Doing the best you can: The Significance of Ramadan and Setting Realistic Goals
Ramadan is a blessed time for all Muslims to draw closer to Allah (SWT). As a special month which was revealed by Allah (SWT), Ramadan serves as both a test and reward for the believers.
Practically, Ramadan is a month to increase your of Islamic knowledge and test your limits – both physically and mentally – to please Allah (SWT). Through working towards bettering ourselves as Muslims, Allah (SWT) gives back to us generously in return through blessings for this life and the hereafter.
During this Ramadan, be ambitious by setting realistic goals. To aid you on this journey, here are some tips to help make this Ramadan the best you can possibly achieve.
Making Achievable Realistic Goals
The first thing to figure out even before Ramadan begins is finding those specific and practical Ramadan goals to set. Whether this means reading one chapter of the Quran each day or spending that extra bit of time in the masjid, aspire to set clear goals you want to achieve during this blessed month.
While your motivation throughout the month will of course face its high points and low points, you can power through the worst of it by breaking down your goals into smaller steps. Through this approach, you have a better understanding of what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it.
If breaking down and getting through the bigger tasks seems overwhelming, you can also make a “Plan B” Ramadan schedule that is less intensive and helps you focus on the goals that require less effort. This can be as simple as helping your mother prepare food for Iftar or Suhoor or reading a short Surah.
In any case, planning your goals before Ramadan starts goes a long way in making even the smallest of your good deeds count during this blessed month. Some of the key areas to cover in your goal setting for Ramadan include:
- Your goals in relation to the Quran
- Your goals in relation to daily remembrances
- Your goals in relation to good daily habits as a Muslim
- Your goals in relation to praying in congregation (if you are a male)
- Your goals in relation to family relations
- Your goals in relation to Islamic knowledge and its acquisition
- Your goals regarding your deep relationship with Allah.
Recite Quran each day
Reading the Quran daily during Ramadan is critical, as it is the month of the Quran.
In fact, it was the month of Ramadan in which the Quran was revealed. Scholars of old used to put their books and other distractions aside just to focus on the Quran in this great month.
Taking small steps in relation to the recitation and memorisation of the Quran can not only bring you great rewards from Allah (SWT) but also develop your interest of wanting to read more Quran beyond Ramadan.
In turn, there are even greater rewards waiting for those who make the ongoing effort to learn how to recite the Quran, and much more for those becoming knowledgeable in its presence. As the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whoever reads one letter from the Book of Allah will earn one reward thereby. One reward is equal to ten rewards. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Meem is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” [Tirmidhi]
Do you ever think about the meaning behind certain surahs we recite in our daily lives?
To be able to learn the meaning and significance of the verses in the Quran is a great gift. As such, you should put at least some effort into learning the meaning and reasoning behind the beautiful words of Allah (SWT).
There are many resources online that can help you understand the meaning behind important ayats in the Quran. By diving deeper into the many resources our beautiful religion provides for us, we take one more step towards improving ourselves and our deen as Muslims.
Reading more Islamic literature
Reading and gaining Islamic knoledge is a critical path to becoming a better Muslim. It opens up the treasures of Islamic knowledge which otherwise remain closed to us.
There are many “must read” books which give us an insight into Islamic history and how to perfect our practice of Islam.
Today, books come in many forms, so you don’t have to purchase the physical copy to read an Islamic book. If you prefer, read through an E-book or listen to an audiobook version of Islamic books.
Adjusting your habits
For many, Ramadan can be a sudden change from your normal routine. But this can also mean an opportunity to improve your lifestyle for the better.
Many of us enjoy staying in our comfort zone, spending time playing games with our friends or streaming the latest TV series.
But for this Ramadan, take this opportunity to do tasks that can benefit yourself and others around you in the long run.
Maybe help prepare the table for Iftar and Suhoor, teach your siblings how to read the Qur’an or spend some more time in your local Masjid giving back to the community.
Whatever the case, adjusting your daily habits to be more in line with what Islam demands is a thing best done in this month with the extra motivation and the fact that Shaytan is locked up.
Tying it all up
The blessed month of Ramadan is a time where Muslims grow and reflect. Following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions, Ramadan should be a time for us to focus solely on connecting with Allah (SWT) and work on how we practice Islam.
Today, we have many convenient resources that can help us get closer to Allah and more cognisant of our religion.
But we must also remember that our spiritual journey is our own and shouldn’t be compared with others. We should allow ourselves to keep focusing on our development and growth as Muslims. So these goals should be yours alone, and based on your spiritual needs as a Muslim given where you are today.
May Allah (SWT) accept all your fasting, worship and good deeds during the blessed month Ramadan.
Ramadan is the perfect time to give zakat
The holy month of Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to use the Power of Zakat. It is a time for us to pause and reflect, leave behind bad habits and replace them with good ones, increase our acts of worship and good deeds, and practice self-discipline – all for the sake of Allah SWT.