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Ramadan – A Time for Reflection

Ramadan – A Time for Reflection

Link to all Ramadan 2010 posts

Too often when we think about Ramadan, we only think about taraweh, suhur and iftar. Many Muslims spend the day sleeping or watching television to “pass the time” and many rush to complete as many Qur'ans as possible.

How many of us though, use this extra free time for reflection. Ramadan is supposed to be the time of the year in which we recharge out īmān and prepare for the challenges facing us over the next eleven months. This can not be done unless we stop to contemplate our own faults and reflect upon the solutions during this important month.

A question arises though as to what should we reflect on during Ramadan and the following is a list of what I feel we all should reflect on, of course every individual will have specific issues that need more attention:

1) Your relationship with Allāh: Is your life pleasing to Allāh? Are you close to Allāh? Do you understand His Book? Do you recite it outside of Ramadan?

2) Your relationship with your family: Does your family love you? Are you a burden or blessing to those around you? Will you be missed if you die today? Are you fulfilling the rights of your family? Are you a role model Muslim to your family?

3) Your relationship with people: Have you contributed to society? Do you have a legacy? Does your presence help others love Islam or does it chase them away from it?

4) The creation of Allāh: pondering over the beauty of Allāh's creation helps one increase in piety and closeness to Allāh.

5) The problems in society and what you can do to solve any of them.

Some people might say that Ramadan is a busy time for them and they do not have time to do this, so here is a list of the best times during Ramadan to set aside for reflection:

1) After ‘aṣr: I understand that most women are in the kitchen during this time but most of the men are either finding ways to pass the time or sleeping. Instead this could be a great time for reflection.

2) Before Iftar: Everybody is seated at the table waiting to sink their teeth into the variety of dates and savories in front of them. Instead of looking at our watches every few seconds, let us make du‘ā’ or ponder during this time.

3) Qiyamul Layl: It is late, all the distractions are gone, you are alone praying to your Lord, this is the best time to contemplate on your own faults and ask Allāh for help in solving them.

4) After Suhur or Fajr: Either you are sitting and waiting for fajr prayer or trying to fall asleep after the prayer, take this time to reflect and contemplate instead of revising the iftar menu for today.

I hope this article assists you in making this a Ramadan of change. As for myself, I hope to experience a Ramadan of reflection and growth. If I do not become a better Muslim this Ramadan, then I will have wasted this blessed month.

allah asr du'a iman

About Ismail Kamdar

Ismail Kamdar. aka Abu Muawiyah, is the Head Tutorial Assistant of the Islamic Online University, the author of "Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam" and the host of a regular Tafseer program on Radio Al-Ansaar. Ismail began his study of Islam at the age of thirteen with a seven year Alim course at a local Madrassa. He then studied under a variety of Shuyookh and institutes from around the world. His most notable teacher is Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, the founder of IOU. Ismail is currently in his final year of BAIS (Bachelors of Arts in Islamic Studies).

16 comments

  1. Very good reminder, especially about not giving too much priority to the planning and preparation of the iftar menu.
    Jazak Allahu khair!

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  2. Love it! JazakAllah khair for this.

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  3. Excellent reminder subhanallah- its not just about ticking off your Ramadhan to-do list, it is about reflecting on your life and making a change insha Allah.

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  4. ya ur right hope make the best of this ramzan

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  5. Assalaam Alaikum,

    What a beautiful reminder! JazakAllahu khair brother. This is exactly what I needed to read to jump start my Ramadan reflection on the relationship between myself and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

    May He (SWT) reward you for posting this wonderful piece. =)

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  6. Awesome article, so simple and direct… the kind of articles that I need to read and from which I benefit from the most. JazaakAllah khayr!

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  7. MashaAllah, so very practical. JazakaAllahu khayrn!

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  8. The article is quite enlightening, simplified and made easy to practice. May Allah(SWT) reward you abundantly.

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  9. Masha Allah, great article. Short and sweet, but incredibly beneficial. May we all take time out to reflect on our lives in order to make ourselves better Muslims, not just after this blessed month, but starting from today.

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  10. Assalaam Alaikum, my brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. I am from Maldives, a small island nation in the Indian ocean. I heard about Muslim Matters on CNN.

    As for the article, the author is right. This is a true opportunity. I pray that we’ll come out of this blessed month as better muslims.

    We may live worlds apart but we are one. I was really happy to hear about you.

    Take care, God bless you all.

    (PS: Please do everything you can to help the victims of Pakistan flooding.)

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  11. Assalamu alakium,
    Jazakallah Khair for writing this much needed article, it’s so true. Also, a lot of the things mentioned are what I need to do.

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  12. As salaam alykum,

    JazakAllah kheir for this article ..

    May Allah (swt) give us all that ‘ extra’ strength to see our pledges to ‘improve this Ramadhan’ through to fruition ..

    Ameen

    PS. Remember NO SHAIYATEEN around … Just your NAFS that he has trained the last 11 months to continue his work while he is ‘away for a while’ …!!!

    TIME TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE AND DESTINY, my brothers and sisters ..

    Its YOUR Life at the end of the day .. So TAKE CHARGE NOW !!!

    ISTIQAMAH , ISTIQAMAH, ISTIQAMAH ….

    Wa billahi hi Taufiq

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  13. I agree that Ramadan is a time for contemplation, and I know your intentions were good with this article. And I think the idea behind the article is good. But some of your questions for contemplation are too big, too burdensome, and may lead people to self-doubt, loss of self-esteem, and depression.

    I’m talking about questions like:

    “Is your life pleasing to Allah?” – how can I know if my life is pleasing to Allah? Only Allah knows that. I think a better and more realistic question would be, “Are you striving every day to remember Allah and worship Allah in some way?”

    “Will you be missed if you die today?” – This is almost a hurtful question, and it’s exactly the kind of thought that triggers sadness and self-pity in those who are prone to depression. Better questions would be, “Do you try every day to show love to your family, to make their lives better, and to be a good example to them?”

    “Do you have a legacy?” – Again, this is too big, and too general, and will lead people to unnecessary self-deprecation. People will be thinking that they should have built masjids, written books, or founded humanitarian organizations. You need to clarify something like this so that people can understand that a “legacy” can be something as simple as raising a good Muslim child, passing on whatever wisdom you have learned, doing volunteer work in the masjid, or even planting a tree that provides shade to people and animals.

    I support the idea of your article, but I think you have to consider your questions more carefully and present them in a way that is encouraging, rather than discouraging.

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    • Jazakallah Khair for the feedback. Although I disagree with you. These very questions help me and keep me motivated to work harder. I do not feel any of these points I raised to contemplate over are wrong or will lead to depression, rather they serve as motivation to dig deeper and work harder to please Allah.

      Likewise, the questions you suggested in place of them are also good and also lead to good results. These are just examples and each individual knows in their heart which issues they should be focusing on in their own lives.

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  14. Jazakallah Khairan…May Allah bless you abundantly….

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  15. Jazakallah Khair for the feedback. I pray that this Ramadan is a beneficial one for us all and a memorable one too.

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