If you are reading this, what it means is that today, at this very moment, Allah swt has given you His permission, His blessings and His mercy to be in the blessed month of Ramadhan.
I know of many people who passed away just weeks before Ramadhan. I too have heard of someone passing away just the night before Ramadhan.
However, you, you who are reading this. You are still alive. YOU have been chosen by Allah swt to be a guest in His blessed month. The month* better than a thousand months, the month where the Qur’an was sent down as a mercy to all mankind, the month where the shayateen are locked up and our souls have one less enemy to struggle against.
Have you chosen to be thankful and utilize this God-given opportunity?
The people who have passed away prior to Ramadhan had no choice in the matter; Allah swt had willed it for them. But YOU, whom Allah swt had willed to be His guest, what is your choice?
How would you choose to spend your mornings?
Would you stumble through sahur, rush through fajr and grab a thirty-minutes nap before getting to work? Or would you grab the once-a-year chance where the whole family is awake at the same time to gather everyone for congregational prayers, then spend that thirty minutes reading the Qur’an before preparing for work?
How would you choose to spend your afternoons?
Would you read useless texts on your office desk, or roam around the shopping mall preparing for Eid? Or would you grab the rare chance to be totally free for an hour to sit in the masjid and pour through the Qur’an and pray congregational prayers with the jemaah?
How would you spend your nights?
Would you be feasting on a full table spread, praying Maghrib at the very last minute, then spend the remainder of the night watching sitcom reruns, shopping for more things for Eid or laughing with friends? Or would you hold on tightly to the teraweeh prayers, shoulder to shoulder alongside fellow Muslims who seek nothing but blessings, forgiveness and mercy from Allah swt?
How would you spend your Ramadhan?
I have seen people weeping upon reciting “O Allah let us meet Ramadhan”, and they cry out of joy when the Maghrib azan echo through the air indicating the arrival of the blessed month. On the first night of Ramadhan, I saw an old woman holding the Qur’an to her heart, eyes closed and tears falling down her cheek, smiling. She must have felt an immense gratitude in being given the chance to be a guest this year, as she had been the last.
She knows that this may very well be her last Ramadhan, just as it may be yours as well.
Would you spend this Ramadhan as if it was your last? Would you spend TODAY as if it was your last?
Use this Ramadhan as a time to ‘refresh’ yourself, to give yourself the opportunity to change. Every year we accumulate so much sins that it’s almost impossible for us to clean the grime in our heart. Grab the chance this blessed month where all our deeds are amplified seventy times, to do as much good as possible, to ask for forgiveness, to start anew.
Ramadhan is a chance for us to break our bad habits, and inculcate good ones. Replace listening to music on morning rides to listening to podcasts of knowledge. Say NO to ourselves just as we are about to speak ill of another person. Reach out to seek Allah swt, to know the Qur’an, to fall in love with the Prophet Muhammad (s), as opposed to saying “I have not been given guidance.”
Allah swt chosen you to be in His blessed month. How could this not be a form of guidance out of His love and mercy?
Do your best today, give your best today and be your best today. Then repeat it for tomorrow, and the day after. InsyaAllah, as we move from one day to another, we will find it easier to be the person we aspire to be, the person we are all made to be.
“Ramadhan is not a temporary increase of religious practice, it is a glimpse of what you are capable of doing everyday.”
May Allah swt accept your deeds and mine this Ramadhan. May He place barakah in our time and in our actions, may He grant us forgiveness for all our sins and may He make it easy for us to strive against our own nafs this Ramadhan.
May this Ramadhan be beneficial for you and me, may it be a turning point of our lives and may He keep us in awareness that today may be our last day of Ramadhan. Ameen, Ameen ya Rabb al-‘alameen.
Ramadhan kareem, my friends.
*Laylatul Qadr is a night better than a thousand months.