one who does good deeds then will have a reward like that of fifty men who do such deeds.”

Narrated by Abu Dawood (4341); also al-Tirmidhi (3085), who said it was a hasan hadith, though it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (494)

In conclusion, as we hope and pray for Allah’s mercy during this time of Ramadan, let us all focus on the lasting transformation of our hearts and souls. Let us shed what is impure and untrue while strengthening the good and the true so that the change that follows can carry us forward through our remaining days and years, both on this earth and in the hereafter.

Ramadan Kareem Mubarak

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46 comments… add one
  • abdullateef

    Mat Allah (SWT) accept our deed in Ramadan & beyond as acts of Ibadah

  • Rasheeda Yauba

    May Allah (swt) accept our ibadat nd forgive us. Ameen

  • Kulchumi

    Alhamdulillah. Jazakallahu Khair! May Allah continue to guide you and reward you with the best of this world and the Hereafter. I’ve enjoyed reading every bit of this article. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    I nearly cried when I read this

    “…if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.9, Hadîth No.502).

    May Allah’s blessings be upon you all.

  • Ibrahim Kirfi

    I have always been more informed when I read your publications on the net. May Allah continue to add more senses and successes to the initiators, administrators and visitors of this blessed site, amin.

  • Sana

    Subhan Allah!
    I am delighted reading a post after long time.
    Happy ramadan to all. May Allah SWT accept our good deeds.
    Ameen!

  • Yasmin

    been for the first time on this site ALHAMDULILLAH got to read very beautiful article.May ALLAH accept our ibadah n have mercr on us…Aameen

  • Anonymous

    A good reminder indeed.keep it up. May Allah reward you with Jannatul Firdaus.

  • Mustapha Attah

    JazakAllah Khair. May Allah (SWT) continue to bless us,guide us in seeking knowledge and perfecting our Ibadat. Ameen.

  • A good remind indeed. Keep it up please. May Allah reward you with Jannatul Firdaus.

  • Tajudeen Olawoyin

    its inspiring. may Allah continue to guide all of us. more importantly, i wish to remind all of us with the saying: “O son of Adam, if you do not want
    to do any good except when you have the energy
    for it, then your nature is more inclined towards
    boredom and laziness. The true believer is the one
    who pushes himself.”

  • muhammad abubakar

    may Allah (swt) make it possible for us to make the best use of the period so that we benefit immensely

  • JAZAKALAHU KHAIRAN

  • Muhammad Yuusuf

    Alhamdulillah, we are asking our Creator, our Lord to endowed us with taqwa in this great month to reap the uncountable bonuses of fasting Ramadan and crown our with Jannah in hereafter. Aamiin

  • Aliyu Badeggi

    Jazzaka’l-llah Khayran – a beautiful Nasiha! Insha Allah we pray Allah to guide us through. Aliyu Badeggi

  • Naushad

    May Allah provide us with Good Health and Courage to fulfil our good deeds throughout this Ramadan and all Ramadan to come. Ameen…

  • ibrondanusa

    This piece on ramadan is highly educative n may Allah subhanahu wataallah guide n give us the strength to rise to the challenges of this sacred month and forgive n rewards our deed ameen

  • safia shariff

    Good work lets pray to Allah to guide us in the right path and may Allah give us his rahma Insha ALLAH in this blessed month

  • salihu

    JAZAKUMULLAHU KHAIRAN

  • Farouk

    An educative article and a very important reminder. May Allah accept our fasting and other forms of ibaadat. Jazakallah khairan.

  • IBRAHIM ATTAHIR MAIYAKI

    Assalamun alaikum war-rahamatul-Lah wabarakatuhu.
    First, I pray that Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala reward your efforts in the course of Islam and may the message passed be of use to us all.
    The text is really educative and a good reminder to all, especially at this period that the Ramadan sets in. Once again “Jaza kumul Lahu khairan” Amin

  • Twariq Said

    MashaAllah this was nice reminder,May Allah bless your work.Shukran and I hope to get more from you InshaAllah.Ramadhan Kareem.

