Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ramadan is on its way! Are you ready?

Soorah Al Baqarah 2:185
"Ramadhaan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur`aan
as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and
judgement (between right and wrong) ...."

Success in whatever we do depends on how clear we are on the objectives we want to achieve and how well we plan for it. Even a recreational activity such as going on a vacation takes much planning. It is not feasible for a person to simply just get up and depart to a vacation destination without planning, especially if one wants to have a good vacation or recreational activity. For example, if one is going to Disney World, usually planning is done months in advance for the trip. In addition to making traveling and accommodation arrangements, people consult friends, read literature and research on how to get the most benefit while there. Time and effort is spent deciding which rides and sites to visit, in what order and at what times of the day so that one can get the maximum benefit at minimum cost in a reasonable time. People make significant efforts to plan the trip because it means so much to them to make such a trip.
What does Ramadhân mean to you? Does it mean more to you than going for a vacation or to Disney World? Are you mentally and psychologically ready to attain all the goodness Ramadhaan has to offer? Are you then spending enough time and taking pains to plan how can you get the most benefit from the opportunity Ramadhaan affords you?
Some people do plan for Ramadhaan, but that planning is only to the extent of who to invite for Iftaar and what special foods to prepare or how to get the best deal on dates? But is this the type of outcome that is the objective of Ramadhaan?
The objectives of Ramadhaan are to:

q Increase our Taqwa
q Make us more charitable
q Prepare us for life-long Jihaad, and
q Strengthen our relationship with the Holy Qur-aan.

So, what are the action plans you want to undertake during Ramadhaan so that when it departs, you have seen significant growth in your Taqwa, you are more giving, more involved in Jihaad and more tuned to the Qur-aan?
Ramadhaan is a wonderful opportunity to help us fine-tune our normal patterns of behaviour thereby changing us for the better. We can ask ourselves the question: What areas of our personality, attitude, behaviour, daily routines and lifestyle, etc. do we need to change to bring us closer to the Islamic standard?
What aspect of your life have you decided to improve on during this Ramadhaan and what are your plans for achieving this change?
We all need many changes and many improvements. None of us is perfect and our list of proposed improvements can be exceedingly long if we were being honest with ourselves. Naturally, one cannot pick a big list and work on all those areas in one month. The best approach is to pick only a few items where the most important change is needed and to devise a plan to make a definite improvement in those area(s) this Ramadhaan. Success in making the change would make you a winner this Ramadhaan and the month will be one of great triumph and blessings for you.
If you have decided to make this a meaningful and triumphant Ramadhaan by identifying areas requiring improvement and if you have prepared a plan of action, may Allaah (SWT) assist you and bless you for taking this step in your life. Congratulations on a good start!

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