“I won’t eat or drink from dawn to dusk, for the entire month.”
This is the most basic declaration of what Ramadan is all about.
But there is so much more to this holy month. What it means, what has been ordained, what the blessings are like, and how heaven opens up its doors to us.
Ramadan indicates an opportunity for a spiritual upgrade, a chance for betterment, to increase good deeds and to jointly shun those that do not benefit us, and one of the best opportunities to strengthen our relationship with God.
Ramadan isn’t just about abstaining from food and drink from dawn to dusk and if it is seen as just a daily fast for 29 or 30 days, it can become one that is cumbersome and done without much spiritual zeal.
Here are ways to achieve a spiritual boost as the month of Ramadan begins to reel in.
Study Ramadan 101
The first spiritual step in preparing for Ramadan is to start studying it. It’s not just about reading up on Ramadan (which is also necessary), but to understand and reflect upon the meaning of the Quranic injunctions and the Hadith that mentions the importance of Ramadan.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) announced on the last day of Sha`ban:
“Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; a month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night.
Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in this month shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in this month shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time.” (Al-Albani)
Prophet Muhammad’s prelude to Ramadan is an eye opener as to why Ramadan is so important. As believers, we are obliged not to merely fast through the month and continue our lives as if it were any other month, but to understand why Ramadan is singled out as an intrinsically Holy month and how the rewards will be heightened over and above whatever has been prescribed throughout the other months.
Savouring the blessings of Ramadan allows us to transit into the month with spiritual zeal and excitement rather than dawdling through “obligatory” worship without understanding fully how they benefit our faith.
Heart-healthy tips for Ramadan
Exercising during Ramadan
How to handle Ramadan headaches
Image: The holy Quran from shutterstock
By: Maria Zain