In the weeks leading up to the Holy Month of Ramadan, most Muslims have their very best intentions at heart and are ready to embrace the glorious month of fasting wholeheartedly.
However, despite their best intentions, it’s very easy to stumble during the first few days. Avoid the pitfalls that can occur during Ramadan and overcome obstacles so you can focus on worship!
Starting from Scratch
This Ramadan will be a first for many new Muslims. It can be intimidating and daunting to embark on your very first Ramadan… ever. That’s why knowledge is power! Feed your mind by learning everything you can before the arrival of Ramadan.
O you who believe[d]! Is prescribed for you [the] fasting as was prescribed to those from before you, so that you may (become) righteous. (Quran 2:183)
You might even engage in some trial fasts well before Ramadan arrives. This will help you to adapt to the fasting hours and fine-tune your fasting day from suhoor to the Maghreb prayer.
As the old adage goes: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Poor planning increases stress, anxiety and will exasperate an already busy Ramadan calendar.
The Holy Month of Ramadan requires a fair amount of planning.
Simple meal planning is part of it and so is getting your physical home environment on track. However, the biggest part of planning will have to do with scheduling.
With the daily fast and increased worship, scheduling all of your activities ahead of time will alleviate a lot of tension and help you to maintain focus. Everything from trips to the grocery store to a dental visit should be scheduled just right to fit seamlessly into the fasting day.
Unexpected Health Issues
We’ve all faced unexpected health issues arising during the Holy Month, whether it’s something as simple as allergies or more complicated health woes.
There is not much you can do to prevent health issues; however you can do your very best to be in a state of optimum health.
This holds true year round and is especially vital in the run up to Ramadan.
Eating a healthy diet that is full of lean meat, legumes, fruits, whole grains and vegetables is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
You also want to refrain from overeating during the Iftar meal as it goes a long way to prevent digestive maladies.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
There is no vessel which the son of Adam can fill more evil than his stomach, for it is sufficient for him to take a few mouthfuls in order to straighten his back; but if he must, then fill one-third with food, one-third with drink, and one-third with breath. (Ibn Majah)
Sometimes, the only thing you can do is to seek treatment and put your faith in Allah. Even if you miss some fasts as a result of illness, this is perfectly allowable in Islam as long as you make them up at a later date.
Instead of feeling discouraged, look for other ways to serve your Creator by cooking food for fasting people or distributing food to the needy.
Lack of Support
For many Muslims, there might not be a lot of support during the Holy Month. Perhaps you live in a predominantly non-Muslim community or are the only Muslim in your family.
Regardless of the reasons, it can be very isolating and depressing to spend the Holy Month of Ramadan alone. As a result, you might feel detached or might not feel like it’s Ramadan at all.
The risk of not having the support you need is that you might falter in your worship or fasting. It’s important to garner support for yourself to uplift your faith and facilitate your worship in Ramadan.
Turn to your local mosque, if possible, and find a brother or sister to seek support during this Holy Month. And if your mosque is too far, find support online through trusted Muslim friends or even halal Facebook groups, gender-specific, to build up your own system of support this Ramadan season.
Don’t Ever Give Up!
When unforeseen challenges arise during Ramadan, it is very easy to get derailed and distracted. It might even happen so slowly that you barely notice it until it’s “too late”. But remember this, it is never too late. Allah Almighty’s Mercy and Forgiveness are infinite and there for the taking.
Do not ever despair and if you stumble once, or even twice, get back up and keep striving to make the most of worship and good deeds before this Ramadan slips away.
The Holy Month of Ramadan is a mercy for all of mankind and all of the hard work you put into it will reap countless blessings in this life and the Hereafter. Insha’Allah.