Ramadan is a holy month that allows us a chance at strengthening our Taqwa and being more aware of Allah (s.w.t) and His many blessings on us. Not only is fasting one of the pillars of Islam, and is a huge part of Islam, it is also a great time of self-reflection.
During this time, when you are restricted from food and drink and unlawful acts (gossiping, backbiting etc), you get a sense of awareness that you do not usually get in any other time of your life.
An awareness of your blessings, your environment, your soul and your heart. It truly is a beautiful time for us to get to know the miracles of Allah (s.w.t) and get to know ourselves as well.
Sunnah is a compilation of records, or hadiths, based on the teachings, deeds, sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). Allah (s.w.t) gave Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) the instructions on how to live in this temporary world. It is through the Holy Quran and the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), that we base our lives upon.
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) has a few teachings and doings in the month of Ramadan that we ought to conduct, in order to improve our Ramadan. But take note, that these are life-long teachings. It is not just for this Ramadan, but also for the next Ramadan (InsyaAllah, if willed by Allah (s.w.t)). Therefore take small steps to incorporate these sunnah into your Ramadan.
- Breaking your fast with a date and water
Dates are a favourite for the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and it has been mentioned in many narrations that he loved to break his fast with a date. According to the Sunan Abi Dawud hadith : "The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) used to break his fast before praying with some fresh date”.
It is also important to remember that after breaking your fast, Maghrib still needs to be prayed. If you feast right away, then you may feel bloated and uncomfortable when it comes time to pray. Therefore a date to break your fast will settle nicely in your stomach as your conduct your Maghrib prayers.
- Wake up and eat your Sahur meal
Most of us are guilty of sleeping through Sahur, and although no one is upset or angry at you with missing Sahur, it is imperative that you understand that Sahur is important. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said “Eat Sahur, for in Sahur there is blessing.”. Albeit it one single date and a sip of water, that is sufficient.
- Hasten to break your fast
According to the hadith, Sahih Muslim, : “The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) said The people will continue to prosper as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast”. The Prophet (pbuh) is trying to tell us that we should break the fast when it comes time, and we should not delay it.
- Pray the Tarawih prayers
Only once in a year do we get the blessings of Tarawih prayers. The opportunity and chance to pray these prayers should not be taken for granted. Although they are not obligatory prayers, and the Prophet (pbuh) never intended it to be, it is important that we try to make the most out of our Ramadan. Our deeds are amplified by 70 fold : 70 times the reward. We should not only do it for the reward, but also for the love of Allah (s.w.t) and the appreciation for His blessings and the life He has breathed into us.
- Respond to anger, confrontation and abuse with “I am fasting”
Ramadan is a true test of patience. Anything that may come our way that could cause us anger or something that abuses us : remember that you are fasting. Remember to restrain and control yourself from harsh language and reckless actions. The hadith, Sunan an-Nasa’i, stated : "The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) said if a person fights him or insults him, let him say, “I am fasting”.”. During Ramadan, Allah (s.w.t) is testing us and let us not be disappoint by responding to such negativity.
- Watch your tongue
Apart from restraining from food and drink, other actions are prohibited too in the month of Ramadan. Refrain from gossiping, backbiting, lying and speaking ill of others. Islam, a religion of peace, teaches us compassion and mercy. It does not teach us to be spiteful or rude. Let us utilise the teachings of Allah (s.w.t) and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and let them guide us to being better Muslims.
The hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari, one narrated that : “The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) said Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink”. All our good deeds are done to reward us however fasting, that is for Allah (s.w.t). Do we really want to lose the reward and inner peace of fasting by giving into vain talk?
Article is written by:
Fatin Najwa binti Daud, is a medical student studying at IMU Malaysia. She is a freelance writer of this blog at Zaahara. Interests include music, art, sports and travel.
-Photos are taken from google images
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