Ramadan, a month awaited by excited Muslims! This month reflects the rituals of faith that strengthen the links between each individual and Allah (glorified and exalted be He). Each country has its own customs and traditions, and Muslims live all over the world, many of who are in non- Muslim countries. These Muslim communities celebrate this holy month, in addition to lifestyle and custom differences between the state in which they reside and their countries of origin. Nonetheless, rituals of Ramadan are the same among Muslims in the west and Muslims living in Islamic countries.
Russia is not a Muslim country, but rituals practiced by Muslims in Ramadan are the same: meeting at the suhoor table, going for prayers in congregation at the mosque, reciting Qur’an in groups, performing the Taraweeh prayer etc. These people feel a sense of closeness and religious faith by meeting with other Muslims who are doing the same. Continue reading
Getting ready for Ramadan is a lot like being pregnant. That’s something you don’t hear very often, is it? Let me explain my theory. Ramadan is also called the Month of Mercy. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. In the rich Arabic language, the womb in which a baby grows for nine months is called the “rahm”; and that, my friends, is the root of the word, “mercy”. Pretty cool, huh?
Some of us Productive Muslimahs will be pregnant this Ramadan. How will you handle it?
We must first begin with the words of Almighty Allah. Take great notice that our Lord, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, does not specifically mention that pregnant or nursing women must fast or are forbidden to fast. He simply makes the allowance that “whosoever is sick or on a journey, [should fast] on other days.” [Qur'an: Chapter 2, Verse 185]
Thus, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has left it up to the individual woman. Some women get sick during their pregnancies and would be unable to fast, while others, feel no adverse effects of fasting while pregnant. Therefore no woman feels obligated to fast if it would harm her or her child.
The blessed month of Ramadan gives us tremendous opportunities to seek forgiveness and ask for Allah’s mercy. Special prayers and excess charity become a norm in many households. However, once Ramadan comes to an end, some people go back to their old ways of skipping a few prayers, or delaying them and committing sins without a second thought.
Creating a Habit of Fasting After Ramadan
While the blessed month of Ramadan comes to an end, we can continue to engage in the beautiful ‘ibadah (act of worship) of fasting.
“Allah (the Exalted) said: Every act of the son of Adam is for him except fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give a reward for it” [Muslim].
Part one of ‘Does Fasting Kill Your Productivity?’ highlighted the difference between the mere abstinence from eating and an authentic Islamic fast. We also argued that the latter, far from causing us to underachieve, was instead the best approach to defeat ‘Productivity Drainers’.
This article will go on to illustrate how fasting can reveal itself as a powerful technique to be productive. When you are fasting you will:
1. Discover a sense of purpose, drive, and accomplishment.
Thus you will be less likely to procrastinate but rather want to complete the task promptly. You gain a consciousness that Allah (glorified and exalted be He) is watching you and want to complete tasks with ihsan (excellence).
I know that you expect me to say no, absolutely not. But the truth is, yes it does. We cannot deny that if by fasting you mean only refraining from eating or drinking, your production and achievement rate will decrease in every aspect of your life. You will probably try to do as little as you have to, sleep as long as you can and keep your mind off from food by any means – even if this consists of playing games, listening to music or entertaining yourself with idle talk.
’How many of those who fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst?!’
This saying should be taken as a warning. Many Muslims are fasting without any benefit to themselves, neither experiencing any spiritual elevation nor being able to leave sin and draw closer to Allah, The Exalted. SubhanAllah! Fasting becomes a matter of merely skipping meals, and at iftar the missed food is ‘made up for’ in the form of a feast.
However, if you are practicing a truly Islamic fasting then it is a completely different experience. Ramadan is the month in which the rewards for good actions have no limits, the month in which we discipline ourselves and thus increase our productivity! Continue reading