3 Things to Turbocharge Ramadan

3 Things to Turbocharge Ramadan - Productive MuslimAt the end of every Ramadan there is always mixed feelings of loss that the blessed month has ended alongside the joys of the celebration of Eid. Then it gets to Hajj season and six months to the next Ramadan and we start fearing the return of the month of fasting. Rather than looking forward to Ramadan (and its blessings) we start to fear the long days, and the usual things like ‘how will we fast for so long?’, ‘I can’t go to work and fast, it’s just too hard,’ etc. In this article I will look at ways that you can start looking forward to Ramadan with such a passion that you will wish it was tomorrow In sha Allah!

We know that the Sahaba raḍyAllāhu 'anhum (may Allāh be pleased with them) used to start preparing for Ramadan six months in advance. If you can do that then that’s awesome. However, for many of us with busy lifestyles and the hustle and bustle of life, our priorities are not always right. That doesn’t mean it is too late. There is no doubt that we should be aiming to make the best of every act we do in Ramadan, and preparing for the blessed month will help us in multiple ways.

Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” [Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887].

The 3 things I recommend every year to prepare for Ramadan are:

Voluntary Fasting

Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the most the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: “On Mondays and Thursday Allah forgives every Muslim except two who have forsaken one another. He says: ‘Leave these two until they reconcile.’” [Ibn Majah].

Not that you need any more reason to do voluntary fasting but what is absolutely amazing is that modern scientific research is showing the benefits of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is basically the scientific name for fasting two days a week, or 3 days a month, or fasting every other day. Each of these are clearly set out within the Islamic tradition and it is wonderful that these practices are now being advocated by non-Muslims.

If you feel that doing a 16-hour fast is too difficult outside Ramadan at this stage, then I suggest you cut down on your food consumption for a few days a month so that you can prepare your body for the food reduction that will take place.

Giving Charity

This isn’t charity-giving in a conventional sense but working out how much you will give and planning it with your family- your spouse, your children, maybe others.

Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) when asked which charity is best, “He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: Charity in Ramadan.” [Tirmidhi] and Aishah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrated that “He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: ‘Do as much of good deeds as you can, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are continuous, even if they are a few.’ [Nasai]

These hadiths remind me that even though we should give charity in Ramadan, rather than being overzealous and giving everything in the first few days or saving it all for the last 10 days of Ramadan, why not work out how much you will give and then split it over the 30 days? For example: My children have £30 to give in charity. Through the ‘charity planning’ meeting we discuss how they will give this out and they usually decide to give £1 a day. They can then give this to any cause they choose and it’s the small consistent act that has powerful impact outside Ramadan. Often they will make charitable donations outside Ramadan because the habit of giving was formed in Ramadan. Alhamdulillah.

The Power of Dua

Many of us know how to make dua but at the same time we have no idea how to ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for the things that we desperately want. We go on year on year, day by day making the same old dua for the same old things. If you want to turbocharge your life this Ramadan, this needs to change. You need to adopt a new dua habit In sha Allah.

Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “The most excellent worship is Du’a.” [Sahih Al-Jami', no. 1133]. And Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us in the Qur’an “And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.’ Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.” [Qur'an: Chapter 40, Verse 60].

So why have we stopped asking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for what we really want? In preparation for Ramadan I urge you to take some time out and dedicate it to working out what you really want from your life so you can strategically plan your duas this Ramadan. Don’t be shy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and don’t ask for a little. His bounty is huge and He can answer all your duas without diminishing his bounty.

Make this year’s dua planning session different to those you have done in the past by writing things down. Work out what it will look like when you have achieved it and also plan a few milestones.

Conclusion

If you are able to do these three things then In sha Allah this Ramadan will change your life. Many times I have read articles like this and then only put one of the recommendations into action or carried on without any change. My suggestion to you, dear reader, is to take a few moments to reflect upon what you just read and think about how you can put this into your life. Remember it is small changes that are needed. There is nothing radical in these suggestions its just the impact is huge especially if you do all three… and I know this from personal experience!

 

About the Author:

Saiyyidah Zaidi is a Business Coach and Positive Psychologist. She is currently studying Arabic and pre- Alimiyyah studies in London. Saiyyidah is also the founder of Working Muslim and has delivered various online seminars including Chocolate Centred, Journey Planner and Earning Halal. Saiyyidah can be contacted at www.facebook.com/WorkingMuslim


19 thoughts on “3 Things to Turbocharge Ramadan

  1. Barak Allahu Feek. Great ways indeed to make Ramadan more meaningful. Our focus and our niyah are tremendously important. Not only during Ramadan but throughout the year Insha Allah. Ramadan is an opportunity bestowed upon us by Allah (swt). In our household we use Ramadan to reset the clocks and raise our standards back up to what they should be so that we can continue to have a fruitful and meaningful life for the months to come…Insha Allah until the next Ramadan.

  2. Assalaamu alaikum
    Dear writer in the article under the subtitle the power of dua in the second line there is a mistake. You have written Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) but actually it should be Allah (glorified and exalted is He). So if you can please do correct this mistake. Jazakumu Allah Khairan.

  3. Assalamu alaikkum saiyyidah, I have read your article and it is really good, hope I could do thesame in my personal life ….Nyhow such articles are at times an eye opening…so that we can be prepared.

  4. Great article. I have come across articles recently that discuss Intermittent Fasting. I was amazed at how this is advocated and it has been in our Islamic tradition all along. Subhan Allah. Spreading out charity across the entire month is something I will definitely do this Ramadan, inshaAllah. Jazakum Allah Khair jamee3an. :)

  5. great article however i would just like to point out something

    In the hadeeth narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Saheeh, 3/191, no. 1887. He said, “If the report is saheeh …” but the word ‘if’ was omitted in some references such as al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb by al-Mundhiri (2/95), so it was thought that Ibn Khuzaymah said, “The report is saheeh,” although he did not state that. pls open the foll link for more info

    http://islamqa.info/en/ref/21364

  6. Jazaki Allah Khair for the valuable suggestions…
    Just would like to share two more practices if I may:

    1. Start reading 2 Juz’s (2 Hizbs) of Quran daily.
    2. Perform 4 rakaa’s of quiam al leile (night prayer) daily.

    And Allah knows best.

  7. Seriously this post is so mind peace. I do not know but I felt so good while reading this post. Very nice blog and post. I agree Dua is everything and zakar is a pillar of islam and fasting is sunah.

  8. Jizakal Allah khair for the productive muslim that it provides a plate form where I am getting eyeopening , heart affecting articles. May Allah (Glorified and Exalted be HE) put barakh in qalam of every writer, in efforts of PM and in our actions as productive muslim. Ameen.

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