How would you spend Ramadan if you knew it was going to be your last? What if this is your last chance to seek forgiveness and get your sins covered? What if it’s going to be your last opportunity to seek Laylatul Qadr? What if it’s the last opportunity to get multiple rewards for everyday deeds?
Well, then. Make the most of it!
We have no guarantee about our state in the akhira. Neither you nor I know for sure that we’re going to Jannah. Can we truthfully say we’re ready to die, that we’re sure of a good place after death?
No, there’s always room to do more, to make up for sins, to turn over a better leaf. We all have loose ends to tie up and we don’t know if tomorrow will be ours to tie these up.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Bukhari]
So let this be the Ramadan in which you start or re-start memorizing the Qur’an. Even if you don’t make it to the end, you still had the intention and that counts for something. Isn’t it better to die trying than not to try at all? Let this be the Ramadan in which you mend your broken relationships; when you send gifts over to the relatives you haven’t spoken to in ages. And likewise in every other aspect of your life, let this be the Ramadan in which you press the ‘Reset’ button.
Don’t let Iblis trap you into thinking that you haven’t been a good Muslim all along and there’s no point starting now. Consider the following hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas’ud:
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the truthful and the receiver of the truth informed us, saying, “The creation of you (humans) is gathered in the form of semen in the womb of your mother for forty days, then it becomes a clinging thing in similar (period), then it becomes a lump of flesh like that, then Allah sends an angel who breathes the life into it; and (the angel) is commanded to record four things about it: Its provision, its term of life (in this world), its conduct; and whether it will be happy or miserable. By the One besides Whom there is no true god! Verily, one of you would perform the actions of the dwellers of Jannah until there is only one cubit between him and it (Jannah), when what is foreordained would come to pass and he would perform the actions of the inmates of Hell until he enter it. And one of you would perform the actions of the inmates of Hell, until there is only one cubit between him and Hell. Then he would perform the acts of the dwellers of Jannah until he would enter it.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
As long as you are alive, you have another chance to make the intention to set things right and to take the first steps in that direction.
Why must we do all this in Ramadan? What’s so special about it?
“When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the (Hell) Fire are closed, and the devils are chained.” [Sahih Bukhari]
When is it going to be easier than in Ramadan to fight off long-standing habits and set the meter ticking in the right direction?
Ramadan is also a time when the reward for deeds is multiplied. Consider it a chance to catch up on deeds you’ve always wanted to add to your books.
“Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
“Whoever gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will have a reward like theirs, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
“Every deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied for him, between ten and seven hundred times for each merit. Allah said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward for it.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
How ungrateful would we be to waste this precious blessing from Allah? If we live to see Ramadan, then we have the obligation to re-assess our priorities and make the most out of it. Allah is Self-Sufficient and does not need our deeds. We owe this to ourselves, because we are in need of fixing our shattered state and resetting our lives for the pleasure of Allah.
May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala allow us to make the most of this precious month and may He accept our deeds. Ameen.