It’s that time of the year again! Yes, Ramadan has arrived for Muslims everywhere around the world. Every year, we tell ourselves that we will do everything in our list, which we’ve created mentally or actually written it down on the piece of paper. Every year, we fall short, and do not fulfill half of the things we’ve said we would do. I want this year to be different, beneficial and rewarding. I want all of us to have the feeling that we’ve achieved to beat the evils within our souls and not procrastinate during Ramadan. Here are a few tips that everyone should follow to achieve the best Ramadan, speaking to myself first.
1. Get off of social networking sites
We are all guilty of spending 5+ hours of our day on Facebook or Twitter. What’s worse, Ramadan this year is starting during the summer, which means no school — and in our mind, there is nothing to do. First, you need to get off of social networking sites. Within the hours you waste updating a status or tweet about what happened while shopping, you could be reading a chapter from the Qur’an, and trying to understand what is the message that’s being delivered from each verse. You could be helping your mom clean or prepare for Iftar. The food that you eat during Iftar doesn’t come to the table magically; it takes hard work. Just think about all the rewards you get just by helping the person who comes right after the prophet (PBUH).
2. Make use of your time
We live in the 21-century, where we have an abundant amount of activities to be involved in. Instead of sitting around and staring at the clock, counting every second until it’s time to eat, make use of your time. When it’s time to pray, you should not rush in your prayers. Instead, when you’re finished praying, you should sit longer and make du’a to Allah (SWT) for forgiveness and ask for the things you want. Allah loves when we remember Him (SWT).
Abu Huraira (RA) reported that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spoke of Allah (SWT) saying:
“I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly, I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” (Sahih Muslim).
You can also read the Qur’an. When you read, don’t just skim through — try to understand what the meaning of each verse is. What is the message that Allah (SWT) is trying to get across to His servants? Try finding the tafsir (exegesis or interpretation) of the Qur’an, which explains each verse. Volunteer at a local organization, by helping the less fortunate. I know in every country there is a place that is in need of volunteers to help their organization: So go give a helping hand. Just imagine all the reward you get during Ramadan while being in the state of fasting. If you don’t have transportation, then help around the house. Ask your parents what they need help with. You couldn’t imagine the list of things they could give you to assist with just by asking.
3. Try to have great character, physically and emotionally
“The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185)
In the month of Ramadan, Allah rewards our good deeds more generously. This month also has one very special night. This night is Laylat Al-Qadr. This night is better than a thousand months of good deeds or fasting. During this time, you should restraint your tongue from backbiting, not hurt anyone, and control your anger in all situations. You should try to go to the mosque for Taraweeh (night prayer after Isha prayer). You should invite your non-Muslim friends and neighbors to join in the breaking of your fast; this will also be a form of dawah from you. Lastly, you should be extra-generous and donate your money for an Islamic cause that will help Muslims around the world.
May Allah make us the people of Jannah. May Allah have mercy on our souls on judgment day. May Allah make this Ramadan easy for us, and make us successful during our fasting. Happy Ramadan to you and May Allah bless you and have mercy upon you. Ameen.
Submitted by Karez Hassan
image credit: bartb_pt