The most holy month in the Islamic calendar year is upon us. Ramadan is a time for spiritual renewal. Through fasting, Muslims draw closer to their Creator, becoming mindful of life’s many blessings, mercies, and challenges.
Ramadan is a time to become more God-conscious in your everyday life. Increasing taqwa, God-consciousness or God-fearing piety, is an attainable goal this Ramadan. Here are 10 simple suggestions that, insha Allah, will benefit your spiritual journey:
1. Perform Fard Salah On Time
Make the intention to set aside a few moments each day around Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. When we structure our lives around prayer, we find prayer always fits into our busy lives. If you consistently do this outside of Ramadan, then try adding in sunnah prayers. Otherwise, there’s no better time than Ramadan to recommit to your faith through prayer.
2. Reconnect With the Quran
Make the Book of Allah an essential lifeline, your trusted companion and spiritual guide. Schedule time for its recitation and honor the commitment you’ve made. For those unable to read in Arabic, select a translation and listen to a favorite reciter.
3. Make Dhikr
A simple one is: Subhan Allah (How Perfect is Allah!) [33 times]; Alhamdulillah (All praise and thanks are for Allah) [33 times]; Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest) [34 times].This can be said after salah or at any time during the day.
4. Limit Pop Culture & Social Media Consumption
When we reduce our time spent in front of screens, whether it’s watching the news or the latest Netflix release, we have more time to focus on ibadah. I’m not here to argue that TV and music are haram. The objective is to increase our taqwa by reducing unnecessary information overload, whether it’s constantly checking our insta accounts or mindlessly playing podcasts.
5. Perform Acts of Kindness
Monetary donations have their worth, but don’t underestimate the power of a smile or a kind word. Get out of your comfort zone at the masjid and give salaams to someone new. Invite neighbors and non-Muslim friends and relatives over for iftar. Strive to be more mindful of your words and body language around people. And don’t forget to practice self-care.
6. Forgive Yourself
Release yourself from the “ideal” Muslimah narrative. Allah did not intend us to be perfect. Recognize your short-comings and seek forgiveness for past sins. Ramadan is a time of renewal and forgiveness. It’s never too late to reconnect with the Divine.
7. Start Journaling
This can be as simple as writing one sentence reflections of your day during Ramadan. Make it work for you–whether it’s Qur’an journaling, listing duas or making observations. Journaling can help us become more aware of ourselves and our priorities in life.
8. Go to the Masjid
Praying together in congregation is a wonderful way to draw closer to Allah. When we foster community, we begin to reflect on the beauty and mercy embedded within Allah’s creation.
9. Mindful Eating
Consider what you are putting into your bodies at suhoor and iftar time. Try to eat foods that nourish the body, so the spirit remains energized and focused throughout the day.
10. Check Your Intentions
Some people turn Ramadan into a spiritual contest of sorts. Each extra prayer becomes a point for the afterlife, instead of a time for deep spiritual reflection and connection. When worship feels like a chore or a game, we need to step back and reevaluate our intentions.