Foodie Lesson 14 – Special Ramadhan Series – ‘Fast with your heart’
In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy
Today’s lesson is about making Ramadhan resolutions. We have possibly only three days to go before Eid alhamdullillah! It’s so exciting and sad at the same time- to say goodbye to the best month of the year. The Eid and holiday preparations have already begun for some of us. However we also need to prepare ourselves for our next life by adorning our hearts. Allah truly is Al-Wahaab, The Giver of Gifts as He has granted us Ramadhan, Eid and inshaAllah some realisation in the past weeks that we need to strive hard to become better Muslims.
So just as we had started Ramadhan with aspirations and goals for what we wanted to achieve in Ramadhan, we need to make some short-term goals to work on for the rest of the year. Here are some steps to working towards creating your own Ramadhan resolutions 📕:
#1 Contemplate on your strengths and weaknesses and create a list of goals. Allah says in Surah Takwir, “where are you going”? This is what we need to ask ourselves. Where do we want to go in life? What changes do we want from ourselves? From our heart? We ultimately would like to go to Jannatul Firdaus. But smaller steps need to be made towards it; our routines and lives are all diverse so our goals will be also diverse. Think about it and write down the small and large changes you would like to achieve. Be positive! Don’t put yourself down!
#2 Annihilate the bad habits first. On your list of goals before introducing any new goals in your life such as studying the Quraan, first we have to get rid of the bad habits we already have, such as watching a lot of television or backbiting. Scholars say that true Taqwa (god-conciousness) requires from us to stop the bad we do. The heart is like a cup, the more we empty out the bad, the more space there is to fill it with good.
#3 Concentrate on quality not quantity. When Allah talks about the scales on which our deeds will be weighed on the day of judgement, He states that those with ‘heavier’ good deeds will be the successful ones. Allah does not say the one with the ‘most’. So it is better for us to improve what we already do in terms of good deeds- quality over quantity. If we fulfill our fardh salaahs in a rush and without full concentration, how about we try to pray more calmly with utmost focus.
#4 Don’t limit yourself to just conventional worship. Salaah and other obligatory acts are the most important good deeds. Nonetheless we all have career goals or personal goals such as paying off debts or signing up for a course or losing weight or simply being kinder to our parents. These goals are important too because Islam is a way of life. We are Muslims 24 hours a day, not simply when we pray. Islam teaches us to pay off our debts, to be healthy, educate ourselves and socialise positively. If we have the intention to be good people whilst carrying out these personal life goals then they can be a means of reward for us too, as long as they are within the teachings of Islam.
#5 Be realistic. These goals don’t have to be achieved by next Ramadhan. Some goals you may be able to achieve sooner or later. The importance lies in making the effort continuously even if it may be small. Scholars state that it takes forty days to rid ourselves of a bad habit and to introduce a good one firmly. For every forty days set one goal such as fulfilling every salaah with full concentration or not lying everyday for those forty days and inshaAllah it’ll become a permenant thing in our life. We must always evaluate how much we can do whilst being honest with our capabilities and responsibilities.
#6 Finally but most important is make dua to ask Allah to help us. Dua is priceless and has the most value in the world, if it helps you to attain your goals. Allah loves those who try and ask Him for his help. The Prophet SAW said ” If the servant draws near to Me a hand span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.” (Bukhari).
So are we ready to take that first step towards change inshaAllah? We can’t continue to live our lives without change. It’s a endless journey but has so many rewards we can pick up as we go along. Remember there is no room bigger than the room for improvement.
May Allah give us the ability to change our lives to become closer to him, no matter how long it takes or how little our efforts, so that we are the best we can be when we leave this world. May Allah accept our efforts, no matter how minute and let it be a way for us to achieve His pleasure. Ameen
🌼 Happy 26 Ramadhan 🌼