By Ishola-Haroon Balogun

As-salam alaikum waramotullahi, wa barakatuh! Alhamdulillah! Allah has brought us to another season of blessings by His Grace. The blessed month of Ramadan —the month of striving in obedience and supplications, the month of fasting, reading the Qur’an, standing in prayer at night, and seclusion in the mosque; the month which has the Night of Decree, in it, a night in which the Quran was revealed, a night that is better than a thousand months.

There are lots and lots of people that had craved to witness this period but had been buried. It is neither because of their sins, nor because we are better. It is simply by His Grace. We must therefore be prepared for the enormous opportunities in this month and take time to invest these precious moments wisely.

Basically, it is time to develop a sense of responsibility towards getting closer to Allah, let us affect lives positively in our family, community and society. Let us resolve to stay away from sleeping all through the nights, let us refrain from idle and vain talk, spending considerable time on TV programmes and the social media and from sins. The spiritual and physical exercise of fasting are premised on gaining (taqwa) piety.

Distractions consume our time and take us away from living a more productive and fulfilling life. During the month of Ramadan our time is precious. Our eating and sleeping patterns are altered with early morning sahoor, the occasional nap during the day and late night prayers. If we allow our everyday distractions to continue throughout Ramadan, we risk depriving ourselves from the immense blessings that are available.

If you are sincerely ready for the change, then you have to persevere, it is never easy to dump old habit, but as you take a bold step towards redefining your spiritual life, doing more nawafil, more tahjudd, more charity and getting closer to Allah, these changes may be difficult initially, but gradually you will start seeing the positive impact of such changes on your life. Then if you believe that the promise of Allah is true, then you are sure you are completely blessed in this life and the hereafter.

We all need to constantly purify our intentions and strive to gain taqwa. Certainly, there is no better time to take ourselves to account and renew our intentions and gain peity than this blessed month. “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” (Q 29:69).

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