We all have that low period after Ramdan when we start to disconnect from everything we struggled so hard to hold on to. It happens slowly…you get caught up in the Eid festivities, then household chores and routine responsibilities get in the way, and suddenly it’s been months since you opened the Quran.
Don’t let that be the case this year once again!
Remember, Ramadan is a reflection of the rest of the year. Whatever good habits you were able to develop in this month, they will have a positive impact on the rest of your year as well, insha Allah.
Allow this Ramadan to be the beginning of a life of Taqwa, i.e. living in awareness of God and awareness of your own self. Hold on to the spiritual high you’ve experienced in this beautiful month by practicing the following tips.
1. Doing small deeds with consistency.
It comes in a Hadith that,
The Prophet (saw) said: “Take on only as much as you can do of good deeds, for the best of deeds is that which is done consistently, even if it is little.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Ramadan shows us how much Ibadah we are capable of on a daily basis, so even if we don’t devote as much time to worship or read as much Quran as we do in Ramadan, we should still strive to develop small spiritual habits.
Whether it’s a daily recitation of Surah Yaseen, doing Dhikr every morning and evening, or 2 extra Nawafil during the day, just be consistent.
Try to bring more and more Deen into your life, slowly but consistently. This quote is so inspiring when you’re struggling to become a better Muslim:
“If you are on the path towards Allah, then run. If it is hard for you, then jog. If you get tired, then walk. And if you can’t, then crawl, but never go back or stop.” – Imam Shafi (ra)
2. Fasting throughout the year.
Fasting in itself has many spiritual benefits that you can tap into throughout the entire year. Begin with the 6 fasts of Shawwal, keeping in mind the following Hadith:
The Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Try to make up your missed fasts between one Ramadan and the next so they don’t pile up! You can easily do so by developing a habit of fasting 3 days every month (the White Days) and on Mondays and Thursdays.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Deeds are presented [to Allah (swt)] on Monday and Thursday, and I love that my deeds be presented while I am fasting.” [Tirmidhi]
3. Remaining firm on your Taubah.
After commanding the believers to fast in Ramadan, Allah (swt) says in the Quran,
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ
“When My servants ask you about Me, then (tell them that) I am near. I respond to the call of one when he prays to Me.” [2:186]
Tafsir scholars mention that one of the reasons why these verses come one after another is to remind us that our Rabb, our Merciful Creator, is still there when Ramadan ends. He is near.
As humans, we slip up time and again. It’s what you do after you mess up that matters – do you despair of His mercy and continue to sin? Or do you regret turning away and hasten back toward Him?
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4. Focus on the Ibadah that moves you the most.
While every form of worship is beautiful in its own way, you might have one special form that deeply touches you.
You should give due time to every Ibadah (especially in fulfilling your Faraidh!) but you should also make particular time for the spiritual practice that moves you and makes you feel the most connected to Allah (swt).
For some people, it’s reading the Quran for long periods of time. For others, it’s praying extra Nawafil. For some, it’s seeking knowledge and for you, it may be spending free time doing Dhikr or making Dua.
“God has opened up for His servants doors of goodness: for some He opens doors of fasting; for others He opens doors of Charity; others yet, doors of knowledge and teaching; and for others, doors of abstinence and contentment. And I am pleased with what God has opened up for me in educating people.” – Imam Malik (ra)
5. Keeping good company.
Your friends can either bring you closer to Allah (swt) or draw you away from Him. There is no in-between.
This is why the Prophet (saw) said,
الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ
“A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
Keeping company with the righteous is one of the best ways to abstain from sins and lead a life of obedience to Allah (swt).
6. Learn from your cues.
Becoming self-aware is extremely important, especially because it allows you to learn the cues for both your good and bad habits.
What motivates you to read the Quran? What are the temptations that lead you to sin? Is there a particular time of the day or night when you’re more vulnerable to sinning? Reflect on these triggers.
Create the home atmosphere you had during Ramadan outside of the month as well, and you will automatically yearn to do good deeds. Stay away from the negative cues that tempt you to sin and you’ll remain steadfast on your Taubah.
May Allah (swt) enable us to live a life of righteousness, kindness, and faith!
I hope you benefited from these tips. Which one resonated with you the most? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
Khadija Khan is a certified life coach and Islamic counselor. She is passionate about helping Muslim women reach their goals in all areas of life. She writes about things like Islamic spirituality, marital issues, parenting, and personal development. You can connect with her at www.CareNest.org.