It’s almost as if everything that was once negative in your life turns to a complete standstill once Ramadan arrives. There’s smiles, a festive mood in the air, and just positive energy all around. It’s too difficult to focus on the negatives in Ramadan because of all the blessings this month contains.

People begin to change for the better. Hearts that were once broken can now turn to Allah in the most blessed times of the year to mend for the better. He is always there for you and has given you an opportunity in this month to open the doors to forgiveness. Ramadan goes by so quickly but the best thing you can take from it is a positive mindset and reasssurance that Allah is near. It’s a reason to smile. It’s a reason to know that all will be okay in the end. It’s a reason to keep pushing out those positive vibes, letting your heart mend, and your soul re-energize for the rest of the year.

Something amazing about Ramadan is that it has a tendency to slow us down. We’re not so involved in the rat race and we have time to catch our breath and realize how much we have been running through life. Running to get stuff done and going through life on autopilot without any reflection. Ramadan has a certain peace that descends that makes a great atmosphere for reflections. It’s an amazing this to be able to reflect on ourselves and our actions and the road we are traveling. It makes life more meaningful and purposeful. These reflection times should also help to motivate us to think about what we want out of our life.

What have we been doing all this time without much thought? What kinds of things do we want to focus on? What has been preventing us from focusing on those? Where do things fit into our life? How can we make room for certain things? What things do we really just need to let go? May Allah make us among those who ponder and reflect on our lives constantly. May we reflect on Allah and use reflection to fuel us to do good in our lives. May we leave behind a legacy of good. May we not waste our only one small life on autopilot, aimlessly going from birth to death and then forgotten. Ameen.

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.

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