(As the blessed month of Ramadan approaches, it is time to shift our focus from mere festivities to a deeper connection with Allah. Beyond delicious Suhoor and Iftar, let us prepare ourselves to enhance our faith and draw closer to the Almighty. Ramadan is a sacred time, beloved to Allah, and it is our duty as Muslims to maximize our worship during this special month. This article directs you to build a Focused Mindset on Ramadan.)

“Prescribed upon you is fasting the way it was prescribed to those who were before you so that you may become pious.” [Surah Al Baqarah: 183]

The purpose of fasting is given in the above ayat: ‘So that you may become pious.’  But what if we do not achieve piety? Remember that treating Ramadan carelessly can be a reason for our doom. The following hadith confirms this.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, (ﷺ) ascended the pulpit and he said, Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.” It was said,  “O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the pulpit and said ameen, ameen, ameen.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Jibrael came to me and he said, ‘Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and he is not forgiven, then he will enter Hellfire and Allah will cast him far away, so say ameen.’ I said, Ameen. ‘Whoever sees his parents in their old age, one or both of them and he does not honor them and he dies, then he will enter Hellfire, and Allah will cast him far away, so say ameen.’ I said Ameen. ‘Whoever has your name mentioned in his presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, then he will enter Hellfire, and Allah will cast him far away, so say ameen.’ I said, Ameen.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibban: 907)

The above hadith specifies that it is compulsory to obtain magfirah in Ramadan by observing the month the way it was meant to be. Since the Prophet (ﷺ) was told by Jibrael to say ameen, it means that Allah had instructed him.

Piety Means Taqwa

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, (ﷺ) said, “The most beloved of places to Allah are the mosques, and the most hated of places to Allah are the markets.” ( Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: 671)

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One should introspect his routine and places of choices at least during the month of Ramadan. During the month of opportunity, he should seek to get his sins pardoned. There are many tempting ways to divert us away from this virtue. Most of the people are found busy in the streets and markets, succumbing to Ramadan sales and offers, and spending their evenings and nights eating. The passing of nights in the markets will not lead to taqwa, since Allah does not like those places.

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Worship (ibadah) is a comprehensive term covering everything that Allah loves and is pleased with – whether sayings or actions, outward and inward.” (Majmu’ al-Fatawa: 10/149)

The earlier hadith tells us that Allah is not pleased with his worshippers roaming the markets and wasting their time.

How to Achieve Taqwa

Do Not Overstep the Boundaries of the Haram

“These are the limits [set by] Allah, so do not approach them. Thus, does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.” [Al-Baqarah 2:187]

Perform as Much Istghfar as You Can

We already know that one of the biggest achievements of a fasting person is to obtain forgiveness from his sins, and it is taqwa which leads to forgiveness.

“And Hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord and the paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth prepared for those who are muttaqoon.” [Surah Al e Imran: 133]

Iman and Ihtisab – Two Qualities for Obtaining All the Sins Pardoned

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said,

“Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of  Iman and Ihtisab (sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards), then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Bukhari: 38)

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) also said,

“Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever spends the night of Lailat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Ibn Majah: 5027)

The two hadiths mentioned above comprise of four things: two opportunities and two conditions for fulfilling the opportunities. Fasting in the daytime and offering qiyamul layl  (taraweeh) at night are the opportunities, and having Iman and Ihtisab are the two conditions. If the reward for taraweeh (sunnah prayers at night after isha prayer) is so huge that it can get all our sins forgiven, one can imagine the amount of reward for praying the five obligatory prayers during the day.

Iman is faith and fasting and praying are pillars of faith. One should not fast to reduce weight or celebrate Fasting with a table full of delicious dishes, because such desires change the intentions and purpose of sincere fasting.

Ihtisab is an enthusiasm to do a good deed hoping for a reward from Allah, and ikhlas (sincerity) means to perform an act exclusively to please Allah. The Prophet (ﷺ) said,

“[Allah has said], ‘Every good deed of the son of Adam son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’” (Sahih Bukhari: 5927)

Keep Away From Deviation

Be aware of innovative acts presented as sunnah. The Sirat al-Mustaqeem, the straight path, is not crooked. Allah does not accept any act of worship if it is not endorsed by the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ).

