…and it’s over! I remember the anticipation of Ramadan like it was yesterday. Yet, it feels like it was so long ago.
I’m severely missing the spiritual high I felt after those early mornings reading the Quran with the twilight sky peeking through my bedroom window. The long, tranquil nights of standing in taraweeh with my fellow brothers and sisters in front of our Lord. The shared memories of preparing iftar, attending iftar gatherings, and heading to Timmies for late night snacks and coffee.
Ramadan. A blessed and peaceful month.
It is so easy to go back to our old ways; binge-watching netflix (instead of listening to an Islamic lecture) or eating mindlessly until our pants are tight around the waist (instead of savouring each bite). So very easy to rush our prayers, or visit the mosque only on Fridays…if ever. Simple, even, to put our Quran back on the book shelf and say goodbye for another year.
Subhanallah – how simple it would be to just forget all of the gains we made this Ramadan and the peacefulness our mind, body, and spirit felt from being closer to Allah. Don’t forget. Don’t give up. Don’t choose the “simple” route. Work hard (just like you do everyday at work!) and make an effort to keep Ramadan alive in your heart.
To help you do this, I’ve compiled a list of easy-to-implement tips to keep the Ramadan Spirit Alive:
TIP 1: LISTEN TO QURAN IN YOUR CAR
Buy a Quran CD or create a you tube playlist of your favorite surahs: With work and school it’s hard to find the time to pick up the Quran and read it. Playing quran in your car ensures that you get your daily dose of Quran and it’s as easy a pressing a button once you’re on your way. We do a lot of driving on a daily basis and Toronto traffic is a headache, so instead of cranking up the tunes, crank up Surat-Al Baqarah and let the rewards pour in.
TIP 2: GO TO QIYAM-UL-LAYL OR TAHAJJUD AT THE MASJID
Taraweeh isn’t the only form of worship during the night-time. Qiyam-ul-Layl or Tahajjud is another way to connect with Allah Late at night or early in the morning (which, by the way, is one of the best times to make dua). The following Hadith Sahih confirms this:
“When half or a third of the night passes by, Allah descends to the lowest heaven and says: ‘No one asks more about my servants than myself. Who is asking me, so I can give to him? Who is calling upon me, so I can answer him? who is seeking my forgiveness, so I can forgive him?'” (narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Head to your local masjid on the weekend for qiyaam/tahajjud and ask Allah for anything you want.
TIP 3: CONTINUE TO DO GOOD
This one’s a no brainer. Doing good isn’t specific to Ramadan, but Islam as a whole. Always be kind to your family, friends, neighbours, guests, even strangers you meet. Random acts of kindness display the beauty of Islam to the community – help an elderly lady unpack her groceries, hold the door at Starbucks for the group of people walking behind you, pay for the Timmies order for the people in the car behind you, say “good morning” to a random person, give your neighbour some of the delicious dessert you just baked, etc.
TIP 4: PICK UP A GOOD BOOK
There are many books out there about different duas you can make, the journey of the prophets and learning about Islamic etiquette. Head over to Salam Shop or your local book store and pick up a book that interests you. Make sure it’s something that you know you won’t be able to put down once you start and something that’s at your current level of Islamic knowledge. One of our Salam Shop bestsellers is Joy Jots by Anse Tamara Gray. It is the perfect book for busy peopel because it’s a collection of short exercises to do each week throughout the year. Once chapter a week! It helps you implement and reflect upon the lessons taught in the book and you feel a sense of accomplishment in completing the exercises for the sake of Allah. Reading is good for the mind and spirit, and the act of gaining knowledge is very important in Islam.
TIP 5: FAST ONCE A MONTH
Just because Ramadan is over doesn’t mean that you can no longer fast. Fasting is great for self control and willpower. The best times to fast are Mondays and Thursdays (the way the Prophet SAW) and any six days of Shawwal.
“Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from Shawwal it is as if they fasted the entire year.” (narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah)
That’s it. Our five tips……but we want to make it easier for you to keep the Ramadan spirit alive all year round – that’s why we are combining tip 4 and 5 and making it a monthly hangout. On the 15th of every month, we are asking our Salam Shop customers, followers, and friends to fast. For those of you who are local, we’ll be meeting up on the 15th of each month for maghrib prayer at ISNA Mosque Mississauga, followed by iftar at a nearby restaurant. To make it even more fun, we are combining our monthly fasting group with our book club!! We will be reading Joy Jots by Anse Tamara Gray. You can pick up the book at the shop or order it here. Attendance at every FBC meeting is NOT necessary…you can come once, you can come monthly, you can come whenever!
You’ll receive a monthly reminder to fast on the 15th, as well as the location of iftar! This is a great way to reap many rewards – fasting, praying at the masjid, making the heart of a fellow believer happy, and finding serenity in the sunnah of the Prophet SAW and the quran (through Joy Jots).
Looking forward to keeping the Ramadan spirit alive with you all…
This blog post was written by Omhani in collaboration with Sudduf. Omhani is an intern at Salam Shop for the Summer of 2016. She is going into her senior year of high school and hopes to take Psychology in University. Omhani is a little bit of a neat freak and she loves reading and making the people around her smile.