Allah gives us many chances to turn to Him and seek His infinite mercy in Ramadan. Ramadan has 3 parts. The first 10 days are mercy from Allah. The middle 10 days are forgiveness. And the last 10 days are emancipation from the hellfire. These stages reflect the journey that you take to Allah in Ramadan. They reflect chances in this month to seek refuge in Allah from all that is evil and to try to follow the right path. Even if you did not start out Ramadan fulfilling all of your goals, it is still not over. Allah gives you many many chances to make duaa and try your best to be the best version of yourself. The only thing that stands in between you and Allah in Ramadan is ultimately yourself. Your false mindset that this is impossible. There is time to start over and renew your intentions for the rest of your life and to live your life for your Creator because that is how life should be lived. Always remembering that your Creator gave you chances and does not want you to give up should be the fuel to keep you going forward.  Don’t ever forget that Allah is always with you and don’t lose hope in Allah’s mercy because it is infinite. You will always have another chance.

A while back I watched a lecture on Ramadan by Nouman Ali Khan. In it he describes beautifully some aspects regarding the Quran. He discusses when Adam (A) and Hawa came down to earth from heaven and shaytan (devil) was constantly motivated to lead them astray. Allah said to hold onto the rope of Allah and they will never go astray. The rope of Allah is the Quran. It’s the unbreakable connection between all of us and Allah’s direct word.

This is the month of Quran. But some of us have been taught to solely reap the benefits of Quran through recitation alone. Recitation is very important and does bring a huge sense of peace to the heart. But that was never the sole purpose of the Quran. To hold onto the rope of Allah, we have to commit to reflecting on the Quran. Changing our monotonous attitude into an attitude of wonder and amazement at how relatable the Quran is to us in our daily lives. How it brings us peace in our day to day interactions and how it helps us fulfill our purpose in life. We also have to have an open attitude. What I mean is, it’s ok to take from the Quran when it benefits us, but we also have to reflect on what Allah wants from us. Only then are we truly holding tight to the rope and only then will we always be safe from shaytan. May Allah make us people who hold tight to the rope of Allah. Ameen.

A little while ago I was realizing the magnitude of Surah qadr in the Quran. In it there is a description of the night of power (laylatul qadr), in which doing good deeds is the equivalent as doing those good deeds for 1000 months. Meaning the reward given is that humongous. That reward amounts to the equivalent of having done the good deed for 83 years. So Allah put a night in between a month to give us that much reward. Not only that but that night happens to be in a month where we are already mentally preparing to do good deeds because it’s Ramadan. It’s not like trying to do it all year long hoping to finally get to laylatul qadr. It’s literally in a night in a month that we are already in higher worship mode naturally. Then it got me thinking. How merciful is our Lord?

Outside of Ramadan, every Friday there is a time between asr and Maghreb in the last portion where we can make dua and it will be like an arrow hitting its target. Right on the mark. Every single Friday comes that time. Every week of the whole year. Then there comes a time that when you pray in congregation and say Ameen after the imam has finished Surah Fatiha in the prayer, if you end up saying Ameen at the same time as the angels then all your previous sins are forgiven. If we look deeply, there are many many ways to earn the pleasure of Allah. There are many ways to be forgiven. There are many ways to come back to Allah. To get what we so desire in the world and afterlife. Isn’t that a merciful Lord?

He is the bestower of both mercy and punishment as he is the King but on His throne he has written that His mercy supersedes His anger. We sometimes get an achy feeling in the heart as the end of each Ramadan draws near. And with good reason. But the ache should be comforted in knowing that even though Ramadan leaves us, Allah never does. Alhumdulillah. May Allah be pleased with us and forgive all of us for all of our wrongs and admit us into jannatul firdous without hisab. Ameen.

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Ramadan is a month where our ability to feel compassion and empathy for each other is heightened.  The heart is softened through the fasting during the day and the long prayers at night.  Even if you, like me, don’t yet understand what is being recited in the taraweeh prayers, just listening to the recitation of the Quran has a softening effect on the heart.  This softening leads us to be more lenient with those we love and to give and forgive without any hesitation.  It also leads us to understand where someone else is coming from and to look at things from their perspective which in turn leads us to improve our relationships with people.  We are less likely to resort to blame when a problem arises and more likely to seek to understand people’s unique perspective and work out a compromise.

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