بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
It is asked by some people when Ramadan comes, how to make the most out of it. Each person who asks this question may be expecting different answers. I would simply start by defining, in the simplest terms, what Ramadan is. It is basically, a celebration of our status as a nation.
Numerous times, when Ramadan begins, there are some who try to become righteous like, they do all of the daily Prayers, they do Taraweeh, stop smoking and other things. And when it ends they simply return to how they were before Ramadan started, for it would seem they benefited not from the month.
Among the evidence that one has gotten the most out of Ramadan, is that there is a change in the person. We can look at Ramadan as a time or opportunity in which one can exercise one’s self, and increase/enhance/gain Taqwa, without interference or distraction from the Shayateen.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
إذا جاء رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة، وغلقت أبواب النار، وصفدت الشياطين
When Ramadan begins, the gates of Jannah are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained
Narrated by both Bukari and Muslim
Since Taqwa (Fear of God or God Consciousness) was mentioned, I will mention, that to gain it is among the reasons or points of why we fast. Allah Says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become/develop Taqwa/righteous(ness)
Suratul Baqarah Ayah 183
Going forward, Ramadan is a good opportunity to try to improve one’s character or behavior. For instance, one shouldn’t argue or fight, act foolish, or lose one’s patience. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
الصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ فَإِذَا كَانَ أَحَدُكُمْ صَائِمًا فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَجْهَلْ فَإِنِ امْرُؤٌ قَاتَلَهُ أَوْ شَاتَمَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ
Fasting is a protection for you, so when you are fasting, do not behave obscenely or foolishly, and if any one argues with you or abuses you/calls you names, say, ‘I am fasting. I am fasting.’
Muwwatta’ Malik, a hadith similar in wording but longer can be found in Bukari.
Another way to come at working on bettering one’s character, is to try to better one’s salat, enhance one’s Khushu’ in it, and check one’s sincerity, for Allah says:
اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ
Recite, what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.
Suratul Ankaboot Ayah 45
In the month of Ramadan, one should try to recite the Quran more, for it is the month in which it was revealed. One should read it at least once. Sadly many times, people wait until Ramadan comes to pick up the Quran and read it, while not doing so the rest of the year. If one can take time during Ramadan to read the Quran, then one can also take time out side of it to do so. When one comes to read it, one should come as if it is the first time reading it, one should seek to understand it, and know that it is talking directly to oneself. One should get to such a state in regards to the Quran, that when one starts to read it, or simply hears it, tears fall from one’s eyes. I would like to point out that the translations, are not the Quran, rather it is the Arabic which is God’s word.
During Ramadan, one should also increase one’s remembrance of Allah, as one should also do during the rest of the year, for it is great, and brings calmness to the heart of the believer. There are many other things which could be done in Ramadan. But what one has to remember is, that what you do in Ramadan also should be done during the rest of the year.
The evidence that one has made the most out of Ramadan, would show after it has ended, and that is it would show a change, and one would not simply go back to how one was before.
Lastly I would like to end by mentioning what has been narrated, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
من صام رمضان إيمانًا واحتسابًا، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه
He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven
Also the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
من قام رمضان إيمانًا واحتسابًا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه
He who observes optional prayer (Tarawih prayers) throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of Faith and in the hope of earning reward will have his past sins pardoned
Both Ahadeeth is narrated by both Bukari and Muslim
May Allah help us get the most out of Ramadan, and may He reward us for our efforts and deeds. If you have any questions that that came to mind while reading this post, then we invite you to ask it here.
سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين