By Aisha Sheikh, Grade 9
Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,
Alhumdulillah, Allah SWT has enabled us to reach this blessed month of Ramadan once again. There are so many benefits and blessings to chase during this month inshaAllah, and we wanted to share some of these virtues with you–focusing on the aspect of forgiveness, inshaAllah.
As we know, Ramadan is a month filled with benefits and rewards. It is the month of mercy and a time to purify our hearts, change our lives, and a time to truly become closer to our creator. It was narrated by Az-Zuhri, from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet ﷺ said: “When Ramadan begins, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” Allah SWT is opening for us the gates of His mercy, calling his beloved slaves to come closer to Him SWT.
Coming closer to Allah means loving Him in our hearts, loving Him with our tongues, and also through our actions. Allah SWT tells us in Surah Aali ‘Imran, “If you should love Allāh, then follow me, [so] Allāh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allāh is Forgiving and Merciful.” Both attributes of Allah mentioned here are ones we should focus on in Ramadan: Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. Allah SWT loves His slave who follows Him SWT, and one of the actions most beloved to Allah SWT is repentance, as is mentioned in Surah Baqarah, “Indeed, Allāh loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.”3
Repentance is something we should be doing throughout the year, not just in Ramadan – but given the reality of the magnitude of Allah’s mercy in the sacred month of Ramadan, it’s a time we should especially take advantage of to extinguish our sins. Some of the beautiful dua’s we can say in this month are:
“اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي”
“Oh Allah, You are the One who forgives, You love to forgive so forgive me.”
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ
“Glory be to Allah (Allah is free from imperfection), and I begin with praising Him. I beg forgiveness from Allah and I turn to Him in repentance.”
رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّئَاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الأَبْرَارِ
“Our Lord! Forgive our sins, remove from us our misdeeds, and grant that we join the righteous when we die.”
Extinguishing our sins can also be done through making wudhu, giving charity, and performing other acts of worship. The prophet SAW used to make istighfar (asking for forgiveness) 100 times every day on any normal day, so in Ramadan we should try to at least meet that number inshaAllah by making istighfar after every salah or whenever we’re unoccupied. InshaAllah let’s keep our tongues moist with the remembrance of Allah.
We should also try our best to make the most of Ramadan by truly connecting with Allah spiritually when we fast, not just abstaining from food, and by standing in qiyam humbly in front of Allah as we learn from the hadeeth: On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever stands (in voluntary night prayer) during Ramadan, with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him.”4
May Allah SWT enable us all to make the most of this Ramadhan. May Allah SWT forgive us all and allow us to be from the righteous, and to enter His gates of mercy. Ameen ya Rabb al ‘alameen.
Wassalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
 [Sunan an-Nasa’i, Sahih (Darussalam)]
 [Quran, 3:31]
 [Quran, 2:222]
 [Bukhari: Book of taraweeh]