Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.” (Ahmad)
This is an amazing hadith which needs to be considered very deeply for anyone wanting to have a productive Ramadan. For most readers, especially the mass amount of students that we know seek to be ‘productive Muslims’, you will be enjoying summer break this Ramadan and, therefore, need to take extra advantage of the opportunity you have. Even those that are working, clearly there will be more holiday time than usual on the cards.
Therefore, let’s look at the key message from the hadith:
- Fast in exemplary fashion
- Read the Quran
Let’s consider both propositions.
Most Muslims fast in Ramadan. However, not everyone gets the same reward. The integrity of the fasting is key as the reward is clearly enormous. Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“… whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
If such is the status, then don’t we need to consider our fasting as more than just abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations? We need to look at the way we spend our day and develop our character. We need to organise our day to ensure that while we are fasting we get the optimal number of good deeds and the minimum number of sins. This means a methodical approach is required for what you will do. The old saying goes, ‘fail to plan and you plan to fail’ and thus it is important to get organised and establish what you want to do. Make a checklist of what you want to accomplish as given in the example below and then proceed to block out time for the items each day.
- Give Charity
- Spend Time With Family
- Visit Relatives
- Settle Quarrels/ Debts
- Visit Sick Person(s)
- Read ‘X’ of Quran Daily
Ultimately, whatever you want to get done, think about it and formalise it your mind well in advance and insha’Allah you will be blessed in its perseverance. Allah has said:
‘And if he (the believing servant) draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ (Sahih Bukhari)
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” (Q 2:185)
Make the Quran your best friend in this month, with a view of building a relationship which can then be maintained for the rest of the year. When we walk the corridors of time, we find the Muslimeen truly set themselves amazing targets with the Quran as they wanted to be its companion.
The Khalifah, Walid b. Abd al-Malik, used to complete reciting the Qur’an every three days and he used to read it a full seventeen times during Ramadan. [See his biography in SiyarA'lam al-Nubala']
If this sounds amazing, consider the fact that Imam As Shaffi would recite the entire Quran twice a day, completing sixty times in the month. Imagine such a relationship where one could do this?
We need to factor in ‘Quran Time’ to our Ramadan days and nights. Once we have done this and can maintain a pace, we should be good to have a great Ramadan insha Allah.
Therefore brothers and sisters, the key to organising your time in Ramadan is to make practical targets that you will complete and stick to them. The earlier you plan out what you are going to get done, the more likelier you are to get it done, insha’Allah.
With that, why not go and plan your Ramadan out now, and consider the words of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) that follow when identifying just how much effort you will make to make sure the month is organised well to achieve the optimal productivity.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said :
“The time between the five prayers, two consecutive Friday Prayers, and two consecutive Ramadans are expiations for all that has happened during that period, provided that one has avoided the grave (major) sins.” (Muslim)
About the Author
Azim Kidwai is the Head of Mercy Mission Media UK and an aspiring Productive Muslim. He is also the founder of savemaryam.com.
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