The Muslim American Society (MAS) would like to congratulate you on the blessed month of Ramadan. There is no time of year that is filled with the blessings, potential and opportunities as the days ahead.
The Prophet (saw) said,
أتاكم شهر رمضان، شهر بركة، يغشاكم الله فيه فينزل الرحمة ويحط الخطايا ويستجيب فيه الدعاء وينظر الله تعالى إلى تنافسكم فيه ويباهي بكم ملائكته فأروا الله من أنفسكم خيراً فإن الشقي من حرم فيه رحمة الله عز وجل"
Ramadan has come upon you. It is a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition in good deeds, and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in this month of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted." [Narrated by Tabarani].
For MAS members, Ramadan should be much more than just a season in the conventional sense-when greetings are exchanged, fasts and prayers are performed collectively, and families and friends come together. For those who have chosen to carry this message of Islam to others it is insufficient to simply focus on ourselves. Ramadan offers an excellent and God given opportunity to charge our batteries for the work ahead. We would like to share with you some ideas to help make this Ramadan your best Ramadan yet!
- Fasting: Remember that the fast is not simply abstinence from food and drink but a means of attaining taqwa through all actions. So practice patience in your dealings with people, focus your talks and actions on the Hereafter and be mindful of your fast at all times not just while performing the rituals.
- Prayers: Make an extra effort this Ramadan to pray on time and in the masjid as often as possible and increase the nafl prayers, in particular the night prayers. The prophet (saw) said: "It is upon you to perform night prayer, because it was the practice of the righteous people before you. It is a means of obtaining closeness to Allah the Exalted, it erases sins, it prevents wrongdoings, and it drives away sicknesses from the body.[Narrated by Ahmad].
- Quran: Ramadan is the month of the Quran as you have undoubtedly heard many times. But while there is great reward in reading the Quran, the purpose of the Quran's revelation was that we may benefit from its teachings and incorporate these teachings in our lives. This Ramadan, we encourage you to go beyond the usual recitation of the Quran and start the study of a thematic or classic exegesis. At the same time start a plan to put into practice what you learn from the study of the Quran into your daily lives.
- Charity: "The Prophet (saws) was the most generous of people. He used to be the most generous in Ramadhan when he would meet with angel Jibreal and study the Quran with him ...." [Narrated by Bukhari].
Indeed Ramadan is also when we find Muslims being most charitable and while there are many pressing causes that call for our attention we would like to remind you of one that you can relate to better than most others ... yes our jamaa' MAS! We believe MAS members understand our challenges, our responsibilities and our immense potential better than the general Muslim community at large and we urge you to please donate generously to MAS in order to sustain and enhance our dawah and work. That said, people in the US and around the world are perhaps in need of charity more than ever before in recent history and we encourage everyone to donate generously to all causes this Ramadan.
مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ وَلَهُ أَجْرٌ كَرِيمٌ
"Who is he that will Loan to Allah a beautiful loan? for (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit, and he will have (besides) a liberal Reward.". Surah Al-Hadid ayah 11.
- Dua: While material support is necessary do not overlook the power of sincere prayers. At a time when so many people are struggling for their freedom around the Muslim World and joblessness and despair here in our own country we urge you to keep these people in your prayers and ask Allah the Exalted to ease their suffering. Please also remember our jamaa in your prayers and ask Allah to bless our work and give us the ability to work with utmost sincerity for his cause.
- MAS: Speaking of MAS and our work, we encourage all chapters to take this opportunity to host an iftar for all MAS members to connect with each other and revive our bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. Also use this Ramadan to share the message of Islam with others and invite non-Muslims to your iftars.
We ask Allah (swt) to accept your prayers, fasting, charity and all other efforts seeking his pleasure. We pray that this month is a blessed one for you full of hope, mercy, forgiveness, closeness to Allah (sw) and his pleasure and rewards. We pray this is your best Ramadan yet!
MAS Executive Council
For further Ramadan-related inspiration and ideas on how to maximize self-development this month, you can also use the following MAS Tarbiya resources: