Dear Family of Believers,

There is much to say but I’ll keep it short.

Ramadan Mubarak. This is a blessed month where the opportunities for forgiveness and reward are plentiful, don’t waste it.

Don’t ruin it.

Don’t spend it oppressing others.

Don’t spend it angry.

Don’t spend it doing anything other than coming closer to your Lord.

Keep your nafs in check. Understand that you will be tempted, distracted, and maybe even hit by some immense difficulty, keep your mind on Allah.

May you be blessed always. Pray for me. Pray for my blessed and amazingly supportive family. Pray for my teachers. Pray for my students. Pray for the projects I hope to accomplish. Pray that I can make amends for my every misstep.

Pray that I die with belief.

And as you pray for all of this, may Allah grant you all of this and more.

Again, Ramadan Mubarak.

Your servant,

Arthur K. Richards





Dear Family of Believers,

Fasting is hard. It can become significantly more difficult depending on the person and their particular situation. An older gentleman working in construction in the heat will find the days of fasting significantly harder than a young man working a desk job. A woman with multiple children will find it more exhausting than a mother with one.

However, for everyone there are difficulties in fasting.

Those difficulties may not only be in the physical fast but in the spiritual restraint. Some people might be quick to anger and find that the additional physical duress is only pushing them over the edge even faster. Others may be foul mouthed or have difficulty lowering the gaze. Others will find various happenings within the Muslim community and will find it nigh impossible not to engage in what seemingly fell in their lap (because they didn’t go looking for gossip and communal fitnah, it came to them).

I’m here to tell you that if you’re thinking you’re going to be able to make it through the physical or spiritual fast of this blessed month simply by following all of the special recipes or by listening to the plethora of lectures available, you’re wrong.

The fast is MEANT to be difficult. It is meant to test you. It is meant to wear you thin. It is meant to cause you to realize one thing,

You need God.

It doesn’t matter how early you go to sleep, how much water you drink, how great Shaykh Omar’s lectures are, you will not succeed in this month if you’ve neglected to realize that you are weak without God’s assistance.

Do yourself a favor in the initial days of this blessed month, make a habit to call on Him.

You won’t regret it.

Your servant,

Arthur K. Richards





Dear Family of Believers,

In a day or two (if you haven’t seen it already) you’re going to begin hearing and seeing people lament about how quickly Ramadan is going. You may even be amongst those thinking that the blessed month is quickly rushing away. You may be having fears, regrets, and anxiety due to feeling that you’ve not benefitted from this month.

In the past 24 hours I’ve been told of at least four deaths of people I either directly know or know of them. Blessed Imams who have lit up our lives and our communities such as Imam Sohaib Sultan, and stories of a father who passed away in the arms of his son as they prepared to go out as family on one of the blessed days of Ramadan. May God have mercy on them all.

As I was speaking to this young man I reminded him of a hadith I was told years ago. A hadith of two men who fought for the sake of God. One died just a single year later than the other and was said to have been given a higher rank in Paradise. The companions asked the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salam) how this could be, did they both not embark on one of the greatest actions in the faith, that of declaring the religion of God and protecting its honor?

To this, the Prophet replied “And did not the latter meet the month of Ramadan?”

That was it. As simple as that. The blessings of this month is not comparable to the blessings found in any month. This month is special.

Yes, it may feel as though it is going fast, but that is because you’re not counting your breaths. You’re counting the minutes, the hours, the days, and the weeks. You’re seeing the calendar quickly race from one month to the next, but stop.


In that breath was creation. In that breath was the Jamal of the Divine. In that breath was mercy. In that breath was strength. In that breath is the forgiveness of God.

The forgiveness of God that you will find in this month, the month that has not ended yet, and a month that represents forgiveness that will never end.

And this is a reminder…

For Those Who Believe.

Your servant,

Arthur K. Richards