Below are three actions that you can do this month to maximise your rewards.
Check your intentions
The Messenger of Allah peace and blessings on him, said: “Verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended.“
Yet we waste so many opportunities for rewards in our daily lives because we don’t review and renew our intentions. The foremost intention with all our actions should be to earn the pleasure and reward of Allah SWT. From sleeping to eating, using the toilet, working, reading and even playing, we can always tie our intentions back to earning the pleasure of Allah SWT.
My favourite phrase to say to myself right now is “double it!” which serves as a reminder that I can set various intentions for whatever I’m doing. For example, if I’m about to write, my intention might start with, “I want to write and use my skill to earn the pleasure of Allah.” I can double that intention by intending “to write to benefit other people because Allah loves Muslims that provide benefit to others.” I can layer that again by making the intention that “writing will help me to use my time in a way that is productive and pleasing to Allah.”
My advice is for you to be on the look out for things that you already do that you might not be setting intentions for. If you’re like me and you love dates and watermelon for Iftar, get to work and be creative with the intentions you make. From eating nourishing and delicious fruit, to taking care of your body and serving others in your home, double your intentions. Lastly, use Bismillah as a verbal cue to renew your intentions before every action.
Morning and Evening Adhkar
There are a lots of benefits to making the morning and evening adhkar. Firstly, it helps us to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him who would make particular duas for blessings and protection. Secondly, it helps to unlock Barakah in our lives. For instance, the Prophet peace be upon him said “For him who says: ‘Subhan-Allahi wa bi hamdihi (Allah is free from imperfection, and I begin with praising Him, and to Him),’ a palm-tree will be planted in Jannah.” [Jami at-Tirmidhi]. What I love about the the morning and evening adhkar is that the duas cover all areas of our lives and it doesn’t require more than 10 – 15 minutes of our day.
There are various apps available on Apple and Android you can download for the duas. Ummah Welfare Trust also has an excellent PDF and paperback adhkar book which I use. It’s absolutely amazing plus it’s free!
Charity idea this Ramadan: Give out Adhkar books at your local mosque for even more reward.
Use a Miswak before Wudu
It’s narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Were I not afraid that it would be hard on my followers, I would order them to use the siwak (as obligatory, for cleaning the teeth).” [Bukhari]
This gives us an indication of how important this action was to our Prophet. From improved oral hygiene (take care of that breath this month!) to following a sunnah, there are so many benefits to taking up this action especially before an act loved by Allah SWT such as Salah. Try to beautify your Salah further by using a miswak before you make wudu.
P.S. On my last trip to Al Manar Bookshop behind East London Mosque, I found a miswak with a cute holder similar to the one in the picture below and it makes it easy for me to take it everywhere.
That’s it! Three actions you can take during Ramadan and afterwards to maximise your reward.