Embers of Redemption

It’s been a while and manic the last 6 months with work and other things, but with the announcement of Ramadan there’s a nice feeling of a much-needed reset. I just wanted to touch upon something conceptually as we enter into Ramadan.
Ramadan comes from the root word رمض which signifies something being intensely heated by the sun. Building on this, scholars liken Ramadan to the opportunity of burning our sins and purifying ourselves.
This is important as we enter this month, because if we’re honest with ourselves, every single one of us are sinners. Day by day, month by month, we all make mistakes in our dealings with people, in privacy, at work, you name it.
Ramadan hence linguistically becomes this (joyous) chance to burn those mis-deeds through acts of obedience all for the sake of Allah, seeking Him over own desires. There’s an explicit link therefore, between Ramadan and forgiveness from Allah.
Therefore, this is a time to be humble in front of Allah. It’s narrated that Musa (as) asked Allah;
يا رب أين أجدك
‘O Allah, where can I find you’?
Allah responded;
عند المنكسرة قلوبهم من أجلي
‘With those broken-hearted for my sake’.
The origin of the narration seems to be from the Israʼiliyyat (with no sound basis as a prophetic statement), but the meaning is understood by the scholars of tazkiyah. That internally, we are to feel in severe need of Allah, with our hearts expressing remorse, dependence and wanting for the forgiveness of Allah for our shortcomings.
Yes, the Prophet (saws) would smile and mix with his companions, expressing strength, bravery and compassion. But at night, he would stand in prayer, crying similar to a sound of a boiling pot (Abu Dawud). He (saws) would seek forgiveness 70/100 times a day though he was purest of creation. He would not even attribute his own entrance to Jannah except unless he was enveloped by the mercy of Allah, as per the hadith in Bukhari & Muslim.
Therefore, whilst we should of course go out and fast, give lots of charity, read verses after verses of Qur’an, one main objective of this month is to go through it soul-searching and seeking his forgiveness. As the Rasul (Saws) himself advised Aisha (ra) that if she was to find the greatest night of the year, laylat’l-Qadr, then to keep reciting:
اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُعَنِّي
“O Allah, You are oft-forgiving and you love to forgive, so forgive me.” (Tirmidhi).
May Allah accept us in Ramadan and cover us with his Rahmah.