Whoa is it already halfway through Ramadan? Like most Muslims around this time, you're probably trying to make the best out of the remaining time that is left. Worry not, for I have got your back with suggestions on what you can do for the remainder of this Ramadan.
What is Ramadhan?
For those who do not know what Ramadhan is, it is the holiest month of the Islamic Hijri calendar where millions of Muslims around the world come together to abstain from food and water, among many other things, from dawn until sunset. During Ramadan, we Muslims aim to grow spiritually and become closer to Allah and our loved ones. Many try to be their best selves during this holy month and maximize their amount of good deeds, or acts of worship, to please their creator.
Fasting isn’t something exclusively done by Muslims and is done by many other religions of the world as well as many ancient religions too. Not all Muslims fast, however, due to a myriad of reasons, with health reasons being the most common of them.
I found this very interesting video by Anna Neubert about Ramadhan and I think it is really good and worth your time to watch. This article written by Laaibah Tayyeb is also very comprehensive if you want to learn more!
With that being said, here are 8 tips to make the best out of your Ramadhan this year:
1. Learn about Islam
Study hadiths, verses of the Quran, whatever you want in a constructive way. Not all of us may have had the opportunity to go to an Islamic school when we were younger or maybe you’ve only recently joined Islam. Islam really values knowledge and learning about your religion is never really a bad idea.
There are many things in the Quran starting from history to science and all the way to law. There are so many things you can read about and study. Here is how you can get started if you would like to do so. I find that this website in particular has some very good resources.
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2. Focus on improving yourself
Do you have anger issues or maybe you procrastinate a lot? Think about how you can improve upon that. Self-improvement is something Allah loves and is also something often mentioned in the Quran. Here are 44 self-improvement lessons from Qur’anic guidance.
Education is very important in Islam. Learning and understanding the world around us is really encouraged in Islam. There are so many diverse viewpoints in this world, and hopefully, by learning about them, we can achieve a better understanding of reality.
You can also focus on your religious obligations, like praying. If you don't really pray, you can perhaps start. If you already pray, you can pray on time.
If you already pray on time, you can do additional prayers. There is never any shame in trying to better yourself.
“Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.” (Muslim)
3. Use a Ramadhan Planner
Here are some colorful Ramadan planners to help you stay organized with the goals you have set.
4. Improve your relationship with your family and community
Islam always says to treat everyone with compassion and that includes your family. If it's possible, try to slowly mend your relationship or strengthen your bond with your family over time. Maybe play board games together or just talk about what's going on in your life. Be kind and speak softly to them too.
Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash
5. Give Charity
If you have some money, why not give some to charity?
- Help people in Ukraine
- UNICEF (Help Children get an education)
- UNICEF (Ramadhan Donations)
- Save the Children: Yemen
- Save the Children: Syria
- Save the Children: Afghanistan
If you don't have money now, you can always save up for next year. Charity can be many things. It can be an act of kindness, a smile, giving someone a warm meal, or volunteering for certain causes, among many other things. Charity is from the heart and, truly, Allah sees and knows everything.
“If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari)
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash
6. Read Quran
The Quran was revealed in Ramadhan and what better time to read it than now?
A lot of people who are raised Muslim from birth have probably received Quran reading lessons in their childhood or at one point or another in their lives. If you are able to read it, read as much as you can! If it helps, you can set a timer or make yourself do a certain number of pages per day.
If you're not able to read it that well, you can get someone to teach you. It would be a blessing to both of you. As always, don't forget to try and understand the meaning as well as how it is applicable to our lives. Remember, quality over quantity!
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7. Attaining God Consciousness
One major aspect of fasting is that you abstain from all evil things. This includes doing bad things and being honest at all times, even when no one is watching.
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Closed for almost the entirety of the past two years, mosques around the world have started opening up to the public again. Muslims around the world can now pray in congregations with other Muslims. Seek this opportunity out and pray Taraweeh with everyone!
Praying together in a congregation helps Muslims to realise that all humanity is one, and all are equal in the sight of Allah.
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One important thing to note is that no one should be judged for not being "religious enough". Not everyone has had the privilege of growing up in a Muslim community or area. Ultimately, we are all on the same path just in different places.