Home > Featured > Beyond Ramadan: The Seven Pillars of Great Fasting Unveiled

Beyond Ramadan: The Seven Pillars of Great Fasting Unveiled

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...

We’ve completed the last lap of Ramadan. What are you feeling right now?

Sadness? 

Joy?

Excitement?

Perhaps sadness when you think the special blessings and rewards will be gone for a year. Or joy when you think you have utilized the right opportunities for good deeds, making duas for your needs and purifying your heart.

Take a pause.

Your goal of taqwa should not change after Ramadan. Allah SWTsays:

“And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason?” (Al-‘An’am, 6:32)

Fasting is one of your fast tracks to fulfilling that goal of taqwa – fearing Allah SWT. Do not stop when Ramadan comes to the finish line. Continue the race.

Great fasting isn’t about going through the motions of abstinence and being ‘Islamic’ for a period, then returning to ‘normal’ life afterwards. It’s about building firm pillars and safeguarding them – to move your fasts from “Just Routine” to “Great”.

The seven pillars will help you grow, improve and excel in every aspect of your life, insha Allah.

Seven Pillars of Great Fasting

1. Sunnah-tic.
Fast as the Prophet SAWS did. Do not try to reinvent the wheel. He fasted outside Ramadan – like on Mondays and Thursdays – so do the same. Break your fast with dates or water. Make dua at the time of breaking your fast. Learn and follow his fasting habits.

“Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Ali’ ‘Imran, 3:31)

2. Self Control

Great fasting requires a great deal of self control. For children learning to fast, this may be a point of weakness which improves with practice and age. As an adult, you may not ask for food or water, but you may mourn internally about the stress involved. connect anywhere

That’s human!

For great fasting, you need to exercise self control not just with regards to your food, drink and relations with spouse but with your speech, actions and manners as well. You need to lower your gaze, drop your bad habits and strive to replace them with better ones.

Envision yourself as a servant who controls and sacrifices little things to gain your Master’s pleasure and reward. The Prophet saw said:

“Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice in anger. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: “I am fasting!” 1

3. Schedule

Develop a schedule for the days you are fasting. Stick closely to it so it becomes a habit and regular part of your activities. On such days, you may reduce your appointments and rigorous activities; and plan your time ahead so you can focus much on the remembrance of Allah SWT. Plan the schedule around suhoor, ifaar, tahajjud and prayer times. The Prophet saw said:

“Do those deeds which you can do easily, as Allah will not get tired [of giving rewards] till you get bored and tired [of performing good deeds]. And the most beloved deed to Allah is the one which is done regularly even if it is little.” 2

4. Simplicity

Allah SWT does not place a burden greater than your soul can bear. 3 Whenever the Prophet saw had to choose between two options, he always chose the easier option, unless it was explicitly forbidden. 4

Make things simple for yourself while fasting. Engage in rewarding and productive acts so that you don’t lose the spiritual essence of your fast. From simple but healthy meals to sustainable but simple acts of worship – like engaging in dhikr (remembrance of AllahSWT), keep things real and simple.

5. Space

You may call it space for soul searching, deep thinking or mindful reflection. What you need is ‘mental’ space [for sieving through life’s clutter]. You can reflect over:
– Ranks of those who fast before Allah SWT;
– What you want to get out of fasting – [as a believer nothing is done without a purpose];
– How to self-improve and model a true Islamic identity;
– Your goal of taqwa.

The best tool to help you achieve this is the Qur’an.

“[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” (Sad, 38:29)

6. Support

Fasting is an individual act, but you can increase your motivation when you team up with your siblings or spouse and friends to fast regularly throughout the year. Whether you fast every Monday and Thursday, have iftaar together or plan to read a portion of the Quran on days you fast, it becomes a healthy means of competition and motivation.

“…And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” (Al-Ma’idah, 5:2) blog-poster

7. Sincerity

I saved the best for the last. Everything a Muslim does should be based upon sincerity. Allah SWT knows what you make secret or apparent and you will be rewarded accordingly. When you fast, do it purely for His sake – not for your spouse, parents or because your friends/ colleagues are fasting. Overlook the inconveniences, hardships and struggles – seek His SWT Pleasure alone.

Do Yourself a Favor

Fortify your Ramadan.

Its better late than never. Imagine what the pillars of a great building do. Can you afford to have pillars that are weak or absent from your fasting? Will you easily give up on your goal of taqwa? I don’t believe you will – keep learning, striving and racing towards ‘great fasting’. Ramadan will come to an end but your goal should remain. Build, reinforce or repair your taqwa goal with the seven pillars of great fasting. Then keep working on them.

Please share in the comments below which of these pillars you have erected already and which you plan to work on beyond Ramadan. We would love to hear from you. 🙂

  1.   Muslim
  2.   Bukhari
  3.   Al-‘A’raf, 7:42
  4.   Bukhari

Comments

comments

You may also like
Qur’an and Our Youth: How to bring the Qur’an close to their Hearts
The Social Media Invasion
Planning for Life after Ramadan [Part III]
Planning for Life after Ramadan [Part II]
If you liked the article, do leave a comment down below

85 Responses

  1. rafiabl99@gmail.com'
    Mohammed Rafi

    Al humdulilah!! It is very useful. Thank you author and thank you IOU Whole team.

    May Allah reward you all and me too more and more rewards. Ameen

    Jazak allahu khayran!!:)

  2. Britdeshimummy@gmail.com'

    Im always sad to see Ramadan go! But I take something away from it every time. This year it was organisation. Juggling Prayer and reciting with my baba as this was my first Ramadan as a mummy.

