With the sacred month of Ramad?n upon us, it is important that we enter the month with clarity of purpose in order to get the most out of it. It is a time of great blessing and trial in which we will fast from all food and water from dawn until dusk all with the intention of seeking Allah’s pleasure and becoming better Muslims. The last 2 Ramadans have been unique in that they have been nearly devoid of communal activities that typically characterize the month, but there should be more opportunities this Ramadan.
Nevertheless, it is still important to set individual spiritual goals along with the basic obligation of fasting to maximize one’s potential and growth in this month. In that respect, I’d like to share with you my own not in hope that you may follow me but be inspired to make your own:
Finish reading the qur’?n with another qira’ah: I have had the honor of memorizing the qur’an during 2020 and have found Ramadan a good time to review what I have learned. And gain more. To that end, I have a special mushaf with footnotes pointing out the differences in the qira’at which I will read for this task. This can be done by reading 4 pages after each obligatory salah with accelerating during salah to finish in time for laylat al qadr in the last 10 nights.
Pray qiyaam al lalil: in addition to the fasting during the day, the nights of Ramadan are blessed with many praying in the congregation, especially during tarawih. While the time for congregational prayer may be limited. There is still ample opportunity to gain during the night. In fact, we will all be getting up during the best time to pray at night (ie in the last 1/3rd of the night. To that end, I’m happy to say that I’ve built a habit of praying shaf’ and witr before fajr time and plan to maintain this and build on it during ramad?n.
Avoid all sinful activities; the whole purpose of ramad?n is so that we become pious and sinning is completely antithetical to this goal. For that reason, it is essential for us to not only abstain from food and water but also from sins. In that respect, we can do so by filling our time with devotional activities so we don’t have time to sin. In that sense, learning the meanings of the Qur’an is just as important to achieving that end as finding out what constitutes sin and righteousness.
With that, I finish with my Ramadan goals and hope that it inspires you to make your own.