It is the month of Ramadan, thirty full days given by Allah (swt) as an opportunity for us. An opportunity to get closer to Him, to be back Home after eleven months of wandering, which often left us lost.
It is the month when guidance is easier to be attained, when temptation and shaytaan are chained, and when our environment is being the most supportive of all time.
So, What is there left for us to do?
Action. Yes. Act upon it. Work for it.
1. Make your life revolves around Salaat, not the other way around. Oftentimes, we unconsciously list our Salaat to the least priority. We squeeze in our Salaat to our busy schedule, it has somehow become something less important than our class or jobs. And if it gets too busy, we even miss it. Remember that Salaat was supposed to be 50 times a day, not 5? Imagine if it is still the same way? Would you still able to do what you do today? But there is still something to learn behind this. It shows that our main purpose in life is actually to do Salaat, to please Allah by doing Ibadaah to Allah SWT. But Allah never wanted to burden His Believers. But still we neglected.
2. Make Qur’an a part of your day. Do you know the very one thing that the Angels are envied us with? It is to be able to recite the Qur’an. That’s why when you recite the Qur’an, there are Angels watching beside you. What’s more beautiful than that? For me personally, to make reading Qur’an more fun is to read it with the translation. That way, I can understand the meaning behind the ayaah. It is like reading an old story book, which at the same time is also a timeless guidance book. It is the same when you read any literatures in Mandarin and Japanese for example, when you don’t understand it, it won’t have any meaning, right?
3. Listen to Qur’an Recitation instead of Music, it does wonder. I used to listen to my Ipod all the time when I was in the UK. It became a habit since I started going to the gym. And it continued playing when I rode the bus, did my assignments and even walked around the city. It was like a friend to keep me busy when I was alone. Although I did have a beautiful Murotal by Shaykh Mishari Alafasy on my Ipod ( the most beautiful recitation, I might say) I only listened to it when I felt like it. But It was very hard to get the “feeling”. Music was more ear catching to me. But everything changed when a friend of mine told me a point about Music and Islam. After that, I tried my best to bring myself to love Qur’an recitation, instead of music. It wasn’t easy of course. I was accustomed to music on a treadmill so that I can forget that I was exercising and all that. But it wasn’t impossible. Think it this way. Listening to Qur’an recitation is like listening to Allah’s beautiful words, all day long. What song can be more beautiful than Allah’s words? Unlike songs that make you wonder about Love and left you wander. It brings you peace. It also leaves you feeling loved by Allah SWT
4. Sunnahs are amazing. Starts small. Do one sunnah a day, for example, Dhuha prayer, or Tahajjud. It won’t be easy, but when you get into it. It will become a habit and get easier. An ustadhah I know told me that sunnah is amazing because you never know how your waajib prayers qualify to Allah (swt) and Sunnah may be the very way to boost your “score board”.
5. Watch Islamic Lectures. They are interestingly fun to watch. If you know me, my very favorites will be Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan and Ustadh Omar Sulaeman from Bayyinah TV. Make them to be your “Entertainment”. When you have free time watch them instead of drama. Dramas have the same predictable ending anyway. These two Ustadhs are far from boring, trust me.
6. Read Books. Another way to get closer to Allah is to seek knowledge through books. There are many books you can read, but, as you all know, I love Reclaim Your Happiness by Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed the most. I read all kinds of books basically. Books about the Prophets stories are also fun to read, it is like reading a novel, but you know that they are “really” real.
7. Make good accompaniments. Ever heard the phrase that if you befriend with a perfume seller you’d smell nice as well? It is apparently true. You are judged with whom you are befriends with. Why? Because it is easy for you get influenced by your inner circle. If you want to get closer to Allah (swt), choose your friend wisely.
8. Share. It is not always about the money. Although Zakaat is not to be forgotten. You can also share your knowledge, share a happy story, share your food for iftaar, gives presents, literally anything you can share. Allah loves simple things you do constantly rather than a big one that you only do once.
9. Try to wake up before and not to sleep after Fajr. I know, this is the hardest thing to do. Even 10 more minutes before and after Fajr is precious. But reading Qur’an after Fajr and pray the Sunnah before Fajr is far more precious. It is narrated that it is even more precious than the whole world and what’s within? Reading Qur’an during Fajr time is also especially mentioned in the Qur’an.
10. Dzikr and Dua’a. The very same Ustadha told me that Dzikr and Dua’a are the best platforms to communicate with Allah SWT what better method out there to get closer to Allah SWT compared to this? By doing Dzikr you remember Allah (swt), from your Dua’a you show that you have put your trust only in Allah (swt). Keep making your Dua’a, although it feels like it takes forever to be answered. Or sometimes answered differently. Know that it means that Allah SWT loves to hear your sincere voice in your Dua’a. And He knows what is best for us.
So that was it, my ten tips to get closer to Allah SWT which I know, aren’t easy to follow, but believe me, they aren’t impossible and they’d do wonder in your life. Hopefully this post can be a good reminder not only for me, but also for all of us. So, Let’s keep reminding each other of Allah SWT gooodfriends, sisters and brothers in Islam !
Holy Quran 13:11
لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ
For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah. Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.
Holy Quran 24:56
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy.