Ten tips for getting the best out of Ramadan
by Abu Zaynah
1. Purify your Intention – Fast for the sake of Allah (SWT) only and not just because your family, your community and all the Muslims are fasting. Purify your intention and make sure it is sincere and it is solely for the sake of the One who has commanded us to fast.
“Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
2. Recite the Qur’an Often – This is the month of the Qur’an and therefore recite plenty of Qur’an. Try to complete a Khatm in the month. Try and recite a small portion before or after every prayer to make it easier and break up the recitation into doable parts.
“Recite the Qur’an. It will appear on the Day of Rising as an intercessor for its people.”
3. Apply the Sunna – Apply as many aspects of the Sunna as you can in this month, both the outward Sunna like dress, appearance etc but more importantly the inward Sunna like his character (peace and blessings be upon him). A good thing to initiate is to at least do the additional Sunna prayers before and after the Fard prayers.
“I counsel you to have taqwa (fear) of Allah, and to listen and obey [your leader], even if a slave were to become your ameer. Verily he among you who lives long will see great controversy, so you must keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the rightly guided caliphs), those who guide to the right way. Cling to it stubbornly [literally: with your molar teeth]. Beware of newly invented matters [in the religion], for verily every bidah (innovation) is misguidance.”
4. Give a lot of Sadaqa (Charity) – Remember the poor and give as much Sadaqa as possible. There are many good causes out there, select the ones that you feel are worthy and donate, donate, donate!
“The best charity is one given during Ramadan.”
[Related by Al-Tirmidhi]
5. Remain in a state of Wudu – Try your best to remain in a state of Wudu (ritual purity) throughout the day for added blessings. Make the Wudu every time you have to visit the bathroom or anytime when it breaks.
“On the Day of Rising my community will be called ‘those with white blazes on their foreheads and limbs’ from the effects of wudu’. So whoever of you can increase the extent of the whiteness, should do so.’”
[Riyadh As Salihin]
6. Attend a Gathering of Sacred Knowledge – Find a local gathering/circle/class/halaqa and make a commitment to attend on a regular basis.
“There are no people who remember Allah without the angels surrounding them, mercy covering them, tranquillity descending on them, and Allah mentioning them to those who are with Him.”
7. Give up Bad Habits – Make a list of all the bad habits that you may have acquired over the years e.g. backbiting, laziness, too much telly, smoking etc and make a concerted effort to give up as many of these as possible in the month of Ramadan.
“Whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allah, then Allah the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it.”
8. Share Iftar & Gifts with Family, Friends and Relatives – Share food and gifts with family, friends, relatives, neighbours as this will bring us closer together and instil love between us. If possible donate food to the local Masjid for Iftar to serve the local worshippers.
“Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward equal to that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.”
[Related by Ahmad and Al-Nasai]
9. Be in the Service of Others – Volunteer some of your time and help out in the home, in the community and in the Masajids. Seek out those in need (can be people, can be an institution) and see if you can help in anyway. Traditional societies always emphasised serving others as a high moral virtue which is quickly being lost in the hussle and bustle of the modern world.
“Allah will relieve anyone who relieves a believer of one of the afflictions of this world, of one of the afflictions of the Day of Rising. Allah will give ease in this world and the Next to anyone who eases the hardship of another. Allah will veil anyone who veils another Muslim in this world and the Next. Allah will help His slave as long as His slave is helping his brother.”
10. Make lots of Dua – If there is a time in the whole year when Dua is sure to be answered than it is in the month of Ramadan. The more Duas that go upwards to Heaven the more Mercy that will descend down upon the Earth. Remember our brothers and sisters in less fortunate circumstances, the poor, the oppressed, the ones enduring civil wars and so on and make special Dua for them in addition to the Dua that you make for yourself and your families.
“Three persons whose Du’a is never rejected (by Allah) are: the fasting person until he breaks his fast (in another narration, when he breaks fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.”
Please keep the Islamopedia Family in your Duas