Sh Haitham Barazanji: Ramadan Transformations
Brothers and Sisters,
Ramadan is sending its good tidings, as it draws nearer with its blessings and virtues.In an authentic hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasai, Abu Huraira (r.a), said: “The messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to spread the good news amongst his companions when Ramadan approaches and used to say: A blessed month has come upon you, Allah ordered you to fast it, during which the doors of Paradise are opened, the doors of hell fire are closed, and devils are chained. In this month is a night that is better than one thousand nights, whomever lost its virtue, is lost”.
Thus, the opportunity for cleansing our hearts and purifying our souls is approaching again. Every Muslim on this earth is going to be offered the chance to re-tune and start over. A chance for all sins of the year to be forgiven and for a free pass to enter Paradise from the door of “Alrayyan.”
In this month, Muslims in general and students of knowledge in particular, are urged to pause and reflect. Let us all remember where we came from and where we are heading. Allah Almighty said: Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned? Indeed, we created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing.“ (Surah Insan, 76:1-2)
And for where we are going Allah Almighty said:
“How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.” (Surah Baqarah, 2:28)
Remembering this is a good start for us to review our standing in this life and to renew our intentions so that we pursue the pleasure of Allah better. Are we appreciating the purpose of our existence and are we fulfilling the mission of our lives? It is a blessed time to train ourselves to be accountable to our Lord before we are finally held accountable in the hereafter.
One of the smart ideas that I propose is to write down a list of what has been going well and what has been going badly in our lives up to this point. No matter how private the things are that you and I have done or committed, it is vital that we put them on paper and envision them in order to change, for Ramadan is mainly about achieving change in our lives. It is to break the routine of either not improving on the good or the repetition of the bad.
We need to be able to quantify all this so that we can come up with a working plan for the next year of our lives. We need to carefully plan it so that when it is once again the time for our deeds to be raised to Allah, the following Ramadan, that we are in a better position than we are now. However, in this process we need to be careful not to fall into liking what we have accomplished, for no matter what we do and no matter how good are our deeds, we should always feel that we are still behind. This is called the rank of “Ishfaq”. Allah described the faithful in Quran: “And those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord, indeed, the punishment of their Lord is not that from which one is safe” (Surah Nuh, 70:27-28)
The fruits of this process and the prizes of Ramadan are countless. In addition to the rewards in the hereafter as Allah has promised, the positive impact on our lives is boundless. The joy of the hearts, the peace and tranquility in our lives, the prosperity and success in our families, relationships and goals, are just few of the gifts that we would accomplish from this great month. In addition, the blessing that we would receive, if we do what it takes to deserve it, will impact our surroundings, and all the sudden, Ramadan becomes a blessing to all mankind and to all creatures and things.
Let’s take advantage of this great month, for we are the main beneficiaries of it and Allah is all generous, all free of all needs. Finally, if you are a student of Mishkah University, you are already doing a good favor for yourself and this universe, so let Ramadan be an inspiration for you to keep doing what you are doing and to pursue the highest levels of knowledge in Islam.
Sh Haitham Barazanji
Mishkah University CEO