As we all know, Subhanallah, the month of Ramadan is coming soon with all of its barakahs and rahma. It is said, that the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) used to start looking forward to Ramadan beginning in Shaban and will pray to His Lord so that he was able to meet Ramadan once again and fast for Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) give all of us the chance to fast in its truest sense this upcoming Ramadan and bless us with physical and emotional strength to sustain us throughout it. Ameen.
While there are numerous occasions in our lives which we can use to make resolutions to improve ourselves and to make our Iman strong, the best month to make resolutions to improve ourselves is the month of Shaban. We should use this month, especially the last two weeks to observe ourselves closely and analyze what is it in ourselves that we will like to change. It could be anything from controlling our anger to improving our study habits. We should then make a list of all these things that we wish we will change about us or the things which we wish to internalize.
Just as there is wisdom in every plan of Allah (swt), there is wisdom in the fact that we have to fast in Ramadan for about 30 days. It is said in psychology that if we keep practicing something for 30 days, this practice will become our habit and if we practice it consistently for a few months (~3), it will become a part of our personality. Allah (swt) gives us great patience and strength to resist our desires and temptations in Ramadan in addition to chaining Shaitan for us. Therefore, implementing our resolutions in the month of Ramadan will be quite easy for us compared to, say, January 1st 2005.
Not only should we make a conscious effort to bring a change in ourselves; avoiding those things which we want to avoid and practicing the things we want to internalize, we should also pray to Allah (swt) to give us strength so that we can turn ourselves into better people. Ramadan is also the blissful time when our prayers are readily answered if said from our hearts and if judged to be beneficial for us by Allah (swt). Therefore, praying and practicing with all our hearts for the character traits we wish to have is bound to bring colors Inshallah.
However, in order to be successful in this process of “rejuvenation”, it is very important that we do not let go of our efforts once Ramadan ends. When Ramadan ends, we are officially in the critical period. Whether we are successful or not depends on how we carry ourselves for the month after Ramadan. Practicing or not practicing, avoiding or not avoiding in this month will “make or break” us. Therefore, it will be very wise of us to carry ourselves just as we were doing in Ramadan so that all our efforts to improve ourselves don’t go in vain.
I am sharing with you a resolution, which in my opinion is very comprehensive. This is the mission in life of Dr.Yahya al-Yahya and he recommends that we hang our lists of resolutions in front of our office desk so that we read it and return to it often.
My mission in life – Dr.Yaha-al-Yahya
“I will strive seeking the pleasure of Allah first and foremost,
I will remember sincerity at all times,
I will memorize the book of Allah in full,
I will increase my knowledge of the Shariah,
I will focus on refinement of my heart and its cure,
I will develop my physical strength
I will develop my emotional strength,
I will go to the mosque shortly before the call to prayer,
I will give charity everyday,
I will seek reward from Allah for expenditures on my family,
I will seek reward from Allah for all my actions,
I will achieve my success at home first,
I will not bargain and compromise with my religion,
I will consult others,
I will defend those who are absent,
I will listen to both sides before passing a judgment,
I will imagine myself to be in the position of the person I am talking to, so I can feel and share his feelings,
I will not take revenge for my own sake,
I will not get angry for my own sake,
I will not see for myself a right over others,
I will always be positive and constructive,
I will plan and write down my work for tomorrow,
I will listen twice as much as I speak,
I will desire success for others,
I will be beware of errors and benefit from them when I fall in them,
I will strive to be orderly and well-organized as a person and in my work,
I will be joyful, humorous and smiling,
I will concentrate all my abilities on the task in my hands,
I will develop my skills,
I will maintain priorities in my duties,
I will not take responsibility for what I am not responsible for, and I will not squander what I am responsible for,
I will not blame the situation,
I will focus on what concerns me and concentrate on my circle of influence
My language: I will try, I will make effort, and I will learn. It is not impossible; there is nothing to stop me (if Allah wills). I know that what befalls me could not have missed me and what missed me could not have befallen me.
I will take my soul into account and be open with it. I view that retracting from error is from one’s self-confidence and will work on correcting my errors. I do not imagine that anyone is safe from harms of others. So, I will save my energy from busying with others and their talks (when it does not benefit me) and their talk will not matter to me except what is beneficial or what deals with the correction of shortcomings.”
May Allah (swt) give all of us the ability to change ourselves for the better and to become closer to Allah (swt). Ameen
Great idea with the mission statement poster. I am doing mine.
When I was little, I remember I couldn't wait for Ramadan to arrive. Then I grew up and the excitement subsided but now it is back. I am so looking forward to this Ramadan.
(Rubbing my hands in glee) :-)on October 7, 2004 3:47 PM
Please, lets all take a moment and rub our hands in glee as we fantasize about the many self-betterment opportunities the upcoming Ramadan will bring us. Mmmm, isnt that nice? Gleefull handrubbing for everyone!
The excitement/anticipation during Shaban makes me into a far cornier person. Its awesome...too bad I mock corniness though...so much hypocrisy in my life. Astaghfirullah...
I really liked the list idea. InshaAllah it'll be good to try to add it to one's awrad and read it after fajr and maghrib. I hope I can be consistent and implement it.
One sheikh who I used to study under would ask me to write down the sin and its context of occurence every time I committed it. It really helped operationalize the sunnah and made it easier for me to understand what it was that triggered me to do/say certain things and how to prevent it from happening. I swear, if any of you find some rightly guided shuyukh LATCH on to them and try to gain as much from them as is possible. There is no substitution for traditional learning.
Very nice article, I definitely enjoyed it and most definitely needed it.on October 8, 2004 1:00 AM
Ramadaan is a month that gets us closer to our deen again. A spritual recharge so to speak. A reminder of our prioroties and duties for every day of our lives. Life surrounds us with things that take our minds and attention off the path of Allah, swt. May Allah,swt, give us all the guidance to apply what Ramadaan reminds us of for the rest of the year as well. May He give us all the streanth to act and live submissively every month of the year. Ameen.on September 4, 2005 6:13 AM