بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والحمدلله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent
All praise is due to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers
The blessed month of Ramadan is upon us and Alhamdulillah it is such a fantastic opportunity to revive ourselves and our eman and improve our characters and relationship with Allah (swt iA). Let us take this opportunity to focus on ourselves and go on a spiritual journey seeking closeness to Allah (swt) and wanting to earn His pleasure.
My friend Ramadan
Analogies and comparisons are often used in Islam to better explain and understand concepts. In order to help us appreciate the value of this blessed month it is helpful to view it as an old friend. Imagine your feelings toward a friend that you love dearly for the sake of Allah (swt), when they are present you are thankful for their company, feel warmth and the true blessings of companionship. They can help you in your deen and bring you closer to Allah and you are truly sad to be apart from them and miss them dearly when they are not around.
Ramadan is like our beautiful old friend, whom we look forward to visiting and are anxious about its arrival. We feel comfort and happiness when it is present, feel warmth and joy while it is by our side and are sad to see it go. In the short period that it has come to visit let us seek to gain the most of the blessed company of our good natured friend.
A friend which takes little from us and gives us in abundance. Reminding ourselves that everyday we have with our friend is a blessing from Allah and we may not be around to grow old with our friend.
When our friend visits, it is always so thoughtful and comes bearing a priceless gift. The invaluable gift of opportunity. We know that it gives wholeheartedly, when the shaitan’s are chained up there are no barriers or obstacles to spending time with our friends apart from the barriers that we put up for ourselves. Our friend is not here for long, let us not keep it waiting but rather focus our attention to it and have special one on one time dedicated with our beloved friend.
A good friend is somebody with whom you can draw closer to Allah (swt) with and in this sense we pray that inshaAllah Ramadan should be the best of our friends, helping us draw closer to our Creator.
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Apostle, Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam, said, what translated means,
“Allah said, ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him: the good deeds will be multiplied ten times to seven hundred time, except fasting, which is for Me and I will reward for it accordingly. He abandons his (sexual) desire, food and drink for Me.’ Verily, there are two joyous and pleasurable moments for the fasting person: one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other is when he will meet his Lord (in the Hereafter). Verily, the unpleasant odor emanating from the mouth of the fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the scent of musk.”
[Al-Bukhari & Muslim].
SubhanAllah how Allah (swt) has picked the fast for Himself and this is the way we can earn our Lord’s pleasure. We fast for Allah (swt) and Allah alone in order to achieve Taqwa.
But fasting at the higher level requires achieving that God consciousness and taqwa can often be difficult to do. We have to remind ourselves that Allah (swt) is watchful of everything we do. We should be conscious of this more so in Ramadan and strive to better our characters iA. It is easy to say but in order to fully grasp this concept, Al-Ghazali explains it beautifully in his book “The Beginning of Guidance”
Know that God is (exalted is He) is aware of your mind, that He observes your outward self (zahir) and the inward (batin), that He comprehends your every glance, your every thought, your every step and your every other form of movement and your state of being at rest, and that, whether you are in association with other people or in seclusion, you live constantly in His presence. In the world of perception and the unseen world, no inactive thing remains inactive and no moving thing moves, except with the Most Compelling One of the Heaven and the Earth being aware of this
“He (God) knows the treachery of the eyes and that which the mind conceals”
“He knows all that is secret and is most hidden”
So O poor man, make your behaviour, both inward and outward , in the presence of God (Exalted is He) like the behaviour of the lowly and erring slave in the presence of a most compelling and subduing King.
Try hard so that your Master may not see you where He forbade you to be and may not miss you where He commanded you to be.
You will never be able to do this unless you plan your time and arrange your duties from morning to evening. From the moment you wake from sleep until the time of your returning to your bed, be diligent in performing the commands God (Exalted is He) lays upon you.
I pray that we are amongst those who are fortunate enough to take from knowledge and act upon it. To organise our time with our old friend accordingly and feel the benefits of this friendship. Ultimately gaining taqwa and earning Allah’s reward and pleasure inshaAllah.