Assalamu Alaikum and welcome to the Ramadan 30 Day Count-Down! This is a humble effort from a handful of brothers and sisters, hoping to remind themselves and others of daily tips in order to prepare us all to get the most out the blessed month of Ramadan.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) told us, “When the month of Ramadan comes, the Gates of Heaven are thrown open and the Gates of Hell are shut, and the shayateen are put behind bars.” In another report, the “Gates of Mercy” are mentioned in place of the “Gates of Heaven”. [Bukhari and Muslim]
People have often wondered how is it that we still struggle in the month of Ramadan, and commit sins while even the shayateen are locked up? Ibn Hajjar in his discussion of this hadith in Fath al-Bari, noted that others have said “the locking up of the shayateen in the month of Ramadan points to the removal of the person’s excuse.” In other words, what encourages the person to disobey or to be lazy in doing good acts, cannot be blamed on the specific shayateen which are restrained. In Ramadan, we discover what our nufus (souls) battle with, that is, the evil tendencies that we had previously absorbed and did not yet purify ourselves from. We spend Ramadan purifying ourselves and getting back on track, but imagine how much more we could be doing, had we actually started seriously purifying and preparing ourselves beforehand, as our righteous predecessors did. How much more reward would we be able to gain, how much closer to Allah (swt) would we feel, if we could come into the month, and hit the ground running! The weight of good deeds done in this month are multiplied!
The Prophet (saw) told us, “Whosoever tries drawing nearer to Allah by performing any virtuous deed (from the nawafil or not obligatory) in this month, for him shall be such reward as if he had performed a Fard (obligatory observance) in any other time of the year. And whoever performs a Fard, for him shall be the reward of seventy Fard in any other time of the year.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah)
Each day insha Allah we will bring a quick new reminder and some practical tips that would help us to purify, prepare, and strengthen our souls for seeking the most reward possible, and striving ever harder for the pleasure of Allah (swt). Allahumma Ballighnaa Ramadan! [Oh Allah, let us reach Ramadan!]