Perhaps it is all the same. Perhaps nothing has changed- it is the same you praying the same way for the same thing in the same set of circumstances in the same month- Ramadan.
But thats where the similarity ends.
The Prophet of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon him, said ,” For whoever the doors of dua has opened, the doors of mercy has opened.”
When a person says they are praying for you, what does it mean really? It means has Allah decided that this year more pleas will reach Him on your behalf. That even when you are too tired and broken to voice out your own desires, someone somewhere will be voicing them to Allah, with just as much sincerity and yearning as they would for themselves. That even when you are sleeping, due to the differences in time, they will be awake that time making dua for you. Even when you are sleeping, Allah made sure His doors are being knocked for you tirelessly, even in your absence, your deepest wishes and desires are reaching to Him.
Why would Allah, The Most Loving and The Most Kind do that for you, had He not intended to change your situation? You did not ask for those people, they volunteered to make dua for you.
Read this verse again. Allah created a want in these people to make dua for you. These people of the earth, who you dont know, who go out of their way to make dua for you, were sent to you for a reason. Be among the people of understanding, and think about your Lord, and realise that “Your Lord did NOT create this gift for you without purpose. He is far above that to do anything randomly, without a plan.”
Among all the things that hasnt changed, something most certainly has.
If you could pick ONE deed you will do regularly this Ramadan (instead of overwhelming yourself with a plate full and then giving up midway), what would that be?
Mine is DUA. Because the prophet (peace be upon him) said dua is the essence of worship. So no matter what you do, if the underlying intention is not tied to acceptance of dua, its basically losing the prime factor. So if faced with a choice, pick dua. After all your duas especially the last ten nights will determine the chain of events in the next one year. So if possible, make a list so you dont forget.
Dont forget, the most honorable thing to Allah is dua. He loves that you ask and gets upset if you dont. So dua away like nobody’s business.
And believe that He will give like nobody’s business. Because it really isnt. He promises to give whoever He wills without limits.
Often times we portray Islam as only a set of rules and regulations. This is highly dangerous. Not only is this wrong but also a deterrent to anyone wishing to embrace Islam or know about it. I myself am guilty of this ignorance as well in the past.
Our foundation of faith lies on One Ilah.
An Ilah is Someone who is not only a deity of worship, but He is also the One to love unconditionally. Someone Who we run to in times of danger and difficulty, because we only trust His infinite capability to give us safety and security, fulfill our wishes. Allah is our Ilah. We do not use any medium ( idols, statues or people) to seek closeness to Him. There is no one between us and Allah. And Prophet Muhammad SAW is His messenger who taught us about Him.
This is the fundamental principle of Islam. Once we know Allah and believe in His Oneness, then we can truly obey His commands and rules. Not the other way round.