Let’s be realistic. We all start Ramadan off strong, with excitement over the new décor that we put up, and the prep and smells of all the special Ramadan foods that are made in advance. We even start on a spiritual high, with us looking forward to re-charging our faith and strengthening our good habits.
However, after the first ten days, we hit a sort of slump. We start feeling tired and sluggish, and a little less motivated to do the religious acts we were practicing before. Usually, by the last ten days, we get our motivation back and we start strengthening our actions and good deeds in anticipation of Lailatul-Qadr. But how do we avoid the mid-Ramadan slump and the waste of those middle blessed days?
Here are some tips on keeping your faith strong and your good deeds regular and consistent the whole month of Ramadan:
- Make your intention! Intention is everything. Make sure you start each day with an intention to do good and make everything count during the day. When you cook iftar, make your intention for Allah. When you clean the house, make your intention for Allah. When you take care of your kids, make your intention for Allah. That way the regular mundane activities that you do during the day will become Ibadah. It is narrated from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah (PBUH) said to him: “You will never spend anything seeking the Face of Allaah thereby, but you will be rewarded for it, even (the food) that you put in your wife’s mouth.”
- Start with regular small deeds that you can do every day. These small deeds need not be time-consuming or hard to do, and so you will be able to do them continuously and make them a habit. Abu Huraira (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly, even if they are few.”
- Aim to recite the whole Quran at least once this Ramadan, and it won’t be too hard if you do this by splitting it up. If you recite 2 pages before each prayer and 2 pages after each prayer, that adds up to about 1 Juz a day. 30 days means 30 Juz, which is the full Quran.
- If you cannot read the whole Quran, because of Arabic language difficulties and/or lack of time, then consider how you can get the reward for reciting the whole Quran every single day…by reciting surah AlIkhlas 3 times! Abu Huraira (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Gather together, for I will recite to you one-third of the Qur’aan.” So those who could gather together gathered there, then the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) came out and recited Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, then he went in. They said to one another, Perhaps there has been some news from heaven on account of which he has gone inside (the house). Then the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) came out and said, “I told you that I was going to recite to you one-third of the Qur’aan. Verily it (Surah al-ikhlas) is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’aan.”
- Make it a goal to say dhikr every day when you are on the move. Place your Dhikr beads in the car so that it is easy to keep count and aim for a certain amount every day. Certain dhikr is more heavy on the scales than others, so aim to say these more often. The Mother of the Believers, Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith (RA) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) came out from her apartment in the morning as she was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found her sitting there. The Prophet (PBUH) said, ”Are you still in the same position as I left you.” She replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet (PBUH) said, “I recited four phrases three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since the morning, these will be heavier. These are: Subhan-Allah Wa bihamdihi, ‘adada khalqihi, wa rida-a nafsihi, wa zinatah ‘arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi (Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise, as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the ink that is used in recording the words (for His Praise).”
- Keep a Ramadan Journal or planner. There are so many options out there now for one to keep track of their prayers and duaas, and to write goals for their worship in this holy month.
Hopefully, with implementing these tips you can keep your faith increasing the whole month of Ramadan. The objective behind this blessed month is to change our habits and make us better Muslims.