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Living Ramadan Year-Round

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Whoever amongst us pursued mercy and blessings in Ramadan, know that Ramadan has passed. But whoever desires mercy and blessings from Allah constantly, know that Allah is present and Ever-Living and will never pass. Allah is waiting for you throughout the year and his doors are open throughout the year and his Vast Mercy is available throughout the year.

How then can you safeguard your Ramadan? There are numerous suggestions that might help, but for the sake of brevity, let’s focus on only three:

1. Focus on the objective of Ramadan

The objective of fasting Ramadan, as Allah stated explicitly, is:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become God-conscious.[1]

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There are 6 verses in the Qur’an that mention the objective of “gaining taqwā” and the aforementioned ayah in particular focuses on the fasting of Ramadan. Therefore, to help sustain the objective, rewards, and blessings of Ramadan throughout the year, one is advised to be consistent with fasting.

The most recommended advice is to agree to voluntary fasting with one’s family and/or friends in order to hold one another accountable, as well as to increase the “sensation” of Ramadan by breaking fast together.

The suggestions for fasting throughout the year are:

  • The 6 days of Shawwāl. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with 6 days [fasting] of Shawwāl, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.”[2]
  • Three days of every month
  • Mondays and Thursdays
  • The day of ʿAashurā’ (10th of Muharram)
  • The day of ʿArafah (9th of Dhul Hijjah)
  • Missed fasts from a previous Ramadan
  • Every other day, and that is the best of fasting

Action item: Speak to your family or friends as soon as possible and agree to fast at least one day together. If not, schedule at least one day into your calendar so that you can sustain the objective of Ramadan regardless of external accountability.

2. Return to the duʿā that many people have abandoned

Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) reported: I asked, “O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say on that night?’

He said, ‘Say: Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa’affu ‘anni (O Allah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).”[3] 

اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني

Throughout the last ten nights of Ramadan, we were reminded all around the world and on social media about this beautiful duʿā, but it seems, based on the personal questioning of dozens of individuals, that many people abandon this duʿā throughout the year and only return to it when Ramadan arrives.

However, if this duʿā is recommended on the most important and blessed night of the entire year, a night that is greater than 1000 months, wouldn’t it make sense to pray with it throughout the year as well? There are numerous gems and wisdoms related to this duʿā which you can read in detail here.

3. Seek knowledge consistently

One of the greatest positive impacts on the believer’s heart in Ramadan is due to the increase in knowledge via social media, the mosques, and countless other avenues. Thus, many people don’t realize that one of the reasons for increased faith in Ramadan is due to an increase in spiritual and beneficial reminders.

For those who seek knowledge consistently, continue striving and may Allah bless your efforts and accept. For those who do not seek knowledge at all throughout the year, may Allah bless your path with many opportunities and grant you the strength to take advantage of countless resources which are in abundance in our technologically-advanced era.

Knowledge is light. Knowledge is also power. Knowledge, sought sincerely for His sake, changes us and the people we interact with throughout our lives. Seek knowledge consistently and you’ll see the growth in hindsight. Seek knowledge consistently and you’ll feel your faith strengthening in its foundations, through ease and difficulty. Seek knowledge and you’ll find nearness to Allah the Exalted.

The only ayah in the Qur’an in which the Prophet ﷺ was commanded to ask for more of anything is the commandment to ask for more knowledge.

وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

“…and say, “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”[4]

If the only Qur’anic instruction for an increase is related to knowledge, then no doubt you and I are in greater need of it than our beloved Messenger ﷺ.

Ultimately, if one wants to safeguard the efforts of Ramadan throughout the year, then the focus should include the objective of Ramadan (taqwā) in everything that we do, and to try to return to the habits that were performed in abundance in Ramadan, such as fasting, qiyām, charity, beneficial reminders, community service, praying in the mosques, forgiving one another, etc.

May Allah accept from us and increase us in guidance, forgiveness, knowledge, wisdom, happiness, and success.

Summarized action items:

  1. Focus on the objective of Ramadan by fasting
  2. Return to the duʿā that many people have abandoned
  3. Seek knowledge consistently

References:

[1] Qur’ān 2:183.

[2] Narrated by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Mājah, Abu Dāwūd, and an-Nasā’i.

[3] Reported by at-Tirmidhi and classified as Ṣaḥīḥ (authentic).

[4] Qur’ān 20:114.

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Imam Suleiman Hani is the Director of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib Institute, a research scholar for Yaqeen Institute, and a resident scholar in Michigan. At the age of 14, Suleiman completed a 10-month Qur’an memorization program and began his intensive studies under numerous scholars, earning dozens of traditional religious certifications in the process. He later earned a master’s degree from the University of Jordan’s College of Shari’ah, ranking first in his class, and a master’s degree from Harvard University, where he studied religions, philosophy, political science, and psychology. Over the past decade, he has served as an Imam and community leader in Michigan, lectured in dozens of countries, published a number of books and articles, and was featured on the largest Islamic TV stations worldwide. His recent hobbies include mixed martial arts, archery, and skydiving.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Manal

    July 18, 2017 at 11:46 PM

    Jazak Allah Kair. May Allah increase your knowledge daily:)

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