1. Pray Qiyamu-al-Layl and make lots of duah:We have to let go of our ego, really humble ourselves as much as we can, and talk to Allah. Raise our hands and beg Allah. Your Lord is the Only One worthy of this begging. We do not have to beg anyone else to achieve some worldly gain. Let's remember and try to visualize how we will stand before Allah in the Mahshara on the Day of Judgment (and remember that the real picture is nothing like how we visualize.)
2. Count our Blessings- how we should actually show gratitude:Alhamdulillahi Rabb-il-'Aalameen. Isn't it one of the greatest blessings that Allah Subhanahu wa tha'ala gave us yet another chance to experience Ramadan (May Allah give us all long lives, and many more Ramadan's that will be beneficial for our Hereafter, aameen), in spite of our lack of sincerity and negligence in the other months. We have to really value it, and treat it like the most honored guest of the year. If we do so, then inshAllah we will habituate the art of treating the less honored guests (the other 11 months) also with considerable love and zeal.
3. Remember Qur'an is the theme of this month.
Fasting has been prescribed for you in order that you main acquire Taqwa (Surah Al-Baqara: 183) - so that you may become more conscious of Allah, so that we may center our lives with the love of Allah. And when we love someone, truly love someone- we pay heed to His words. The theme of Ramadan is Quran. The Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan, and by fasting and other increased Ibadah, we show gratitude to Allah Azza Wajal for revealing the Quran to us. And The Book introduces itself to us that it is a Guidance for those who have Taqwa. (Surah Al Baqara:2)
So, Taqwa and Guidance, and Ramadan and Quran are all connected and intermingled with each other.
4. Ramadan Special goal-setting:
This is the best time to train ourselves to make our whole life surrounded by our purpose in life. It is the best time to start good habits, and make stronger the base of our old habits (the good ones). Allah has blessed this month so much that He SWT chains the devils- so isn't this the best time to get rid of bad habits too.
Set 2 special goals that we can accomplish, 2 things that will help us grow better bi idhnillah; that will raise our level in the Sight of Allah Azza Wajal. If we find it difficult, we have to keep striving. Practice, practice and more practice. What we are, is represented by what we do. Let's imagine it as mountain climbing, and bi idhnillah, if we reach this mountain peak, we have reached our goal. (till you spot another more promising mountain to climb!) We have to do what it takes to get to the pinnacle.
We have to cultivate the habit of journalis-ing our special goals. And keeping a track of it. Seeing is believing and often, a moment of realization. When we see it on paper, the result itself critiques us, it will connect with our souls and provide further motivation.
5. Don't carry excess baggage:
c. And most of all, we have to develop a good heart, a good soul and a content mind. We have to strive to push away our negative thoughts and emotions and doubts/ suspicions about others. Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, Allah SWT forgives His slaves who ask for it with sincere repentance. We have to forgive and forget others' mistakes. Forget in a way that it is completely erased from our minds. A person who has accomplished this will have the most heart warming smile, a smile that can make someone's day, a smile that is da'wah for others. Now is the best time to bring out the hidden positive attitude inside us.
Let's succeed bi idhnillah, in eliminating unnecessary stuff from our bags and fill it with good stuff that will be allowed to pass through the Siraat-ul-mustaqueem without any repurcussions. Let's hurry and race for good deeds when their reward is on sale. Let's sincerely repent to Allah Azza Wajal and erase all our bad recording with the Mercy of Our Lord. May Allah accept our humble good deeds and our fasting and prayers from us, and forgive us our sins, and enter us all into Jannathul Firdaws without any ihtisaab(questioning). May the gate of the fasters (Ar-rayyan) open to us for us to enter through it (and all the other gates too). May Allah SWT bless us with good health and long lives so that we can do more ibadah and please Our Lord more and more. Aameen...
Inspired by Sr Heba AlShareef (Her "Cleanse" talk on iamsheba radio launch)- may Allah preserve and increase her.