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Monday, September 18, 2006

Ramadhaan is approaching!

Are you ready?

Success in whatever we do depends on how clear we are on the objectives we want to achieve and how well we plan for it. Even a recreational activity such as going on a vacation takes much planning. It is not feasible for a person to simply just get up and depart to a vacation destination without planning, especially if one wants to have a good vacation or recreational activity. For example, if one is going to Disney World, usually planning is done months in advance of the trip. In addition to making traveling and accommodation arrangements, people consult friends, read literature and research on how to get the most benefit while there. Time and effort is spent deciding beforehand as to which rides should be given preference, which shows should be watched and which sites or theme parks should be visited, in what order and at what times of the day so that one can get the maximum benefit at minimum cost in reasonable time. People make significant efforts to plan the trip
because it means so much to them to make such a trip.

What does Ramadhaan mean to you? Does it mean more to you than going for a vacation? Are you mentally and psychologically ready to attain all the goodness and blessings Ramadhaan has to offer? Are you then spending enough time and taking pains to plan how can you get the most benefit from the opportunity Ramadhaan affords you?

Some people do plan for Ramadhaan, but that planning is only to the extent of who to invite for Iftaar, where to go for one, what special foods to prepare or how to get the best deal on dates and iftaar delicacies. But is this the type of outcome that is the objective of Ramadhaan?

The objectives of Ramadhaan are to:

* Increase our Taqwa
* Make us more charitable – both financially and in our social dealings
* Develop patience and will power to resist temptations
* Prepare us for our life-long Jihaad to remain steadfast on the path of Allaah’s obedience
* Strengthen our relationship with the Holy Qur-aan, celebrate its revelation; and
* Thank Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala for guiding us so kindly.

So, what are the action plans you want to undertake during Ramadhaan so that when it departs, you have seen significant growth in your Taqwa, you are more giving, more patient, more able to resist personal desires and temptations, more involved in life-long Jihaad and more tuned to the Qur-aan?

Ramadhaan is a wonderful opportunity to help us fine-tune our normal patterns of behaviour thereby changing us for the better. We can ask ourselves the question: What areas of our personality, attitude, behaviour, daily routines and lifestyle, etc. do we need to change to bring us closer to the Islamic standard?

What aspect of your life have you decided to improve on during this Ramadhaan and how do you plan to achieve this improvement?

We all need many changes and many improvements. None of us is perfect and our list of proposed improvements can be exceedingly long if we were being honest with ourselves. Naturally, one cannot pick a big list and work on all those areas in one month. The best approach is to pick only a few items where the most important change is needed and to devise a plan to make a definite improvement in those area(s) this Ramadhaan. Success in making the change would make you a winner this Ramadhaan and the month will be one of great triumph and blessings for you.

If you have already decided to make this a meaningful and triumphant Ramadhaan by identifying areas requiring improvement and if you have prepared a plan of action, may Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala assist you and bless you for taking this step in your life. Congratulations on a good start!

If you have not done so, there is still time to do it. May Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala help us all to get the most benefit from the opportunities provided by the coming Ramadhaan.

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