Days are passing by at lightning-fast speed, and we are already in the midst of Ramadan 2022! As we fall into the daily Ramadan routine, we tend to lose sight of the bigger picture – the essence of Ramadan.
As Ramadan arrives, we busy ourselves with the daily routines of Ramadan; the meal preparation, daily prayers, adhkaar decorating our homes and tweaking our work routine to suit the month of fasting. While this is all well and good, regretfully, we often become so busy in the micro that we forget about the overarching purpose of Ramadan.
You can only get in the right mindset for Ramadan when you understand the significance and purpose of Ramadan.
The Significance of Ramadan
Soum or fasting is the third pillar of Islam. Its significance is evident from the fact that it has been counted as one of the 5 fundamental concepts in Islam.
The holy Quran says, “O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you—so perhaps you will become mindful ˹of Allah.” – Al-Baqarah 2:183
This ayah alone highlights the significance of Ramadan. Allah has made fasting compulsory for Muslims in Ramadan and made them an essential part of a Muslim’s Eeman or belief.
Sunnah also sheds light on the importance of Ramadan. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.” – Sahih al Bukhari
This Hadith highlights the significance of the month of Ramadan in Islam. The month is so pure that Allah gives an open invitation to every Muslim – fast, do-good deeds, and enter heaven! The devil is enchained so that he cannot seduce Muslims away from good deeds, giving them the best opportunity to invest in good deeds and move towards Jannah.
Another Hadith highlights the benefits of fasting in Ramadan by discussing Ar-Raiyan – a gate of Jannah that will be opened for only those who fast during Ramadan. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection, and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry, the gate will be closed, and nobody will enter through it.” – Sahih al Bukhari
The Purpose of Ramadan
In the ayah quoted above, Allah Azzawajal says that fasting has been prescribed so Muslims may become تَتَّقُون, i.e., mindful of Allah, righteous, and those who achieve Taqwa.
Taqwa is achieved when Muslims become more obedient to Allah and less disobedient to Allah. Muslims achieve Taqwa by performing good deeds and avoiding Haram acts.
By prescribing a 30-day consecutive fasting month, Allah has provided a unique opportunity for Muslims to correct their behavior and come towards the right path.Unfortunately, most of us often complain that we are unable to pray five times a day, we are unable to recite Quran daily or involve ourselves in other good deeds.
However, when Ramadan comes around, we perform all of these things and more! Allah gives us the energy and the will to offer all 5 prayers with great passion, recite the Quran daily, offer Taraweeh, and more while fasting!
Ustad Nouman Ali Khan says that it is an intensive training program to help Muslims break out of their bad habits and get on the path of Allah. It instills confidence in us that we can uphold our religious obligations while taking care of our work, chores, and daily life.
All the month of Ramadan and Allah require us is to try to be better Muslims. Ramadan is here to heal us and make us realize that no matter how big our worldly problems may be, Allah is greater.
So, what can we as believers do to get in the right mindset for Ramadan 2022? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Be Mindful
Our intentions matter first and foremost, even more so than our actions. Allah (SWT) looks into our hearts and souls. Therefore, especially in Ramadan, it is important to focus on setting our intentions right.
Our intentions must be to perform good deeds and abstain from haram acts for the will of Allah. It is easy to fall into a routine and keep a fast every day without contemplating the purpose. It is easier still to get lost in the worldly hustle and bustle of Ramadan.
So, the first step is to hold yourself in check and be mindful of the purpose of Ramadan.
2. Practice Thankfulness
Are we not lucky to experience Ramadan? As you prepare for Ramadan, remember to take a break from worldly duties and say Alllhumdullillah. Alhamdulillah for our blessed religion Islam, Allhumdulillah for Ramadan, and Allhumdulillah for getting to see another day with a roof over our heads and food on our tables.
Ramadan is a blessing and a hope for Muslims. It is a chance for us to clean the slate and start over again while prioritizing Allah. Therefore, thank Allah for providing you with this chance, and make the most of it!
3. Seek Guidance & Abstain
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Every one of us is struggling to overcome our challenges.
For example, some of us may realize that Allah has mandated 5 daily prayers but still struggle to implement them in our life. Others may struggle to wear modest clothing or abstain from lies.
These struggles may arise from the lack of knowledge or perhaps because you haven’t been giving it your all to try and follow a certain command. Maybe you can make the most of Ramadan and finally abstain from a certain sin or follow a certain command by using this holy month’s blessings to the fullest.
So, contemplate your struggles, find a goal to walk yourself through it, and give it your all to stick to your goal, whether it is working on your character, abstaining from smoking, or dressing more modestly.
Since you do it for 30 days during Ramadan, the chances are that you can continue the habit even after!
Although you can repent any time and anywhere, why not make the most of Ramadan and try our best to repent for all our sins? Remember, Allah is Al-Ghafoor (The Most Forgiving) and Al-Ghaffar (The Ever Forgiving). No matter how often we sin, when we repent, Allah always listens, and Allah always forgives, especially in Ramadan.
The Quran Says:
“Say, O Prophet, that Allah says, “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” – Az-Zumar – 53
The ayah mentioned above highlights the mercy of Allah and how one should never lose hope in His mercy as is All-Forgiving and the Most Merciful.
On the authority of Anas Ibn Malik (May Allah be Pleased with Him)
“I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Allah the Almighty said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me; I would forgive you. O son of Adam were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.” – Hadith Qudsi
This Hadith highlights how Allah is willing to forgive a believer no matter how big his sins may get. Even if our sins were to reach the clouds of the sky – Allah would forgive us.
So, to make the most of Ramadan 2022, repent as often as you can and as much as you can!
5. Make Dua
Ramadan is the best time to make Dua. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There are three whose supplications are not turned back: A just ruler, and a fasting person until he breaks his fast.” Sunan Ibn Majah 1752
Therefore, make dua while you are fasting, make dua after every prayer, and make dua when you are about to break your fast. Allah will listen to your prayers, and they will not be rejected in the month of Ramadan.
Allah is willing to listen to you every second of the day. He listens, and He understands. Allah is the Greatest, The Omnipotent, and The Almighty. He will listen to your dua and grant you whatever you wish for.
Takeaway – How to Get in The Right Mindset for Ramadan 2022
The ultimate goal of Ramadan is to help Muslims realize that they can prioritize Allah in their life every day. It shows them that while the religious obligations of Muslims may appear hard, they are not unattainable.
If we can abstain from Haram and embrace Halal wholeheartedly during Ramadan, why not after it? If we truly fast while being mindful during Ramadan, we are more likely to remain on the right path when it’s over.
If you fast with the right mindset, it is truly transformative. It brings the realization that, yes, following Allah’s path is the difficult way, but it is more rewarding. Most importantly, it brings confidence in a Muslim that they have the will and endurance to follow the right but difficult path instead of choosing the easy path.
May Allah Azzawajal help us strengthen and nurture the good habits we have developed this Ramadan and help us continue them for the rest of our lives.