As we continue with the countdown to Ramadan, it is important to try and maintain a balanced outlook. The reality of fasting may not be the same as we wish to experience it, so rather than get over-ambitious with the planning, let us try to give each activity its due right.
Aa’id Abdullah al Qarni described the righteous predecessors in his book ”Thirty lessons for Those Who Fast”, as ‘people who accepted fasting as a season for goodness and also an opportunity for competition’.
He further explains that when a person fasts, the soul is humbled, the heart is subdued, ambitions curbed and canal desires are dispelled. Thus, his/her prayers are answered because of his/her closeness to Allah”.
We should therefore strive to remain close to that primary path of reward from fasting; The path of gaining consciousness of Allah. And avoid getting overwhelmed from an overdose of plans – all aimed at gaining rewards.
Being excessively busy is no guarantee that one is engaging in rewarding deeds because the sincerity of intention and manner of striving matters a lot.
So, rather than plan to read the entire Qur’an two or more times during the entire Ramadan while holding a demanding job or running a business; And also caring for children or significant others after work hours; In addition to planning to attend nightly tarawih and pray tahajjud.
Why not have a focus, say completing the Qur’an once – while reading the tafsir + translation along the way? The reward for reading the Qur’an should not be underestimated but appreciated so as to read it with attention and intention for the reward involved.
It is important to be realistic, knowing the limits of how much you can achieve in Ramadan due to responsibilities and priorities.
It is tempting to get carried away by the quantity of what we want to achieve – rather let’s switch that with a heart full of sincere intention and polishing one’s worship and actions during the month with it.
This is no way encouraging laziness or making excuses – but rather seeking balance, partaking in healthy competition for rewards, and maximising the opportunities within the special month.
Consider seeking balance in various circumstances during the month of fasting and even beyond.
- Extravagance/ Waste vs. Miserliness… Think charity & sharing
- Complete seclusion vs. Unnecessary socialisation… Think keeping ties & community projects
- Overburdening the self vs. Laziness… Think small but consistent acts
- Wasting time with random activities vs. Hanging around till iftaar time… Think preserving time
- Backbiting/ Slandering vs. Sleeping all day & night… Think pure speech e.g Reading the Qur’an & books of Tafseer, engaging in Dhikr (remembrance) & Dawah.
- Negligence in worship vs. Ignorance in worship… Think consciousness in worship
- Excuses + Regrets at sins and transgressions during fasting vs. Arrogance & show-off over the many acts of worship one is engaging in… Think pleasure & submission from seeking blessings and rewards of fasting.
Let’s countdown to a Balanced Ramadan!
Resources to getting you more Balanced In Sha Allah
Check out Part 1 of the [Welcoming Ramadan] series HERE, in case you have not read it.