Dear all, while I wish you are all having a very blessed time during this sacred Month, I present to you my suggestion of 10 « should do’s » that I hope will be not too conventional* and may be of insight to someone. So …without further ado, (and under the instruction of being concise) here is my suggestions for this month:
Fasting of the Soul
Often when thinking of fasting we only think about the depravation of food and drinks, and too often we forget about the whole “us”. With that I mean the fasting of the eyes, of the ears, and fasting of the tongue. Fasting of the soul is realizing the ascension to a higher consciousness and mastering of ourselves. As we control and limit our speeches, as we preserve our eyes and ears from the what’s illicit, and as we detach our minds from materiality and the over-consumption, we allow ourselves to become free from the temptation of this world and can better listen and concentrate on the knowledge of our hearts. SO, let’s keep in mind that the fast that we should observe goes deeper that simple starvation, and try to perfect our fast.
Fasting of the soul is realizing the ascension to a higher consciousness and mastering of ourselves.
Let us not waste our day in sleep and times spent being unconscious, over social media among others. Let us instead feel the hunger, and the tiredness, and the headaches, as we are supposed to, and let it be a reminder of your limits as humans. Let us humble ourselves, and reiterate our submission to Allah, not eating when it is forbidden and rejoicing when we are allowed to. So, let us be present in our fasting state, and as time slows down, and our passions quiet, let us be attentive to our reflections.
Reconnecting with the Quran
It is, after all the month of the Quran, and even if ideally the Quran should accompany us in everyday of the year, we should get closer to the word of Allah with more attention and priority especially in this month. Many of us aren’t aware of the beauties the Book we believe in contains, and it is our duty to actualize our faith and learn what our Creator wants us to know.
Honouring the Night Prayer
Ramadan is the best of months, and the best time in Ramadan is the night-time. The night-time and especially the night payer hold secrets only some hearts uncover. Such are the hearts who pray to Allah in the night.
So, seek the forgiveness of Allah in these blessed times, be it 2 rak’as or 20, alone or in group, set your intention to seek the pleasure of Allah and do what you can. Remember the best of action is the one which even if moderate is constant in time.
Asking for Forgiveness and Forgiving People
The month of Ramadan is special in that it could be the means of forgiveness of one’s past actions and to have recorded to his/her account many good deeds and prayers. And as everyone prays for forgiveness, let us remember that to ask Allah to be forgiving to us, we have to show forgiveness to others, therefore let his month be an opportunity to ponder about our past, forgive the ones that hurt us, make amends to our loved ones for our shortcomings and reach out to restore the broken ties of kinship.
Let us remember that to ask Allah to be forgiving to us, we have to show forgiveness to others
Giving out in Charity
Giving out in Charity be it some dates to break one’s fast, a service to a brother or sister, words of relief to an aching heart, or even just a loving smile! Every good action is encouraged, and charity is from the best of actions. Let us reach out to the people in need, as we taste the feeling of light hunger from the fasting, let us remember the people that are starving on a daily basis and donate to contribute lifting hunger and poverty there where people suffer from it.
Avoiding Excess in Food
As we should make the most out of our time of lucid consciousness while fasting, let us not forget our consciousness at the time of iftar and therefore indulge in food. The negative effects of which are so numerous and obvious that we will not enumerate them here. But even before reasoning on the harmful consequences of excess in food, it suffices to remember that it comes as an instruction of Allah to “[…] eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.” [7:31, trad. Yusuf Ali]. Therefore, let this be the Ramadan where we’ll be just in our food and drinks and remind our closed ones. More about Ramadan and nutrition.
Developing a Discipline
One aspect that in itself is a blessing of Ramadan, is the discipline that this month imposes on us. Time to fast, and time to break the fast, time to pray, and to sleep. As discipline is at the key of success, we all know the successful people are the ones that are most disciplined, they don’t follow their whims and desires but what should and shouldn’t be done. And our religion, as a religion of success, gifts us with discipline.
Now, we all know how difficult it can be to develop a discipline, nevertheless during this month we all start following a routine of success, rhythmed by payer, fasting, sessions of dhikr, Quran reading and time with family (or community) eating and socializing. Then, let us be clever and galvanize this moment to develop a discipline of the truly successful to carry on for the rest of the year and our life, a discipline of high productivity and conscious and constant adoration.
Writing a Plan of the After Ramadan
Similar to the previous point, let us think of what comes after Ramadan, and as we develop a successful discipline, let us plan ahead for our final destination, and think of which skills we can develop that could be of use to bettering our lives and the lives of the community. Let us set the intention to conduct a life in service of what’s Good and let us, research, read, improve and plan for it.
As we develop a successful discipline, let us plan ahead for our final destination
Making Lots of Douaa’s
Lastly and most importantly, Ramadan is a special month for douaa’s to be made and accepted, as well as it is a month that makes it easier for us to cleanse our hearts, growing closer to Allah and therefore improving our douaa’s that will be accepted inchaAllah.
So, let’s make the most of this time, while breaking the fast, during our prayers, in particular the night-time ones. Most so, let us make the most of the last ten nights, as we know them to be the most blessed nights of the month, containing Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Destiny), and make in this special time, asking for Forgiveness, for a Cleansed and Enlightened heart, douaa’s to grow closer to Allah as well as to have ease and blessings in our plans for the future.
Aaand with this last point, I wish you all a beautiful continuation of a Ramadan Mubarak inchaAllah!
P.S. with conventional* I mean, these suggestions come from my own reflections, based on all the fundamental religious knowledge about Ramadan that I give as already known by everyone. For that matter, this article doesn’t want to be scholarly, and avoids the mobilization of Quranic verses, and hadiths.