Ramadan this year is a spiritual P90x of sorts, taking our bodies and spirits to the limits. Most of us will be fasting sixteen-hour days in sweltering temperatures. Top that off with Isha prayers that commence at 10:30pm and a tarawih that finishes past midnight, and this will be a Ramadan to remember. I would like to share with you a few quick and practical tips that I myself will be using to make the most of my Ramadan.
Make it Through the Fast
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) told us “Whomever fasts Ramadan out of faith and expecting Allah’s reward, all of their sins will be forgiven”. He also told us “There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord…” So in a nutshell, we have a great reward to look forward to. Just renew your intentions and make sure you are fasting for Allah’s sake and expect to spiritually cash in on the Day of Judgment.
Keep Yourself in the Remembrance of Allah
The purpose of Ramadan is to help us attain a spiritual awakening by shedding our material obsessions. The fast, by its nature, will help us do that but we should enhance the effect by keeping our tongues busy with the remembrance of Allah. The Messenger once said to his companions, “Renew your faith." He was asked how to accomplish that, and his response was, “Keep repeating There is no God except Allah." Shaykh Mohsen Al’Najjar, may Allah bless him, taught me a beautiful litany of remembrance to repeat during the days of Ramadan. Get in the habit of repeating it yourself:
أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله
نسألك الجنة ونعوذ بك من النار.
اللّهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فأعفو عنا
Read Quran during your lunch break
Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an. We would be selling ourselves short if we did not take some time to reconnect with this amazing book. So here is an easy way to do it. You are fasting, so that means your lunch breaks are free. Download a Quran App on your iPhone or Android phone and use those thirty minutes or so for reading. This is an easy and practical way to reengage with the Quran during Ramadan.
Guard Your Tongue
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) told us, "Allah is not in need of anyone abandoning his food and drink who does not abandon lies and acting by them while fasting." The quickest way to wreck your fast is by engaging in gossip and vain talk. This year, try to take your fast to a higher level by refraining from too much talk, especially the kind that can get you in trouble.
Break out that Checkbook
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) was known to be the most generous of people, but during Ramadan his generosity would go to a whole new level. Ramadan gives us a unique chance to increase our charitable giving and cash in on some serious spiritual rewards. On top of that you’ll be following the sunnah of the Messenger, so break out that checkbook or visa card and donate to your favorite organization.
I pray that Allah blesses us all with the fruits of Ramadan.
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