The Ramadan Blues – 5 Steps to Keep the Momentum Going!
“Wow! Ramadan just ended, and I already feel like my Iman is dipping! I need a dua for strong Iman!”
If you’re anything like me, you’ve realized the blessings and peace of Ramadan are no longer on our side. The Shayateen are back in full force! And trying to maintain the habits established in Ramadan, even if it’s a few, feels like a losing battle.
Ramadan is a time of reflection and a special opportunity to experience how magnificent is Allah’s Grace and Mercy. He continuously showers us with compassion, protection, and more.
So, while it’s easy to think we are overpowered by our weakness and the plot of Shaytaan, let us understand that all authority and power only belong to Allah. Choose to look at the glass half full. Use the Ramadan experience to boost Iman for the rest of the year and InshaAllah until we meet our Lord.
Here are five steps you can take, including a dua for strong Iman, to help you through this journey called life!
Ramadan was a boost to get us thinking deeply about our lives, where we are, and where we want to go. As we continue the path of contemplation, be open to change. We can learn from the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his many hours of contemplation. It was during these times that he received the first revelation. Thinking deeply about our Creator, existence, purpose, and weaknesses is the first step to continuing our spiritual gains from Ramadan’s boost.
Equipped with a better understanding and an honest self-assessment between ourselves and our Creator, we can acknowledge our mistakes and submit. While we may be unable to walk away from the many sins we do and never go back to them, at least we can now first admit they are sins. This could be talking about others when typically, we tell ourselves, “I’m just sharing my life experience.” Or it could be wasting our time, going to sleep late, missing fajr, or not fulfilling family rights. Deep down, we know where we fall short, and we know we need to be better. So here, we submit to this reality and accept our errors without making excuses. We submit to what Allah wants, knowing fully that we are falling short.
Now we can sincerely do two things: turn back to Allah in repentance and fix our intentions. Once we recognize and accept our wrongs, we must try to correct them. This doesn’t mean we’ll ever become sinless; it means we intend to try our best to return to Allah when we slip.
We can never reach perfection; we were not created that way. Only Allah is free from any error or defects. Perfection belongs to Allah alone. Humans will always be in error, and by Allah’s Mercy, He loves it when we turn back to Him in repentance. Our self-rectification or correction means we intend to obey Him without making excuses for ourselves, even if we fall into error. The point here is that we turn back to Allah and wholeheartedly intend to do better.
After we intend to do better, we must work towards it.
This means putting into practice habits that help us. Ramadan supported this process of reading the Quran daily, going to the mosque, helping our family, and sleeping early so we could wake up for fajr. We may have taken steps to practice correctly. Wherever you are, put into place small but consistent efforts; after that, use each Ramadan to increase these good actions.
`Aisha (RAA) narrates: Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise and that the most beloved deed to Allah, is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” Sahih al-Bukhari 6464
5. Dua for Strong Iman
Of course, success is only with the help and the ability granted to us. Therefore, part of keeping our Iman growing stronger is making dua! Supplicate to Allah, with all your heart, to be granted closeness to Him and obedience to Him Alone.
We learn a dua for strong Iman from our Prophet (peace be upon him) in this hadith:
Abdullah b. Amr b. al-‘As reports that he heard Allah’s Messenger (SAW) saying:
Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that in any (direction) He likes. Then Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “0 Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Thine obedience.” Sahih Muslim 265’5
‘Anas narrates, “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) would often say: Ya Muqallibal-qulub, thabbit qalbi’ ala dinik(‘O Changer of the Hearts! Strengthen my heart upon Your Religion.).’ So I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! We believe in you and what you have come with, but do you fear for us?’ He said: ‘Yes. Indeed the hearts are between two Fingers of Allah’s Fingers. He changes them as He wills.'” Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2140
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ
Ya Muqallibal-qulub, thabbit qalbi ‘ala dinik
O Changer of the Hearts! Strengthen my heart upon Your Religion
There is some comfort in knowing that we are trying to make a solid effort through reflection, submission, correction, consistency, and making dua for strong Iman.
Allah is Watching us and aware of our struggle. Continue working towards Allah, even if you feel weak and perhaps like you’re slipping. The reality is that a believer would never feel they’ve done enough because we can only do so. The point is to keep striving towards Allah, always hopeful in His Mercy but fearful of His Punishment.