ICT Poster/Amer Taleb
By Mohamed Ali
“Reflexes” is a psychology term used in studying how the human mind makes decisions based on encoded information and other recurring behaviors. The brain memorizes your behavior, especially when there’s a repetitive action involved. The Prophet (PBUH) said “And the best deeds in the sight of Allah, are the repeated deeds even if they (the good deeds) are not many.” A weekly $1 donation is better than an every-once-in-a-while $20 bill. Small deeds that become habitual are more crucial to your deen than highly impressive acts that are random or done only when you’re in a “state of inspiration.”
Ramadan is approaching us rapidly. Establish your own customs now, no matter how small, and Insha Allah by the first week of Ramadan it’ll become a habit. Ramadan is a time to boost your faith and become more productive, not less. One of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) said “We used to prepare special DUA’s (prayers) for Ramadan”, meaning it requires a state of grounding and preparation. Internally, come up with a personal duty that is daily and between you and your Lord because Ramadan-time rewards are unlimited. Externally, go out and help your family, neighbors, or volunteer in the ICT. This time of the year allows you to store all the spiritual energy you need to stay vigilant for the next eleven months; make sure to store wisely.
Across the Muslim world, people maintain traditions that help them renew their manners and attitudes. One of the most common practices is handing out drinks and dates on the streets to help people break their fast. One of the symbolic outcomes of this voluntary work, is to remind ourselves that caring for one another is critical in Islam.
If you can’t establish your own custom during Ramadan, then relinquish a bad one you had before it. If you’re a smoker, make an attempt to stop smoking during Ramadan and Insha Allah, Allah will aid and reward you for it. If you like to argue with your parents, hold off for the holy month and Allah will guide and reward you for your good intentions. And remember that to give up something for the sake of Allah, will result in the same compensation as doing something good for the sake of Allah. Since you’re fasting the whole day, praying most of the night and Islam is always on your mind, it’s easier to contemplate and look for reasonable and actually-applicable lifestyle changes you can make during Ramadan. Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said that Satan and his cohorts are on hold until the end of Ramadan, meaning it’s easier to transform yourself since the pressure of temptation drops drastically.
As we get closer to the powerful month, remember that we are about to be placed in an ocean full of spiritual opportunities, and the deeper you swim the cleaner you came out. There are only thirty days or less out of the entire year to take advantage of our beloved Ramadan, and right now is your time to redefine your “Reflexes.” And never hesitate to thank Allah if you happen to live to, during and through Ramadan.