4. Making Dua
Many of us do not spend as much time as we should do in Dua. Even if we do we rush our dua and our hearts and minds are not present whilst supplicating to Allah exalted is HE.
Many of us rush our Dua’s and our hearts are often not present whilst we are supplicating to Allah. Therefore we lose out on much of the benefits and blessings of Dua. We must give more attention to our Dua’s and try to concentrate more and be more sincere in our Dua’s imagining Allah watching us supplicate to him. We should humble ourselves making ourselves low and not worthy in front of Allah. We should try to cry if we can and have FULL hope that Allah will accept our Dua’s if not in this world then in the hereafter.
Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an: “When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me.”
The place of Dua is so honourable to Allah that the Prophet (Sallallahu AlaIhi Wasallim) said:
“Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than Du`a.” (Sahih al-Jami` no.5268).
It is the most excellent of worship:
He also said: “The most excellent worship is Du’a.” (Sahih Al-Jami` no. 1133)
So let us get into the habit of making sincere Dua’s from deep within our hearts and let us not be heedless when supplicating to Allah. What better time than now for us to get into the habit of making more intense and sincere Dua’s. So by the time Ramadan arrives we would have already got into the habit of making the long, sincere and intense Dua’s which will readily be accepted during this blessed month especially whilst we are fasting and in the latter part of the nights during Tahajjud.
It may help to make a list of what we should ask of Allah suring dua’s which we can refer to as a reminder as this may help us to make our dua’s longer and more sincere covering everything we want to ask of Allah.
5. Sincere Repentance
Ramadan is the month where we can gain mercy and forgiveness from Allah for all of our sins past and present.
We should know that Allah is most merciful and most forgiving and loves to forgive:
Allah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.
When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates: And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa 4:110)
Allah loves repentance and loves those who turn to him in repentance:
Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance, and He loves those who keep themselves in purity. (Qur’an 2:222)
Therefore we should get into the habit now of repenting to Allah so that in Ramadan we will make the best of repenting to Allah and continue to do so throughout everyday of our lives.
How unfortunate is a person who after the end of Ramadan does not gain any forgiveness of his sins from Allah but ends up piling more sins onto his account.
6. Generosity & Charity
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) became even more generous in Ramadan than he already was.
Ramadan is a time for generosity and giving. It is a time when we think about those who have less than us as well as thank Allah for everything he has given us. Ramadan is an honourable and blessed month, and the rewards for generosity are multiplied in it.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) said, “The best charity is that given in Ramadan.” (At-Tirmithi).
Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) said, “He who feeds a fasting person will gain the same reward as he will, without decreasing from the fasting person’s rewards.” (Ahmad).
Therefore we should get into the habit of giving in charity now so by the time Ramadan arrives we would increase in our generosity, giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. We should give whatever we can afford as Allah looks at our intentions.
Surely in there hereafter we will regret that which we did not spend in the path of Allah.
7. Controlling the tongue
Ramadan is a time where we must control our desires (nafs) aswell as our tongues:
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Fasting is not (abstaining) from eating and drinking only, but also from vain speech and foul language. If one of you is being cursed or annoyed, he should say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.” (Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban)
Therefore we must protect our tongue from vain speech and foul language. Protecting the tongue is preventing it from lying, back-biting, slander, tale-carrying, false speech and other things that have been forbidden in the Qur’an & Sunnah.
Those who control their tongues are of the best of Muslims:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked: “Which Muslim is best?” He responded, “One who the other Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.” (Tirmidhi, #2504)
We must not deceive ourselves into thinking that by the time Ramadan comes we will all of a sudden break a lifetime habit and control our tongues. Again this is another big deception. We must start controlling our tongues now for we cannot for changing lifetime bad habits is not an overnight process.
So how can we begin to control our tongues? This can be done by “THINKING BEFORE SAYING ANYTHING”. Not just talking without even thinking what we are going to say.
We must think before we speak and before saying anything we should think whether or not what we are going to say is going to please or displease Allah.
If we doubt that what we are about to say may anger or displease Allah then we should refrain from saying it. If we have nothing good to say then surely it is better NOT to say anything at all. Remember we WILL be accountable for everything we said in our lives so we MUST start taking responsiblity for what comes out of our mouths NOW otherwise we will regret it later when it is too late. Therefore we must get into the habit of “thinking before speaking”.
So let us begin to control our tongues now so that by the time Ramadan comes we would have adopted good habits and would have been used to controlling our tongues and refraining from saying anything which may anger or displease Allah.
REMEMBER: If we do not protect our tongues then our fasts will be in vain:
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Allah does not need the fast of one who does not abandon false speech or acting according to his false speech.” (Sahih Bukhari)
8. Improving Character & manners
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) came to perfect the character of man and the best of this Ummah are those wioth the best of characters:
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) used to say: “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” (al-Bukhari)
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “There is none heavier in the scales of the Hereafter than good character (Tirmidhi & Abu Dawud).
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also said: “The best loved by me and the nearest to me on the seats on the Day of Resurrection are those who have the best manners and conduct amongst you, who are intimate, are on good terms with others and are humble, and the most hated by me and who will be on the furthest seats from me are those who are talkative and arrogant.” (Tirmidhi)
Again as with making any big change perfecting our character and manners cannot be done overnight but we must make a start now so that by the time Ramadan comes we would have gained momentum in making the necessery changes to our characters in order for us to be the best of this Ummah and those closest to Allah.
Surely if good character and manners are the heaviest on the scales then can you imagine how much more heavier they will be if we behave with good character and manners during Ramadan?
So let us strive to perfect our manners, character and conduct towards others and know that these good deeds will be of the heaviest on the scales and will enable us to reach the highest ranks of Jannah and the closest to Allah.
- Prepare for Ramadan (part 3) (madinasharif.wordpress.com)