Alhamdulillah Ramadan is here again! Although we may now return to mosques with limited spaces available and safety measures in place, there are many other things we can still look forward to in order to reach our personal Ramadan goals. Let us strive to maximise our Ramadan experience this year and begin our journey with an end in mind!
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who have believed, prescribed for you is the Fast, as it was prescribed for (the ones) who were before you, that possibly you would be pious (taqwa)”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:183)
First and foremost, the basic: Allah s.w.t. reminded us that one of the primary purposes of fasting in Ramadan is to increase our taqwa or piety and God-consciousness towards Him. For every Muslim individual, Taqwa is what matters most in the sight of Allah s.w.t. It includes both maintaining a good relationship with Him and all His creations. Here are seven things that we can do to try achieving this:
Apart from not missing the five daily obligatory prayers and improving its quality, like attaining khusyu’ or focus and performing it on time, Ramadan is the time where we can perform a special sunnah prayer called Terawih! Special rewards are given to those who perform it. Rasulullah s.a.w. mentioned:
مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
“He who observed prayer at night during Ramadan, because of faith and seeking his reward from Allah, his previous sins would be forgiven”
(Sahih Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
There are also other sunnah prayers like Rawatib (the sunnah prayers performed before or after the five obligatory prayers), Dhuha, Witr or the night prayers particularly being Qiyamullail and Tahajjud. You can learn more on how to perform these prayers via the latest Ramadan 2021 e-booklet guide by the Office of the Mufti. Let’s start to increase these prayers now and while at it, hope that we will even attain Lailatul Qadar which is better than a thousand months!
There is a verse in the Quran about making a supplication that is located in the middle of the verses pertaining to Ramadan and fasting, thus emphasizing its relations between the two:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So, let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:186)
In another verse, Allah s.w.t. also reminded us:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ٱدْعُونِىٓ أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ
“Call upon Me; I will respond to you"
(Surah Ghafir, 40:60)
Hence, why not take this opportunity while fasting in Ramadan to ask from our most beloved Creator and Sustainer?
Whether it’s on health, wealth, work, a partner, a child or even the ultimate paradise, do ask from Him anything and everything we desire for our current life and the hereafter with full of hope and sincerity.
But when is the best time to make Dua? Well, other than during the last one-third of every night while performing our Tahajjud prayers, consider making supplications when having your iftar (breaking the fast) too:
إِنَّ لِلصَّائِمِ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ لَدَعْوَةً مَا تُرَدُّ
“When the fasting person breaks his fast, his supplication is not turned back”
(Sunan Ibn Majah)
Ramadan is a great opportunity and a chance that comes once a year for us to help us develop our positive character. When else can we get so many motivations for a whole month to get better and improve ourselves?
Hence, let’s start practising being kind, and there are many ways to do this no matter how simple it may be. Be kind towards yourself first, to your family members, friends and colleagues, even your neighbour or any stranger you meet for that matter.
Be kind, and Rasulullah s.a.w. is the best example. In fact, a lot has been written on his utmost level of kindness. Look out for these articles to get a glimpse of the beauty in his magnificent character:
Surely, there are more if you keep on searching.
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ بِالْخَيْر، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ
“The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he was even more generous in the month of Ramadan”
This is definitely something that we should strive to emulate.
For example, you can volunteer at mosques to assist in the safety management plan for Terawih, Friday prayers, porridge distribution or other social development programmes. You may also donate to mosques seamlessly online via https://ourmasjid.sg/ or to the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation and other credible organisations. Let’s reap as many rewards as possible as this is the month where all deeds will multiply!
Also, a gentle reminder to remember to pay our zakat too! :)
One of the most notable things about Ramadan: the revelation of the Quran! ♥️
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ
“The month of Ramadhan (is that) in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:185)
This is the month where many Muslims would try to complete reciting the whole Quran, or at least appreciate nightly the imam’s recitation in prayers or personally internalize its meanings. Just as Rasulullah s.a.w. would increase his relationship with the Quran annually in Ramadan, we should too in our own respective capacity:
وَكَانَ جِبْرِيلُ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ
“and (the Angel) Jibril used to meet him (the prophet s.a.w.) every night during Ramadan to revise the Quran with him.”
Learning is an ibadah too! Why not increase our religious knowledge while multiplying its rewards in Ramadan? The Prophet s.a.w. said:
مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَطْلُبُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَلَكَ اللَّهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا مِنْ طُرُقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَإِنَّ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ لَتَضَعُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا رِضًا لِطَالِبِ الْعِلْمِ
“Whoever takes a path in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to walk in one of the paths to Paradise. Indeed, the angels will lower their wings in great pleasure with the one who seeks knowledge”
(Sunan Abi Dawud)
Where to learn in Singapore? Well, muslim.sg here is a good start. Suppose you prefer structured courses or modules, head to learnislam.sg to enrol for the Adult Islamic Learning (ADIL) or the aLIVE programme for your kids. Various online programmes offered by mosques and other Islamic Education Centres and Providers (IECPs) are good as well. There are also excellent videos on SalamSG TV.
Wow! So many options now made available by our local ARS certified asatizahs! Don’t you agree?
Lastly, Ramadan is not just about us improving just ourselves, it’s also about helping each other and inviting others to goodness as well.
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُوقِظُ أَهْلَهُ فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ
“The Prophet s.a.w. used to wake up his family during the last ten (nights) of Ramadan”
This also means helping whoever is in need or simply providing any act of kindness to anyone. Besides, giving will only open doors for goodness and rewards. Here’s one example:
مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ شَيْئًا
"Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for his is the same reward as his (the fasting person's), without anything being diminished from the reward"
So, there you go! 7 Things to do to Maximise our Ramadan Experience! I hope this is beneficial for you. Feel free to connect with me on my Instagram account @mfrbmn or my Facebook page Md Fakhrur Radzi Md Noor. Kindly add me into your prayers too, and may Allah provide us strength and accept all our ‘ibadah, ameen! :)
And Allah knows best.