By Hezne Abu Hasan
Ramadan peeks shyly behind Shaaban, unsure if it will be welcomed, unsure if the people are ready. But like night and day, Shaaban bids us goodbye and it’s showtime for Ramadan. Ready or not, Ramadan rears its beautiful head once again, ready to work its magic into the hearts of believers.
Ahlan wa sahlan ya Ramadan! Glory is to the One who has blessed us yet another chance to experience this holy month; the month where the reward for every good deed done is multiplied by 70. Kaching!
Ramadan is not a time for other people or other distractions. Even the shaytaans are being tied up, another of Allah’s mercy in helping us be on track. It is your month, where you are selfish and greedy – when it comes to your rewards. We have to be hungry and insatiable for good deeds so that it can tide us over for the other 11 months.
There are 30 precious days in Ramadan, with the last 10 days being that little bit more special. Every day must count, every day must generate rewards to go into our thirsty reward bank. Planning is the key, and not just planning of our meals, but also planning of our ibadah. Failing to plan is, planning to fail.
Here are ways to maximize the deeds done in Ramadan to reap maximum benefits:
- Give gifts to fellow Muslims like dates, sajada, water bottles, du’a booklets, anything at all
- Give new clothing, toys or books to children and see their little faces light up
- Give the gift of iftar to orphanages or children’s homes and sponsor their meals
- When you can’t fast for permissible reasons, cook for others and feed them, be it for your family, friends or the needy. Don’t forget our four-legged furry friends at home and by the roadsides
- Donate every day – clothes, money, food
- Pick a charity and create a jar for it. Donate every day into the jar and ask family members to chip in. Before Ramadhan ends, donate the collection to the chosen charity
- Allocate some money to donate in the last 10 days. Instead of pinpointing when exactly laylatul qadr is, donate equally over the 10 days. For example, if you allocate $100, donate $10 every day for 10 days instead of donating all $100 on the 27th This way, if laylatul qadr falls on a different night than the guessed 27th night, you will still reap the rewards
- Donate to schools, masjids and hospitals that are still being built. For as long as they are in use, your rewards will continue to roll in
- Apart for setting some time after solah, praise Allah copiously through out the day; a digital counter wrapped around the finger may help to increase our awareness
- Dhikr in the car or during commutes to and from work and also at work while doing routine and rhythmic tasks
- For mothers and housewives, do dhikr even while carrying out housework and especially cooking. Now, that’s cooking with love!
- The Quran, of course. Every day after every salah and even more squeezed in between here and there, the words of Allah must be read
- During commutes to and from work, listen to a recording of the Quran through the radio or your phone
- For sisters who are unable to fast, keep up and don’t keep idle by listening to a recording and also reading from the English translation
- Take up the Al-Mulk challenge: memorize one verse from the surah every day for Ramadhan. By the end of 30 days, you will have memorized all 30 verses of surah Al-Mulk
- The thing that keeps the heart of a believer alive is the salah, so for this month more than ever, prayers have to be prayed and offered
- This is a time to get into the routine of offering sunnah prayers such as the rawatib prayers, dhuha prayer, tahajjud prayer and witr prayer
- And… only available and pray-able in Ramadhan, the tarawikh prayer! When done in congregation, the imam’s beautiful recitation will also be a feast for your ears
To all AlKauthar Ilm blog readers, we have a special gift just for you. Don’t forget to check out AlKauthar free eBook, ‘The Month of Mercy’ to learn more about this beautiful month. Visit our link, ramadan.alkauthar.org and download your eBook now!
May Allah shower us with the bountiful blessings of Ramadan, accept our deeds, forgive our sins, bless us with the chance to experience laylatul qadr and grant us steadfastness in keeping good habits well into the rest of the year.