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What does Ramadhan mean to you?

Does it mean more to you than going for a vacation? Are you mentally and psychologically ready to attain all the goodness and blessings Ramadhan has to offer? Are you then spending enough time and taking pains to plan how can you get the most benefit from the opportunity Ramadhan affords you?

Some people do plan for Ramadhan, but that planning is only to the extent of who to invite for Iftaar, where to go for one, and what special foods to prepare or how to get the best deal on dates and iftaar delicacies. But is this the type of outcome that is the objective of Ramadhan?

The objectives of Ramadhan are to:

* Increase our Taqwa

* Make us more charitable both financially and in our social dealings

* Develop patience and will power to resist temptations

* Prepare us for our life-long Jihad to remain steadfast on the path of Allaah's obedience

* Strengthen our relationship with the Holy Qur'an, celebrate its revelation; and

* Thank Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala for guiding us so kindly.

So, what are the action plans you want to undertake during Ramadhan so that when it departs, you have seen significant growth in your Taqwa, you are more giving, more patient, more able to resist personal desires and temptations, more involved in life-long Jihad and more tuned to the Qur'an?

Ramadhan is a wonderful opportunity to help us fine-tune our normal patterns of behaviour thereby changing us for the better. We can ask ourselves the question: What areas of our personality, attitude, behaviour, daily routines and lifestyle, etc. do we need to change to bring us closer to the Islamic standard?

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