Alhamdulillah for the ni’mah (blessing) of being able to breathe the air of Ramadan. Every believer has always longed for this special month. That’s how connected we are to this wonderful month of Ramadan. Indeed, we are very grateful to Allah s.w.t. for bestowing us this blessing.
Ramadan is the month where many of us will strive to put in our best efforts to be close to Allah s.w.t, mainly by fasting. Indeed, every form of worship which is valued highly in the sight of Allah s.w.t. will come with a set of tests and challenges.
For ladies especially, this fasting month will bring with it its own set of challenges. One of the main challenges perceived by many ladies is the inability to fast and recite the Quran due to menstruation (haid) or post-natal bleeding (nifas).
Many will feel sad and disappointed. What can I do if I cannot fast and recite the Quran? I don’t want to waste this special opportunity in Ramadan.
Don’t despair, my dear sisters. Allah s.w.t. does not give us challenges except that there are blessings that come with it. There are other forms of 'Ibadah (worship) that we can do in order to gain Allah’s pleasure in this blessed month of Ramadan.
In fact, Allah s.w.t. will increase the rewards of every good deed and 'Ibadah in this month, not just in fasting, but in every other good deed!
Here are 7 tips on how to ace Ramadan despite our inability to fast.
مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ شَيْئًا
“Whoever provides a fasting person something with which to break his fast with, will earn the same reward as the one who was observing the fast, without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter.”
We can simply prepare or buy food for those who are fasting and we will earn the same reward! Amazing right? Indeed, Allah is Al-Kariim (The Most Generous).
أَلَا بِذِكرِ اللَّهِ تَطمَئِنُّ القُلوبُ
“Indeed, by remembering Allah s.w.t, the hearts will find tranquillity.”
(Surah Ar-Ra’d, 13:28)
There are so many ways to remember Allah s.w.t. We can recite the Majestic Name ‘Allah’ repeatedly or by reciting the 'everlasting good deeds' (Al-Baqiyat As-Solihat):
سُبحَانَ الله، وَالحَمدُ لِلَّهِ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا الله، وَاللهُ أَكبَر
‘Subhaanallah wal hamdulillaah wa laa ilaaha illallaah Allaahu Akbar.’
Allah is free from imperfections; All praise is due to Allah; There is no true god except Allah; Allah is the Greatest.
We can also recite any of the many duas that we know. Yes, some of you will say that you would love to recite the Quran but you are unable to do so. “So how, Ustazah?”
I would say that you can still recite the Quran with your mind and heart, without actually verbalising it; that is still permissible. Or you can listen to the beautiful recitations of the Qurra’ (the reciters of the Quran) which are so pleasing to the ears and soothing for the hearts. Remembering Allah with a heart full of sincerity will invoke Allah’s mercy upon us.
Besides Zikrullah (remembrance of Allah), another major way to gain Allah’s pleasure is to recite the Selawat for our beloved Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad s.a.w. for he is the most beloved to Allah. You can also listen to these songs about Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
The benefits of reciting the Selawat are so many that they encompass both this world and in the Hereafter.
As for the benefits in this world, we will always be guided by Allah s.w.t. And as for the benefits in the Hereafter, we will gain the Syafa’ah (intercession) of our beloved Prophet s.a.w, insya’Allah.
This is the month of Sadaqah (charity). Many people tend to be more generous in this month as compared to the other months due to the multiplied rewards from Allah in this blessed month. Even during this circuit breaker period, we can still do sadaqah online such as making a donation to support our mosques or sponsoring food for people to break their fast!
It is in fact the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet s.a.w. where he was narrated and described to give Sadaqah like the 'wind blowing' (in terms of his generosity) especially during Ramadan when the Angel Jibril a.s. came to him to recite the Quran.
Sadaqah is not only performed monetarily, it can be any form of good deeds done to help and ease others off difficulties. It can be as simple as a sincere smile and doing something thoughtful to brighten someone’s day. So be creative with your Sadaqah!
Some will decide to refrain entirely from social media during Ramadan for the fear of wasting time and committing sins. But with good intentions and discipline, we can still use social media, especially for sharing useful knowledge of our religion and other verified and beneficial news or information. Just by simply clicking ‘share’ for a good post or an article, one can bring benefit to others and gain reward. Simple isn’t it?
مَنْ دَلَّ عَلَى خَيْرٍ فَلَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ فَاعِلِهِ
Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action.
As the true meaning of fasting is more than just merely abstaining from food and drinks, it is more pertinent for us to control our Nafs (desire) from committing sins in this blessed month, be it big or small. For example, restraining our tongues from sins such as backbiting, lying, cursing, giving sarcastic remarks and chatting incessantly. Make a plan and busy ourselves with lots of 'Ibadah and good deeds such that we become too occupied to commit sins.
After trying to refrain from doing sins, we may fall and stumble at times. What shall we do? Don’t forget to quickly seek forgiveness from Allah and say Istighfar (Astaghfirullaahal-'Aziim) sincerely from our heart. Indeed Allah loves those who repent.
Even if we think we may not do any wrong at any particular time in a day, just recite Istighfar as we may not know if we have committed any wrongdoings in the sight of Allah s.w.t, and also for the sins of the past.
Lastly, one does not need to go to the extent of eating medication to suppress the menses from coming in its due time so that one can fully fast during this month. It is still permissible to do so in Islam after one has sought advice from the medical professionals and is sure that it will not cause harm to the self. But we all know that it is something natural which Allah s.w.t. has created in us ladies. It is best that we let nature run its course as we can still continue doing other ibadah besides fasting. Just remember to make up the days we miss fasting once we are able to do so after Ramadan!
And Allah knows best.