Contributed by The Muslim Vibe
Preparing for Ramadan can be one of the most important tasks a Muslim can perform in the course of their year.
However, we often forget about why this blessed month holds such importance in our faith. How can we create the strongest intentions, or niyyah, to do good during Ramadan without understanding what we seek to gain on a spiritual level from our worship?
Read more to see why Ramadan can be a month of immense blessings for you and your loved ones:
Forgiveness for sins
Many of our nights in Ramadan are spent on reflection, and often this comes with realizations about our shortcomings in our conduct. Whether out of heedlessness or ill intentions, we sometimes cause more harm than we realize, and the month of Ramadan is a great opportunity to seek forgiveness from our Lord and those we harmed, if possible.
There’s also the potential for continual forgiveness during this holy month, as the Prophet (on him be peace) said:
“The five daily prayers, from one Jumu‘ah to the next and from one Ramadan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as major sins are avoided” (Muslim).
Luckily for us, all three of these major time frames for forgiveness are open during Ramadan, and we can continually renew our faith through our prayers and fasting during the month. Take the time to reflect on what forgiveness means for you and how you can optimize your Ramadan worship to gain forgiveness for yourself.
Spiritual rewards for fasting
Abdullah ibn ‘Amr related that the Prophet (on him be peace) said:
‘Fasting and the Quran will intercede for a person on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O Lord, I kept him from his food and desires during the day; let me intercede for him’ ” (Ahmad).
The most important act of worship we perform in this month is the act of daily fasting, or sawm, from sunrise until sunset, where we abstain from food, water and ill deeds.
God doesn’t let such important sacrifices go unnoticed, and the reward can even carry until Judgment Day. God Himself even says His reward for fasting in Ramadan can be beyond imagination, as the Prophet (on him be peace) also narrated in a hadith qudsi:
“Allah says about the fasting person:
‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied 10 times” (Bukhari).
With such immense rewards promised for the one who observes their fasts properly, it would be wise for us to take advantage and ensure we properly abstain from our worldly desires during Ramadan. This practice will help us improve our mentalities and conduct ourselves better even after the month is over.
Increased blessings for prayers
Abu Said al-Khudri related that the Prophet (on him be peace) said:
“Verily, Allah has people He redeems in every day and night of Ramadan. Every servant among them has a supplication that will be answered” (Ahmad).
With the chance for every one of us to gain redemption and have at least one of our supplications answered, making sure our daily salah and voluntary duas and tahajjud are sincere and of high quality becomes important. Think about what your heart desires most and those whom you want to be blessed with peace and love, and make a plan to include them in your prayers.
Finally, one of the most important opportunities for your prayers to receive blessings in Ramadan comes during one of the last 10 nights of the month, known as the Night of Power, or Laylatul Qadr. On this night, stated to carry blessings worth those of 1,000 months, we can take extra care to improve our prayer efforts and use these blessings to greatly affect the lives of those around us and the world as a whole.
Ramadan is a truly special time for the Muslim ummah, and through our careful observance of fasting and prayer, we can earn forgiveness and blessings for years to come.