Ramadan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem!
Alhamdulillah the month we’ve all been waiting for fr is now here, Ramadhan is a blessed month and a month of mercy. This is the ultimate month to gain as many rewards from the Almighty God by doing good deeds. Hence, it comes as no surprise to some if we can do our own Ramadhan challenge – a challenge to be our better selves in Ramadan within the 30 day period.
If we normally celebrate the beginning of the Masihi new year, the 1st of January, with a new resolve to be better at something, to leave behind something bad, then in Islam, that resolution for use to be better versions of the self starts in Ramadhan.
As a Muslim, we all know the activities in the month of Ramadan are different than in other months. For a whole month, fasting is obligatory on every adult Muslim who are healthy, and so on.
A RESET BUTTON WITH THE MONTH OF FORGIVENESS
Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, where the doors of Hellfire are closed and the doors of Mercy and Paradise are open.
So, it is said n a Hadith, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” in Sahih Bukhari.
So if our past sins are forgiven in the holy month, isn’t that as if we’ve been given a new lease of life, a reset button, so to speak?
MORE THAN JUST THE NIGHTLY PRAYERS
Of course, reading more of the Quran and praying extra night prayers, such as Taraweeh and Qiyamullayl, are beneficial acts of worship.
However, in addition to that, we could also consider increasing our own acts of mercy and kindness to others, our fellow mankind.
RAMADAN CHALLENGE IDEAS
We can categorize Ramadan challenge into three parts. The ultimate goal is to be better versions of our Muslim selves. These tips below are just some ideas to getstarted.
1 – The personal challenge
- Be moderate in our actions, especially with regards to how we spend our time – limit our usage of the smart phones to work only, or important calls only.
- Stay away from social media as much as you can
- If you still need to use social media, be aware of your comments and posts, that they are not backbiting, cause hurt to others, or post any haram type posts or images.
- Watch your actions, and always try to do good deeds everyday.
2 – The spiritual challenge for the soul
- To join congregational prayers (if no lock-down restrictions) especially Taraweeh prayers
- Read and understand the Quran. There are so many people who wish to complete reading the Arabic Quran within this blessed month, but they miss out on a very important part of the Quran – to understand the commands of the Quran.
“And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.” (Quran Surah An-Nahl 16:89)
“And with the truth We have sent the Qur’an down, and with the truth it has descended. And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner.” (Quran Surah al-Isra’ 17:05)
- To constantly seek the forgiveness of Allah with istighfar and night prayers.
3 – The relationship challenge for doing good deeds
- To rebuild relationships with family members who might have gone through some ups and downs, as important in maintaining ‘silaturahim’
- To encourage the kids to try fasting, even if its for half a day, and more if they can
- To be moderate during iftar, as so much food have gone to waste in the past Ramadan months.
- To be kind to strangers, especially the poor and needy. Send them food or invite them to iftar (if no lockdown) so they too can enjoy the blessings of Ramadan.
- To remember that all of these acts are purely to gain the pleasure of Allah s.w.t alone – don’t show off your deeds on social media, or else you won’t get the blessings you need.
WHAT’S YOUR RAMADAN CHALLENGE?
Whatever it is that your Ramadan challenge goals may be, ultimately these are to purify ourselves and to obtain the blessings and pleasure of Allah s.w.t.
Do you have any ideas you want to share with us on how to be kind to others? It does not necessarily need to be in the form of money donations, as charity starts with a smile. Do share with us below.
Farah Ishak is a Content Writer at Halalop. She grew up in the United Kingdom where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Management. Later, she completed her MBA and held senior-level positions in Malaysian based MNC. She left the corporate world to be with her young kids. She is passionate about issues concerning Muslim women, Startups and Muslim businesses in general.