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Ramadan – Change We Can Believe In

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change.jpgRecently, like the past 12 months recently, the word change has become pretty popular for many Americans. Change from the way things have been for some years and from the lows our world has reached. As the word change goes from being a mere word to a concept and state of mind, so too does the hunger for change in the American people.

As a Muslim, this word and concept is something we’re familiar with, particularly during the month of Ramadan. In this month, we find many changes in the world, in the heavens, and in our lives all brought forth by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. For every change we come across, we find that they all hint towards something related to change for ourselves.

The first change for this month lies far away beyond the outskirts of the heavens. On the first night of Ramadan, all of the gates of Paradise opened up until not a single gate remained closed, and every gate of Hellfire was bound shut.1 That’s something huge, right there. Never throughout the eleven months of the year does this occur except for in the month of Ramadan. After this happened a caller cried out, “O desirer of good, go forth! O desirer of evil, restrain yourself! Allah is emancipating people from the Fire every night2.” It’s as if Allah is openly inviting us into Paradise with such a changes.

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Another change that occured that same night affected our hearts. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said the devils and rebellious jinns were bound in chains for the duration of the Ramadan. For this month alone, all that difficulty to fight Shaytan from carrying out sins or neglecting Allah is lifted. It is simply now just you and your Lord. Think about how heavy that is! What more could one ask for in a month full of dedicating one’s time and efforts foremost to Allah? At the same time, remember the change in one’s sins now being completely one’s fault.

Ramadan also brings a change in our accountability, meaning it’s a whole lot easier to do good this month, as the Prophet said, “Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time3.”

Millions of Muslims’ daily lives around the world are changed, as well. Their normal routines are different for one month, busy with waking up for Suhoor, refraining from eating throughout the day, breaking fast at sunset, and standing to pray at night. The entire Muslim Ummah is collected under one common goal: to fast and attain more taqwa, or God conciousness, of Allah.

So, with all these changes in mind, there has to be a relationship to ourselves. If we think about it, we find that there is. Allah is making all of these changes, both out of this world and even in our day to day lives to basically tell us something about change, and that is that we need to change ourselves.

Okay, so changing ourselves ain’t nothing new, yeah. You’ve heard it all before in the thousands of khutbahs, lectures, and talks throughout your life. In fact, the concept of change is actually pretty common throughout the Qur’an. But in this month, it’s so much more critical than ever before. So while some use the term to bring changes for just this temporary and materialistic world, for us Muslims we got our hearts and minds on changes on the afterlife, a goal way bigger than just this life.

So what does this all mean for you this month? First, see where you are at with your relationship with Allah. Some of us think, “nah dude, I’m just a mediocre Muslim, I can’t really make big changes like those religious types,” or “I don’t think I can begin wearing hijab, it’s just too hard for someone like me.” Others are hungry for change, but just don’t know when that time is going to come. Look at yourself during any of your past Ramadans before the month started and right after it.

You spent an entire month fasting because your Lord told you to. You spent night after night praying extra completely optional prayers, just to rake in the extra reward. And not only did you probably do a lot more good deeds during that month, you most probably gave up some of your most hated habits! So that makes obedience, extra worship, improvement, and working on one’s bad habits.

If you can do all of that in one month, then you have just found proof that you really can change. I mean, don’t even take it from me, check yourself during that time. Even this Ramadan, ask yourself. If you can beast it out for these 30 days, who’s to say you can’t do ½ of that, ¼ of that, even a fraction of that during the regular year. We’re not talking about fasting and praying every night, but fasting and praying in the nights occasionally and giving up those bad habits that we leave this month? That’s the key.

So if you’ve ever doubted that you don’t have what it takes to change as a Muslim, it’s time to wake up and eat suhur. After you eat something yummy and filling, guess again about your ability to change! Ramadan truly is the month in which you really change. The key is you just have to believe you can maintain some of that change throughout the year. And that is what we Muslims call change we can believe in.


Footnotes

  1. Bukhari, Muslim
  2. Tirmidhi
  3. Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah

See Also: MM’s Ramadan Coverage 

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

SaqibSaab is an average Desi Muslim guy living in Chicago. He enjoys videography and design as side hobbies, and helps out with AlMaghrib Institute in Chicago, Wasat Studios, and other projects here and there. His go-around vehicle is a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta 5-speed Wolfburg Edition. Originally born in Michigan, he and his wife reside in Chicagoland with his parents who come from Bangalore, India. He blogs personally at SaqibSaab.com.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. False Advertising

    September 4, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    What the heck is this? There’s nothing on here about Obama or McSame…?

  2. AnonyMouse

    September 4, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Great reminder, jazakAllahu khair… never underestimate yourself, or the Tawfeeq of Allah!

  3. Pingback: Open Thread 9-7-08: MM Ramadan Recap | MuslimMatters.org

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