Ustadh Abdullah mentions that throughout the year we can get distracted by the Dunya and that we should use Ramadan as an opportunity turn back to Allah.
Throughout the year, because of our busy lives and schedules, we tend to lose sight of our purpose here on earth. It becomes a struggle each day sometimes just to get the basics in on what we have to do. Our prayers, avoiding the haram, these types of things.
The sins and regrets pile up. The things one wishes one could have done. At times the times for reflection become few and fast. We don’t really have time to sit back and reflect on our relationship with Allah.
Allah’s Immense Generosity
Then out of His immense generosity and mercy Allah gives us a time to start over, once a year: the month of Ramadan. To turn over a new page in our relationship with Him. To ask Him for His mercy and for things that we never thought we could do or experience outside of the Month of Ramadan.
The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:
The one who fasts Ramadan out of faith and out of hope for reward, all his prior sins will be forgiven. The one who stands in prayer out of faith and in hope for reward, all his prior sins will be for given. The one who stands in prayer on Layla al Qadr out of faith and hope for reward, all his prior sins will be forgiven.”
There are so many things that we do, major and minor sins – things we might not even think of or know to be sins. All of it is forgiven if only one fasts, prays, and stands in prayer on Laylat al Qadr with faith and hope for reward. This is a noble intention.
But there is a higher intention then doing these things hoping for reward. Imam Ali, Allah ennoble his face, said:
There was a group of people who worshipped Allah out of desire [for reward]. This is the worship of people who do business with Allah. Then there was a group of people who worshipped Allah out of fear [of punishment]. This is the worship of people who are enslaved [to the idea of avoiding harm]. Then there was a group of people who worshipped Allah out of gratitude. This is the worship of the people who are truly free.
They never lose sight of Allah and become free of creation. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:
Every single action a human being can do is for himself. Every good deed is from ten times its like in reward up to seven hundred times. Allah says: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me. And I reward it directly. Indeed my servant left his desires, his food, his drink, for My sake. Every fasting person has two joys. One immense joy when he breaks fast. And one immense joy when he meets his Lord.’”
This means that the blessing of being able to fast in Ramadan is a secret between Allah and you. Allah in His infinite mercy and generosity has set aside this month of Ramadan for you to turn to Him in private and intimate secret. So turn toward Him.
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