Fast (Photo credit: photophilde)
In the final part of this series, let us keep up with the countdown by trying to keep our lenses on how to bust a common syndrome.
As Ramadan brings with it the opportunity to get more rewards from doing the usual good deeds – from charity to supplication and even community work; So also can the reward be profound if we plan ahead.
The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) when asked which Charity is the best, said that ‘Charity in Ramadan’ [Tirmidhi].
Yet, at the same time many find during this period the opportunity to indulge in more of eating, spending, sleeping and time wasting.
Whether on the left or right side, is it enough to simply go through the familiar routine of fasting from dawn to dusk?
This routine involves waking up for the early morning meal, performing the five daily prayers, going through work hours, preparing for the iftaar meal, attending tarawih prayers, giving charity when possible, watching some of Islam Channel/ Peace TV or Huda TV, getting some sleep, and so the cycle continues.
Then repeating the motions till the last ten days when the night time prayers become longer. That is what I call the RRS – Ramadan Routine Syndrome. The routine engine is started and automated when the moon is sighted for Ramadan, and turned off on Eid morning or the night before Eid.
And all to what effect? An empty stomach, heart and soul with little or no spiritual connection. A struggle with no deep meaning.
Let’s stop & think!
Should one simply stay hungry for most of the 29 or 30 days thinking, if I want more reward I must maintain these fasts till the end of the month – no more, no less!
Well, it obviously isn’t about denying yourself food and drink for the entire month, it is much more than that. The inner struggle is meant to rise beyond the physical motions and RRS.
Since we are all human and want to fast the entire month with the hope of gaining all the countless bounties, what we need to make this struggle wholesome is a little reminder about the ‘why’ of fasting.
Why do we fast?
There is no doubt that fasting is supposed to bring us closer to our Lord. But the question is, how? The Prophet [PBUH] said, ‘Every act of the son of man is for himself except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward it.’ [Bukhari]
This secret act is meant to discipline the character, awaken one’s spirituality and faith-i-fy the heart. With an attentive heart, one can easily enter a state of utter submission and surrender to Allah – foregoing all desires – and hence draw closer to Him with deep consciousness.
Scholars have described the month of fasting as a school for great training of the soul and purification of the heart. It holds various doors all leading to goodness. So ask yourself, WHY do you fast? Reflect, then assess yourself now.
If you want to increase your presence of mind, stay balanced and committed while partaking actively in rewarding deeds this Ramadan…. Ask yourself, Why am I fasting?
Reflect on your ‘Why‘ before Ramadan, then every morning you wake up for the pre-dawn meal….. ask yourself the same question. Begin your daily fast with this sense of purpose.
Imagine the feeling of connecting with your Lord in Ramadan, learning and growing through ripe blooming seeds of Taqwa! An amazing bundle to last beyond Ramadan through the coming months till the next Ramadan In Sha Allah.
What better gift would you desire this Ramadan?
And don’t you deserve it?
As the days draw closer, if you have not done so already try to – Plan ahead, Think Balance and break free of RRS with a simple ‘WHY‘.
Wishing you all a deeply connected + RRS – free Ramadan.