Assalamu Alaykum Dear Reader,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Planning what to do exactly during the break is an absolutely crucial step towards having a productive, fulfilling and enriching time that brings true benefit to the self and others.
Many people, especially youth, don’t plan their breaks and end up consuming a lot of useless or harmful entertainment materials (whether on TV or the Internet) which drains their energy and wastes their time and don’t really bring benefit spiritually, intellectually, physically or socially.
On this note, it is worth mentioning the following hadith. Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said:
“There are two blessings in which many people incur loss. (They are) health and free time (for doing good)”. [Al-Bukhari]
So making use of health and free time is the trait of successful people, may Allay make all of us among them.
Now, here are some useful acts to do during the break. It is essential to note that your time needs to be planned in a way that fulfills you spiritually, physically, intellectually, as well as brings social benefit.
If you focus only on one area and neglect the others, the break will go by while you feel unsatisfied or unaccomplished or unfulfilled. The best thing to do is to make sure you make some progress in each of those four areas. Here are some ideas:
1- Memorize a new surah form the Quran during the break. Choose any surah you love (it could be a few lines only, half a page or a couple of pages). Make sure to read it carefully, read its tafsir (exegesis), and understand its meaning properly. Memorize it and start incorporating it in your prayers. If you do this, by the end of the break you will feel truly accomplished since you will be carrying more Light from the Book of Allah in your heart–which is something that brings happiness, relief and barakah.
2- Consider memorizing 10 verses of Surat Al Kahf.
Abu Darda’ reported Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessings upon him) as saying:
“If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal.” [Sahih Muslim]
You can also watch Khan’s thought-provoking lectures on this Surah. Here is a relevant and related lecture as well.
3- Pray at least 2 raka’as qiyam every night, especially at the last third of the night. This has a great spiritual benefit. Try to sincerely talk to Allah at this time as well and pour your heart out, asking Him for guidance and success in all life matters.
4- Try fasting the voluntary fasts. You can aim to fast 13th, 14th and 15th of every hijri month. It was narrated from Jarir bin ‘Abdullah that the Prophet said:
“Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime; the shining days of Al-Beed (white days when the full moon is shining): the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
1- Try to seek lectures and gatherings of learning the deen in your area. Enroll yourself in classes or gatherings available in your neighborhood to maintain a regular schedule of seeking knowledge. If nothing is available around you, make sure to listen to lectures online every day to gain more knowledge about your deen.
2- Subscribe to the free online sites that provide regular reminders of the deen. You may consider Bayyinah, The Deen Show, Quran Weekly, TheProphetsPath, Free Quran Education, Al Qalam Institute, AlMaghrib Institute.
3- Get a book on the Seerah of the Prophet (Like the Sealed Nectar) and read a few pages every day to learn more about the blessed, inspiring life of the Messenger.
1- Find charitable or community service activities in your neighborhood and volunteer in. The Prophet says:
“Whoever fulfills the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever removes the troubles of his brother, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and whoever covers up the fault of a Muslim, Allah will cover up his fault on the Day of Resurrection”. [Al Bukhari & Muslim]
2- Try feeding the poor, it is among the most beloved acts to Allah. It doesn’t have to be fancy meals if you can’t afford that. Simply buy few items from any supermarket when you are going out, and give that to the neediest person you meet every time you go out. Make it a habit, and you’ll see much benefit in this for you spiritually and on so many other levels.
3- Call a relative every day and try to visit those whom you haven’t visited for a while. Working on the ties of kinship is among the most important acts that many people neglect today with the fast pace of life and presence of virtual communication tools.
4- Find two people who have been in dispute or disagreement and work on amending the relations between them!
The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) says:
“Shall I not inform you of something more excellent in degree than fasting, prayer and alms-giving (sadaqah)? The people replied: Yes, Prophet of Allah! He said: It is putting things right between people, spoiling them is the shaver (destructive).” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
1- Make sure you get a good amount of sleep every day. This would mean abandoning your mobile phone at night in order to be able to get an adequate night sleep that helps your body function properly.
2- Watch what you eat; try to incorporate and explore exciting, new healthy food in your diet.
3- Try to go for a walk whenever possible to clear your mind, move your muscles and meditate (especially if you’re doing so outdoors in nature).
- Reading a few pages of the Quran every day after Fajr prayer
- Reciting the morning and evening Adhkar
- Maintaining all prayers on time (and in the masjid for men and boys)
- Praying two rak’as Qiyam and the witr prayer before sleeping & reciting the sleeping adhkar.
Most importantly, remember that all of those acts bring happiness and a sense of accomplishment. In-and-of themselves, they are fun activities. But shaytaan might whisper to you that you should ignore all of that and “just have fun”, by that he suggests that you just hang out aimlessly, pointlessly or consume unbeneficial or harmful materials online or on TV.
When this happens, remember that you can have mindful fun always, the type that brings true benefit in this life and the next. But it is really not fun to allow shaytaan to make fun of us by controlling our time and wasting our life. Always be in control, and don’t let the lack of planning control or waste you precious time on this earth.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.