Everyone knows that this Ramadan will be unlike any other we’ve experienced before. Even those who lived a century ago did not witness something like this. What makes this affliction so unique is that this pandemic has affected everyone universally and simultaneously. This shows the display of Allah’s qudrah, power. Allah, the Most High, has power over all things and He does whatever He wills. The Prophet, upon him be peace, said, قَدرُ اللّهِ ، وَمَا شَاءَ فَعلَ “Allah wills and He does whatever He wants.” There is wisdom behind whatever He wills. As Muslims we are content with His will. At the same time, a believer is never heedless and takes lessons from Allah’s signs. They reflect on the signs Allah swt has scattered abroad in the realm of the earth and heavens. They reflect inwardly and hasten to repent because a true believer knows that a servant is never free from a great number of sins. Yet, they are hopeful in the Most Merciful who loves the penitent.
While we welcome this Ramadan in an uncertain and scary time, many of us might think that this is not a good time for Ramadan to come. We are used to worshiping as a community, how will we worship Allah without praying taraweeh at the masjid or breaking our fast together? As Muslims, we have firmness and stability of faith known as Yaqeen, certainty. We have no doubt in Allah’s Power, Qudrah, and Will. The fact that Allah swt willed for this calamity to happen and willed for Ramadan to come during this time is proof that there is Khayr in it. Ramadan is in fact coming at an opportune time when the ummah is desperate for Allah’s mercy and blessings. Ramadan brings with it an immense number of blessings that we cannot fathom, and are in need of these blessings more than ever before. We must take advantage of this month and turn to Allah in repentance, beg for His mercy, and aim for nearness to Him. In the Quran, Allah says about the believers that وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ “they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment”. Believers fear Allah and guard themselves from sin. At the same time, they are hopeful in Allah’s mercy and His willingness to forgive. Therefore, we must show fortitude amidst this calamity. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “know that Victory comes with fortitude, relief with hardship, and that with each difficulty comes ease.” We are confident that this time shall pass. However, the successful one is the one who comes out stronger and closer to Allah swt. Let’s use this blessed month to attain proximity to our Creator, Allah swt.
So, how can we make the most of this month while we are all in lockdown? Our deen is not restrictive. Although, it is nice to worship Allah as a community, we are still able to continue our worship individually as we are not even restricted to worshipping in a certain place. Therefore, all acts of ibaadah specific to Ramadan can still continue. The following is a list of what we can do to make this Ramadan fruitful:
1. Worship as a Family: Carry out acts of ibadah as a family. Perhaps, we can make a schedule and add times to worship collectively or individually. For instance, a male adult can lead his family in prayer with whatever surahs he has memorized. Also, Iftar and suhur time can be for collective dua.
2. Increase our interaction with the Quran: We all should strive to develop a relationship with the Quran. The Quran is a living message for us thus we should yearn and work towards more understanding of it. What better time to work on our relationship with the Quran than in the month of the Quran. We should stipulate times in the day to recite, understand through translation and tafsir, listen, and memorize the Quran. We should set goals and aim to recite the whole Quran in this month. May Allah facilitate this for us.
3. Give Sadaqah/Charity: The Prophet, peace be upon him, increased in all his ibaadah in Ramadan. In particular, he, peace be upon him, was way more generous in Ramadan than he ever was at any other time. He was so generous that he was likened to ‘the blowing wind.’ This means that just like the wind doesn’t discriminate and its breeze is felt by all, similarly, the Prophet’s, upon him peace, generosity was quick and benefited all. A virtue of giving charity is that it extinguishes the wrath of Allah as mentioned in the hadith, الصدقة تطفئ غضب الرب. We must seek Allah’s pleasure and avert His wrath through acts of obedience. Due to the pandemic, the masajid have been greatly affected and we need to support the houses of Allah through charity and Allah will remove the affliction from us InshaAllah. There are many more virtues of charity, that it is difficult to mention them all.
In addition, during Ramadan ISB will be conducting several online programs at various times on ISB.org/live. Please take advantage of these programs and support the masjid. Last but not least, please remember ARS in your duas.
May Allah make this the best Ramadan we’ve had, accept our ibaadah, grant us jannah and salvation from hellfire.