  • Sadiya

    MashaALLAH keep up the good work.Thanks

  • sodeeq Murtala

    May ALLAH (SWT) Guide and Nature us to the right path and be with us and make us to serve him. Ameen

  • alhassan ahmed

    God bless this forum. May Allah (swt) continue to increase us in faith. May He accept all our acts in this special month as an ibadah and ultimately grant us His Mercy. Thank.

  • Sameena

    Alhamdulillah, a very helpful article. JazakAllah Khair for the timely reminder about seeking to “improve our relationship with Allah by asking for His forgiveness and blessings, and striving to make lasting changes in our behavior.” May Allah Grant us the desire to make those lasting changes in our behavior that will “keep us going for our remaining time in this life and the hereafter” Aameen!

  • sharifa

    Asalam, thank you for the message and nice ramadhan.

  • Abdi samatar

    MAY ALLAH(SWT) BLESS ALL MUSLIMS WITH THESE POWERFUL WORDS ALL AROUND THE WORLD AND THANKS A LOT FOR THE SCRIPTURES.

  • Raissa

    JAZAKALLAH KHAIR! This is a very nice message. Every year I look forward for Ramadan message from IQRASENSE.COM. The holy month of Ramadan unites all Muslims in fasting, worship and prayer. It is a time for contemplation, spirituality and brotherhood.

  • Nadira

    Thank you for this, we are very honoured to read this message and accept it,(Inshaa-Allah, implement also) may Allah keep rewarding you and your staff. Ameen

    wassalam.

  • shehnaz

    Assalamualaikum

    May Allah bless us all Muslims during this special month and all the years through. As it is a blessed month we should not forget our brothers and sisters around the world who are facing wars and blood shed. May be some of us are having royal meals and some other parts our brothers and sisters are without a drop of water and specially small innocent children who are in the midst of turmoil and facing death and hardship for which they could neither understand nor responsible of. My thoughts and douahs are with them and we continue to pray for them. We implore Allah to help people with more wisdom in this world to avoid cruelties. Ameen

  • it is a good reminder particularly at this point in time.May the Almighty Allah continue to reward you all for this noble course.We pray that the Almighty Allah accepts our supplications as we direct all our energies in transforming our hearts and souls. Ameen. Ma Salaam.

  • A very wonderful remaider, its educative and keep me posted. May ALLaH SWT accepted our ibadat and raise our statu in everlasting boom which is never spoil in this blessed month and always.

  • SYED SHAHEEN AKHTAR

    subhanallah.may allah give us the taufiq and we spent our time in ibadaat and helping our brothers and sisters.give us the strenght to help the small children who do not know what is happening in this world. shaheem

  • cynmurthy

    Dil bhargayaaaa!!!!
    Thank you for a detailed info.about the importance of the MONTH.
    Inshallah.
    Love.

  • Dr.AARK

    Al-Hamdulillah,excellent briefing about coming Ramdhan 2014.May Allah reward us in this & many others to come.
    Ramdhan Kareem to every one.

  • Raji Abdullateef

    Jazakumullahu khayrah fi dunyah wal akhirah. May Allah in His infinite mercies reward you all abundantly for committing your minds and hands to write this high spiritually laden article on Ramadhan, amen. Additionally, may Allah give you all the blessings of Ramadhan including that of the night of majesty, amen. Barakallahu fi kum.

  • Aliyu S Darma

    Salam, Wishing all the Muslim Ummah the best and the blessing of Ramadhan Karem 2014. May Allah (SWT) accept our prayers during the blessed month and beyond Ameen.

  • As Salamu ‘Alaikum Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu, In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, give us in this world that which is good, and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire. (Qur’an 2:201) May Allah (SWT) shade you in the day of judgement. Ameen

  • Mohammad Sharafat Ali

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah hi wa barakatuho.

    Jazakallah khairan. May Allah accept thouse people good deed, who is always trying to send your message to the people. Ameen.

  • Mohammad Tarique

    EXCELLENT, JAZAK ALLAH.

  • hajera

    Iqrasense is the one of the 2 sunni websites that are trustful to me. I got a lot of knowledge from this article. Jazakallah for your efforts!

  • Aamir Adhan

    As shalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu…… In shAlllah let’s gear up this Ramadan.. It’s time to change ?

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