In less than a week, we’ll be sadly departing from the holy month of Ramadan. But it’s an opportunity to summarise what we have achieved and what we still can work on. And now that we’re in the last 10 days of Ramadan, there might be some questions and things to ponder upon such that we will leave the month with our souls in a better state than it was before.
1. What have I learned about myself? How have I changed internally?
My all-time favourite saying by Imam Al-Ghazali sums up what it is like to have a battle with our inner selves that we might not have the chance to figure out in other months.
“Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul, which sometimes helps me and sometimes opposes me”
And this month has given us the opportunity to discover our authentic self and redefine our purpose in life. Of course, we don’t need to achieve self-perfectionism as it is humanly impossible and would only lead to self-destruction. Whatever struggles you have within you – with your soul – know that you’re just trying to go back to the fitrah – an innate belief; an instinct to go back to the One who created you. Recognise its presence and be grateful for the struggles.
2. Am I satisfied with what I have done?
This isn’t so you can compare with other people.
This is a question that should only be compared to the person that you were before Ramadan. Although it might seem that days go by with everything staying the same; we are constantly changing within. If not for the better, then hopefully we won’t go to the other direction.
3. Have I forgiven people… And myself?
As a human being, we make mistakes and sin from time to time. Recognising that we sin is a humbling experience. But sometimes, we might feel like we are imprisoned by our sins from becoming better. While we may have repented to God sincerely, it could be that we have not fully forgiven ourselves for the sins we did in the past. Yes, it could haunt you back, but don’t let these sins define you. Forgive yourself.
There might also be some people in the past who have hurt you or something that was holding you back from moving on. You might have physically moved on from them but not emotionally and mentally. Whatever conflicts that you have had with them, perhaps it is time to reconcile and let go of the ego from forgiving each other.
4. And for those who are extra attached to Ramadan, pray that you will meet it again next year.
Every good thing comes to an end. Ramadan holds a special place in the heart of every Muslim because it is a month of forgiveness, gratitude and blessings. This month could be less or more than you expected it to be, but know that your effort counts.
On the chase of the Laylat-al-Qadr, why not make a du’a so that you will be given the chance to experience the blessed month again? It is a night of decree, in which when a good deed is done on this night (between Maghrib and Fajr), the reward will equate to that as if one would do the good deed continuously for at least 83 years. To put 83 years into context: that’s longer than a human’s average life expectancy. And, who wouldn’t want that?
“Aisha (R.A) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realise Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (Peace Be Upon Him) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [At-Tirmidhi].
And the word ‘Afuw is such that our sins are completely erased from our ‘books’ as if we have never done it before in our lives.
Remember, it’s never too late to maximise the month of Ramadan just because it is leaving us soon. Who knows, maybe these last 10 days of Ramadan would actually be able to make up for the time that we have lost during the earlier part of this month? So, buckle up for the remaining days, for Ramadan is leaving us again just when we thought it was just getting started.