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7 things you need to focus in Ramadan to attain closeness to Allah (swt)

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7 things you need to focus in Ramadan to get closer to Allah (swt)

 

We set high aims for this month but achieve only a little because we are not prepared. We continue juggling between our distractions and our priorities during this blessed month and by the time we have a routine the month is nearing its end.

 

We have all heard the quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Ramadan preparations should begin at least thirty days before the month approaches. The Sahaba (may Allāh be pleased with them) used to prepare six months in advance. The Prophet (saw) trained himself for the tough month of fasting by fasting the first fifteen days of Sha’ban. This indicates that we need a plan to have a successful Ramadan. Similarly, we need a vision and a plan for a successful temporary life in this world and permanent life hereafter!

 

Before we work on our schedule for Ramadan let’s first identify the areas that we need to work on. Ask yourself, “What are the actions that are dearer to Allah (swt) during this month?” These are Salah, Quran, Dhikr, Dua, Sadaqah, gaining and sharing knowledge and improving akhlaq (conduct).

 

The next question to ponder upon is, “How can we get maximum benefit out of these actions?”All of this is linked with the strategic vision in your role of “Abdullah”, which is a mandated role in the roles selection framework we discuss in the Strategic Visions workshop.

 

1. Salah

  • Make a goal of performing every fard prayer at its prescribed time. The best tip to help you in this regard is to prepare for the salah a little before the azzan goes on, keeping enough buffer for offering it in jama’at.
  • Add sunnah and voluntary (nafil) prayers with each fard prayer that you perform (where applicable).
  • Perform different extra voluntary prayers such ishraq, awwabeen and most importantly Tahajjud.

 

2. Qur’an

  • Recite one juz’ of Quan every day so that you can complete one Quran in the month. To make it easy, plan to recite a quarter of a juz’ after every prayer, which is 4-5 pages only.
  • As you recite take out a few minutes to read and understand the translation of the ayah that you just recited.
  • Work on your Arabic knowledge by identifying new words in the ayah and studying their syntax and morphology. Corpus Quran is an excellent website to study Arabic grammar. Another resource for understanding Quran is Bayan Quran. This is a comprehensive app where you can recite, listen to recitation in the voices of various Qura’a and understand each word of Quran by their root letters and find their meaning. Next time when a similar word appears you will have an idea of what it means. The app is available both on App Store and Google Play, which is an excellent development by couple of Vision Retreat graduates of 2013.

 

3. Dhikr

  • Keep your tongue moist with dhikr throughout the day. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught us morning and evening adhkar that are beneficial for the dunya and in the aakhirah.
  • Besides the morning and evening adhkar do astaghfar as much as you can. The Prophet (sas) sought Allah’s forgiveness and repentance more than seventy times a day. Sincere repentance is our key to Jannah and a means for increase in provision. Don’t ignore it.

 

4. Dua

  • Prepare your dua list in advance. Write down everything that you really desire in your life, no matter how insignificant or silly it may appear to you.
  • Memorize the masnoon duas. Understand their meaning so that when you recite the dua, you do so with full khushu’ and sincerity.
  • Be creative and make dua cards/stickers for yourself and your family. Hang or place them around your house so that you are reminded to recite them.

 

5. Sadaqah

  • Besides the obligatory zakat, keep some allowance for sadaqah.
  • Give your time, your company or sincere advice to someone, is also a sadaqah.
  • Look for opportunities to volunteer your time and skills.

 

6. Gaining and Sharing Knowledge

  • Work on your tajweed or help a friend in improving theirs.
  • Along with studying the meaning, take out time to study the sahih ahadith books. Start from Sahih al-Bukhari or Riyadh-as-Sauliheen.
  • Purchase or download awe-inspiring and motivational books to strengthen your eman. There are a number of resourceful websites that offer free books, lectures and articles in English, Urdu and Arabic.
  • Share your knowledge with others. Teach the meaning that you learned with at least one more person; do so either verbally, through social media, a text message or a brief email.
  • Teach a hadith or masnoon dua to your family. Ask them the lessons they can derive from it. Sit with your children before Iftar every day and have a learning and dua session with them.

 

7. Improving Akhlaq (conduct)

  • Utilizing the knowledge that you have acquired, start working on your character, righteousness and integrity. These are the areas, which are badly missing from our lives.
  • Commit to leave one bad habit and seek sincerity from Allah (swt). Avoid gossiping and backbiting that eat up our aa’maal-e-sualeha. Do not concern yourself with other’s private matters but concentrate on cleansing your soul.

 

You can add more things if you want to, however, if we focus on these to-dos during Ramadan, in’sha’Allah this will have a big impact on our spiritual enhancement, which usually is an ignored aspect of our lives.

 


Yameenuddin Ahmed has been associated with Timelenders since 2004 as one of its key leaders in the area of life transforming trainings, coaching, and counseling. To date, Ahmed has helped thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations in developing worthy and powerful visions and in bringing order, enhancing character, and improving performance in personal and professional living. (Read more)


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