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“…the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant .."

The Best Ramadan Journal Guide : How Can it Help you Perform Better Deeds? [Part 1]

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Bismillah
Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

To write or not to write?

Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe,
{Surah Al Qalam 68: Verse 1}

Most people journal to sort out their thoughts, ponder over their lives and set and track life goals. Indeed, journaling is a great tool to achieve a specific goal.  For instance,  nutritionists often ask their patients to keep a food journal to help stay focus on their goal of losing weight and eating healthy. Financial advisors also recommend journaling your various expenditures to see where you tend to spend the most. Thus, if you have a specific goal you would like to achieve, journaling about it can greatly help you succeed. In Ramadan, there is one specific goal we should all be trying to achieve and that is gaining Taqwa (God’s consciousness or acting upon righteousness). Allah Subhannahu wa ta’alaa tells us in the Qur’an that fasting is prescribed for us in Ramadan so that we may attain Taqwa (become righteous).

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –
{Surah Al Baqarah 2: Verse 183 }

Taqwa is therefore our goal and fasting is the main tool. However, we can use journaling as an additional tool to set our daily goals in trying to be more conscious of Allah in our daily activities.

  • A Ramadan Journal can help us set goals that are pleasing to Allah
    For instance, we can decide to set a goal and use our Ramadan journal to set it and track it. The beautiful thing behind setting goals is that you are actually expressing your intention to do something pleasing to Allah. Since this goal is privately kept in your journal, this intention remains sincere and if for some reasons you are not able to achieve your goal or you die before you achieve it, the sincere intention behind the goal turns the goal into an achieved action. A win-win situation! All praises and thanks belong to Allah!
  • A Ramadan Journal can help us pay close attention to our daily actions in Ramadan
    Journaling about our actions also helps us see patterns, bad habits and so forth. There is a saying that ‘a problem identified is halfway solved’, so by being aware of our shortcomings, we can better correct our ways in sha’ Allah.
    Besides, the writing of deeds is part of our Islam. Each one of us have angels writing our every deed good or bad.

And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers,
Noble and recording;
{Surah Al Infitar 82: Verse 10-11}

        Our life is being recorded at every moment and will be shown to us on the Day of Judgement either in our right           hand or our left hand. Thus, whether we take ourselves into account or not, what is clear is that we are being                 taken into account. Journaling can help us be more conscious of what is being written about us by the angels. By         writing our deeds in Ramadan, we are able to realize how little we are doing and where exactly we need to work           on to improve. In other words, we are able to self reflect.

  • A Ramadan Journal can help us with self-reflection and thinking
    Self-reflection is a big part of what a believer does in the month of Ramadan. Indeed, in Ramadan, we turn our backs on the glitters of this world and increase in righteousness and in repentance. We isolate ourselves in the last ten days  during i’tikaf (seclusion) and stay away from our families and from any social activities. We take a serious look at what is going on with us. Journaling is a great tool which can help us sort our thoughts out and reduce our speech so that we talk less and think more. During this time of self-reflection, we are also able to communicate with Allah Subhannahu wa ta’alaa and supplicate to Him.
  • A Ramadan Journal can also be a noble tool full of rewards
    As most believers know, writing is a very noble action in our religion. Allah swears by the Pen in the Qur’an and the companions of Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alayhi wa salaam were encouraged to write to preserve knowledge. The first thing Allah Subhannahu wa ta’alaa created was the pen and HE commanded it to write everything that will happen until the Day of Judgment. Therefore using this noble action of writing to get closer to Allah and to preserve knowledge can give us great rewards.
    Having kept a Ramadan journal for the past eight years, I can safely say that writing in a journal during Ramadan has transformed my Ramadan experience. Every year, my Ramadan seems more productive and looking back at my previous journals, I am able to see clearly the progress and challenges I had to face in the previous months of Ramadan.  Try it this Ramadan, set yourself some goals and keep your journal close by to track yourself throughout the day. At the end of Ramadan, go back to your journal and enjoy the spiritual journey you just underwent. Going over your challenges, your achievements, your struggles will also motivate you to keep going after Ramadan in sha’Allah. May Allah Subhannahu wa ta’alaa help us achieve Taqwa and greater awareness of Him in everything we do in Ramadan and outside of Ramadan. May our journaling be a witness for us on the Day of Judgment of all our efforts in trying to be better muslims. Allahumma Ameen.

Authored by Arty

Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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