Ramadan is just around the corner. We have been preparing and thinking about it. At the same time, we are currently going through a tough time everywhere in the world.
In these challenging times, Allah tells us to seek help in prayer and patience. That is why it is now most important to remember to make the most of every moment we are alive during this Ramadan.
Let’s attain Allah’s merciful gaze in the first night of Ramadan. Let the remembrance of Allah bring joy to you.
Ramadan Starts after Maghrib
When I started as a new Muslim, I thought Ramadan starts with taking my predawn breakfast. Later I understood that Ramadan starts the night before. After the call for prayer for the sunset-prayer (maghrib).
Once we have completed our maghrib prayer, we should start with seeking joy in coming closer to Allah.
If you want to complete reading the Quran from Surah Al-Fatihah to Surah Al-Ikhlas, start now. If you want to do extra additional Sunnah prayers, start now. And most important the special extra nightly Ramadan prayer, Taraweeh, will be prayed before the first fasting day.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah shower him with peace and blessings) said:
My people (Ummah) are granted five gifts that no Prophet before me had been given. First, when it is the first night of Ramadan, Allah looks at His servants. He will never punish those at whom He looks. Second, the smell of their mouths when night approaches is more pleasant [to Allah] than the scent of musk. Third, angels seek Allah’s forgiveness for them every day and night. Fourth, Allah commands Paradise saying, ‘Be prepared and adorned for My servants; they are about to be relieved from the pains of the worldly life and move to My Home and Honor.’ Fifth, when it is the last night (of Ramadan) Allah forgives the sins of all people. (Ahmad and Al-Bazzar)
Dr. Wael Shihab explained that Ramadan’s first night is blessed with these great favors of Allah for a divine wisdom that He, Almighty, knows. It may be — among other reasons — because it is the opening gate to the month of mercy, forgiveness, blessings, and freedom of Hellfire.
Dr. Shihab further explains that Ramadan’s first night does deserve a special program and due attention. It is a very precious night that occurs only once every year. We should seek this night to come closer to our beloved Lord.
Habib Umar bin Hafiz also mentioned the importance of striving for Allah’s merciful gaze in the first night of Ramadan. He explained that we can achieve it by trying to purify our hearts. We should be in a state of brokenness in front of Allah. This can include to show Him our utter dependence and making sincere du’a.
The Special Prayer – Taraweeh
Having the special occasion this year that most mosques around the globe are closed, we should focus on our me-time with our Most Merciful Creator.
It is important that we remind ourselves that Ramadan is not just about attending Taraweeh prayer in a mosque in the atmosphere that we imagine to be perfect. But to pray it no matter what the situation inside and outside is.
There is no perfect time for remembering Allah. Remembering Him all the time, wherever we are, whatever we do will bring joy and peace to our hearts.
A Time to Grow
No matter what are our circumstances, Ramadan is there to make us spiritually more mature and better persons. Let’s embrace the challenges of this year’s Ramadan.
What I personally understood from the few Ramadans I was allowed to experience is that just because it is Ramadan, the world will not stop moving so that I can have my perfect Ramadan.
I have to make Ramadan my perfect Ramadan. I have to seek the joy in Ramadan. No matter what the circumstances, no matter what situations I am in. And no matter what challenges I encounter in my life.
Embrace the Challenges
So, let’s embrace the challenges we are facing this year. And make it the best, the most joyful Ramadan that is possible for us.
And remember: Ramadan starts with the night before we fast our first day. Try to make the best of it from the beginning. Don’t start slowly and speed up later as Ramadan passes.
Let’s start with full speed into the best Ramadan in our lives so far.
Let’s remember those less fortunate and increase in our love and care for our fellow human beings.