Ramadan brings with it abundant blessings for us and everyone around us. Every good deed and act of worship done with the right intentions has the potential of being immensely rewarded by Allah s.w.t.
Strengthening our Acts of Worship
As we approach the halfway mark and thereafter the tail-end of Ramadan, our pace and quality of worship in every waking moment of our lives should be further strengthened and reinforced. For example, a simple action such as eating can bear rewards beyond its rudimentary function of satiating our hunger. This is possible if we ascribe noble intentions to it, consciously following the Prophetic Sunnah and not letting our zeal in relishing each morsel of food forget that those are gifts from Allah s.w.t.
If we ascribe such God-consciousness to each aspect of our lives, every action can be deemed an act of worship.
Resilience in the Face of Adversity
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were stretched in many ways and facets. There were numerous moments when we may have edged dangerously close to our breaking point.
Conversely, we have our faith in Allah s.w.t. and constant prayers for strength and guidance from Him. Some of us may have well reached our breaking point. However, inevitably and eventually, we pick ourselves up and move forward. This is something exhorted to all Muslims, picking ourselves up every time we fall – a mark of a good Muslim is to unfailingly pick ourselves up no matter the circumstance and not to give up.
Always remember the promise of Allah in verses 153-157 of Surah Al-Baqarah:
“O believers! Seek help (to encounter hardship in fulfilling God’s commands) in patience and prayer; for surely Allah is with (or helps) those who are patient. And do not say (that) those who are slain in the cause of Allah are dead; they are alive (and bestowed with a special kind of divinely aided life) but you do not perceive it. And certainly! We shall test you with some fear (of the enemy), hunger, and the loss of properties, lives and crops. And give good news to the patient. (These are) those who when afflicted with adversity, say: “Truly we belong to Allah and to Him we are returning.” These are those who will get the blessings and mercy of their Lord; such are the rightly guided.”
Perpetual Hope in the Mercy of Allah
Consistency in doing good deeds and acts of worship are the means for us to attain the boundless mercy of Allah s.w.t. The natijah (outcome) and rewards of our good deeds and acts of worship are also further multiplied in the month of Ramadan.
With the coming of the second half and last third of Ramadan, we should continue pouring out efforts to seek the Mercy of Allah s.w.t. in every aspect of our daily lives. This last lap in Ramadan may be our greatest challenge thus far. Yet the sweetness of its rewards, be it hidden or apparent, is undeniably worth the vigilant effort that we have put in.
We shall not fall into despair and always rekindle our greatest hopes in Allah s.w.t. Pour out our deepest sorrows, desires and longing in our prayers to Allah s.w.t. that we fulfil in the quiet and still hours of the night.
In our struggle to grasp the many blessed moments and opportunities while precariously fulfilling our daily commitments, take heart and comfort that Allah s.w.t. knows us completely and He knows what flitters in our hearts and minds – every single anguish and despair – and He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing of our supplications and prayers.
Making Use of Golden Opportunities in Ramadan – Special Attention on the Last Ten Nights
Ramadan is filled with immense mercy and blessings. We should strive to fill up every moment of Ramadan with good deeds in any form or shape. Each segment of the day has its significance and attributed portion of blessings.
Starting from the early dawn of sahur, followed by dhuha, the time after every fardhu prayer, the time in which we are fasting, the time close to iftar, the long duration of the night and especially in the last third of the night; there are numerous opportunities to seek blessed moments in the hopes of achieving taqwa and having our prayers accepted by Allah s.w.t.
Nights in Ramadan are given special attention as the time to do our tarawih prayers. Numerous narrations espouse the significance of enlivening the nights with prayers, zikir, supplications and other acts of worship.
Saidina Umar r.a. said:
“For those who zikir (carry out remembrance of Allah) at night during Ramadan, their sins will be forgiven. And those who ask from Allah in it, will not be disappointed.”
(Narrated by At-Tabrani and Al-Baihaqi)
The well-known Surah Al-Qadr further emphasises the significance of the night as a critical time for acts of worship with the reference made to Lailatul Qadr, also loosely translated as the Night of Power.
We are highly encouraged to seek the bounties of this specific occasion by fully utilising every night we have, hoping that Allah s.w.t. grant us immense blessings that spur us to change into better human beings. In our process of becoming better Muslims, we hope these blessings will inevitably spill over to those around us through positive changes in our character and interactions with other creations of Allah s.w.t.