ICNA 2019: Ramadan Prep Is Serious Business

Ramadan Goals 2019

Yahya Suufi outlined activities during Ramadan that will increase iman and bring one closer to Allah. He talked about a pillar of Islam, salah. “Salah cements us to Allah,” said Suufi. “Our target is to pray Qiyaamul-Layl and taraweeh in congregation.”

He spoke about the significance of increased generosity during the month. “We want to be generous in the month of Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah used to be the most generous human being throughout the year, and when Ramadan [came], he would triple it.”

“We [should] want to give and be part of what is happening in our communities. Zakah and sadaqah are very important.

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Suufi mentioned going on Umrah during Ramadan. “it is as though you made Haj with the Prophet. Let’s try to benefit from this kind of journey.”

He stressed the importance of dua. “Supplicating to Allah—dua—is the greatest ibadah.”

He pointed out the time of breaking the fast a one critical for dua. “Never neglect dua at the time of iftar. When we break our fasts, this is the most important time. Nabi said the one who makes dua [at that time], Allah will accept it from him. A few minutes before the dates come in, make sure you make sincere dua to Allah.”

ICNA 2019: Ramadan Prep Is Serious Business - About Islam

Training for Ramadan Now

“In order for us to accomplish these goals, we need to go back and evaluate ourselves,” said Suufi.

If you want to participate in a marathon, you don’t just go in, you prepare for it. You have to be physically fit for the marathon. For Ramadan, you have to be spiritually fit for it. The Nabi said, ‘faith wears out in the heart as your clothes wear out.’

We’re not able to stand before Allah in prayer. We’re not able to enjoy our Ramadan. We’re not able to reconnect with Allah without purifying our iman [and] strengthening our faith.”

Suufi expressed two things to focus on now and improve spiritual performance during Ramadan.

“[We need to] quit sinning as much as we can. We should not wait until Ramadan. Let’s not think that we are going to live forever. That’s the reason why we sin. How many brothers and sisters that were with us last Ramadan are not with us [now]?”

He closed the session with a dua.

“Let’s reconnect with Allah and try to implement the plans that we set and the goals that we set for Ramadan. Let this Ramadan be the best [one] in our lives.”

The session gave listeners an opportunity to center spiritual preparation, but the lack of advice to help overcome everyday challenges to spiritual development during the month was noticeable.  For example, millions of Muslim parents and caretakers have logistical impediments to fully engaging in the month, making advice on creating and organizing support systems to take part in Ramadan activities necessary.

Advice for Muslims struggling with mental health issues and mood disorders as well as reverts, for whom this may be their first Ramadan, was also absent. The convention hosted sessions by Muslim organizations like Muslims Understanding & Helping Special Education Needs [MUHSEN]—a Muslim special needs organization and EMBRACE, a group centering reverts, so there are opportunities to connect spirituality with humanity. Maybe organizers will do so next year.

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