The Global Magazine for Muslim Women

Prepare for Jannah

By Reham Ibrahim, Spirituality Columnist

Ramadan is around the corner, waiting for us to greet him with a warm and loving heart.  Let’s pretend for a second that Ramadan is like a beloved guest coming to visit, and our soul/nafs is our home. There are a couple of things we need to prepare for his arrival. Before he comes, we tend to clean the house, prepare the best foods, and put on a mask that presents the ideal home and character. The main question is: why do we do this only when Ramadan comes? Most of us will answer, “Because he comes with so many gifts and surprises!” Also, “there is more Ajir in the month of Ramadan, and it’s one of the holiest months.” The main issue here is why do we just prepare for the arrival of Ramadan? Why don’t we prepare for the whole gang?! Shawal, Shabaan, Rajab and the rest of the brothers?

We use all our effort in preparation for the month of Ramadan and during the holy month, but then slack off for the rest of the year. Leaving our homes messy because our guest won’t be visiting us for another year! Similarly, that is what we do to our heart and soul. We don’t nurture it with the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) as much, leaving it so thirsty by the time Ramadan comes.  Of course Ramadan is a beloved guest and month. He gives us savings and sales in ajir! Why not abuse that right? But what if you never live for another Ramadan? What if the past Ramadan was the last of your life? Do we really have to wait from one Ramadan to another to prepare for the goldmine of deeds?

There is a motto that we need to live by, not only in Ramadan, but it should be our incentive to do more righteous deeds. In the Quran Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, says:

…”وعجلت إليك ربي لترضى”

“…And I have hastened to come to You, O my Lord, so that You may be pleased with me.” (Quran 20:84)

This ayah sums up all we need to prepare for in Ramadan and the rest of our lives. We need to race to our Creator. We need to hurry and make sure that Allah is pleased with us. Having this mindset throughout the whole year is a great preparation for the month of Ramada because Ramadan is like getting a bonus at the end of the year. You do your job and everybody gets a bonus, neglecting the fact of who deserves it or not, and Allah is higher above any analogy. He is more merciful than that bonus or anything else. Normally, each hasana is worth 10 hassanat. In Ramadan, each hassana is worth 70 hassanat. So let’s do a math equation here. If I smile to my friend, I get 10 hassanat 10X70 = 700! Subhanallah. Allah is the Ever-Loving. We actually do not know how they are calculated but if we were to imagine with our limited brain, it already looks like a huge number coming from a very simple gesture. Ya Karim!

We need to treat our ajir and good deeds in this life as means to go to heaven. Bonuses that we get are always lovely and contribute to our well beings, but we shouldn’t just depend on them. We need to be prepared for death anytime. Ramadan is just another tool. It’s an incentive to get you doing more. We want to zoom out of life for a second. Let’s imagine a bird’s eye camera view zooming out from where you live… You see all the buildings? All of the scattered people walking around the streets? Everybody has their own little mind thinking about their own little problems. But what are all these little problems next to the size of this universe? And Subhan’Allah, what is the universe next to the Creator of the universe? Nothing. We are so small. Allahu Al Kabeer (God is the Most Great One).

Granted, we need to prepare for Ramadan. But let’s prepare for Ramadan as a means to make us enter Jannah. It shouldn’t start in Ramadan or end after it. If you live for another Ramadan, you have to set a goal for yourself. You have to put it in your mind that “this Ramadan will be the best Ramadan of my life.” Prepare what you want to accomplish this Ramadan with the following:

  1. Your Creator
  2. Yourself/Character
  3. Family
  4. Career

See how Ramadan will add on to that, write down the ayah we mentioned above, and stick it someplace you see everyday. Maybe you can find another ayah that can get you going? You need to keep reminding yourself that you want Allah to be pleased with you. Hasten to the mercy of your Creator! As long as you’re trying your best every day to please your Creator, then you are on the right track to prepare for a great Ramadan that will lead to Jannah – the ultimate goal, insha’Allah!

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