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“Upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”{2:183}

6 Action Items for a Lazy Muslim in Ramadan

Lazy Muslims Ramadan

Bismillah
Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”
{Surah Al Baqarah 2: Verse 183}

The Muslim Ummah comprises of all sorts of people belonging to different types of backgrounds, nationalities, cultures and values. And how they each see Ramadan depends a lot on these factors.

Some of us think of the blessed month of Ramadan as a burden, a disruption in their lives and how everything changes. Our deen is very easy and simple. Ramadan should also be viewed as a blessing of Allah. It’s like a bonus test where we all can earn extra points and improve our grades. No matter how much enthusiasm you have your nafs will get in the way. It happens to the most dedicated of us. So don’t feel bad.

Ramadan is also been called zakat of the body and soul. It cleans our system and purifies our soul. Each good deed has a greater reward in Ramadan as compared to the other months.

In another Verse of Holy Qur’an, Allah subhanahu wata’aala says:

“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous
{Surah Al Imran 3: Verse 133}

 Abu Hurairah radiAllahu anha reported Messenger of Allah salallahu aleyhi wasallam said:

“Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. A man would be a believer in the morning and turn to disbelief in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and turn disbeliever in the morning, and would sell his Faith for worldly goods.”
[Muslim]

Here are the 6 action items which should be followed by every muslim to earn the most benefit from Ramadan.

  1. EAT TO BED, EARLY TO RISE

As the old saying goes, “Early to bed, early to rise , makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. It’s true to the core.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”
Harvey Mackay

Start your day early. The more time you take to sit, think, and plan, the better organized you will be in every area of your life. In the biographies and autobiographies of successful men and women, almost all of them have one thing in common. They developed great organizational skills and the habit of going to bed at a reasonable hour and rising early.

We always find excuses to stay up late. Especially mothers of young children want some free time when their kids go to bed. Instead wake up early before fajr and make the most of the extra time then.

Many successful people arise around 5:00 A.M. so that they can have enough time to think and plan for the coming day. As a result, they are always more effective than those who sleep in until the last possible moment.

It’s a proven fact that when you get up early and plan your day in advance, you tend to be more calm, clear-headed, and creative throughout the day.

For those of you who have trouble waking up for fajr this app called “never miss fajr”. It is a unique app, focusing solely on helping Muslims wake up for Fajr prayer.

Waking up for Fajr, will make you more productive. By starting your day early in the morning, the rest of the day will automatically become much more productive. There is a unique kind of barakah in the early morning. So schedule your important tasks earlier in the day.

“Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.”
{Surah  Al Isra 17:Verse 78}

Never skip fajr prayers and if possible wake for tahajud prayers especially in Ramadan as you have to wake early anyways for suhoor. Start your day with prayer and end it with prayers and feel the difference. It will be like reaping barakah from dawn till dusk. The Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallamsaid:

“O Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings (i.e., what they do early in the morning).”
[Ibn Majah]

  1. AIM HIGH.

Make each day count in Ramadan. Set targets like you do in your job or studies. Have something to push you forward and keep yourself motivated “the time is now”. Remember the life of this world is just an illusion. Realize it before your time comes. Keep duas and Islamic quotations on display like specific dua for each specific day and ashra.  Our soul needs constant over hauling as it gets polluted on a daily basis. Start by doing one qiyam per week and slowly increase the frequency.

Our prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said:

“I urge you to perform qiyam at night, because it was the consistent way of the  righteous people who preceded you, it is a means of coming closer to Your Lord, it is a means of expiating your wrongdoings and it is a restraint against sinning.”
[Al Tirmithi, at tabrani]

Itikhaf. This act of worship forms a great bond between you and your creator. It’s not compulsory that you should observe Itikhaf for the whole ten days in the end of Ramadan. That is the full and original form of Itikhaf. Itikhaf can be of a minute, an hour, a day, a night. It brings you nearer to Allah subhanahu wata’aala. The entire purpose of Itikhaf is that you devote your time only to worship Allah. You can shut out the entire world and just focus on praying.

Women can do all their house chores during Itikhaf if there’s no substitute available. But all conversations with the household and the outside world should be avoided. Itikhaf is ideal for people who are very lazy as in Itikhaf you only get to worship and pray. It is my personal advice to everyone that once in your lifetime experience Itikhaf.

