Adapted by islaam.com from the lecture "The Winners in Ramadan" by Sh. Ibrahim ad-Duwaysh
The following is a reminder of some matters that help one to be among the winners in Ramadan by using its days and nights properly. “Remind, for indeed reminding benefits the believers.” (51:55)
1. Mujaahadah: struggling against the nafs
“As for those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths.” (29:69)
Do you want guidance? Do you want steadfastness? Struggle against your soul, for if we bring ourselves closer to Allah, Allah will come closer to us.
2. Having high aspiration and determination
Ibnul Jawzi said, "The sign of completion of the mind is high aspiration, for he who is satisfied with low aspiration is disgraceful, and I didn't see a severer shortcoming than that of people who are capable of completion yet don't aspire for it."
3. Knowing the virtues of the month and its distinguishing characteristics
He who knows something develops interest in it and preserves it. Even if there was nothing in Ramadan but Laylat ul-Qadr (the Night of Power), which is better than one thousand months, that would suffice.
4. Recognizing Ramadan's few days and its speed of departure
“A fixed number of days…” (2:184) [From the verse, “(Observing fast is) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days”].
Yesterday we were congratulating each other for the beginning of Ramadan and today we give each other condolences for its departure. This is how both days and life are, passing quickly. So hurry up to benefit in Ramadan.
5. Competition of the righteous people in doing good deeds
The righteous people compete for good deeds, while the others are captives of their lusts and slaves to their desires.
“Then We gave the Book (the Qur'an) for inheritance to such of Our slaves whom We chose. Then of them are some who wrong their ownselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who are, by Allah's Leave, foremost in good deeds. That is indeed a great grace.“ (35:32)
6. Remembering death and bewaring its suddenness
You might not reach another Ramadan, so watch for yourself!