Ramadan 1435 is likely to end on Monday, July 28 (subject to confirmation).
May Allah grant you the rewards for your fasting and your extra devotional activities during this special month, and may He help us to continue in the heightened sense of iman once Ramadan is over.
Spare a thought for those Muslim footballers from various nations who have had to play in the World Cup in Brazil during Ramadan.
And do not forget the rewards for fasting any six days in Shawwal (except Eid Al-Fitr).
Abu Ayub reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted ‘dahr’ (the whole year or possibly forever).”
Abu Dawood, Al Tirmidhi, Al Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah narrated the above.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong)” (Quran 2:183).
“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness” (Quran 2:183).
“… And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew” (Quran 2:184).
Each year Ramadan arrives, and 30 days later leaves us. Each year, just like New Year resolutions, we make resolutions to better ourselves in the month of Ramadan.
But how many of us have been successful in keeping to the goals that we created in Ramadan? How many more have changed their lives for the better compared to the year gone by?
If we have not changed for the better, let us not lose hope.
Let us once again strive for a better Ramadan in which we connect to Allah even closer than before, and continue to improve ourselves.
Below are five tips we can all work on during Ramadan.
Ensure that you not only recite the Holy Quran in Arabic, but also read the tafseer (commentary) of the verses you are reciting. This will help to understand the Holy Book.
Learn to recite the Quran with Tajweed (knowledge and application), if you do not know already. This can be done by downloading an app and reciting the Quran with one of your favourite reciters (qaris).
Start memorising the Quran. Memorisation of the Quran can be broken down into small parts so as not to feel overwhelmed by how much there is to memorise. One easy trick is to memorise an ayah (evidence) on your way to work and another on the way back, each day.
We go without food and drink during Ramadan, thus making forbidden to us what is usually permissible. When one is deprived of food and drink, it is easier to get angry with people, lose patience and become moody. The test in the month of Ramadan is to quell our anger and desires, given that we do not eat or drink and work towards purification. Ramadan teaches us patience and generosity, and curbs our temptations in order to purify our baser instincts (nafs).
Set aside some time each day, after each fard (compulsory) prayer or after breaking fast, to supplicate to Allah. None of these things can be made easy without the help of Allah Remember Allah and the Prophet often. Making this a practice will easily help us memorise the various supplications (duas) the Prophet made.
Ramadan is a good time to calculate your compulsory zakat al-mal and hence ensure that it is paid to the right people. It is also a time to be more generous and give in charity.
Abdullah bin Umar narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, while he was on the minbar speaking about charity and refraining from begging, “The upper hand is better than the lower hand, and the upper hand is the one that gives, and the lower hand is the one that receives” (Muslim).
Charity does not have to be in terms of money. It can also be your labour and good deeds in helping others, giving your time for good causes and many other means.
This month is also a great time to reflect on ourselves, check our iman and what good and bad habits we have. It is time to work on removing the bad habits and working on replacing them with some good ones. If you always had the bad habit of listening to music, you can change this to listening to the words of the Quran, or listening to the many talks available on Islam on a topic of your choice.
Umar said, “Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account, weigh your deeds before they are weighed.”
In practising this principle, let us work on making this Ramadan productive.
May Allah accept our fast and make us a better community in comparison to the last Ramadan.
Source: Rocket Science, a newsletter by Mt Albert Islamic Centre