“Poor is he who leaves Ramadan the way he was before.”
As the beautiful month of Ramadan draws to a close, most of us will be left feeling sad and a little empty. Days spent fasting will have ended, nights spent in worship will vanish, the nightly (taraweeh) prayers will be over, and family get-togethers to breakfast will have disappeared. That special feeling in your heart – that one that keeps you going despite your hunger and thirst – will gradually fade. Before you know it, you’ll risk falling back into your old routine and habits. But, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a bit of dedication and some careful planning, you can keep the Ramadan momentum strong all year round.
Being God-Conscious, Always
Firstly, it’s important to remind ourselves that the blessed month of Ramadan provides us with the perfect opportunity and the tools to reboot spiritually and to get closer to Allah (SWT). In fact, Ramadan is supposed to increase your faith and God-consciousness: “Believers! Fasting has been prescribed for you–as it was prescribed for those before you–so that you may be conscious of God.” (The Holy Qur’an, 2:183).
But it shouldn’t end there. We should strive to be conscious of God at all times, not just during certain times of the year. A simple way you can do this is through dhikr, or the remembrance of God through repeated supplications, du’a, or Qur’an recitations.
Prioritizing Prayer Over Everything
During the month of Ramadan, many of us spend more time in devotion and prayer. One way to keep your discipline is to start praying on time; if you don’t pray regularly, then try sticking to the obligatory five; if you find yourself distracted during prayer, then try being more present when you kneel in devotion to God. Consistency is key.
While we are obligated to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, remember you can fast regularly throughout the year. In fact, Aishah (RA) narrated: “The Prophet used to try to fast on Mondays and Thursdays” [Tirmidhi, Nasai, and Ibn Majah].
Fasting is another act of worship, and its rewards are immense, so don’t underestimate the magnitude of what you could gain by following our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Sunnah. Plus, it’s a great way to improve your overall health. Recent studies have revealed the numerous health benefits of intermittent fasting, including weight loss, detoxification, etc.
Ramadan is also known as the month of charity; it is narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous during this blessed month. But remember, your generosity and charity don’t have to stop at Ramadan. In fact, giving charity holds special significance in Islam, with the Prophet (pbuh) saying: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Judgement will be his charity.”
As we live in increasingly challenging times and in a world where the level of human suffering is unprecedented, a small amount of charity could go a long way for someone in need. A great way to give to charity all year round is by finding a cause that you’re passionate about and setting up a regular monthly donation. That way, not only will you take the hassle out of donating, but you’ll be creating long-term change throughout the year.