Are you apprehensive when you learn that the holy month of Ramadan is around the corner? Do you usually fill out your calendar and planners with many religious duties to be done during the month? When the crescent moon is sighted for the first of Shaban do you also feel the Ramadan Blues? Then these tips would help to make this Ramadan fruitful.
Just as you plan and focus on special occasions in your life, you will need to put your undivided attention on this main event; the event that comes to visit you once in twelve months, Ramadan. You should be well prepared and enthusiastic to welcome this month- not rummaging around and waiting for the first sighting.
For this month one should put away all kinds of worldly distractions so he may focus on his spiritual needs. You should be mindful of Allah in every aspect of your life. During this special month that conscientiousness needs to be so intense that it strikes a chord within you.
You must be very diligent this time of the year, even with something as simple as making wudhu. You should renew your intention. You should ponder about the actions you will perform and why you are carrying them out; what is your main goal? Once the question sinks in then you will realize that your main goal is to seek the pleasure of Allah.
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: that the Messenger of Allah gave a Khutbah to the people on the day of the conquest of Makkah, and he said:
“O you people! Verily Allah has removed the slogans of Jahiliyyah from you, and its reverence of its forefathers. So, now there are two types of men: A man who is righteous, has Taqwa and honorable before Allah, and a wicked man, who is miserable and insignificant to Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
How many times have we heard the statement, “I’m running late!”? Ramadan is not the time to be filling out your schedules. It should be the time of following your premade schedule. All the religious commitments that you have planned should be printed in bold and put in a place where it constantly serves as a reminder. A checklist of chores always helps and the check marks assist you to accomplish your goals.
There are many errands one needs to run, such as groceries for example. Try to limit the things that you can, by taking things out of the schedule for that month. For instance, make all your appointments before Ramadan. So you’re not running for a blood draw and worried about having to break your fast for a dental check-up.
Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”
Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
It’s Ramadan Time
Who doesn’t love Ramadan gatherings? We usually have many plans, but during this month we need to cut it short. Tune down your party time. If you really have to meet up with people then try and make it once a week only- if you have to.
At your gatherings implement good things if you aren’t in the habit already. Discuss a hadith or a good Islamic book. Try to declutter your spirit from all the vices you go through year round.
Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon him said, “When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, Sakinah, or tranquillity descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.” (Muslim)
Keep Your Priorities Straight
When Ramadan starts many people become elated, and upon being questioned, they say, “I will finally lose some weight!” Losing weight and staying healthy is a very good thing, in fact, it is strongly advised to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, during Ramadan our main goal is not to run to the gym during the day and burn out all of our energy. Again we have to be mindful of our actions.
Have a balanced workout and plan them ahead of Ramadan so you know which workout will cater to your needs during the entire month. Also prepare your body for the nonstop fasting that’s coming up by keeping a fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
Fill your time with the remembrance of Allah; it doesn’t have to be done while sitting at home. The beauty of dhikr is that it can be done anywhere at any time. There are many other ways of being active, such as helping out in the community. There are plenty of opportunities out there, try to find out by visiting your local mosque.
Shopping, shopping, shopping!
This month teaches us to cherish what we are blessed with. And alongside to have empathy for those who are not that fortunate. Again you have to be mindful of Allah in all your actions including shopping. There is nothing wrong with spending out of what Allah has bestowed upon you, but don’t be extravagant.
Try to finish all your shopping prior to Ramadan. Your clothes, shoes, accessories; and beware not to waste your time in shopping.
The Messenger of the Allah is reported to have said:
“The dearest parts on the face of the earth near Allah are its mosques, and the most hated parts near Allah are its markets.” (Muslim)
In a nutshell spend this Ramadan as if it were to be your last. Be mindful and particular with all of your actions. Try and seek forgiveness as much as possible. Help out others in any way you can. Don’t be wasteful with your time, as you will definitely regret it. Hopefully this shawwal, you will be at peace with yourself, knowing full well that you did your best and made it happen this Ramadan. Happy Ramadan!