It goes without saying that the summer season is the best time to celebrate Ramadan. Despite the long hours of fasting and the heat, we are given much more time to make the most out of the month than we would if Ramadan were during the school year. Unfortunately, many of us are still faced with obligations, leaving us out of sync and wishing that we could cherish just a little bit more of this blessed month. I’m sure that if we were given that time, that one chance where we didn’t have to worry about any responsibilities, save those we assigned ourselves to in Ramadan, we would become the most productive Muslims we’d ever been.
I often feel like telling myself this, especially since this is the first Ramadan I’ve spent in the summer taking classes. But I’ve come to realize that the concept of time is more than just black and white — that it’s not about the quantity of time that we have, but the quality — and the one who lacks that time could be more productive than the one who has all the time in the world, and more.
We all have the same 24 hours each day. But how do we use it? For those of us who feel like we’re not getting enough out of Ramadan this year, I remind myself, and you, of a few things that we could do to make every single minute count:
1. Make the Qur’an Your Best Friend
And carry it around with you everywhere! Seriously though, if one of your goals this Ramadan is to read the entire Qur’an from cover to cover, invest in a pocket Qur’an (or one that you can easily carry around) so that you could read it whenever you catch some free time. This way, you’ll be able to reach your goal and won’t feel like you’re wasting time your time away.
Additionally, as stated by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), there are great rewards for reciting certain surahs in the Qur’an:
- Surah Fatiha is a cure from every illness. [Darmi, Bahiqi]
- Do not make your home a graveyard, the Shaitan runs from the home in which Surah Baqrah is recited. [Saheeh Muslim]
- Whoever memorized the first ten ayahs of Surah Kahf will be saved the Dajjal. [Saheeh Muslim]
- Whoever recites Surah Kahf on the day of Jummah, there will be a Nur brightened for him between two Jummahs.
- Everything has a heart and the heart of the Qur’an is Surah Yaseen, whoever read Yaseen, Allah will write the reward of reading the Qur’an ten times from him. [Tirmizi and Darmi]
- Whoever reads Surah Yaseen for the pleasure of Allah, his past sins will be forgiven so read this near your deceased. [Bahiqi]
- (Reading) Qul hu WAllahu Ahad (Surah Ikhlas) is equal to [reading] one third of the Qur’an.
- Whoever read Ayatul Kursi after every Fard Salah, he will be under the protection and security of Allah. [Dailmi on the Authority of Sayeduna Ali]
- (On the Day of Judgement,) a caller will say: O Recitor of Surah Inaam, come to Jannat for loving Surah Inaam and its recitation.
- Surah Tabarak (Surah Mulk) saves one from Hell.
- Whatever task is not begun with Bismillahir Rahamnir Raheem remains incomplete and unfinished.
2. Read, Listen, and Learn
With the influx of technology that has dominated our lives today, information on almost any topic we can choose from is easily available to us. And with this information comes knowledge — I think you know what I’m going to say next. There are hundreds, if not millions of resources accessible to us by which we could benefit from. The next time you find yourself idly ticking time away on a train or bus ride to work, try to whip out an article or a lecture of interest to you. Stuck waiting for traffic or your next class to begin? Use that time to learn something that you never knew before. The path of knowledge never ends and there’s no telling to what you’ll discover next.
3. Tasbeeh and Dhikr
Okay, so what if our schedules are so packed that we fail to find a sufficient amount of time to spend with the Qur’an or watch a few lectures? This doesn’t mean that we can’t remember Allah (SWT) through dhikr. Allah (SWT) loves those who remember Him, and He says in the Qur’an:
“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”
If picking up a physical copy of the Qur’an is hard to do, try reciting a few short surahs to yourself and constantly keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah (SWT) by constantly repeating phrases like “Alhamdulillah,” “SubhanAllah” and “Astaghfirullah”. In fact, with regards to istighfaar (seeking forgiveness from Allah (SWT)), Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is narrated to have said, in an authentic hadith:
“O mankind! Repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness, for surely I do so 100 times every single day.”
Therefore, we should constantly use dhikr as a tool to not only constantly remember Allah throughout the day, but as a means of strengthening our relationship with Him.
So if you feel like you’ve had an unproductive Ramadan thus far, don’t feel bad. We’re almost to the half-way mark (sadly), but it’s not too late to make the most of what remains. The best ten nights of the month are fast approaching, in them a night better than a thousand months. So insha’Allah, along with these tips, the rest of Ramadan will shine radiantly for you!