Allah has created human beings with two distinct parts.
There is our body, which is created from the earth, and the ruh (soul) that is a special creation inside us that Allah put in us through an angel when we were in our mother’s wombs.
The body being made from the elements of the earth needs to be satisfied with the elements of this earth- food, drink, intimacy etc.
The soul as being something that is a specific creation sent by Allah is also satisfied and fed through something that Allah specifically sent- the Quran. And there is no better time to feed the soul than in Ramadan. As the saying goes, “We starve our bodies so that we may feed our souls.”
In a broad sense, the food for the soul is Dhikr, the remembrance of Allah. That which enriches and gives life to our soul is the constant remembrance of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“The similitude of someone who remembers his Lord and someone who does not is like that of the living and the dead.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
He also mentioned that the best of deeds is to make dhikr. The Prophet said at another time:
“Shall I not inform you of the best of your actions, the purest in the sight of your Lord, which raises your rank to the highest, which is better for you than spending gold and silver, better than meeting your enemy so that you strike at their necks and they strike at yours?’ The people replied: ‘Yes, indeed,’ and he said: ‘It is the remembrance of Allah.” (At-Tirmidhi)
And along with that, dhikr is good for us as well!
Truly in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. (Quran 13:28)
So, how do we make dhikr in a way that feeds our souls and enriches it this Ramadan?
We will suggest four out of many!
The word dhikr means “remembrance”.
The first and most important part of remembrance is being conscious of Allah all throughout the day.
Ramadan already helps that as we consciously stay away from food and drink all throughout the day. We are more conscious about our speech, more conscious about doing good deeds and charity.
Among the easiest ways of always remembering Allah is to keep Him in our mind all the time. Before we take every step, every decision, every moment we think about Allah, and do that which He wants.
When good happens we remember Him and say Alhamdulillah, when startled or amazed we say Subhan Allah, whenever we sin we immediately say Astaghfirullah, whenever we are tested we seek His help and so on. Throughout the day make it a habit to remember Allah all the time. It will take time, but it will arrive Insha’Allah.
The Prophet is reported to have said:
The most superior among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Quran and teach it. (Al-Bukhari)
In numerous places in the Quran itself, Allah calls the Quran “dhikr”. Because recitation of the Quran, pondering over its meanings, reflecting upon its verses and obeying its commands is the ultimate remembrance of Allah.
Read more and more of the Quran in Ramadan, listen to more tafsir lectures and ponder over its meanings. The Quran is the best food for the soul, as it was revealed by Allah for the soul itself!
When Moses (peace be upon him) spoke to Allah the first time, in the mountain, among the earliest commands that Allah gave to Him is this:
Establish prayer for my remembrance (Quran 20:14)
Part of remembering Allah is praying. Praying the five times, along with all the Sunnah, and any additional prayers such as Duha or Tahajjud is one of the ways of growing spiritually and feeding the soul. Because prayer connects us to Allah. Whenever the Prophet felt anxious he would go pray.
The Daily Remembrances
There are many of the daily adhkar that are narrated from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The du’as help us in remembering Allah all the time.
When we go to the toilet, eat, go to sleep, or even when having marital relations there are du’as. It is to ensure that no matter what situation we might be in, we will always remember Allah.
There are many times to start remembering Allah. So, I will suggest a small regimen:
1. Start by doing the adhkar after prayer
2. When doing it regular, add in the adhkar for going to sleep
3. Add in the adhkar of the morning and evening
4. Put in the adhkar of waking up
5. Add in other adhkar as you go- going out of the house, eating, toilet, etc.
We pray that you have a very enriching Ramadan.
We pray that this Ramadan helps us all grow spiritually.
(This article is from Reading Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.)