By Nurul Hanani Hasmin
Once again, the holy month of Ramadan has arrived and Muslims all over the world are engaged in 29 or 30 days of fasting to please Allah s.w.t. Ramadan is a blessed month that increases a Muslim’s spiritual awareness, fortifies the worshippers connection with Allah, and asking Allah for mercy and forgiveness. It reminds us of our duties towards the needy in the community and also our own need for an increase in faith.
It is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar where all Muslims focus on fasting, praying, giving to charity and religious devotion. The 29 or 30 days of Ramadan require a strict schedule to be followed that includes fasting, reciting Holy Quran (Tilawah), offering prayers five times a day, special prayer called ‘Taraweeh’ and also good behaviour.
Nonetheless, there is more than that to attain true fasting that will indeed fulfil the goals of elevating us to higher levels of spirituality, compassion to others, patience and piety. It is a big challenge for all Muslims to achieve specific goals during Ramadan.
During this month, Allah s.w.t promises to listen to all legitimate prayers of Muslims and fasting during this month is a way to protect you from evil and allows Muslims to get rid of their sins.
Besides that, fasting also helps you to feel and understand the pain and suffering of the poor. It allows human beings to understand how those who do not have enough money for a meal to survive throughout the day. Fasting also allows the Muslims to learn self-restraint, self-control and sacrifices. It teaches Muslims to connect with their inner self through praying and worshipping.
Instead of just sitting around and staring at the clock, counting every second until it’s time to eat, make use of your time. beneficially.
Here are some of the things that we can follow to make our Ramadan more spiritual:
1. Read Quran daily
Quran is Allah’s way of talking to us. It is the most important keys to spiritual upliftment. Many of us may spend hours of reading articles on politics, science, business, and peruse fiction and non-fiction books with passion and fervour while the Quran was left to gather dust.
Ramadan is the perfect opportunity for us to develop a routine, so why not make reading the Quran part of our daily lifestyle. Reading the Quran during Ramadan is more effective because as we fast, it helps to strengthen our consciousness of Allah.
When you read the Quran, try to understand the meaning of each verse rather than just skimming through it. Try to understand the message that Allah sw.t is trying give to His servants. To make it easier, try and find the tafsir or interpretation of the Quran which explains each verse.
2. Increase your remembrance of Allah
The simple thing to do this is by dhikir. As a Muslim it is meant to be conscious of Allah at all times. We should be thinking of Him throughout the day and not just during prayer times. Dhikir expresses the idea of “remembrance of Allah” through repeated recitation of supplication or du’a.
A few common dhikir that you can recite:
- SubhanAllah or SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi (“I praise Allah above all attributes that do not suit His Majesty”)
- Alhamdulillah (“All praise is for Allah”)
- La hawlawa la quwwataillahbillah (“There is no power or might except by Allah”)
- Lailaha illallah (“There is no God but Allah”)
- Allahakbar (“Allah is Great”)
3.Give extra charity
Besides zakat (obligatory charity), you should try and find a way to give extra charity. Help the hungry child or family, give away some of your clothes to the needy people, you can even help an elderly to cross the road. There are many things that we can do to help others. The possibilities of charity are limitless. Our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w has said that even a smile is a charity.
You can also do some volunteer works at local organisation, by helping the less fortunate. The least you can do is by giving help around the house. Ask your parents what kind of help they need. Surely, they will give you a list of things that you can help with. Try and make an effort this Ramadan to help others out.
Do not miss a single obligatory prayer during Ramadan. After Shahadah, the most important obligation for a believer is to offer solat as it is the only thing which differentiates a believer from a non-believer.
As we can see by the busier-than-usual prayer room and mosques, Muslims spend more time praying during Ramadan than other months of the year. During this month, there are many extra blessings that we can get and praying our voluntary prayers before and after our obligatory prayers is one of an easy ways to gain these.
If we keep on doing these extra prayers in this month of Ramadan, it will eventually become like second nature to us. Make this a habit and you would soon feel incomplete in your prayer without your voluntary prayers.
During the month of Ramadan, special evening prayers are conducted and these prayers are known as taraweeh. It is recommended that Muslims attend the taraweeh prayers in the mosques to pray in congregation.
5. Do not engage in unnecessary talk
Do not indulge in unnecessary, indecent and abusive talk. Fasting is a deterrent for the fasting person. Therefore, try to avoid non-sensible talk, back biting, unnecessary conversation, joking, arguments and etc. Prophet Muahammad s.a.w stated that, “Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking, rather, abstaining from ignorant and indecent speech”.***
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