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How Can We Lighten Up Our Experience of Ramadan?

COMMUNITY | 16 March 2022

For Muslims, Ramadan is an important and noble month. It’s a month of mercy, it’s a month of sacrifice and it’s a month of humility. Through this offering to Allah, one also opens the door to forgiveness and blessing from their maker. At least, that’s the way things should go! Since Covid-19, attitudes of Ramadan may have changed due to the changing activities and social restrictions - it can make the fasting month more difficult. So, to ensure one experiences this holy month in its best way, I’d like to share some thoughts on how to light up ones Ramadan.

This year Ramadan will fall on 2 April, it will be the third year they are welcoming Ramadan in the midst of Covid-19. Indeed, there is a lot of wisdom behind fasting in the midst of this epidemic… The prohibition of the normal practices of worshiping in the mosques and gathering in restaurants that is usually done to break the fast, actually increases people’s interaction with their families at home. This time at  home encourages togetherness in carrying out worship, cooking for suhoor and breaking the fast together, and also feeding people in need. One can contemplate together in simplicity which is actually one of the aims of Ramadan. In this third year, Muslims should already be accustomed to these conditions which should also have achieved their increased awareness and ability to understand life and becoming a better person.

Every Muslim has three choices when it comes to syncing with his entry into the month of Ramadan. First, Muslims who act unconcerned. Why wake up at night just to eat breakfast? Second, Muslims who only go to suhoor and break their fast. Fasting but not fully understanding. Their words still hurt other people’s hearts, their eyes still see the bad things, their ears, hands and so on are not used for good things. They just go with the flow, on automatic. Third, those who enter Ramadan truly full of faith and piety.

The last group is absolutely said to be successful in entering the month of Ramadan, according to the hopes and aims of fasting people: increasing the dignity of being a muttaqin (pious person). They take advantage of the momentum of Ramadan in making self-change, in behavior and character. They are people who always live Ramadan with its true meaning. 

But how can you lighten up Ramadan so you can experience the month like this third group of Muslims do? Here are some tips.

Fully Understanding What Ramadan Actually About

Why Ramadan is the sacred and holy month? Indeed, Allah Ta’ala specializes the month of Ramadan with great virtues and privileges, as He said:

(The specified days are) the month of Ramadan, the month in which the Qur’an was revealed (the beginning) as a guide for humans and explanations about the instructions and differentiators (between the right and the vanity). Therefore, if any of you is present (in the land where he lives) in that month, then let him fast that month. And whoever is sick or on the way (then he breaks), then (it is obligatory for him to fast), as much as the day he left, on other days.” (Surah Al-Baqarah [2]: 185)

In addition to forgiveness of sins, Allah also provides multiple reward bonuses for those who do well in the month of Ramadhan, namely the importance of the fasting of Ramadhan for 30 days. HR Bukhari Muslim: “Every child charity is folded – multiplying the reward. Each goodness is folded 10 times up to 700 times. “Practice – the practice of the sunnah in the month of Ramadan, the reward is considered to be equivalent to the obligatory practice.” (HR Baihaqi and Ibn Khuzaimah)

Fasting Earnestly

Fasting during the month of Ramadan as a way to commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an. It is one of the five pillars of Islam (third pillar). The essence of fasting itself means to refrain from eating and drinking, smoking cigarettes, and engaging in any sexual activity from the dawn until the sun sets. Activating the fast of Ramadan creates its own moments of enjoyment, including: being able to control anger, creating happiness when breaking the fast, and as an expiation for sins committed with faith and piety. The practice of fasting serves several spiritual and social purposes: to remind you of your human frailty and your dependence on Allah for sustenance, to show you what it feels like to be hungry and thirsty so you feel compassion for (and a duty to help) the poor and needy, and to reduce the distractions in life so you can more clearly focus on your relationship with Allah.

Reading the Koran

Reciting the Koran in the month of Ramadan can collect rewards from every single letter of the Koran. Meanwhile, the Qur’an can be a helper on the Day of Judgment later, as the hadith “Read the Qur’an, indeed it will come on the Day of Resurrection as an intercessor for the experts, namely: those who read, study and practice.” (HR. Muslim).

Expect the Descent of Lailatul Qadr

In the month of Ramadan, Allah sent down a very glorious night. Once the glory of the night, God described that the value was more than a thousand months (Surah Al-Qadr: 3). It was said noble because that night, the beginning of the Koran was revealed. Some saheeh hadiths narrating Lailatul Qadr existed in the last ten days of Ramadan.HR Imam Ahmad: “Lailatul qadr is at the end of Ramadan, precisely in the last tenth night 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th. Whoever works qiyamul lail (evening prayer) on that night is expecting pleasure, then forgiven past and future sins.

Do Tarawih Prayers

Tarawih prayer is a sunnah prayer specifically only performed in the month of Ramadan. The Prophet advised all his people to live the month of Ramadan with positive practices such as the tarawih prayer.

Increase Zakat (Purify the Treasure)

Zakat is the fourth pillar of Islam after fasting and prayer. Zakat according to Islamic law is the level of property with certain conditions that are required by Allah to the owner to be handed over to those who are entitled to receive it with certain conditions. For Muslims throughout the country during this Ramadan it is recommended to fulfill the obligation of zakat solely to increase faith and piety to Allah.

Every Muslim who fasts in Ramadan is obliged to issue Zakat Al-Fitr of 2.5 Kg per person in the form of basic food ingredients. Besides helping the poor, zakat can purify their wealth. The sanctified treasure will prevent the owner from tormenting hellfire. The assets will bring peace of mind and inner well-being.

All this kindness, blessing, and grace are given to the Muslims with the coming of this blessed month. Therefore, let the Muslims welcome this month with joy, praising Allah who has brought him together (with the month of Ramadan), and asking Him to be able to fast and do various good deeds in the month of Ramadan.

Make Al-Fitr as the Momentum of Gather with Family

On the 1st of Shawwal, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, the day of victory after fighting with evils and controlling lust during the month of Ramadan. The momentum of Eid Al-Fitr, in essence, is to celebrate returning to the original and holy nature and renew relationship and friendship between fellow Muslims by forgiving one another. Linking friendship is highly recommended by Islam. HR Bukhari: “Whoever wants his sustenance to be multiplied and whose age is extended, let him connect the cordon.”