Ramadan To Do List

When a month like this comes around, what's your first reaction? Alhamdulillah. What a lord, who doesn't have to forgive us, who doesn't have to show us Mercy, but he still sends us seasons of forgiveness and mercy to inspire the best version of us.

What a lord, who sends upon us a month, that even if we just did the Deeds, that we typically do of obligatory Deeds, they are multiplied in their reward. What a lord, who controls the gates of the heavens and the Earth, and who by his will by his power by his might by his Mercy the gates of paradise are flung open, the gates of Hellfire are shut, and the devils are put into chain, alhamdulillah.

We have a merciful Lord, Allah wants you to know him as a compassionate, and as a merciful Lord, who sends you these moments of forgiveness. So, the first thing about Ramadan is, if Allah subhana wa tala allows you to live to see that moment, the first thing is alhamdulillah, you allowed me to see that moment, because you have to be happy, because you're here for the season in the first place, alhamdulillah.

So, what is it like to wake up on the first day of Ramadan? What is it like to wake up on the 20th day of Ramadan? And to have that opportunity, alhamdulillah.
The second thing is, notice does not have any secrets. It doesn't have any specific acts of worship. How many times is Ramadan mentioned in the Quran? One time. It's only mentioned once, this month which becomes the centerpiece of Our Lives of the year, that IBN Qayyim Rahimuhullah described, as Yusuf A.S to the rest of his brothers, by one, the rest of the 11 are forgiven, by one. 

The one month out of the 12, this one month that becomes our heart and soul, and chance to come back to Allah subhana wa tala, is mentioned only once in the Quran. The month of Ramadan where the Quran was revealed, why is that so profound? Because all you're doing in Ramadan are the things that you're supposed to already be doing better.

The companions prayed throughout the year, but in Ramadan they pushed themselves more, you don't pick up a special book, you're going to the Quran, but you're reading it with more devotion, and more recitation, you're attaching yourself to it more.

You know, how to pray? You know, how to read? You know, how to exert yourself? You know, how to make Dua? But you make more of it, and you make better Dua, and you connect to Allah subhana wa taala with a greater sense of devotion. There are no secrets here as to what you need to be doing to get close to Allah.

There are no unfamiliar acts of worship, and many times we start to think about these extraordinary things, because religiosity is so up and down for a moment. We start to think about all these extra things, Allah subhana wa tala said that he has sent you to this world to test you, to see who will be the best with their deeds, not more Deeds, better Deeds, it wasn't this crazy equation that the prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam had, because Allah doesn't need your poetry, Allah needs your piety, Allah doesn't need you to rhyme, Allah wants you to be sincere.

It's comprehensiveness, Allah knows when you say? What you mean? And what you want from him? It's got to be something here. So, when you start to try to quantify, you might get lost in the in the math, you might get lost in the numbers game, you might get lost in your to-do list, I keep talking about your to-do list, I promise you. I'm coming to it, if I told you pray the last 10 nights 3 hours, some of us that's easier than taking 10 minutes to pick up the phone and call somebody, that your ego has kept you away from reconciling with.

Let's be real, it's not always about what we want, it's what Allah demands from us, and sometimes stepping on that ego, is a lot harder than exerting the body an extra Ibadat, exerting the body  and even the soul, yes, and the Heart an extra worship.

But, Allah says leave these two until they fix what's between themselves, the gates of the heavens are shut for them, I'm not talking about the one who's wronged by the way, who's wronged and who would expose themselves to harm. I'm talking about the natural types of grudges, the things that velop between us and others, and all of us if we're introspective enough will see, that even if we're a little less guilty, we're probably guilty as well, and contributing to that hatred, and to that standoff, and you be the one, because you want Allah to forgive you, oh Allah you are the forgiving one, you love to forgive, so forgive me, put your money where your mouth is forgive, pardon people.

Don't you want Allah to forgive you and pardon you? Pick up that phone, call that person, go visit that person, break that standof. The sahaba would not have the audacity, he's literally calling audacity to let a grudge carry on to Ramadan, I'm crushing it, I'm squashing it, because I want Allah to forgive me, I want the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala that wasn't the Ramadan hack, you were expecting, was it? 

But that's your hack, that's how we would meet Ramadan, that's how he wanted it, and Allah knows how hard it is from you. So, I'm going to get to your to-do list, but before your to-do list, Ramadan is not your set of Deeds, that you're going to suddenly tally up, and a lot of people want to make their goals for Ramadan, and they should more than anything else.

Allah wrote fasting upon you, as he wrote it upon those, that came before you, so that you could become God conscious people, leave off the sins, you will be the closest of people to Allah subhana wa taala, he said Sallallahu alaihi wasallam whoever does not give up these sinful things of the tongue, and these arguments, and this hatred, and acting upon them the Deeds that follow, because if you have a nasty tongue, you probably have a nasty slate of Deeds as well, and the tongue itself is a place of deeds and actions.

Allah has no need for you, to give up your food and your drink, a lot of us approach Ramadan with this to-do list of so many good deeds, but the sin that you're insisting upon, or a sinful lifestyle, and the worst sins are the ones that are lifestyle sins. 

