Another Ramadan is on us, Alhamdulillah. The timetables are distributed, food is being prepared. We get the duas out, the Qur’ans, the nasheeds and qiraats. We know our routines, so let’s not spend this post discussing that. Instead, let’s look at what’s going to change. Change? What do you mean ‘change’?
Ramadan is a Blessed Month; one where we can get into new and good habits, get rid of bad habits and move the ummah forward. It’s not just about doing some extras for one month and then back to our old ways. Ramadan cleanses you, increases your imaan and should mean that you come out stronger than when you started.
Here are a few suggestions for you, on what you can do:
ESTABLISH YOUR PRAYERS
What good is your fast without the most essential act, after your shahadah.. the 5 daily prayers.
- If you aren’t praying regularly, then use Ramadan to get into the habit of praying ALL your five prayers.
- If you are praying regularly, then try to do more sunnah prayers and nawafil prayers. These make up for any deficiencies in your obligatory prayers and also gain you more rewards.
- If you are praying alone, then try to pray in Jama’at (a group).
- If you are praying in Jama’at (a group) then pray in a Jama’at in the masjid.
After 30 days of this, you should start to establish a habit that will keep going after Ramadan, insha’ Allah.
If you don’t know how to pray, it’s never too late to start. Don’t get put off by Shaytaan whispering that it’s too late for you, you’re too old now etc. Just go ahead and learn. I’ve written a couple of posts on how to pray:
- How to pray part 1: Cleanliness
- How to pray part 2: Getting ready for prayer
- How to pray part 3: The call to prayer
- How to pray part 4: Performing the prayer
GIVE IN CHARITY
Giving in charity during Ramadan, multiplies your rewards and connects us with those less fortunate than ourselves. Charity need not necessarily be financial – even a smile is charity, removing harmful things from the road is charity. Sadaqah is that charity which is not obligatory, so give your sadaqah. Zakat is charity which is obligatory and is based on your wealth. There are many people who are in great need of your charity. Look at Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Palestine, and so on – millions of people without food, water, medicine, shelter, homes, fresh clothing. Why should we ignore these people who are suffering without, when we have plenty. I recommend Ummah Welfare Trust as a trusted charity that you can give your sadaqah and zakat to.
FAST FROM SINFUL ACTIONS
‘He who does not desist from obscene language and acting obscenely (during the period of fasting), Allah Has No Need that he did not eat or drink.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]
Fasting of the tongue – Stop the following: saying harmful things (eg. backbiting, slander, swearing, lying, being rude, arguing)
Fasting of the eyes – Stop the following: looking at sinful things (eg. looking at the opposite sex with desire)
Fasting of the ears – Stop the following: listening to sinful things (eg. music, slander and backbiting, listening to gossip)
Fasting of the limbs – do not walk towards sin, carry out sinful acts,
MAKE THE BEST OF THE LAST TEN DAYS OF RAMADAN & SEEK LAYLATUL-QADR
Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Decree) is better than 1000 months. Acts of worship done on this night are multiplied as though you were performing those acts for 1000 months! Laylatul-Qadr is one of the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramadan but no one knows which night it falls on. It could be either the 21st night, 23rd night, 25th night, 27th night or 29th night. So seek out the Night of Decree as your acts will bring you a huge amount of reward.
The last 10 days of Ramadan are full of reward and it is a sunnah to perform I’tikaaf for the last 10 days of Ramadan (I’tikaaf is seclusion in the masjid – or in your home – for 10 days and devoting this time to remembering Allah and acts like additional voluntary prayers, reading Qur’an, gaining Islamic knowledge etc).
ESTABLISH GOOD HABITS
If you’re not wearing hijab, why not start to wear it now, during Ramadan? It’s a good time to establish this – both Muslims and non-Muslims know it’s the month of Ramadan and this could relieve you from the pressure of people staring at you and making comments which may put you off wearing hijaab. Regardless, wearing hijaab is mandatory for a Muslim woman (in front of non-Mahram men) and so why not take the opportunity of gaining rewards (not sins) by starting to do this.
Read more of the Qur’an and try to get into the habit of reading at least a little each day. Contemplate on the Qur’an, gain some understanding of it, learn and read tasfir.
Start to memorise Surahs of the Qur’an. It’s a real good feeling when you can add more and more surahs to those that you have memorised.
Give da’wah. Ramadan is a thing that is known not only to Muslims, but to non-Muslims too. It’s an ideal opportunity to spread the message of Islam as the whole world becomes aware of Ramadan.
Unite the Muslims. Muslims are divided on many things, most of which come out of actions that are not established in Islam and cannot be attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). One of the best ways to do unite the Muslims, is to start learning Islam based on Qur’an and authentic hadith, and by authentic, I mean that you can actually trace things back to the Prophet (pbuh). Start following the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and look into anything that does not go back to the Prophet (pbuh) – if it is not an action/saying of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) then why follow it? Pirs and Maulvis and other ‘religious figures’ are not the way to Islam – these people can make mistakes, as can everyone (except the Prophet, pbuh) – so do not follow blindly. If you are sincere, and always wanting the truth, then this should not be a big deal for you to do. If it is, then you need to question your intentions.
Remember Allah. Dhikr of Allah is a great thing. However, do not fall into extremes and ensure that they way YOU remember Allah, is the way the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) remembered Allah. Repeating ‘Allah-hu’, over and over again is not the dhikr of the Prophet (pbuh) – if you learn the arabic language, you will soon realise that Allahu is a grammatical thing, not a dhikr thing.
Learn arabic. What better way to learn Islam than by understanding the language of the Qur’an.
Show good character. One of the best things about a Muslim is their character. If your character shows a lot of bad habits, then it puts the whole Ummah down and can even put people off from becoming Muslim. Yet who can not smile at good characteristics? Who doesnt want to be around someone who has some really good Islamic traits?
Be amongst good and strong Muslims. You cannot underestimate the boost that you get by being around other good Muslims. This may mean frequenting the masjid to do so. Sisters, keep good company and keep at a distance, those who have bad habits that could rub off on you.
Look Muslim, Act Muslim. Act Muslim, Look Muslim. How you look has a direct impact on your Imaan. If you look Islamic this can strengthen your Islamic character. Other Muslims are quicker to give you salaams and you are more inclined to hide your sins from public (it doesn’t mean that you won’t sin but it does help to repress sins). If you act like a Muslim, then you can do worse than starting to look like a Muslim. Be proud of being a Muslim and a servant and slave of Allah. Don’t be afraid of people – growing a beard, wearing hijab and jilbaab, wearing islamic clothing sends a big signal to everyone. Imagine how many Muslims are there in your country. If all of the Muslims looked like Muslims, you would gain in strength in your Imaan, you would feel like one ummah and the non-Muslims would benefit from this. It’s a big sign of unity.
Stand up against wrongdoings. Being a good Muslims doesn’t mean that your good actions are restricted to the masjid or your home. There are many people who are suffering at the hands of others, around the whole world. Act now and help them.
GET RID OF BAD HABITS
Use the time of Ramadan to start to remove your bad habits. Stop smoking, drugs and drinking alcohol (yes, there are Muslims who do this). Cut down on the television and replace that time with some of the good acts mentioned above. Stop wasting so much time on that games console. Music is from shaytaan so refrain from that. Move away from those whose bad habits influence you. Reduce the idle chit chat and gossip.
Make this Ramadan one that increases you in Imaan and reward and one in which Allah is pleased with you. Strengthen your Islam. In doing so you will… Stand Up 4 Islam!
Some other Ramadan posts:
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