Ibn Umar radiAllahu anha said, “The Messenger of Allah salallahu aleyhi wasallam used to seclude himself for the last ten days of the month of Ramadan”.

Set high goals .Calculate your qaza namaz, calculate your qaza rozas.In this way you will discover how much you have missed out. And after seeing this reality you will become punctual in salah. Subscribe to Islamic websites and notable Islamic scholars. Sit in the company of enlightened muslims. Optimistic and enlightened people always bring out the best in people. It’s harder for our revert brothers and sisters to fast when everyone else is carrying on with eating and other routine tasks. Install apps on your cell phone like “the complete holy quran”, famous Islamic quotes and try to implement those things in your everyday life. And experience the goodness yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Set your standard high.  Aim for the absolute best.

  1. DISTRACT YOURSELF FROM DISTRACTIONS

Eliminate or sidetrack the distractions from your life. This includes the phone, emails, games, magazines, eid shopping, gossips and chit chats. One major distraction in Ramadan is the eid shopping. Trips to the boutiques, tailors, salons, shoe stores etc. Especially women focus on making the eid banquet that they spend too much time planning it and the iftar party gatherings which makes you lose your taraweeh prayers because of all the extra work you have to do for that particular dinner or iftar. A better option is sending iftar to your neighborhood mosque, or your neighborhood security guard or any other muslim brothers or sisters who are fasting but have to be on duty and can’t go home for breaking their fasts.

Step away from the computer. The Internet has become one of the number one distractions. To increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible. If possible delete those apps from your smart phone or tablet.

Here is a list of distraction which you should steer clear of especially in Ramadan.

  1. Television
  2. Movies
  3. Music
  4. Facebook
  5. Twitter
  6. Instagram
  7. Games
  8. Long phone calls
  9. Having useless hobbies
  10. Shopping trips
  11. Time consuming food dishes.

The internet has made most of us very lazy. By posting several Islamic posts a day we feel we have done a great job. Where in reality that time should be spent in reading the Quran and offering salah. We all watch television, listen to music, play video games , now android games and spend most parts of the day wasting time. Praying is like a marathon, most of us only pray fardh, most of us skip the sunnah. We should try to target Ramadan as a game changer. Pray full namaz all rakaats with khusyu’ and khuzo.  Keep the eye on the prize; Jannah.

  1. BE CONSISTENT IN DOING GOOD

Allah subhanahu wata’aala says:
“So hasten towards all that is good”.
{Surah Al Baqarah 2: Verse 148}

Abu Huraira radiAllahu anha reported Allah’s Messenger salallahu aleyhi wasallam having said:

“Hasten to do good deeds before six things happen: the rising of the sun from the west, the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast and (the death) of one of you or the general turmoil”.
[Muslim]

Pray at instant the adhan is called. Keep a prayer journal. Document your qaza namaz and rozas. Best time to catch up on qaza namaz is in Ramadan as the reward for each namaz gets multiplied.  Recite the holy quran as much as you can.

We should follow the example of our prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam. He was a very well organized man; as a prophet, as a husband, as a friend, as a trader, as a statesman. He made time for his family, the outside world and for Allah.

It was typically the late part of the night when the Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam would recharge himself spiritually for the next day. He consistently made time for his followers so no one felt neglected.

Prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam had a sense of urgency in doing good and warned others against procrastination.

Narrated ‘Uqba bin Al-Harith  radiAllahu anha:

“Once the Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam offered the Asr prayer and then hurriedly went to his house and returned immediately. I (or somebody else) asked him (as to what was the matter) and he said, “I left at home a piece of gold which was from the charity and I disliked to let it remain a night in my house, so I got it distributed.”
[Bukhari]

Lazy people and procrastinators do not appreciate time nor the means and the opportunities that Allah subhanahu wata’aala gives them to be productive. Each day has its own share of work and each time has its own share of obligations. Therefore, in the Prophet’s salallahu aleyhi wasallam life, there was no such thing as idle time. Use every single opportunity to do good. We all should prioritize and be consistent and make a difference in someone’s life by cutting back on our extravagance and donating that amount to homeless or disabled people. And seek for people who need help. And likewise fasting shouldn’t be reserved for Ramadan only. It’s sunnah to fast on Mondays and Thursdays and the months of Muharram, Rabaj, Shaban & Shawal are also very rewarding.

