If one was to embark on a business project, they would study the project, plan it, define its goals, have an agenda, know exactly what they want to accomplish with this project. This is a fundamental principle.
Shouldn’t the people of deen (us) who want Allaah’s pleasure, be the first to use this principle, when our goal is Jannah/paradise!!
Before the arrival of Ramadaan, we need to define/set up our goals & define the ways to fulfill/reach them.
Our hearts should truly yearn for Allaah’s Rahmah:
Every day & night of Ramadhaan, Allaah’s Rahmah (mercy) descends upon some people & we should sincerely yearn/desire for it from the bottom of heart.
It can change your life forever in a way you can never imagine. We must understand that we are in dire need of Allaah’s Rahmah. We won’t get in Jannah without His Mercy. There is no survival without Allaah’s Rahmah..
Consciously intending & desiring Allaah’s Forgiveness for all our sins:
Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhan with Eemaan and Ihtisaab (seeking Allaah’s reward), will be forgiven all his previous sins.” (1)
We should be fasting with Eemaan (faith) in submission to Allaah because He ordered us to do so & we should have Ihtisaab (consciously taking account of our selves) hoping for Allaah’s reward.
Remember that we should be doing the actions for Allaah. We shouldn’t be doing acts routinely like robots just for the sake of it. Fasting is not just about refraining food/ drinks and things that He made Haraam during the day but you must be conscious because this is indeed Allaah’s order. We want to feel this feeling: “I am doing this because You ordered us. You are my Master and I am Your slave. I will follow your order. and i will consciously wait and yearn for Allaah’s reward. This is ihtisaab.
Desiring Protection & Freedom from the Hellfire:
Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will place between him & the fire a ditch as (large as) the distance between the heavens and earth.” (2)
Every night in Ramadaan Allaah sets people free from the Hell-fire.
Think/imagine if you are from people of fire !!!
We have 29–30 nights in Ramadaan to be freed from the Hellfire. We can’t afford to be lazy. Throughout the Ramadaan, every night, beg & make du3aa’ to Allaah to free you from the fire.
Allaah to boast to His Angels about us :
Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Ramadaan has arrived to you a month of Barakah, Allaah envelops you (with His mercy & blessings). so He descends His mercy, erases the sins, answers the du3aa’ and watches in (this month) your competition/race for goodness and He boasts to His angels about you. So let Allaah see the best from you, for truly the miserable one is the one who is prevented Allaah’s mercy.” (3)
Allaah will boast to the honourable angels who just worship Allaah all the time and never tire or feel lazy in their worship of Him, about people by name.
Fasting will intercede for us on the Day of Judgement. Imagine you are standing on the day of Judgment, & you see all your sins, a lifetime of sins in-front of you, you will feel doomed, then fasting will come to intercede for you.
Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa salaam said: “Fasting and the Qur’aan will both intercede for the slave on the day of Resurrection. Fasting will say, “O Lord! I prevented him from his food and desires throughout the day, so accept my intercession for him. And the Qur’aan will say, ” I prevented him from sleep at night, so accept my intercession for him. So their intercession will be accepted.” (4)
Removal of the heart’s diseases:
Our hearts have many illnesses. Many we know and many we dont know. We want to remove the love for this world from our hearts. We want to elevate ourselves beyond the material/lowly fulfillment of dunya.
Ibn Qayyim said: “Fasting is a protection against the diseases of the heart, body & mind.”
Establishment of Allaah’s laws on Ourselves (our nafs):
Most of us live in heedlessness except for a few. We follow our nafs (self) which drives us, fulfilling her desires and whims. One has to be controlled by Allaah’s law.
In Ramadaan we are consciously making our nafs feel that Allaah is the One who has authority on us. The nafs is put in its place and made humble. Nafs (self) is like a spoilt child that needs to be controlled. Do not feel sorry for the nafs. Do not give in to the nafs’ whims and desires.
Train and teach your nafs to obey Allaah’s commandment to a greatest degree and don’t allow her to control you.
Establishment of complete manners:
Ramadaan is a training school to train ourselves in manners. Manners are not according to customs or personalities. Don’t make excuses for yourself that this is my personality, this is just how I am.
In Ramadaan, intend that this is the time to train yourself. Think how I shall elevate myself. Imagine the person you would like to be.
Control your behavior & reactions when someone argues with you, Remember you are in state of 3Ibaadah. Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa salaam said, “Fasting is a shield. So if it is a day where one of you is fasting, then he should not fulfill his desires, nor sin, nor yell, nor behave ignorantly. And if anyone insults him or fights with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’” (5)
Training ourselves to be consistent:
Be consistent in good deeds even if they are little. One of the biggest calamity is stopping our deeds. Ramadaan is an opportunity to train ourselves, our nafs to be consistent to do 3Ibaadah/ acts of worships.
Be consistent and increase your 3Ibaadah during the last 10 days. Remember actions are judged according to their endings. Strive for istiqaamah (steadfastness). Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa salaam said: “The most beloved deed to Allaah is the most regular and constant even though it were little.” (6)Summarized from Ramadaan course “Reaping the fruits of Ramadaan” . (Notes taken by students)