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 didn’t feel the Ramadan spirit.
I’m sure there’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 reading… You know, all the things we’re supposed to do, or do more of. Everyone’s spirits seem on the up.
Maybe you can’t fast for whatever reason.
Maybe you work long hours, and just can’t fit the extra acts of ibadah into your day.
Maybe you’re a mum of young kids, who won’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 don’t see the point in it and chose not to fast.
Maybe you’re a revert who hasn’t made many Muslim friends yet. Maybe you live in a place with no Muslim community, and it’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 it’s day 20, 2/3 of Ramadan has gone. You start feeling guilty about not “feeling it”. But day 20 means we’re into the last 10 days of Ramadan – 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]
Let’s just remind ourselves why: in the last 10 nights lies the blessed Layatul Qadr. “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” [Quran, 97:3] That’s 83 years worth of Allah’s rewards, surely it’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 you’re excused). Even if you haven’t kept any until now. Don’t think “I’ll do it properly next year”, 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 won’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 – all the good deeds you do on Layatul Qadr will be multiplied so greatly! If you can’t manage to physically give money, or won’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 doesn’t need to be a wasted Ramadan, even if you feel so. It’s never too late to seek Allah’s forgiveness! Even if you haven’t before, these 10 days are your best time to connect with Allah and feel closer to him.
Remember, if you’re feeling disconnected– you’re not the only one. And if you’re feeling guilty about it, that’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 “Halal Mama” – a family lifestyle blog, dedicated to all things halal.