“So (endure) patiently; surely the promise of Allah is true, and do not let the ones who have no certitude induce you to levity”.-Surah 30:60 translated by Dr. Ghali
Ramadan is here with many of us trying to understand what the best actions to take during the month are. In this article, I share some of the actions I take to reap the benefits of Ramadan. I hope these tips enable you to have a more reflective and beneficial Ramadan.
Reaffirm Your Faith:
In order to do something as arduous as Ramadan, you have to take the time to ask Allah for the strength. This is because of the nature of the society we live in- we are being inundated with doubts from left, right and center. We have to recognize doubts them for what they are: doubts of no avail in face of reality. After this acknowledgment, we can take the time to become strong in this regard. Here is one famous prophetic du’a through which we may do so:
Transliteration:ya muqalliba al qulub thabbit qalbi a’la dinika.
English: Oh turner of hearts, make them firm upon your way.
Declare A Goal:
When in Ramadan, we have to understand that there are so many opportunities to do good and we should not let them go by. In that respect, see where you are at spiritually and find a way by which you may advance. This can be done by reading Qur’an, increasing du’a or other ways such as general remembrance of Allah. Here are some things you can do in addition to the conventional wisdom:
Make Du’a during Suhoor- It is well attested that Allah descends to the lowest heaven and asks which of his servants are calling upon him and asking for forgiveness in the last 3rd of the night. As it happens, this is precisely when we are having suhoor as it takes place before Fajr. What better way to kill two birds with one stone then beseeching the Almighty for help while eating your meal.
Access the meaning of the Qur’an- While there is nothing wrong with going to Taraweeh, we should also try to develop a direct relationship with the book by trying to ascertain its meaning. For those of us who have learned the Arabic language, this is far easier as it requires reading of the text. For others who have not, translations are a good substitute and are of great benefit to develop an understanding.
Pray at night- The fact is, Ramadan presents great opportunities to achieve spiritual heights and piety by praying at night. For most people, this involves attending the congregational Taraweeh prayer. For those who can’t, one is allowed to pray at home and there is no problem with this.
Have a regiment to achieve those goals- Having a goal plan is essential as most people need structure to accomplish their goals and Ramadan goals are no different. For some people, the only way to complete the Qur’an is by reciting it during Taraweeh at night. For people who can’t attend the mosque each night (like me), it is possible with a method. Over the last several years, I’ve been able to complete the Qur’an every Ramadan by reading four pages after every single prayer which comes out to 20 pages a day over the course of a 30 day month. This totals to about 600 pages which is the length most copies of the Qur’an come in. It is important to remember that there is no one way to observe Ramadan. Every person observes and strengthens their relationship to Islam and Allah in different ways and practice.
May Allah give us all the tawfiq to fast this month of Ramadan and advance in piety and righteousness therein, Ameen.