Ramadan is a month of abstinence and self-reflection for Muslims around the world. However, the spirit of goodness Ramadan brings typically ends with the month. So here are five things you can do beyond Ramadan to keep the spirit of this blessed month alive.
- Do one good deed each day
Make it a habit to do at least one worthy deed each day, no matter how small. This can be anything, like lending a helping hand to a family member, friend, colleague, or even a stranger in need. A selfless act that requires you to devote your time, effort, or resources – even if it is little – can be a significant one in the sight of Allah. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “The deeds most beloved to Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Bukhari]
- Be charitable
According to Islam, our wealth is a test for us – to see whether we are grateful to Allah for it. One of the best ways to express gratitude is to share our wealth with others, especially the less fortunate ones who are most in need of it. So, make it a habit to give in charity – whatever amount you can spare – but on a regular basis. It will genuinely help others and make you feel good. The Quran states that financially helping the needy is like giving Allah a loan which He shall return and “multiply many times over”. [Quran 2:245]
- Fast three days a month
Fasting teaches us self-restraint, and keeps us alert against erring. Therefore, make it a habit to voluntarily fast three days each month, which was also a regular practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) [Muslim]. Fasting is highly appreciated by Allah. It not only enables you to keep your desires in check, but also to experience the plight of the poor, and endure deprivation. It helps you achieve a balanced lifestyle.
- Encourage others to do good
We cannot live in isolation in this world; rather, we frequently interact with others, and help shape a society on the basis of our interactions. For this reason, the Quran lays much emphasis on not just being upright, but also encouraging others to be the same. Hence, keep encouraging those around you to be truthful, generous, honest, thoughtful, cheerful, determined, and patient. Urge them out of sincere concern and care for them, without being judgemental or provocative.
- Make a sincere prayer each day
The Quran teaches us that there exists a direct relationship between you and Allah. You don’t need any intercessor to approach Allah. Rather, you can communicate with Him directly and connect with Him on a personal level because He is closer to you than your own “jugular vein” [Quran 50:16], and He listens attentively to what you have to say. Therefore, pray to Him with devotion at least once each day. Share your innermost feelings with Him, and ask Him earnestly for whatever you want.