  1.  PLAN AHEAD AND KEEP SCHEDULES

Don’t wait till Ramadan starts, begin two to three months in advance. Start fasting from Rajab & Sha’ban. These are two very blessed months and fasting in these months is very rewarding.

Narrated by Al Nasa’i, Usamah Ibn Zayd (RA) said,

“I said , O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Sha’ban. He said, ‘That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.”

Device a to–do list. Cook your meals in bulk so that you will have plenty of leftovers. Avoid having to cook everyday. Recite the holy quran and try to complete it in Ramadan month. One para a day is ideal but ladies days can be compensated by reading in advance or 1.5 paras a day.

Prepare in advance, before Ramadan starts get everything organized the kitchen cabinets, your closets, ramadan groceries, cleaning , heavy laundry, routine doctor’s appointment. Prepare and freeze dips, chutneys, kababs, spring rolls and others of your family’s favorites. Ramadan is a month of blessing and reaping rewards rather than sleeping and eating.

Set your schedule according to the prayers. Plan your day in accordance with the 5 prayers. Like after suhoor recite the holy quran. And get a head start on your day. If you are working or studying it will give you plenty of time to get ready. Meanwhile you can prepare or defrost some food items you will be needing for the iftar. After zuhr you can rest a little bit. Asr is a very busy time as the iftar is approaching and ladies spent most of that time in the kitchen. Keep reciting Astagfar or Surah Iklhas while working.

Our Prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam used to plan every aspect of his day by prioritizing his tasks.

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah salallahu aleyhi wasallam  which action is most beloved to Allah? He said:

‘Establishing prayer on time, honoring one’s parents and jihad in the cause of Allah.’”
[Sunan an-Nasa’i]

There should be no compromises when it comes to salah. Just as you endeavor to be punctual for meetings with your colleagues or project team mates, you should perform your salah on time. Once you have fulfilled your most important obligation, the rest will become easy for you.

  1. EAT HEALTHY

A poor diet has a very adverse effect on your entire lifestyle. Heavy and fried foods make you extremely full and bloated. Which then creates difficulty to carry out tasks especially praying. A good eating lifestyle makes you fit and active.  Eat sensibly. Healthier choices for Ramadan are

  1. Dates
  2. Raw fruits
  3. Fruit salads
  4. Natural energy drinks (lemonade, pinacolada, lassi)
  5. Whole meal breads
  6. Eggs
  7. Vegetables
  8. Meats and proteins
  9. Water
  10. Chickpea salad (channa chat)
  11. Dumplings in yougurt (dahi baras)
  12. Milk
  13. Yougurt

Stay away from

  1. Pakoras
  2. Deep fried items
  3. Carbonated drinks (pepsi,coke)
  4. Sweets
  5. Chocolates
  6. Garlic & onions

The most difficult thing for a lazy muslim is waking up for suhoor. But never miss suhoor. It’s sunnah and it keeps you energized all day. Even when you are running out of time, grab a few dates and have them with milk or plain water. Fruits, yogurts, eggs, whole meal breads and cereals are a sensible choice. Our prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said;

“Take (the meal of) suhoor because there is a blessing in it”
[Al Bukhari & Muslim]

 Eat healthy and small portions but only nutritious food. Our diet dictates who we are as afterall you are what you eat. Salty and spicy things make you bloated.  Eat sensibly so you feel light and fresh even after the iftar and abstain from heavy eating. It will cause drowsiness, shortness of breath and laziness.

“… Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…”
{Surah Ar’ Rad 13: Verse 11}

In conclusion it is all about accomplishing not just planning. Change your routine to make the most of this blessed month as the rewards are great. Benefit from the entire month not just one night or a particular ashra. I hope you all benefit from this article and implement these action items in Ramadan.  Remember this verse from the Quran whenever you feel down or lazy.

“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little.”  
{Surah An Nisa 4: Verse 142}

Authored by Humaira Adnan Agha
Edited by H. Ruzzana

"Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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