“And this is my straight path, so follow it. Thus, Allah makes His ordinance clear for the people so that they may be muttaqoon.” [Surah Al Anam: 153]

Studying the Qur’an and Reflecting on its Verses

“In the alternation of day and the night, and what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, are signs for the people who are muttaqoon.” [Surah Yunus: 6]

Do Not Waste your Ramadhan

We have one full month to win the pleasure of Allah. Good health will enable us to fast, but fasting is not just to remain hungry but to also abstain from wasting the blessings of Allah. The Prophet said,

“There are two blessings many people fail to benefit from, good health and free time.” (Sahih Bukhari: 6412)

He also said,

“Each person will be questioned about the time he utilizes, and the youth how he spent it.” (Sunan Tirmidhi: 2416)

If we read both the hadiths together we come to a frightening reality along with a hope of being forgiven for all the lapse that we have gone through the whole life. The real taqwa is to feel worried when a cautionary notice is given. Even the Qur’an warns against wasting time,

“Closer has come to humanity on his day of account, and he is still heedless.” [Surah Al Anbiya: 1]

Fasting detaches you from materialistic worldly temptation and helps to focus on worship, which is why wasting time can damage the purpose of fasting. If a person is afraid of Allah, he will not waste the days and nights of his Ramadan but will utilize it to please Allah.

The Prophet said,

“Allah, declares, ‘By My might, I will not let My slave suffer from fear in two realms or feel safe in two realms. If he feels safe from Me in this world, I will make him feel fear on the Day of Resurrection, but if he fears Me in this world, I will make him feel safe on the Day of Resurrection.’” (Albani in As-Saheehah:742)

Do Not Consider Sins to be Insignificant

Ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The believer regards his sins as if he is sitting beneath a mountain that he fears will fall on him, and the evildoer regards his sins as flies that pass in front of his nose and he does like this to them [waving them away with his hand].” (Bukhari: 6398)

Allah has made it very clear that big sins are to be avoided in order that the rest of the sins are forgiven.

“If you avoid great sins (kaba’ir) which are forbidden to you, We will remit from you your evil deeds (sayyi’a).” [Surah Nisa’: 31]

Backbiting, missing obligatory prayers, and abusing people upon losing patience while fasting are a few big sins which harm our fasts.

Every prostration, every whispered supplication, every verse recited from the Qur’an—these are not mere rituals, but deeds that appeal to Allah’s mercy. Waste no time but avail yourself of the nights, the pre-suhur moments, and the hours when the world sleeps. In sincerity, seek forgiveness, gratitude, and transformation. Do not treat Ramadan as a month of festive eating and merrymaking, but a month of detaching one’s desire from materialistic love and that is what worship means.

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Nisaar Nadiadwala

Previously a visiting university faculty member in both Malaysia and Tanzania, Nisaar Nadiadwala is presently based in the UAE as a trainer in Public Speaking and Communication Skills. As a consultant and a coach in the field of Public Speaking, panel discussions, news debates, and in anchoring Radio-TV-Podcast shows, he has helped people to build their careers through polishing their skills in making presentations. Besides being an award-winning speech maker, he has received the honorable title of Top Writer on Quora in 2018 and continues to retain that position: https://www.quora.com/search?q=Nisaar+Nadiadwala In regard to his socio-religious contributions, Nisaar focuses on family issues from an Islamic perspective, trying to cover every segment of the family. His special attention remains the tarbiyah of teenagers, for which he is invited to many Islamic Schools as a consultant and as a speaker on the teenage period of life. He relates his work to the grooming of adolescents, motivating them to adopt the Islamic way of life through his TV series, articles and workshops in community schools. His latest release is an E-book Teen's Deen - a collection of short stories for teenagers - published by www.themuslimfamily.net He has hosted his Pre-Marriage Preparatory Workshop in many cities of India and abroad. His book, I want to marry, but …, is the talk of the community in the desi crowd. Mr. Nadiadwala trains both online and in person through his course packages. He can be contacted at: Nisaar Nadiadwala [mnisaar@gmail.com].

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