6 Beneficial Ramadan Tips
Ramadan is a time filled with many blessings and rewards. It’s a special month, singled out in Quran from all the others and is unlike any other.
“Ramaḍan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺. So whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then ˹let them fast˺ an equal number of days ˹after Ramaḍân˺. Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Quran 2:185)
For Muslims around the world Ramadan means fasting and family. And while all that is true on one level, Ramadan is so much more for the believer.
Narrated Abu Huraira:Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven. (Sahih al-Bukhari 38)
Increasing in good actions is a great way to make sure you benefit from Ramadan. Here are six areas to focus your attention so you get the most benefit out of your Ramadan, having received the blessings and rewards it offers, InshaAllah.
Re-Establish Your Intention
Although we all know Ramadan is meant for fasting, we sometimes don’t give it the extra care and thought required to benefit from our fasting. Take a second to contemplate this month and the purpose behind fasting. Make your intention to fulfill your obligation before Allah, but also do it in the best of ways, such as giving up bad habits. Or being mindful of what you say and do. Your intention to fast for the Pleasure of Allah changes how you approach this blessed and wonderful month.
Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness” (Quran 2:183)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1894)
Fix Your Family Relationships
Keeping a strong relationship with our family is very important for us believers. It impacts our faith and connection with Allah directly. Therefore, making sure to be in contact with family members is part of our faith (iman), especially family members that do not respond back in kindness or at all. Our duty is to keep the ties of kinship regardless of how people treat us. In doing this we strengthen our relationship with our Creator and perhaps He will be well Pleased.
‘Abdu’r-Rahman ibn ‘Awf heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Allah, the Almighty and Exalted, said, ‘I am the Merciful (ar-Rahman). I have created ties of kinship and derives a name for it from My Name. If anyone maintains ties of kinship, I maintain connection with him, and I shall cut off anyone who cuts them off.’ (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 53)
Take Special Care of Your Parents
Part of taking care of our family relationships is paying special attention to our parents. Days turn into months, and we may have not called or asked about their well-being. Perhaps they have needs we have not met because we have been busy with our lives. Consider Ramadan the perfect time to establish the habit of taking care of our parents.
Maybe they aren’t very old and don’t need help, but we can still show them care and love by serving them in any way we know how. Maybe your mom likes a special sweet dish, so make it for her. Or if you can’t, ship it to her. Maybe your dad is feeling lonely, so make a point of calling him every week. Small things like this are all it takes to care for our parents. It requires us to see the human side of our parents and make a point of trying to fulfill their needs even if they don’t ask for anything. May Allah bless all our parents for all that they have done/do for us, Ameen.
It is reported that al-Miqdam ibn Ma’dikarib heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Allah enjoins you to be dutiful to your mothers.
Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your mothers. Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your fathers.
Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your next closest relative and then to your next closest relative.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 60)
Take Care of Your Neighbors
There are so many good actions that we can do in the month of Ramadan, and there is no reason we should not strive to do it all. Of course, some actions such as our salat, dhikr/tasbih and reading Quran are all part of our worship. It involves no one except us and our connection with Allah. However, there are also many rewards that can be attained through helping others and taking care of them.
Aisha reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Gabriel continued to instruct me to treat neighbors well until I thought he would make them my heirs.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6014, Sahih Muslim 2624)
Keep Your Good Actions to Yourself
In Ramadan we all strive to do better. Some decide they’ll read the entire Quran, maybe even a few times, others might want to volunteer their time doing charity work, some may be leading tarawih or be up all night in salat. The point is our good actions are for ourselves, and though we might feel happy that we’re doing what we set out to do, we spoil those actions by boasting about it. Make your intentions to do good, and go out and do it, but there’s no need to tell others. The One that Knows All, already knows what you’re doing. Speaking about our good deeds might be a means of removing the goodness from us.
Narrated Jundub: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him). (Sahih al-Bukhari 6499)
Make Lots of Dua (Supplication)
This last point seems so obvious but sometimes we miss it because we remember dua after salat and not other times. You can always ask of Allah and not just after salat. Dua is worship:
An-Nu’man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Du’a (supplication) is worship.” (Abu Dawud : Riyad as-Salihin 1465)
The youth especially have difficulty making dua because they say, “Well, what should I ask for”? While the sunnah is filled with many different types of duas that can be made, you can’t literally ask for anything. The best place to start is by asking Allah for guidance, as we do in every salat during surah Fatiha. If we are guided, we will be fine, by Allah’s Grace in this World and the hereafter. But without guidance no matter what we do, we will not be on the right path. So, ask deeply for guidance, and success in this life and the hereafter.
This is the recommended dua when breaking your fast:
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the supplication of a fasting person is not turned away at the time of breaking fast.”
Abdullah would say when breaking fast, “O Allah, I ask You by You mercy, which encompasses all things, to forgive me.” (Sunan Ibn Mājah 1753)