You know, there are sins that you fall into every once in a while, there are sins, you were in a conversation someone's name came up, that backbiting was too sweet, it was sweeter than a piece of cake in front of you, and you just went right into it, you felt regret afterwards, you moved away from it.

There are lifestyle sins, there are the sins that you consciously do every single day of your life, and you've just accepted them as part of your life, you have literally adopted them as lifestyle sins, they're part of who you are now, those sins are like holes in the bucket, so if you pour 20 gallons of Quran, or 30 gallons of Quran, into that vessel you' still got those holes in the bottom of the bucket. 

Taqwa is plugging the holes, it's leaving off what is displeasing to Allah subhana wa tala, if when you're making your list, if you say after Ramadan, I will never commit this sin again, knowingly inshallah I'm going to do everything I can to root this sin out of my life, I'm I'm going to change this about myself, I'm going to take this next step towards Allah subhana wa taala, that is far more precious to Allah subhana wa ta'ala than the math, the numbers you're going to check off.

So, what I'm saying to you is, before your Ramadan to-do list, what's your to not do list, your to not do list is more important than your to-do list, in the sight of Allah subhana wa tala, you're to leave off, what you're going to stop, is more important than what you're going to start, because you were meant to go back to Allah subh waala, your natural inclination is to go back to Allah subhana wa tala, Jannah is your destination on the GPS so long as you don't take a wrong turn, so your to not do list is more important than your to-do list.

So, I'm challenging each of you to first and foremost have a to not do list for Ramadan, and then make your to-do list, then after your to-do list, make your to fix list, and those are the estrained relationships that you need to fix. So, you have your not do list, you have your to do list, you have your to fix list, and then I'm going to give you two more lists.
There is room for quantifiable deeds in the sight of Allah subhana wa tala, that have to be consistent, the most beloved of deeds to Allah subhana wa tala are the ones that are consistent, even if they're small.

So, there is something to say about quantity, that's why you pray five times a day, that's why zakat is 2.5% on your retained earnings, so make your list from now, what are the quantifiable consistent deeds that I will do after Ramadan? 
Make your after Ramadan quantity list now, don't wait till Ramadan finishes to try to pick up the scraps, say in Ramadan I'm going to read this much Quran, after Ramadan I think I can reasonably do this much every single day, after Ramadan I'm going to try to pick up Qiyyamul lail, I think I can pray witht it every night inshallah.

I think, knowing myself, I can do with it every night, I think I can add two every night, put your quantity list together from now, and then your fifth one, and this is the thing I'll end with inshallah tala your qualities list.

So, you have your to not do list, you have your to-do list, you have your to fix list, you have your quantity list, what are the qualities I want you to open the beginning of surah Al-Mu'min and the end of Al-Furqan, the qualities of the Al-Mu'min qualities of the Believers, the end of those two lists, one of them is they are the people that have these high places in Paradise by their patience, but the highest rooms in Paradise belong to those that have the highest traits, the Servants of the most merciful.

Allah says about, they are the ones who inherit Al-Firdous, they're the ones who inherit the highest level of paradise, so what's your qualities list? your qualities list I want you to journal, and I want you to look through those traits, and match yourself up, do some introspection say, where do I match up to each of these qualities? and what is my commitment to Allah swt and trying to get better? 
what are the things that are stopping me from having these qualities? What are the environments I need to change?What are some of the things I need to be more aware of? Who do I need to put around me? And what do I need to do to start to have these qualities? all right, that's your quality, so it's more of a journal thing. 

What's your first list? To not do list, you're to not not do list is your most important list in Ramadan. What's your next list? To do list, what's your third list? To fix list, what's your fourth list? Your quantifiable Deeds list, what's your fifth list? Your qualities list, the beginning of surah Al-Mu'min and the end of Al-Furqan of those traits. 

you're to not do list your five lists you're to not do lists are the things you're going to quit inshallah once and for all, from now, from Ramadan onwards, you're going to commit to Allah that you're not going to return to these sins, your to-do list for Ramadan are the quantifiable goals you're setting for yourself in Ramadan, your to fix list are the relationships because you don't want your grudges to get in the way of the acceptance of your Deeds, the relationships you're going to fix and the reconciliation, your fourth list your quantity list are the quantifiable Deeds you plan to continue after Ramadan, your fifth list are your qualities the qualities that you hope to try try to have inshallah tala after Ramadan, and you're journaling as you're trying to think about how you can embody what Allah mentions in the beginning of the suratul Mu'min Servants of the most merciful, may Allah subhanahu wa tala allow us to achieve these goals, and may Allah subhana wa tala allow us to achieve the ultimate goal of Jannatul Firdous of the highest level of paradise, where we are neighbors of the prophet sallallah alaihi wasallam, in those High suspended abodes that are like Chalet in the skies of the heavens in Paradise, under the Throne of the most merciful gazing at him day and night completely forgiven for our sins.

May Allah subhana wa ta'ala accept this Ramadan from us, may Allah subhana tala accept our Deeds inside and outside of Ramadan, may Allah forgive us for our shortcomings inside and out of Ramadan. 

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