Ramadan, as usual, has flown by. Despite planning beforehand, many of us may have gotten caught up in a routine after accustoming ourselves to the change in schedule the blessed month brings.
This may have affected our initial plans to increase our worship, contemplation and to seek Allah's Forgiveness and Mercy with greater fervor. But the last ten days and nights of Ramadan are still ahead for us to benefit from. Ask yourself these questions and see what you can do to make the most of what's left of Ramadan this year, Insha Allah.
1. Have I kept pace with the amount of Quran I wanted to read, or have I fallen behind?
2. If so, how much do I have to read on a daily basis the rest of Ramadan to catch up?
3. Have I tried to attend Tarawih regularly, or did I use weak excuses to get out of it?
4. Did I ever pray the night prayer?
5. Did I try praying my five daily prayers with more sincerity, concentration, and focus than usual?
6. Did I invite anyone over for Iftar (breaking the fast)?
7. Did I help any needy person, even a panhandler or beggar, when I was fasting?
8. Did I regularly seek Allah's Forgiveness and Mercy with sincerity, fear and hope?
9. Did I encourage my family to fast or participate in regular opportunities for more rewards that come with Ramadan (i.e. good deeds in general, but also Tarawih, more reading of the Quran, etc.).
10. Did I memorize any more Quran than what I knew before Ramadan started?
11. Did I try to be more patient in Ramadan than I normally am?
12. Did I try to control my anger, especially while fasting?
13. Did I try harder to avoid backbiting and slander?
14. Did I constantly check my intentions, to make sure that my good deeds were for the sake of Allah alone, not to impress others, gain their favor, or to show off?
15. Was there even an atom of pride in my heart?
16. Was I quieter and more contemplative?
17. Did I cry in my prayers?
18. Did I read more Islamic literature apart from the Quran?
19. Did I make sincere repentance to Allah, really feeling sorry for my sins?
20. Did I forgive those who hurt me?
21. Did I avoid hurting anyone with my attitude, words, intentions or actions?
22. Did I give any more Sadaqah (charity) than I normally give?
23. Did I share the message of Ramadan and Islam with a non-Muslim?
24. Did I share the message of Ramadan and Islam with a non-practicing Muslim family member or friend?
25. Did I feel annoyed at being hungry while fasting or did I rejoice?
Poem: I ask myself tonight
"Oh how swiftly, it's mid-Ramadan now
I sit here, wondering and thinking how,
Have I spent my first days of Ramadan fruitfully?
Or have I wasted the time unknowingly?"
Ramadhan comes, for a short month it's here
Will I ever meet the Ramadan next year?
Allah Oh Allah, help me guide my heart through
For only You know, if I've devoted enough to You."
May Allah strengthen our heart in the remaining days of Ramadhan to be able to answer yes to all the questions. Thank you. Assalamualaikum.