Do you remember when you were younger? When you were at that age of wonder, where little things would capture your imagination, and you were – at times – greedy for everything you thought would bring you pleasure.
Did you daydream about being in your favourite shop, alone at night – with no one around – and being able to take whatever you want, and not worry about that adult concept of “buying”?
Now, fast forward to the present day – with you all grown up – and answer the following:
If you could have it all; everything you’ve ever wanted; all that your heart desires; all that you dream of; everything you aspire to becoming…EVERYTHING…if there was some way you could attain these things – would you do what you had to, to have your wishes fulfilled?
Do you think it’s possible for any of this to happen?
Or, to you, is it the stuff of fairytales? Are these the wild thoughts of an unrealistic mind that hasn’t grasped the reality of life?
“This isn’t Aladdin,” you may say. “There is no genie. There’s no ‘three wishes’ that are guaranteed to be granted.”
Yes, I realise that. But it doesn’t make my proposition any less unrealistic.
Because there’s something better than a genie. There’s something better than hours alone in your favourite store. And there’s something even better than every single desire, dream, and aspiration you have.
Who, or what, is this fantastic, unimaginable entity?
Allah: our Creator and Sustainer. The One who brought you – and this whole world – into existence. The One who created every dream and desire you have; Who made you all that you are – and Who still stays with you, closer than your jugular vein.
As we approach the last 10 days of Ramadaan, we know that the night of Laylatul Qadr will be upon us – though we’re never quite sure which night it is. And in that night-better-than-a-thousand-months, we have the ultimate opportunity to have all our dreams, desires, and wishes fulfilled.
Simple. The ‘weapon of the believer’: Dua.
Dua is available to us all year round. But, many times, the rigours of everyday life – the demands on our time and energy – weigh down on us, making us resorted to ‘automated duas’ (the ones we make by habit, often not even remembering what they mean).
But in Ramadaan, and on Laylatul Qadr especially, dua seems so much more powerful – so much more attractive – than usual. We’ll make the effort to exert ourselves in dua; we’ll try our best to be sincere; we’ll open up to our Creator in a way that, perhaps, we haven’t opened up since the previous Laylatul Qadr.
A few years ago, I received beautiful yet simple advice from someone regarding this night: plan for it.
Plan your dua(s). Sit down BEFORE the night; think; let your imagination run loose; and write down everything you want to ask for – whether in this world or in the Hereafter. Then, on that night (or actually, to be safe, on every odd night of the last 10), make your dua. Ask Allah to grant you those things – ask Him to fulfil all your requests.
Remember what Allah says in the Quran? “I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me.” (Surah 60, verse 186).
What more could you ask for? There are no intermediaries. There’s no priest, rabbi, imam, or mufti you have to go through in order to ask from your Creator. There’s an open, direct line you have to Allah. And it’s absolutely free. All you have to do is make that call. Make your dua.
Obviously, we won’t get everything we ask for exactly as we wish – because we know that duas are answered in one of three ways (i.e. either answered immediately; or Allah prevents an evil from happening to you; or your dua will be answered in the Hereafter). But all duas – provided you don’t ask for anything haraam – are accepted, insha-Allah.
So, if we ask with sincerity, insha-Allah we will get the best of what we ask for – in whatever way Allah chooses to respond to that dua.
So, whether it’s marriage you’re after; or something study or career related; or a way out of your debts; or good health; or world peace; or spiritual and personal growth after Ramadaan; or, or, or….or strengthening your relationship with Allah…whatever you want: make your list, and get ready to make your dua on that all-important night.
The Prophet s.a.w. reportedly said that “dua is the essence of worship”.
At the base of Islam – at the core of everything – is your relationship with your Creator. By communicating with Him – through dua and otherwise – you strengthen that bond. And, as the hadith goes, when you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
Make the most of these precious days of Ramadaan; and prepare yourself for that auspicious night when, insha-Allah, dreams can come true, hearts can be permanently set aright, and you really can have it all.