As the precious guest, Ramadan approaches and immerses us with its generous blessings, sooner than we could think, it swiftly flies away. Let’s make a promise to make the most out of our Ramadan this year.
1. Set your intention
In our beautiful Islam, we have been taught to adjust our intentions before we act for any form of worship. Our intentions act as a compass that guides us through the way and it is our fuel that keeps us moving forward in our downtime.
Fine tuning our motives behind our worshipping in Ramadan or any time during the year gives us a sense of direction that our deeds are purely and solely performed for the sake of Allah (SWT).
We don’t do charity, pray at mosques, learn Quran or help others for reputation or for expecting appreciation and gratitude from people. We are only awaiting His utmost reward (SWT).
Prophet Muhammad (SA) said:
“Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.”
Bukhari & Muslim
(قال رسول الله(صرواه بخاري و مسلم
إنما الأعمال بالنيات، وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى، فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله، فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله، ومن كانت هجرته لدنيا يصيبها أو امرأة ينكحها، فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه
2. Plan your Ramadan hours
Set blocks of time during the day or night exclusively for Quran, prayers and other acts of worship that you would like to perform.
As you know, failing to plan is planning to fail. Ramadan is a once in a year gift and we could never know if we will make it to the next Ramadan. Let’s try to give it our best times of the day instead of the leftovers.
Prophet Muhammad (SA) said:
Bukhari & Muslim
“He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.”
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: من صام رمضان إيمانًا واحتسابًا، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه ”
3. A screen fast
It is very tempting while fasting and tired to pass time in front of screens and it is equally easy to get driven by scrolling on our phones or remote controls while relaxing after Iftar.
Setting a time limit for screens and planning a daily schedule for our priorities helps us monitor where we spend our precious Ramadan moments. As a lost Ramadan minute is an opportunity missed for maghfera (Allah’s forgiveness).
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.”Bukhari and Muslim
عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: من صام رمضان إيمانًا واحتسابًا، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه ”
4. Fasting vs. Feasting month
We can not deny the fact that most of our days in Ramadan revolve around food. It’s either we’re planning for it, shopping groceries, preparing, or cooking and dealing with the aftermath of Iftar.
While Ramadan is a great chance for families to gather at the same time and bond, it has unfortunately transformed from the month of fasting to the month of feasting.
Spending loads of effort and hours every day preparing banquets for Iftar is not the best thing to do. And often we overeat to the extent we can’t move a limb afterwards.
Alternatively, there are a lot of “Quick and easy meal ideas” on the internet that can save us a lot of precious Ramadan days in the kitchen.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then (fill) one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.”
عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال
ما ملأ آدمي وعاء شراً من بطن، بحسب ابن آدم أكلات يقمن صلبه، فإن كان لا محالة؛ فتلث لطعامه وثلث لشرابه، وثلث لنفسه”.
The purpose of Ramadan is not starvation. In fact, it is a boot camp for us to practice self-control. It’s not only about abstaining from food and drinks, however, it’s all about training ourselves to quit bad habits and adopt good ones. And this means developing our awareness and self-control.
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious”
[Surah al-Baqarah 2: 183]
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُون