“This great opportunity to fast particularly during the Month of Ramadan is a fast to draw us closer to Allah that we may find the discipline and strength to cast off the unnecessary burden of sin.”
- The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, “Peace, Refuge and Renewal During Ramadan”
It’s almost that time of year again—The Holy Month of Ramadan is nearly upon us! Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him). Muslims across the globe read the holy book from cover to cover during the 30 days of Ramadan, as well as fast from sunup to sun down, focus on prayer, charity and more. These practices are a great purifier of our lives, which is why Ramadan is an excellent time for a life and spiritual reset. Below, we’ve prepared some tips to help you on this journey.
1. Lay out your goals, intentions and plans for the fast
Just like you set goals for the new year in January, you can also set goals for Ramadan. As stated above, the holy month is a great way to reset your life in so many different ways. And the best way to reset is by starting with your relationship with Allah (God). So get your pen, and let’s make a plan!
I want to finish reading the Holy Qur’an
Maybe this Ramadan, you want to make sure you finish reading all 30 parts of the Holy Qur’an. Write it down then write out why you want to accomplish this goal. Then, make a plan for how you will accomplish it. What would be the best time for you to read each day? Is it best for you to finish a part in one sitting? Is it best for you to break it up throughout your day? Look at your schedule and decide what would work for you. Lastly, think about what excuses you often make, which keeps you from completing your reading, then find a solution to combat it. Writing these things down will cement it in your mind, and it will also give you a reference as to why you have no excuse not to accomplish this goal.
I want to make all of my prayers
If your goal is to make your five daily prayers, first, make sure you’re clear on when the prayer times are. Then, look at your schedule and write out what you’re typically doing during those times. If you’re at work or school, then you may have to find an alternative way to make the prayers. You could step away from your obligations and find a safe space to complete the prayers, you could also make up the prayer when you get home. If your schedule is flexible, or you don’t have any obligations keeping you from making the prayers, set an alarm at the proper time of each prayer.
I want to eat healthy meals
Being busy and having a hectic schedule may keep us from preparing and eating healthy meals. If this sounds like you, then nip that in the bud before Ramadan. You will not survive the fast without eating properly. So, write out a list of healthy meals you can prepare. Decide when the best time is for you to prepare your meals during the week. Maybe you can chop all of your vegetables beforehand and set out all of your portions so that when it’s time to cook, everything will be ready. Planning and preparation will make your life so much easier.
Get an accountability partner
No matter what your goal is, having an accountability partner is a helpful tool to make sure you accomplish what you set out to do. During Ramadan, it shouldn’t be hard to find others who want to make the above-mentioned, or other goals, a reality. So find someone who you know has your best interest in mind, and find ways to check in with each other and encourage each other to accomplish your goals.
2. Keep yourself inspired
Let’s be real –– there may be times during the fast where you just want to give up. We all know those days where it seems like it’s taking the sun extra long to go down, and it feels like you just can’t make it through another minute without water. Of course, you know the difference between a real emergency and when it’s just in your head. So one thing you can do is create a note of inspiration on your phone, in a notebook, or wherever may be easiest for you to access throughout your day. This note can be filled with verses from the Holy Qur’an, words from The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) concerning fasting, Ramadan and discipline. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
- Holy Qur’an 2:183: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may guard against evil.”
- Holy Qur’an surah 113: “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, The Merciful. Say I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn, From the evil of that which He has created, And from the evil of the intense darkness, when it comes, And from the evil of those who cast (evil suggestions) in firm resolutions, and from the evil of the envier when he envies.”
- “Beloved Believers, let us make this Fast a great Fast of nearness; nearness to God who gave us life and time to live it. Gave us life and the way to live it. Gave us life and the joy of peace when we try to live the life that Allah has guided us to live through the guidance of His prophets and messengers, Prophet Muhammad and through the guidance that the Mahdi has brought to us that He gave to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for us.” – The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, “Peace, Refuge and Renewal During Ramadan”
3. Clean your space
We can literally do all the things…pray, fast, read the Holy Qur’an…but we definitely can’t do them in a filthy living space. Look around, and it should be easy to tell if your home is in need of a deep clean. If so, make a list of everything that needs to be cleaned. Then, make a plan on how you will tackle it. If you don’t have enough time today to complete it, then divide the tasks up so that your home can be spotless before Ramadan begins.
4. Cleanse your sources for entertainment
Since we’re all about purifying our lives during this holy month, that means we need to also look at what we’re going to for entertainment. Are we listening to nasty lyrics? Are we watching filthy tv shows and movies? Are we reading trashy novels? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s time to clean it up.
Lectures, podcasts and books
The best way to fill your time, not just during Ramadan, but period, is with the Word of God. There are literally countless lectures online from The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. So if you feel an itch of boredom, pop on a lecture, or even listen to one while you’re cleaning, cooking, working out, etc. There are also many podcasts you can listen to, and books you can read to keep your mind on Allah (God).
Create a Ramadan playlist
One practice you can adopt is to purge your playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, or whatever app you use, of bad music. Or you can create a separate playlist altogether. Music on this playlist should not have any expletives and it shouldn’t incite you to anything that would violate your fast. You could also listen to classical music during this time. There are so many great artists and songs out there that will help you keep your mind on a level it should be at during Ramadan.
5. Improve your relationship with yourself and with Allah (God)
One of the greatest blessings we receive during Ramadan is a much closer relationship with Allah (God). The practices prescribed for us, such as fasting, prayer, and the reading of the Holy Qur’an help us to receive this blessing. There are also other ways we can draw closer to Him. In recent years, I’ve taken on a personal writing project each Ramadan. I like to create a new story to work on during the holy month. Sometimes it’s a hit and sometimes it’s a miss, but it’s a fun activity that helps me to perfect my gift, which was given to me by Allah (God). It’s a show of gratitude and a personal form of devotion to Him.
Improve your relationship with yourself and with Allah (God) by honing your gift, or by working to discover what your gift is. Minister Farrakhan teaches that Allah (God) gave each of us a gift, which came from a part of Himself. If you think on it more, you may discover, or already have, a way to get closer to Allah (God) that is unique and personal to you.