With our unflinching resolve to make the best out of the month, carry out all the required ibadah, actively involved in acts of devotion, prayers, Tarawih, Tahjud, Quran recitation, and other forms of worship, we have to work towards realising these goals. We will go into details of all these one after the other insha Allah.

We also have to bear in mind that these ibadah are geared toward increasing our fear and love of God, Allah. Quran 2 vrs 183 clearly states that fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you in order to have the fear of Allah. The fear of Allah is a point that has to be emphasised. Fast in such a way that your heart and soul remember and love Allah, not only during the day but even when doing other thing during the night. In one of the hadiths, the Prophet said (s.a.w) 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, worldly desires, and temptations, that love and nearness to Allah has to be rekindled from time to time through faith, knowledge and worship.

Ramadan provides us with the perfect opportunity to increase the fear and love we have in our hearts for Allah by devoting this period to perfecting our Ibadah.

Pick up your Holy Quran, get a translated copy of your native language or better still English translation. Read with the determination to digest and internalized up to a juz a day. If you can’t cover up to one juz, never bother, what is important is to understand and digest the lessons. Then go according to your daily plan as you had clearly mapped out before now with the fear of Allah. Broaden the scope of your good deeds and strive to do more that you had done earlier; do it with the fear of Allah.

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. They think of good deed in terms of humility and respect. Yes! many Muslims are quite steadfast in their prayers, very diligent and painstaking in fasting, but they tend to disregard other moral etiquette as explained in both Quran and hadith of making people smile and laugh. We rarely put into practice what we learn from the Quran and Hadiths. But this is of course another opportunity to remind us of our moral duties to others. So, we need to broaden our horizons on the issue of moral duty.

Re-asses yourself and see what habit you need to change. What you were not able to do in the last Ramadan and how you can achieve it now. Re-dedicate yourself to change and improve in all aspect of Ibadah and relationship to Allah and humanity. Endevour to break through old habits and mental barriers and with all its blessings and opportunities, Ramadan should be able to shift us into high gear for increasing our obedience to Allah and seeking His pleasure. We can do this by abstaining from what Allah dislikes and engaging ourselves more on what He likes. The prophet 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.”

Let us use this golden opportunity to change from bad habit, shed away what is impure and strengthen the good and get transformed into a new being. This way, we can be able to say as human beings that we have observed the month of Ramadan according to the rules. Abstinence from food and drink for one month alone may not guarantee us the whole blessings and reward except with total transformation of our whole self.

May Allah (swt) accept our ibadah, forgive us our sins and give us the grace to observe many more Ramadan. Amin

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