Many of us start Ramadan with a bang. Some of us lose the spark in a week or so and others just have no clue how the month came to an end. In this article, I’d like to explore some easy and amazing tips that can make this Ramadan your best ever insha’Allah.
#1 Organize Yourself!
By doing this for every single goal, your planning is complete. Now, all you have to do is execute the same. Refine your intentions and do it for seeking the pleasure of Allah.
Examples for your goals could be:
# 2 Mountain of Rewards
Ramadan is a month filled with blessings and mercy. Any good deed you do gets multiplied many times over, so don’t miss out on collecting a mountain of good deeds.
Encourage others to do a good deed rather than doing it all by yourself. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling down and out. Your rewards get multiplied manifold when you edge others to do good because Allahwill reward you for every act of worship they do due to your persistence. Imagine getting a huge mountain of good deeds just because you gave others an encouraging word or pushed them to reach a higher level of emaan.
Â’ishah tells us: “During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet would tighten his waist belt and spend the night in worship. He would also wake up his family.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî 1920]
#3 Give and give some more!
Want to see the barakah and blessings in your life increase manifold? Give charity. Want to see your duas answered? Give charity. Why? Because sins form a barrier between you and dua; and charity extinguishes those sins like water puts off fire [At-tirmidhi]. Imagine your sins getting removed because of the charity you gave, in turn, increasing your chances of duas being answered! It’s a win-win situation overall! Imagine having a clean book of deeds with no sins against your name!
Every single act of good deed is multiplied innumerably during the month of Ramadan, so you may
- Buy a mushaf and donate to your mosque –you earn rewards when someone reads from it.
- Donate any amount (big or small) to build a well/mosque. Intentions matter, so even if it’s just $5, your rewards from Allahcan be in billions or more if you had sincere intentions.
- Buy nice looking Eid dresses and gift it to a poor family.
- Arrange for one (or more) iftaar meals for the poor.
- Take part in organizations that are involved in charitable works.
Ibn `Abbâs relates that: “Allah’s Messenger was the most generous of all people in doing good, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan. Gabriel used to meet with him every year throughout the month of Ramadan, so the Prophet could recite the Qur’ân to him. Whenever Gabriel met with him, he became more generous than a beneficial breeze.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1902) and Sahîh Muslim (2308)]
# 4 Tame That Tongue
This month isn’t just about restricting our body from food and drink. This is a month where we can polish our character with righteous deeds and become Allah’s beloved slave because of our deeds, words and actions. It makes no sense when our actions are not in concurrence with our words. Allah doesn’t like a fasting body which doesn’t desist from foul words or backbiting or slander.
Our dress/car/house/wealth/family status doesn’t define us. What we speak defines our character. So let’s tame our tongue this month. We can use our tongues to plant a seat in the everlasting gardens of Paradise or use the same tongue to dig a seat in Hellfire. The choice is ours.
- We don’t want the angel of death to snatch our souls when we’re gossiping. Going away from this world while reading Quran or doing dhikr is so much better.
- All of us have weaknesses in one form or another, so you don’t have to feel bad that you are not able to control your tongue. Make dua to Allah , begging Him to help you use your tongue in beneficial ways. He answers *all* duas!
- Your heart is a reflection of what you say and think. Most of the evil thoughts, intentions and feelings including backbiting, slander and/or jealousy occur because of the kind of feelings we foster and harbor in our hearts. So, cleanse your heart with dhikr and repentance. A heart that’s busy in glorifying our Lord will not have time for useless speech.
- What your friends discuss *always* has a direct impact on what kind of words come out from your mouth. Make it a habit to surround yourself with righteous company. If you don’t have righteous company, sit with the Quran.
# 5 Time to Make a New Friend
Yes, this month is perfect for you to make a new friend, a companion who is not only going to be your source of strength and support, but can heal your scars, mend your heart, boost your eemaan and give you joy and happiness like no other. It’s time to build a lifelong relationship with Quran this Ramadan.
Make Quran Buddies
- This is the fastest and most effective way to keep your interest in Quran intact. Discuss one page or even half a page of Quran with your friends/family/siblings/spouse/children every day in Ramadan.
- Fix a time for this activity.
- Talk about your reflections and how you can implement what you read in the Quran in your day-to-day life.
- You can also include tafseer if you have the time to do so.
- Involve your family members, because there is nothing more beautiful than learning Allah’s deen together. Wouldn’t you want angels to surround you and invoke Allah’s mercy on you?
# 6 What if the Spark Dies?
Most of us are on a spiritual high when Ramadan begins. The excitement and collective enthusiasm to achieve ‘xyz’ number of goals can light up a sudden spark in you, only for it to slowly die without you even realizing it. This usually happens after a week or so. Soon, you realize that your Ramadan days are no different from the rest of the year. You feel emotionally and/or physically drained and feel like you’re slacking off. This leads to unfinished goals and emaan lows. But there is a way out…a solution to this! Yes! Here’s what you need to do…
Ramadan isn’t over until it’s actually over, so if you are still breathing, you have time to right the wrongs and achieve what you wanted.
Intentions matter: Seek to please Allah alone and not to expect praise from family or friends. Seek your reward from Allah ONLY. If you’re waiting for peoples’ praise, your expectations are from people, not Allah .
Beg For Strength
If Allah has allowed you to wake up during the remaining days of Ramadan, it means that He trusts that you *will* raise your standards and make the best use of the month. An overdose of dua never hurts, so repent, cry and beg from the depths of your heart to Allah to guide you through and give you the strength to achieve your goals this Ramadan.
Don’t focus on what others have achieved, focus on what you want to achieve and don’t lose heart if you see a family member or friend complete more Quran than you or pray more than you. Take baby steps rather than not taking any step at all. Start with 10 minutes of extra worship and build it up from there. Start with one page of Quran and build it up from there. Its quality and sincerity over quantity and show off!
Small and consistent steps *do* matter. Allah’s sees your intentions and hard work and He will reward you for it. But you need to focus on constantly striving to please Him even if you falter. Remember, being a good Muslim doesn’t end with Ramadan. You have time to grow and heal spiritually until your last breath. So don’t give up and let no one tell you otherwise. Walk with the end goal of paradise in mind and not just the end goal of Ramadan in mind.