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.

Forgiveness is a big theme of this special month. Each day Allah forgives and saves us. Each day the doors of heaven are opened and mercy flows down to us. Each day we are given an opportunity to sincerely ask Allah to forgive us for all of our sins. Those sins that were huge. Those small sins. Those sins that we don’t even know that we have done. Those sins that we are so ashamed of. Those sins that we have taken lightly. Those sins that are our secrets. Those sins that others do know about. All sins.

During this time of asking Allah for forgiveness, we can’t forget the people who may need our forgiveness. If we want Allah to forgive us, we have to have that very trait in our hearts. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we have to trust someone who betrays us. It only means we have to let go of the grudge in our hearts and not let our attitude towards them be defined by their wrong doing. Sometimes we learn something about a person’s character through the way they hurt us. That knowledge is vey important in dealing with them. However, holding onto the hurt and anger only hurts us. We don’t have to go to them directly to forgive them. We just have to do it. It is a very freeing feeling to forgive someone and feel the weight lifted. It gives you control again to be happy with your life and focus on your purpose. May Allah forgive us for all of our sins and cleanse our hearts. May He make our hearts tender and willing to forgive anyone who wrongs us. Ameen.

Ramadan is a time when you can really see how much importance you give to your ego. Throughout the year, it can become second nature to assume that when we get angry or get into arguments, that it was due to the shaytan (devil). But during Ramadan, since shaytan is locked up, our damaged selves are laid bare for us. I feel this is also a mercy from Allah because now we can tackle our negative traits with more focus. We can see that outside of Ramadan it has the potential to get worse. So even if we neglect to work too hard on bettering our characters, I feel fasting tends to put the ego in perspective. Even if it is the last few days of Ramadan, fasting truly helps to see that we can argue all we want, but essentially the hunger pains act as a constant reminder of our strife and commitment to Allah. They remind us of what really is important in life. They remind us of those who have these hunger pains all year long. They remind us of how much we truly depend on Allah for all things. Nothing good comes from us alone. Allah is always there. And this hopefully softens our hearts and diminishes our ego. May Allah accept all of our fasts and good deeds and allow us to overcome our ego and be among those who are the best in character. May He protect us all from the shaytan all year long. Ameen.

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.

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