Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”
So, you started your Ramadan with a bang, and lost the enthusiasm and zeal to carry with the same energy after a week or so? Fret not. You are not alone. Many people start off Ramadan with lofty ambitions and goals, only to find themselves slacking off mid way due to various reasons ranging from not planning ahead to losing the motivation and drive to continue. If you are struggling with decreased motivation and want to make the best of Ramadan in the last few days, read on.
It’s Never Too Late
Remember, Ramadan isn’t over until it’s actually over! Ten days is a lot of time for you to make up for what you’ve missed. Since the last ten days have a prestigious position during the blessed month (because laylatul qadr could fall on any of the odd nights) it is increasingly essential for you to focus on what you can do, rather than brooding over what has already happened. Convince your mind and heart not to lose hope, because Allah subhanahu wa taala hasn’t lost hope in you. He believes you can, so you can!
The 4 Step Game Change
1. Refine Your Intentions
If you are planning to speed up your process of completing your goals during the last ten days to show off to your friends or family, you are fundamentally going WRONG. Always do your deeds with the right intentions and that involves beginning a deed with the intention to please Allah subhanahu wa taala *alone*. Remember, you will be rewarded for your righteous intentions even if you are not able to complete the task, so purify your intentions and renew them every single time.
2. Dua and Repentance
Don’t slacken off because your 20 days went wrong. No! If Allah subhanahu wa taala has allowed you to wake up during the last few days of Ramadan, it means that He subhanahu wa taala trusts that you *will* raise your standards and make the best use of the month. Make dua as much as you can, whenever you can. Be sincere and let your heart and mind feel every single letter you say. Dua is only as strong as you use it. Use it well. An overdose never hurts! Additionally, nothing increases the quality of your life like repentance does. Read this inspiring story for more.
3. Take Baby Steps
It is okay if your friends or relatives have read more Quran than you or have achieved a lot more than you this Ramadan. Do not ever lose focus on what *you* want to achieve and don’t get disheartened at how much you have missed. Instead, focus on righting the wrongs rather than making more wrongs by slacking off on the days that are left.
As with anything, quality always takes precedence over quantity. What’s the point of indulging in speed reading the glorious Quran if your mind and heart is heedless? Imagine having completed the whole Quran and your heart is still not moved by a single verse or ayat?
Allah subhanahu wa taala sees who is best in deeds, not necessarily those who’ve done the most number of deeds that are lacking in ihsaan or consistency or purity of intentions. Allah subhanahu wa taala loves deeds that are consistent, even if they are small.
So set up goals that are consistent and feasible, and most importantly remember to continue doing them even after Ramadan. Being a good Muslimah and striving to get closer to Allah subhanahu wa taala doesn’t end with Ramadan. It needs to be a lifelong commitment and goal. Therefore, keep the end goal of paradise in mind rather than just keeping the end goal of Ramadan in mind.
4. Involve Others Too
It’s always nice to have company that would motivate you to reach your goals and pursue them with zeal and enthusiasm when you feel down or out. Additionally, your rewards of deeds get multiplied manifold when you edge others to do good. So don’t be selfish and limit your performance of good deeds to yourself. Encourage and push your family members and friends to do the same. Allah subhanahu wa taala will reward you for every act of worship they do because of your persistence. Imagine getting a huge mountain of good deeds just because you gave others an encouraging word or pushed them to reach a higher level of emaan.
Â’ishah tells us: “During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his waist belt and spend the night in worship. He would also wake up his family.”
[Sahîh al-Bukhârî 1920]
Give to Receive!
Nothing increases the barakah and blessings of your life like charity does. It extinguishes sins like water puts off fire. Imagine having a clean book of deeds with no sins against your name?! So, give and give some more in charity. Since every single act of good deed is multiplied innumerably during the month of Ramadan, what better way to make the best use of the last ten days than in giving charity? It could be a single dollar in your eyes, but when done sincerely, it could be counted as a billion dollars or more in terms of rewards in Allah’s eyes. Purify your intentions and give. And you might just receive so much more than you ever dreamt off! Charity would be a satisfying way to end Ramadan.
Ibn `Abbâs relates that: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all people in doing good, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan. Gabriel used to meet with him every year throughout the month of Ramadan, so the Prophet could recite the Qur’ân to him. Whenever Gabriel met with him, he became more generous than a beneficial breeze.”
[Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1902) and Sahîh Muslim (2308)]
May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings and pour His mercy and blessings upon us. Ameen.
- Glorious Quran, Surah Kahf, Chapter 18, Verse 7
- Reported by ‘Aisha (RA): Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.”(Bukhari)
- Narrated Mu’adh bin Jabal: “I accompanied the Prophet on a journey. One day I was near him while we were moving so I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Inform me about an action by which I will be admitted into Paradise, and which will keep me far from the Fire.’ He said: ‘You have asked me about something great, but it is easy for whomever Allah makes it easy: Worship Allah and do not associate any partners with Him, establish the Salat, give the Zakat, fast Ramadan and perform Hajj to the HOuse.’ Then he said: ‘Shall I not guide you to the doors of good? Fasting is a shield, and charity extinguishes sins like water extinguishes fire – and a man’s praying in depths of the night.'” He said: “Then he recited: ‘Their sides forsake their beds to call upon their Lord.’ Until he reached: ‘What they used to do.’ [32:16-17] Then he said: ‘Shall I not inform you about the head of the entire matter, and its pillar, and its hump?’ I said: ‘Of course O Messenger of Allah! He said: ‘The head of the matter is Islam, and its pillar is the Salat, and its hump is Jihad.’ Then he said: ‘Shall I not inform you about what governs all of that?’ I said: ‘Of course O Messenger of Allah!'” He said: “So he grabbed his tongue. He said ‘Restrain this.’ I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! Will we be taken to account for what we say?’ He said: ‘May your mother grieve your loss O Mu’adh! Are the people tossed into the Fire upon their faces, or upon their noses, except because of what their tongues have wrought'”