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What Good Habits Should I Develop During Ramadan?

Questioner

Tawfiq

Reply Date

May 14, 2018

Question

What benefits can the month of Ramadan provide for us to become disciplined people? What good habits should we develop during this month?

Consultant

Answer


Good Habits Ramadan

Short Answer: Ramadan is a response to the carnal desires for eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. and in this way it instills discipline into our lives. People who undergo the Ramadan fast gain a disciplined spirit. For the long-term, we should ensure that we are able to protect and continue the worship and religious obligations in an orderly fashion after Ramadan has finished.

_____________________________________

Salam Tawfiq,

Thank you for contacting Ask About Islam with your question.

Discipline is the “spirit of order” one must obtain to become a balanced person.

A disciplined person is thus one who lives within the parameters of certain rules and principles and is sensitive to order and regulations.

The life of a believer should always be in balanced harmony.

The believer should always know what to do and when they should do it.

The believer should determine his/her duties and responsibilities towards their Creator, to other people, and to themselves; being aware all the time of when they should perform these acts in an organized predetermined manner, always displaying exemplary order and structure.

In fact, prescribed prayers provide us with a timetable to organize our days.

Believers map out their time frame saying, “after the noon prayer (zuhr) . . . before the evening prayer (maghrib)”.

Ramadan Discipline

Ramadan is a response to the carnal desires for eating, drinking, sleeping, etc, and in this way, it instills discipline into our lives, ensuring that these needs are met according to our basic requirements and within the parameters of gratitude.

Through seeking refuge in the spiritual atmosphere of the heart and soul against one’s carnal desires, Ramadan teaches us that we must maintain this discipline.

It ensures that the desire to eat and drink is constrained and under control, disciplined.

Of course, we need to eat and drink to live. However, not only is it unhealthy for the body to eat and drink without taking into account basic nutrition; it is also a catastrophe if the stomach is allowed to dominate the heart and soul, causing a person to plummet into the pits of material and carnal desires.

Indeed, to eat in an unregulated manner in which the stomach is always full is not only harmful to the body, it is also an act not condoned by God.

The fasting that is carried out during Ramadan serves to limit the times for the intake of food, thus avoiding an overloading of the stomach, as well as avoiding those things that are harmful to both the body and soul; in addition one is able to ensure that one always stays within the parameters of what is permitted.

Ramadan’s Fruits

People who undergo the Ramadan fast gain a disciplined spirit.

Each believer who fasts and who is able to discover the hidden meaning will not only be awarded with God’s blessing, but will also be loyal and virtuous in their dealings with their community.

It will not be enough for them just to worship at certain times, but they will walk towards the horizon of integrity by making use of their whole day with this consciousness, living as if in worship each moment.

When they are able to free themselves from worldly and material inclinations, the objective of becoming a symbol of truth and devotion to God will appear before them.

With the purpose of achieving this aim, they, in the words of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, will start to think for the sake of God, speak for the sake of God, love for the sake of God, aiming to always be surrounded by God’s approval; each day this intention brings them closer to success, and one day they become a person of loyalty and devotion.

For Muslims, one of the important aspects of the relationship with the Creator is reading the Quran and praying to God, seeking refuge in Him at all times.

It is unfortunate that often it is only during Ramadan that the Quran is liberated from the carved chests and embroidered silk cases.

This holy month puts the flavor of the Quran into the mouth and instills in people the discipline of the daily religious tasks.

Ramadan’s Long-Term Impact

Those whose lives become regulated in Ramadan-eating, sleeping, praying, etc.- should ensure that they are able to protect and continue the worship and religious obligations that they fulfilled for the entire month in an orderly fashion after Ramadan has finished.

For example, those believers who interrupt their sleep during the month to benefit from the blessings of pre-dawn meal (sahur) and who have a reunion with their prayer should consider these thirty nights as a stepping stone that enables them to see each night of the year as a night of reunion, and enlighten their nights with a few cycles of prayer (tahajjud).

Disciplined people predetermine how they shall live and act; they carve a path for themselves with certain principles and proceed carefully. Islam has already determined the color, shape and design of our actions.

At the same time, we distinguish between being a disciplined person and being bound by regulations that lead to inflexibility; we take into account the circumstances which we find ourselves in at the same time as safeguarding our cultural realities and enlightening those around us in an appropriate manner.

To reach the heights of discipline requires a long time and serious commitment. But it is enough to say that Ramadan is a beginning and that it is a fruitful time to sow these virtues so that they may be reaped later.

Actually, for those who believe, a person’s life is Ramadan, adolescence is when the fasting begins, and death is the breaking of the fast. One month of Ramadan is like a rehearsal for a fast that will last a lifetime.

Those who know how to continue to enjoy the virtues gained in this month are aware that the remuneration of staying thirsty and hungry in this world will come to them when they break the fast with God’s words:

{My servants, I used to see you off color, with your eyes and cheeks sunken and you used to endure this for Me. Eat and drink to your hearts’ content for all that you sent ahead in advance in days past.} (Al-Haaqqah, 69:24)

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Reference:

Extracted with some edits from the Q & A section of “The Fountain Magazine”: “The Month of Ramadan and Discipline” by Hikmet Isik – Issue 60 / October – December 2007

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Your Guide to Revival in Ramadan

Ramadan in Allah’s Words – How to Approach Ramadan – Nouman Ali Khan

Tips for the Best Ramadan Ever!




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