Ramadan: A Lifetime Opportunity

You have been given an opportunity of a lifetime. A business operates twenty-four hours a day. The owner wishes to take a holiday and has requested you to run the business for one month.

The arrangement is that for every second that you will personally manage the business, you will get paid twenty bucks. If you have to leave the business for any necessity, the person who relieves you will get the money for the duration of time that you are out! You have obviously grabbed the opportunity with open arms.

If you have to leave the business for any necessity, the person who relieves you will get the money for the duration of time that you are out! You have obviously grabbed the opportunity with open arms.

When Over-Time Pays Much

First, let the above scenario settle in the mind. Now imagine that the month of running the business has just commenced. A close friend phones to invite you to a lavish function. “You must come,” he urges. Your almost spontaneous reply would perhaps be: “I am sorry but I am very busy and will not be able to attend.” The first weekend comes. Your children want to “go out for a drive.” “Not today. I am very busy,” says their father.

The children’s mother also wholeheartedly agrees. After all, she is also dreaming every night about what she will do with the twenty bucks per second that her husband is earning. Hence she does not ask to be taken anywhere. How can she even think of it? Twenty bucks per second — and just for one month only!

And you… well, obviously you are working beyond the limits of overtime. No time to eat in peace. Only the minimal amount of sleep. No shopping. No “drives.” No time to sit around with friends over coffee. And entertainment? Whatever is that? The very word sounds unfamiliar.

All this due to the once in a lifetime opportunity of earning twenty bucks per second for one month.

Problems to Earn Much

Yet, if the person who slogged for the entire month to earn twenty bucks per second… passes away on the thirtieth day, the wealth he earned will be of no use to him. He cannot take it along to his grave.

If he does live to use it, the tax-man will be there to first take his share. He will have to worry about how to protect his wealth. Besides this, he will have to answer on the Day of Judgement about how he earned it and where he spent it.

Generally, despite the abovementioned problems, we will grab the opportunity of running the business for one month.

Petty Cash or Thousand Bucks?

Allah is also granting us a lifetime’s opportunity. The month of Ramadan with its unlimited blessings is here.

One month in earnings at the rate of twenty bucks per second cannot even be called petty cash in comparison to the rewards that Allah grants and the blessings and mercy that He showers in the month of Ramadan.

Every Ramadan must be treated as a once in a lifetime opportunity since we have no idea whether we will live till the next Ramadan.

What are the rewards of good deeds in the month of Ramadan? The reward of every fardh (compulsory) act is multiplied seventy times while every nafl (optional) act earns the reward of one fardh out of Ramadan.

It is important to understand the latter aspect in its proper perspective. Tahajjud (nafl salaah in the last third of the night) is an extremely great ‘ibaadah. Great virtues have been narrated for this salaah.

However, a lifetime of Tahajjud Salah cannot equal one fardh of Fajr Salaah! Yet in the month of Ramadan Allah grants us the reward of a fardh action for every nafl performed.

Entertainment or Earning?

Thus, can we afford to waste this time? Can we still have time for “drives?” Is it possible for a person who values Ramadan in a similar manner that he values twenty bucks a second, to spend hours “eating out” at after Taraweeh feasts, or have time for other idle pursuits? Can we afford to spend valuable time glued to the airwaves listening to the “opinions” and “views” of all and sundry in Deeni matters whereas that time could have been used to at least recite Durood Shareef?

And entertainment? Have we heard that word before??? Thus the last thing that any Muslim who values Ramadan will bother about is who somewhere in the world is whacking a little red ball all over a field or who is kicking a ball between two posts!!!

Shortest Taraweeh

It also does not behoove of people who value Ramadan to try to “save time” from the performance of ‘ibaadah. Many people “work out” the shortest Taraweeh — where they will be able to leave in the shortest possible time and head for the food outlets where ample time will be whiled away.

Think of the twenty bucks per second. We would break the records for overtime work. Thus in Ramadan, we should break the record for the amount of time spent in salaah, recitation of the Quran, remembrance of Allah, prayer, etc.

Ramadan is not a month to “save” time from the performance of these acts. Rather it is a month to engage every moment possible in these acts.

Four Things for Ramadan

Apart from Salah, Quran recitation, prayer, Rasulullah (ﷺ) has himself stressed upon us to excessively engage in some practices.

Rasulullah (ﷺ) is reported to have said: “In this month you should endeavor to perform four things in great number, two of which shall be to please your Rabb, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot make do. Those which shall be to please your Rabb are that you should recite the “Laa ilaaha illallah” in great abundance and make much istighfaar (beg Allah’s forgiveness with “astaghfirullah”). And as for those two without which you cannot make do, you should beg Allah Ta‘ala for entry into Paradise and seek refuge with Him from the fire of Jahannam.” -Saheeh Ibn Khuzaimah, 1887.

Ramadan is Only One Month

While one should engage to the maximum in the above good deeds, the purpose of Ramadan must be kept foremost in mind, which is to acquire taqwa (Allah-awareness and piety). Thus together with the maximum amount of righteous actions, one must totally refrain from all sins.

One month of strictly conducting oneself in this manner will InshaAllah have the effect of enabling one to live the next eleven months in a similar manner — in the complete obedience of Allah.

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