what-is-fasting

How To Keep The Ramadan Spirit Alive

 

You’re expecting another cliché article, aren’t you?

Like the ones with the rhyming titles we read every year about a week or two after Eid:

“7 Ways To Maintain Your Eman”
“Don’t Let Ramadan Fly And Let Your Faith Die”
“Reason Number Five To Keep Ramadan’s Spirit Alive”

Let me tell you a little secret…
You know why bloggers and authors write those things even though they’ve all been written before?
And why they give the same advice relentlessly over and over even though they know you already know it by heart?

It is because this is the exact time a weird struggle erupts inside of you. The temptations are too tempting, people are out and about having fun, and you start thinking, after all the fasting and the Qur’an reading and the praying and the ‘Taraweeh-ing’ for a whole month, you kind of, should, would or could take a break!
Plus it’s summer time! Which means it’s double trouble.

 

See? Even I’m packing and getting ready to rumble off to my ‘wild-imagination’ world. You guys care to join? (Oh don’t be shy, I know you miss it)

This way please.

 

Shhhhh stop! Duck down.

There’s Satan and his squad. They’re having a ‘welcome-back’ party for humans; dancing around, distributing informative brochures on ‘How To Spill All Your Efforts In Ramadan Down The Drain in The Blink Of An Eye!”

 

“Let’s roll up those prayer mats people and get this party starteddddddd wooohooooooo”
That’s the DJ Devil. He’s really something else!

Look at him with his cap turned backwards and his sequenced plaid shirt opened up to his belly button. Such a wannabe!

 

The sidekick devils are wearing red aprons tonight. Hmmm interesting. They’re going around, pouring Champaign and tequila for everyone.

Is it just me or is the music SO INSANELY LOUD? And yet, I somehow can still hear all the gossiping, backbiting and cursing!

Excuse me, yes, you! Sorry, can I ask, are my ears bleeding through my Hijab?

 

Guys really, I’m so sorry! I don’t know what happened. We were supposed to go on this amazing journey of keeping the Ramadan Spirit alive! What brought us here? There’s obviously a glitch in the system. I guess we took a wrong turn and ended up with the evil spirit instead!

 

Don’t panic. Just let the person closest to the ‘Esc’ button on my keyboard press it and we’ll all be out of here in a jiffy…

 

Ahhhh thank you…

 

I never thought I’d be the kind of person to say this, but right now, don’t you kind of miss Ramadan?

Not necessarily the fasting part, but the serene part…

The peaceful part…
The striving to be better part…
The ‘being-so-disgusted-by-sins’ part…

 

We still have 11 months to go.
The madness we just had a horrible glimpse of; how are we going to survive it?

Actually, coming to think of it, how do we survive it every year without collapsing or slipping?

Now it makes sense why the Prophet’s companions (may peace and blessings be upon him and may Allah be pleased with them) spent six months asking Allah to let them live long enough to reach Ramadan and then spent the other six months asking Allah to accept their deeds in Ramadan.

 

Oh they knew things, didn’t they?

Things we have learned really well

Things we know yet don’t do…

 

Like what you ask?

Hmmmm off the top of my head…

 

We know, “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi,’ (Glory be to Allah and Praise) one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea.”  [Sahih al-Bukhari]
We know but do we do?

 

We know “Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allah, then Allah will move his face away from the Hellfire by a distance of seventy years.” [Sahih Muslim]

 

We know, but do we do?

 

We know the merits of giving charity.
The immense virtue of making orphans happy.

The unsurpassed rewards of ‘Qiyam Al Layl’. (voluntary night prayers)

The priceless value of learning our own religion and studying the Qur’an.
We know, but do we do?

 

And the truth is, we don’t want to be reminded of the things we don’t do! We don’t need another nagging person in our lives, thank you very much. The ones we live with are already more than enough for six lifetimes.

Perhaps reminders are what we need?
No that’s just a fancy word for ‘nagging’ but it’s ultimately the same concept

 

Maybe we need options? Suggestions? A wake-up call?

 

‘Awkward silence’

 

While you ponder on that, I’ll list some options.

  • Try to fast on Mondays and Thursdays: I thought only fictitious characters are able to do that in this ‘modern’ time and age, but turns out, real life people do it too. Let’s curb the urge to envy them and join them instead.
  • Don’t abandon your Qur’an. Even one page a day will suffice. Make it a daily practice. Zero tolerance guys!
  • Pray at night even two Raka’s before you sleep. Easy bonus points. I’m not sure why but it keeps you serene for some reason.
  • Remember that Du’aa is the gist worship. It’s the backbone of worship! So keep asking and begging and talking to Allah in private.
  • Do a lot of Istighfar. (Boy do we need to erase some ugly stuff)
  • Keep your friends close and your good friends closer. They’ll make staying on the right track that much easier.
  • Secret good deeds are the reason why many people will have surprise welcome parties in Jannah. The rewards are completely unexpected, you really won’t see them coming.

 

Now that some options have been laid down on the table, I need you to take out your glasses and inspect them carefully.

No not those reading glasses! Your spiritual glasses. Your ‘deep-perspective’, ‘I-know-this-life-is-temporary’ glasses.
Feel free to flip the options over, weigh them, check their price tags and then pick the ones you’ll most likely stay consistent with.

 

Because you know what’s worse than not knowing?

It’s knowing and not doing.

You might not know it now, but there’s a doer inside of you…
Hungry for achievement
Hungry for joy and peace and guiltless pleasures.

 

Like that spiritual boost you got in Ramadan.

Don’t stop now.

Keep going…
Keep building on it.
After all, that’s what happiness looks like…
It’s the fulfillment we get from progress.

It’s what makes you feel alive.

 



Lily S. Mohsen

About

Lilly S. Mohsen is the author of "Live Your Story' and 'The Prophets To Islam' Series for children. Lilly is a part-time therapist and a spiritual speaker. She’s currently pursuing another Diploma in Islamic Psychology and is a contributing writer to a number of educational and Inspirational blogs.


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