By Suha Mishal
The month of forgiveness and mercy is upon us.
This Ramadan, while treating yourself to samosas and chaats, why not also treat your soul. Ramadan is the best time to treat your inner exhausted self to a deep cleanse. Does that seem hard? Worry not, you will find inspiration to do so in this Ayah:
“He has succeeded who purifies the soul, and he has failed who corrupts the soul.” (Quran, 91:9-10)
This success ultimately means success in the hereafter. So, let’s remember in this Ramadan to:
Pause. Reflect. Purify. Restart!
I’ve had encounters with people with a lot of money, countless other blessings and everything they’d ever wish for, yet their hearts and souls are not at peace. They constantly are in a rush for something they don’t even know themselves. And what use is money if it cannot buy you the peace and contentment that you still, after having everything, long for? In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty says,
“Their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah” (Quran, 39:23).
Our heart is not just a tissue mass that is pumping blood; it’s much more than that. It is the center of all our feelings, desires, and emotions. It is the inner self; it is that boss of us that tells us what do to. Purifying your heart with the remembrance of Allah (SWT) will automatically purify your soul and bring you inner peace.
Listed below are some tips that are guaranteed to make an impact on your journey to purify yourself spiritually:
Imagine driving at a fast speed nonstop, without any breaks without pause for a very long period of time? What will happen?
Eventually you’ll end up exhausted, starved, and thirsty, both a danger to your own health as well that of others.
That is exactly how we are living our lives nowadays. We have so much stuff on our plate already that we do not bother taking a pause in that high-speed drive to even notice the beautiful sceneries that have passed us by.
Likewise, we are so caught up in our lives that we’re forgetting WHY we are in this Dunya (this world) in the first place.
One of my favorite verses that really steers me back every time I lose track is:
So where are you going?
[Qur’an: Chapter 81, Verse 26]
Qur’an has, like always, made things so easier for us. Allah has instructed us in the Qur’an and He Himself has created pauses that can rejuvenate our souls and our hearts:
- PAUSE IN DAY – 5 Daily Prayers
- PAUSE IN CONSUMPTION – Fasting in Ramadan
- PAUSE IN SPENDING – Zakat
- PAUSE IN LIFETIME – Hajj
Following these pauses carefully could be your shortcut to the purity of the soul and a source of peace for the heart.
Look back on things when you pause; reflect on all the things that you’ve done this year.
To make it easier for you, make a list. Jot down all the times you went wrong, and the times you went right. This will give you an insight of into yourself, and all that you need to improve.
I find that reflection is very essential to a healthy soul. It gives you an opportunity to count your blessings and rejoice in the favours that Allah (SWT) has granted us.
(While you’re at it, why don’t you take some time and pray two nafl rakats as gratitude for Allah’s blessings upon you?)
After you’ve made the list, think of the ways you need to improve.
If you’ve hurt someone, think of how you can make them happy. Or if someone has hurt you, learn to forgive them. Forgiveness is one of the keys to purification. It allows you to let go of grudges or ill-feelings and start afresh.
But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah. Certainly, He does not love wrongdoers. (Surat Ash-Shura, 40)
For all the sins and bad deeds that you’ve intentionally or unintentionally committed this year, you can always repent to Allah (SWT) for it is better to TURN to him before you RETURN to him. Indeed, Allah is Al-Ghaffur “The Oft-Forgiving” and the original source of forgiveness.
Allah has said in Qur’an:
It may well be that Allah will pardon them. Allah is Ever-Pardoning, Ever-Forgiving. (Surat An-Nisa, 99)
Always remember, it’s only YOU who can make a change. You can set yourself on the right path. Once you know your mistakes from the past year, keep them in your mind and ensure you don’t repeat them.
Avoid things that lead you into the things that don’t please Allah.
Start fresh with a clean slate and clear heart. You can maintain your purified state by:
– make pledges with yourself to do good deeds.
– keep small punishment if you break them
– keep small incentives if you fulfill those pledges.
– remember to reflect and purify throughout the year and not just in Ramadan.
InshaAllah, if you follow the tips in this article, this Ramadan will prove to purify your heart and your soul, leaving you refreshed for a new step on your journey to please Allah (SWT).