ramadan, the month of the qur’an, represents an invaluable opportunity for all believers to recharge the batteries of faith and draw close to their lord. a wise muslim should be keen to make best use of these blessed moments. if muslims are unable to undistractedly focus on the hereafter all the time, let them at least do so during this short, yet boundlessly blessed, period of time. below are some tips on how to boost your spirit during this longed-for month:
ask almighty allah to make this the most inspiring, spiritually uplifting ramadan you have ever had. allah is the only who can make this happen and complete reliance on him completely is the major step in boosting our spirits.
2- clear your mind
turn off the tv, the computer, the radio, your cell phone, pager, ipod, etc. you need not do so all day long, but for at least 10 minutes a day. find a quiet place where you can close your eyes, remember your lord and think deeply about your relationship with him. at first, your mind will swirl with the useless and not-so-useful thoughts in your head. force them away and focus your thought during these few minutes on three things: almighty allah, your purpose in life, and whether you are making due efforts to achieve that purpose. do this every day of ramadan, if you can. should this be not possible, do it at least three times a week.
3- learn about great muslim figures
even if you have read it or listened to it before, again read or listen to `abdul-wahid hamid's companions of the prophet during this ramadan. read about or listen daily to a companion's story. well-written and short, these stories inform us in a wonderful way about these noble personalities and about how they maintained the strength of their faith against incredible odds. what a sure-fire spirituality booster!
4- connect to the qur’an
the noble qur’an is the means whereby almighty allah talks to us. indeed, it is the most important key to spiritual upliftment. during this ramadan, connect to the qur’an in a new way. if you already recite the qur’an regularly, you can choose a new theme to focus on or select a particular surah you have not read for a while. if, however, you are not a frequent reader of the qur’an, you can start by reciting it for only two minutes a day; recite from the first page you encounter when you open the mushaf (copy of the qur’an). it is also recommended that you keep a qur’anic journal in which you can record your reflections, questions, thoughts, etc., about what you recite.
5- take care of others
whether it is a person who is away from his family, a person who is having problems with his or her spouse or kids, or fellow students struggling with their grades, make an extra effort this ramadan to help others out. the spiritual boost you get in return is well worth it.
6- feed the hungry
while your stomach shrieks in protest, give that panhandler some change, volunteer at a soup kitchen, get involved with your local food pantry or make a couple of bag lunches to give to the hungry you meet on your way to school or work.
7- give up one lifelong bad habit
ask yourself what your fundamental defining traits are. then decide which is the worst of them. is it a hot temper? apathy? laziness? impatience? whatever it may be, utilize this ramadan to get rid of it. practice the opposite of this bad habit of yours every day until the end of the month. by then, in sha’ allah, you will look back and be amazed at the change you have made for the better.
8- use those nights of power
the last ten nights or ramadan are not called the nights of power for nothing. use these precious times for deep, heartfelt du`aa’, self-analysis, reflection and serious thought.