Three Shawwal Tips After Ramadan
With Ramadan behind us now, many worry about losing the heightened spiritual connection. Attending the daily night prayers of tarawih, setting aside time to recite more Quran, and even simple dhikr, has left a void. Although our schedules are back to normal, we are blessed with a special gift in the month of Shawwal. Shawwal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar and the first day celebrates Eid al-Fitr. It is the month we take all that we learned in Ramadan and apply it beginning in Shawwal. Ramadan is not the end, but rather the beginning of renewed faith. Here are three Shawwal tips to maximize this month.
Tip 1: Six Fasts of Shawwal
After 30 days of fasting, it may seem exhausting to think about fasting again. However, after Ramadan, Shawwal is also known as a fasting month.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be (rewarded) as if he had fasted the entire year.” (Muslim)
We have a whole month to fast six days, and that will be as though we fasted an entire year!
Some prefer fasting six days consecutively, while others want to split their fasts across the month. Do what works for your schedule. Look at your calendar and block out the days. With good intentions, these six fasts will be easy, quick, and beneficial.
Tip 2: Daily Quran Recitation
Quran is the heart of Ramadan, but when the month goes, so does our commitment to reading it. To keep our spiritual state strong, we must be strict about reading Quran daily. For some, it means reading a juz a day. For others, maybe reading a page or one verse a day. The quantity is not the goal. The goal is to open your Quran consistently.
This Shawwal tip is meant to keep you connected to Allah regardless of your mood. It is a commitment you make to support your life. Reading the Quran daily is a means of grounding yourself, even if you don’t understand the meaning.
Tip 3: Every Week, Learn Something New
Knowledge of Islamic teachings and the Quran is very deep, and you can never know enough! Everyone is at different levels in what they know about Islam. The goal here is to learn something new about Islam that would motivate you to be better.
You can learn the meaning of one verse of the Quran and contemplate it the entire week. Or reflect on a hadith about character and make it part of who you are. You can be inspired by the bravery and struggles of early Muslims.
Start with the knowledge that you are drawn towards. This way, you will feel motivated to commit to learning something new and implementing it every week. Steps of change in our lives are small. But before you know it, by next Ramadan, you’ll be looking at a better version of yourself.
Ultimately, these three Shawwal tips are about maintaining our faith and then strengthening it. By slowly increasing our daily practice and knowledge, we learn consistency with intention.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if it is small.” (Bukhari)
Umar ibn al-Khattab reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, deeds are only with intentions, and every person will have only what they intended.” (Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari 54, Ṣaḥiḥ Muslim 1907)
Avoid the Ramadan dip, by renewing your intentions this Shawwal!