Yes, praying and reading Quran can be hard to do all of the time, but doing those things isn’t an indicator of the kind of person you are.
When you think of a religious person, normally you’d assume that they pray five times a day, they probably fast a couple days of the week when it’s not Ramadan, and they might come off as strict or conservative. If you wear a thobe or a hijab, people automatically assume that you are infallible, and incapable of sinning, ever. People made Islam solely performative when it’s more than that.
During Ramadan people stress praying more, covering up, and working on the more ritualistic aspects of worship; meanwhile, things like working, and even sleeping can be considered “worship” Islamically, if the person has the right intention.
Personally, this Ramadan I decided to focus on things like budgeting, time management, and discipline, which isn’t necessarily worship, but working on those things will also help me pray on time more, give more charity, and work harder.
When most Muslims talk about someone being religious, we talk about someone that is a stickler for the rules and doesn’t miss a prayer, even though the “best” Muslims I’ve met weren’t the ones that prayed on time and fasted on Tuesdays and Thursdays––they were kind and loving and people who didn’t ostracize me when I made mistakes–– that made me fall in love with Islam, not rituals, not rules. I don’t continue to practice because I necessarily enjoy bowing five times a day, or feel closer to God by doing that each time. And I forgive myself for that, because I am actively working on it, by focusing on the ways I can make my heart softer outside by reading stories about the prophets, by seeing how their behaviors, fearlessness, and love helped them get closer to Allah SWT.
Ramadan to me isn’t about computing how often I pray, or how many “good deeds” I racked up. To me, Ramadan is an entire month to cleanse your soul and your mind.
Use this time to refresh, by being kind, being a person of your word, being forgiving, checking your ego, and learning how yourself forgive myself as a result.
Those things are stressed in the Quran because those are the most difficult things to do. Yes, praying and reading Quran can be hard to do all of the time, but doing those things isn’t an indicator of the kind of person you are. By confronting your own shortcomings, and having integrity and compassion when you’re faced with a situation where helping others won’t necessarily benefit you, that’s when your character is tested. Because those things are so difficult, those things determine what kind of person you are.