I remember getting to this point last year, and feeling pretty deflated. Not because of the heat, not because of the thirst and hunger.
It was because on day 20 I still didnâ€™t feel the Ramadan spirit.
Iâ€™m sure thereâ€™s going to be plenty of you out there, who can relate to that feeling. We look on social media, and everyone around seems to be getting excited about Ramadan for months before it comes. Everyone is doing SO well with their fasts, their prayers, their Quran readingâ€¦ You know, all the things weâ€™re supposed to do, or do more of. Everyoneâ€™s spirits seem on the up.
Maybe you canâ€™t fast for whatever reason.
Maybe you work long hours, and just canâ€™t fit the extra acts of ibadah into your day.
Maybe youâ€™re a mum of young kids, who wonâ€™t let you go to the toilet alone, you can barely manage the compulsory prayers, so you can forget having time for any extra worship.
Maybe your imaan is at all-time low. Maybe Ramadan just feels like another burden. Maybe you just donâ€™t see the point in it and chose not to fast.
Maybe youâ€™re a revert who hasnâ€™t made many Muslim friends yet. Maybe you live in a place with no Muslim community, and itâ€™s just a really lonely time.
One, or more of the above can apply to you. Just like it did to me.
Then suddenly you realise that itâ€™s day 20, 2/3 of Ramadan has gone. You start feeling guilty about not â€œfeeling itâ€. But day 20 means weâ€™re into the last 10 days of Ramadan â€“ and what better time to turn things around?
Aisha (ra) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (pbuh) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]
Letâ€™s just remind ourselves why: in the last 10 nights lies the blessed Layatul Qadr. â€œThe Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.â€ [Quran, 97:3] Thatâ€™s 83 years worth of Allahâ€™s rewards, surely itâ€™s worth getting into some last-minute Ramadan spirit for it?
How to best spend the last 10 days:
- Make sure you keep your fasts (unless youâ€™re excused). Even if you havenâ€™t kept any until now. Donâ€™t think â€œIâ€™ll do it properly next yearâ€, you might not be here for it.
- Pray. Try to squeeze in the extra prayers, especially at night.
- Make dua. Not just the Layatul Qadr dua, but do the small ones throughout the day.
- Get that Quran off the shelf. You probably wonâ€™t get to read it all now, but try at least a bit, and maybe you can motivate yourself to keep reading when Ramadan is over. Pick some short surahs to start with, or open on your favourite if you have one.
- Give charity. Just think â€“ all the good deeds you do on Layatul Qadr will be multiplied so greatly! If you canâ€™t manage to physically give money, or wonâ€™t remember to pay online every day, there are now pages that let you set up a daily donation over the last 10 days, so one will definitely fall on the Layatul Qadr (In sha Allah).
It really doesnâ€™t need to be a wasted Ramadan, even if you feel so. Itâ€™s never too late to seek Allahâ€™s forgiveness! Even if you havenâ€™t before, these 10 days are your best time to connect with Allah and feel closer to him.
Remember, if youâ€™re feeling disconnectedâ€“ youâ€™re not the only one. And if youâ€™re feeling guilty about it, thatâ€™s a sign that you do actually care and can still turn things around!
May we all make the most of the remainder of this Ramadan!
Joanna is a Polish revert, living in the UK with her Pakistani husband and two kids. She posts her ramblings at â€œHalal Mamaâ€ â€“ a family lifestyle blog, dedicated to all things halal.