Now that Ramadan has come to an end, it’s time for us to become proactive on how we are going to maintain the ‘Ramadan lifestyle’.
An unrealistic way of moving forward would be to tell yourself, “Okay, I’m going to try and keep up everything I did during Ramadan”, without actually setting any goals. There’s one simple thing you can do in order to remain steadfast throughout the year
I would recommend getting yourself a new diary, dedicated entirely on how you are going to purify yourself before you meet Allah. In the diary, scribble down a daily routine of when you can perform acts of worship such as dhikr, extra prayers, Qu’ran, etc. Don’t forget to be realistic! I know it’s difficult to keep up the Ramadan energy, but by writing out this simple plan you will have something to work with.
Here are some ideas for your daily routine:
• When you wake up in the morning, before reading whatsApp, texts and checking the news, first recite your morning dhikr and thank Allah for another day.
• Set a daily amount of Dhikr you can recite e.g. to say Alhamdulillah x100, AstaghfurAllah x100, etc.
• Optional fasts are a beautiful way to earn massive good deeds. You could try fasting Monday and/or Thursday, and the 3 ‘white days’ (13th, 14th and 15th of every lunar month) since the Prophet (pbuh) use to fast these days.
• Give charity! If you can donate £1 a month from now on until your death, then you are making a big investment into your Akhriah. Don’t doubt whether the little money you can donate will have any value because it will (trust me, even 1 penny goes a looooong way!).
• Praying the Sunnah prayers – try it! Many of us avoid praying the voluntary Sunnah prayers along with our 5 obligatory prayers each day, which is a big mistake. These prayers are a sure fire way to bring us closer to Allah and strengthen our Iman.
(The Sunnah Mu’akkadah prayers – i.e. the ’emphasised’ Sunnah prayers – are: 2 before Fajr; 4 before Dhuhr; 2 after Dhuhr; 2 after Maghrib, and 2 after ‘Isha. The Prophet (pbuh) taught us that whoever prays each of these in a day, a house will be built for them in Jannah! Epic!)
• Set alarm for approximately 10 minutes before Fajr and pray Tahajjud. Ask Allah for each and everything you want during Sujood. This will change your life, trust me!
• Show appreciation to family and friends by spending time with them.
• Pick a night of the week in which you can spend some time watching Islamic videos by your favourite Sheikh, or reading a book on Islam.
• Try and visit the graveyard to remind yourself that this Dunya will inevitably come to an end.
• Set an amount of Qu’ran you can read- maybe try 2 pages in the morning before you head to work/uni/school and 2 pages before you go to bed at night.
We’re human, and we will always make mistakes. Always remind yourself of the Mercy of Allah, and never despair when you commit a wrong act or fall off the tracks a little. Repent to Allah, dust yourself off and keep going. Your Lord is always there, waiting to help you along the way.