We’re just under 2 weeks out from the end of Ramaḍān, and trust me, I think I speak for the majority of us when I say this, that Ramaḍān high has been kicked to the kerb by the post-Ramaḍān low. That heightened sense of awareness, the clear moral compass, the feeling of community… All of it. We’re missing all of it. But, we don’t need the end of Ramaḍān to signify the end of that! I think one of the things I came into Ramaḍān saying is that if it is willed by Allāh ﷻ, then whatever I do in this month is what I want to build on for the rest of the year and do so until I am able to go into the next blessed month better than I left this one, you know?
So, in true Ayesha fashion, I’ve made a plan. Well, I say a plan, but what I really mean is “I have some thoughts and by voicing them publicly, I make myself accountable for them and therefore must see them through”, so there’s that. Anyway, here are some Ramaḍān resolutions that I’ve decided upon in order to a) guide me towards being a more mindful Muslim, and b) help me carry the spirit of the blessed month with me for all the days of my life starting now.
- Read a few pages of the Qur’ān every day – I’ve always focused so much on khatms, but the truth is, that takes away from the essence of this time with the Qur’ān, and so I want to bring it down to a couple of pages a day so that I’m putting more care and attention into what I’m reading and create a healthier relationship with it.
- Pray ṣalah as soon as the times come in – one of my biggest downfalls in life has always been convincing myself that there is time, but the truth is, I might not even be destined to make it to the next prayer so the least I can do for the sake of Allāh ﷻ and my own soul is to pray each ṣalah as soon as the time for it comes in.
- Seek a new bit of ‘ilm each day – I remember being in madrasah as a kid and the one thing my Ustādh drilled into my head was this “you are privileged to have the brain that you do and it is therefore obligatory upon you to strive to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave” and boy oh boy have I neglected this. But, neglect no more.
- Do more voluntary fasts – I’ve found that when I’m fasting, though my body is deprived of food and drink, my mind sees things with a much sharper clarity and I am able to discipline myself far better and so I will strive to fast on Mondays and Thursdays as per the example of our noble Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ.
- Attempt a day in iʿtikāf at home every month – you never really understand the depths of your relationship with Allāh ﷻ until that is the only thing you have to think about, and I want to be able to give myself the opportunity to do a monthly check-in with myself so that this relationship isn’t a by-product of the obligations I fulfil, but rather the reason why I choose to live in His way.
- Make dhikr and ṣalawāt a part of daily routine – it’s easy to get distracted and live in such a way that you do what you are obliged to without much thought or heart, but by integrating dhikr and sending ṣalawāt upon our beloved Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ as part of one’s day to day routine, it’ll be a more conscious effort to be in remembrance even in the smallest of moments.
- Attend more talks/gathering – this journey back to yourself and your roots in Islām can become a lonely one if the only method of knowledge acquisition you choose is one which exists only in solitary. It is so important to be able to share knowledge and experiences, and generally just meet other people who are as passionate and aware that we are all on different paths, but that doesn’t mean to say we can’t sit with each other for a few moments.
This is perhaps my first ever time attempting Ramaḍān resolutions of any kind and I’ll admit, I’m both nervous and excited and figuring out how to balance them at the same time. In the past, I’ve made mistakes that have lain on two ends of the spectrum – 1) doing too much too soon, and 2) taking on such a graduated approach that I end up doing nothing at all. And now, I want to strike the right balance. I want to be able to lead a life that exists in moderation, you know? One where I am able to do as much as I wish to do in His way without it feeling like a compulsion or as though I am doing it simply for the sake of it.
I hope that this small insight into my Ramaḍān resolutions might inspire you to make some of your own, as well as serve as a reminder that you’re not alone in this. We are all struggling and constantly striving to be the best we can be for Allāh ﷻ, and the least we can do is be here for each other. I leave you now with this lovely du’ā that I came across on Ustādh Asim Khan’s Twitter recently on the topic of Ramaḍān and abstaining from the old habits which threaten to undo all the work we have put in during the blessed month:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْحَوْرِ بَعْدَ الْكَوْرِOh Allāh ﷻ I seek your refuge from a slip that undoes my good work.