The absolute sovereignty of Allah is a central doctrine in Islam. Muslims do not know, nor can they predict, what he will do next, because he can do whatever he wants. An implication of this is that Muslims cannot know for certain if their sins have been forgiven. Maybe Allah will smile on their good deeds and admit them to paradise, maybe not. A Muslim lady says they could come within one metre of heaven and Allah would change his mind. She admits this scares her.
Another friend says his father asked a funny question. He asked if he had done enough. Had he done enough good deeds during his long life to please Allah? His son assured him that oh, yes, he had done enough to warrant God’s forgiveness and pleasure.
But, during Ramadan, all this becomes more attainable.
Alongside the Qur’an is the hadith, a collection of teachings about Islam and the life of Mohammed. One hadith (Bukhari 2:37) notes that whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, will have all his past sins forgiven. This gives great hope to Muslims, but it can also lead to pride in achieving salvation, as it is based on their performance.