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**July** Last Self-Challenge: Pre-Ramadan Spirituality (Cardio-Qalb) ‘Work-Out’ Plan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

This month’s challenge is quite straight-forward: get ready for Ramadan.

For starters, when I plan to achieve anything, I try to eliminate distractions. That is what should be kept in mind as one prepares for Ramadan. You can’t achieve much if you don’t have time to achieve it in. If you watch TV in daily life (I hope you don’t by the way) then try to aim not to spend your free time on it. Control the urge and see how things go. If you have particular friends with whom you spend too much time with chatting or hanging out, reduce that activity and channelize it towards reciting more of the Quraan.

Distractions need not be related to a behaviour/activity which is not allowed in Islam. For me, my biggest ‘distraction’ would be the people I love , more specifically my family members. I am a very family-oriented person and I feel the need to spend more time with them even though I don’t get to as much. Naturally what they say to me is important for me and it affects me tremendously whether positively or negatively. So when it affects me negatively, it affects my Eeman and I feel less motivated to do what I would normally want to do in my acts of ‘Ibadah. And interestingly, when I’m too happy, I get distracted too. Therefore, a balance is important. You can’t spend all your time and energy for your ‘distractions’ when you have others things that need to get done when it comes to Allah SWT. I remember a speaker once said that too much of halal is not halal. So it’s good to control that, of course in a wise manner. All these things are external influences and external influences affect our internal self-defense system of istiqamah and himmah. When your istiqamah and himmah are at threat, you know for sure what Shaytan’s using against you. Remove the background noise to fine tune to the reminders of Allah SWT! I’ve already started working on this…what about you?

As you prepare for your Ramadan ask yourself the following questions:

  • what prevents me from reaching my maximum productivity in Ramadan?
  • what are some distractions which I can eliminate to feel more attentive towards Allah SWT? What are the things which emotionally/physically drain me in such a way that I have no energy left for ‘Ibadaat?
  • what are some habits which I have allowed that reduce my productivity? And how can I cope with those habits, change myself to not only become a better Muslim this Ramadan but make those lifestyle changes for good? If you talk too much, aim to become a little quieter. If you eat too much, aim to eat a little less and follow Sunnah that way. At least pick two things and promise yourself that you’ll change for good inshaa’Allah.
  • how do I want this Ramadan to affect my years to come? What are some du’aas I can make for the upcoming year?Allah SWT knows best, it is possible that this could be my last Ramadan so how can I make this a means of extinguishing the fire of all my sins and admittance to His Mercy in Jannatul Firdaus al ‘Ala? List down the ways you will make this Ramadan heavy on your scales of good deeds inshaa’Allah.
  • am I currently pleased with Allah SWT? How do I view Him in my life? Is He the center of all my attention or is it the opposite? What prevents me from making Him the center of my life?

It is advisable to have a journal in which you can answer these questions because often times, one can find solutions for things one can see written down. Problems within you which you have absolutely no awareness about are most likely the things which will remain as problems and it will be more difficult to better yourself as a Muslim and ultimately as a human that way. Yes it’s that crucial no matter how busy you are as a person. So schedule an appointment with your soul and think about those things inshaa’Allah and THEN set goals for your Ramadan.

I hope to do the following by the next 2 weeks (just before Ramadan) inshaa’Allah :

  • make a gigantic du’aa list for Ramadan
  • understand how I can better discipline myself towards my goals to make them lifelong changes
  • find out what worked and what didn’t last Ramadan
  • make my goals keeping everything in mind (my circumstances etc.)
  • make du’aa as I do all of the above to be successful (and keep up with whatever I aimed to do in previous monthly challenges. You can view it here.)

This is officially the last monthly-challenge because I had started these only for Ramadan.

I pray that Allah SWT forgives me and prevents me from becoming a hypocrite. The sole purpose for this public challenge was to commit myself and make myself accountable in front of people. I know my shortcomings so I pray Allah SWT hides them from people and shows them and ways to correct them to me alone so that I can change before I die. Ameen.

That which is with Allah SWT is everlasting and that which remains in this dunia is incomplete and deficient.

So everything and everyone connected to Allah SWT is exalted and everything/everyone away from Allah SWT is utterly humiliated and doomed unless the route to Tawbah is taken.

 ~
O Allah make us from Your honorable slaves who worship You alone with enthusiasm and contentment. Make us closer to You as we hope to be blessed with that nearness and let our hearts not forget You even for a heartbeat. You are Glorified and we are made from clay and are bound to return to that dirt. So contentment lies in remembering You and sadness in forgetting You. O Allah make us from the selected few who will be granted a house nearest to You and Rafeeq al ‘Ala, i.e. You and then the Companionship of those who love You the most. Indeed, our words are more than our actions so let not our words be a witness against us on the day of Judgement. O Allah free our necks from Hellfire and grant us Your Pleasure for we are pleased with You as our Rabb! O Allah grant us the ability to worship You in Ramadan in the manner most pleasing to You. Only You are worthy of our attention and Only You listen to our incomplete du’aas! So please accept this du’aa and please grant us much better than what we ask for like You always do…

Ameen.

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