Making the most of this month helps one realize how much time we fritter away. In trying to balance our daily Quran recitation targets, extra prayers, sadaqah, community and masjid activities with our work or school we are forced to cut out a lot of things from our daily routine. Time in Ramadhan is simply gold! Women even spend more time on planning and fixing Sahur and Iftar meals or gatherings. We prioritize by default.
In all of this however, one time waster still slips through the checks we put in place- the internet.
In our generation. it has become a bigger space than our real world with vast amounts of data churned out per second (including this post). It is actually what you make of it-either a source of Barakah or Fitnah (blessing or temptation) that matters.
You can use it to reach more people with beneficial messages about this month and all it brings. Many have come into Islam through educative social media posts. You could use it to learn new things especially for those living in places without a real Muslim community.
Howver, care must be taken to avoid posts that do not directly contribute towards your Deen goals.
You do not have to open every link to that skit, article, audio or video. Some just scroll through all their pages liking up and down – some for succour others just because they are bored- absorbing lots of information, seeing too much and being detached from our realities. Sometimes this even leads to depression as we are privy to real and concocted achievements of others we would not have known about if we had not clicked that icon. It is the challenge of our time and when we finally get it together , we would achieve so much more with our technology.
Cut down on time spent on social media and restrict your use to only things of benefit. Follow more accounts that build you and your dreams. Be independent, you don’t have to do what others are into just because. Peer pressure is even worse online. There are so many people touching lives and making a good impact, effecting positive changes with the simple gift of technology available to all. More people have access to this resource than any other.
@hasibMN on Twitter has posted a thread on the effect of social media on the youth and I try to follow his advice for using it in Ramadhan- to not go on social media until you have finished your 20 pages of Quran each day.
It takes some discipline but it is doable. Let the internet be a tool for positivity not a distraction.
It’s been only a few days and we already know what hunger pangs feel like. Some of us have even become ill. In a bit, we would adjust but we must remember this is the daily reality for lots of families.
Have an iftar gathering in your school, workplace or community. Get to meet people and extend the wings of peace, love and togetherness.
You know those people around you that suffer in silence? Don’t let them lose their dignity by begging before you extend some love to them. If Allah has given you more, it’s upon you as a human and as a Muslim to help others.
@mystreetkitchen @sherrys_mamas_delight @muslimhandsng @ifeedthefastingng and so many individuals and organizations have programmes in place to feed those in need. Kindly visit their pages and find out how you can donate to them or volunteer.
The better hand is the one that gives.
For too long , we have made this period all about food. But it goes beyond that.
It is about abstaining from many things of the Dunya and focus on building our Akhirah. For 30 daya, we give little to our bodies and pour into our souls. A time to heal sick hearts, to reevaluate our values and character and build a store to take from for the duration of the next year.
Iftars have become mini-feasts. Some eat so much that they become too weak for Tarawih. Some make sure to eat breakfast,lunch and dinner together at Sahur. This is not encouraged. It is not about engorging ourselves like we are going into hibernation but to eat enough to sustain our strength for Ibaadat.
Sahur should be light, not the type that knocks you out after Fajr and makes you groggy at work. Iftar is a time of gratitude, togetherness, love and sharing not an excuse for gluttony.
It is difficult to shed years of culture but we can always try to infuse the teachings of our Prophet into these beloved traditions.
Remember to eat healthy, and cultivate good eating habits henceforth. Lots and lots of fruits, vegetables, grains,water, nuts,cereals,seafood should be included in your diet. Avoid processed foods, sodas and junk foods as tempting as they can be (note to self!)
In all, let this not be an opportunity to lose or add weight as it has nothing to do with that but another way to fill yourself with goodness.
By now, many have forged some form of routine. Please include one good deed at least that you want to continue doing everyday. And one bad deed to stop forever.(in shaa Allah)
Draw up your plan. It could be via the My Awesome Ramadan planner by @deenloveworld or any framework you come up with. Make sure your targets are easy for you to accomplish and increase them a little everyday. Plan your Salah, Nawafil,Quran recitation , dua list, adhkar (phrases or Allah’s remembrance), learning about Islam from authentic sources, attending lectures and programmes, acts of charity around daily activities. This would help you get through each day of this journey. Reminding others is a good way of keeping yourself on your toes.
Lastly, do not belittle any deed. Even a smile is Sadaqah. A seemingly bad deed can do so much damage to yourself and others. Good deeds don’t have to be big and scary .It would be lovely if they are consistent. You never know the one that would stand out and take you to Jannah.
May Allah accept this from you and I.
Welcome o Month of Goodness
Starting this year’s series with a poem by a guest writer
Ramadan will start pretty soon
When the first eyes sight the new moon
Muslims the world over
Are expectant as the month draws closer
We supress our thirst and hunger
For the worship of the One who is greater
I really can’t wait for your arrival
And your beautiful moments’ revival
Sahur and iftar- the meals I can’t resist
Taraweeh -now begins the battle of the fist
Tahajjud-Nawafil and heartfelt supplications
More kindness and charity-are indications
Of Ramadan’s majestic grace
That draws the best in us to the surface
I’ve got to savour this month’s nuggets
Because this will be my best Ramadan yet