    1. I feel the same way BritDeshiMummy – sad to see Ramadan go. Alhamdulillah you were able to pick a lesson to better your life.

      Congratulations on your blessed gift – May your life as a ‘Mummy’ lead to more blessings and Jannah ultimately.

  3. hamdan_dee@yahoo.com'
    Danya

    AsSalamu Alaykum, I really enjoy and benefit from reading these articles,Alhamdolilah. I plan to continue fasting throughout the year ,insha Allah.I need to work on my manners and learn how to forgive those who hurt me by their manners.I know I am not perfect neither are the people I come in contact with. Can you please share any information on how to move past my emotions and learn how to forgive others for their lack of consideration? Jazkum Allahu Khairun?

    1. Wa alaykum salaam wa Rahmtullah Danya,

      I’m pleased you find some benefit from reading my article, Alhamdulillah. May Allah keep you steadfast with fasting through the year. It is a not-too-secret ‘sweet sauce’ many are yet to taste – it helps to purify the mind, body and soul.

      Our emotions are part of who we are – they drive our actions and behaviour. As Muslims, we should direct our emotions towards Allah’s worship and pleasure. For example; loving and hating purely for His sake. Because that is the pure fitrah upon which all man was born; to surrender and worship Him alone without partners – through our thoughts, words, behavior, emotions.

      Here are a few quick tips you can try to implement In sha Allah:

      * Read the seerah of the Prophet and try to copy his approach in the way he dealt with people – including those that hurt him.

      * Set yourself a vision ~ eg entering Jannah ~ and occupy yourself with deeds that will move you closer to your vision; and disregard little distractions like other people’s manners.

      Or which of these two is worth your time and energy – your Big vision or little distractions?

      * Remind yourself to simply forgive and not harbour grudges; after all do you not want Allah to forgive you too?

      * Understand those things that cause you hurt – the situations, triggers and environment – perhaps you are sensitive yourself. If that’s the case, know that people are not deliberately trying to hurt you.

      Learn more about your personality type and how to handle different situations.

      And always try to think the best of others – do not be too judging.

      * Make Du’a. Ask Allah to purify your heart and soul; guide you and make you not hate or harbour ill feelings towards any one.

      Also make Du’a for those who hurt you.

      * Spend more time in the company of those whose manners you appreciate and wish to emulate.

      * As you said yourself, ‘nobody is perfect’. Keep learning and improving and be the example you wish to see.

      Baarakallahu feek

  4. hmuzamil99@yahoo.com'
    Muzamil Hassan Mohammed

    Maashallah, its very informative, educative and very encouraging, Inshaa Allah through Allah’s guidance and your help, I’ll strive to maintain and practice all the seven pillars of Ramadhan beginning with the six days of shawal. Thanks alot for the reminders and keeping us on track, be blessed Inshaa Allah.

  5. calfarhat1@gmail.com'
    Farhat Feroz

    Alhamdullillah for IOU. With Allah’s will it’s helping a lot of people and me too, In Shaa Allah i’ll try to implement what I read in this article in my life. May Allah reward the author , Dr. Bilal Philips , the whole team of IOu and its students.

  6. adegunner4real@yahoo.com'
    Sarafadeen

    I really enjoyed reading this article and learned a lot from it. Alhamdulillah, I have being erecting the sunah-tic, self-control, simplicity and sincerity aspect but I will have to work on myself on schedule, space and support aspect. May ALMIGHTY ALLAH make it easy for me and all Muslims.
    Jazakallah khair

  7. shaffs2002@yahoo.com'
    shafaatu

    Masha Allah. That was a wonderful article that greatly inspired me and I will definitely share with friends and family. I’m so proud to have adhered to pillar No.5 already. And I’m ready to hold on to other pillars by Allah’s grace. Jazakillah Khairan Amina and IOU at large. Bissalam

  8. arfa@purematrimony.com'

    Excellent article which highlights the importance of continuing the race and not relying on Ramadan to fix you, rather, relying on Ramadan to help further excel you in your good deeds! Loved it masha’Allah!

  9. simanky10@hotmail.com'
    ummu munir

    jazakullahu kheir i always read all the articles sent from IOU an its teaching me alot may Allah reward you all and me too.now that Ramadan is over i set may goals in order to fast the last 3days for each month of Islam fast Monday and Thursday and pray all sunnah prayers inshaaALLAH if Allah swt will allow me kindly i need your prayers including members of IOU so that i will be able to achieve it . thank you mayALLAH SWT accept all our deeds and forgive our sins. ameen

    1. Wa iyyak Ummu Munir. Keep reading and learning with the IOU, may Allah reward your effort.

      Regarding fasting every 3 days of the month; It is mustahabb to fast three days each month, and it is best to fast on the ayaam al-beed, which are the 13th, 14th and 15th of the month (lunar).

      May Allah keep you steadfast. Keep improving yourself.

  10. nfantu@yahoo.com'
    Fatu S. Nyei

    Al ham-dulillah, the teaching is educative and motivating pray that the Almighty Allah guide us on the straight path and practice like the prophet (P.B.U.H) command us to. Ameena thanks ever so much for today lesson.

  11. kirstenmerah@yahoo.de'
    Nadia

    Baraka Allaho fikoum. I liked this poste very mouch. Indeed we should keep our ibaada simple. We all need each day special reminders to keep in touch with Allah t.a. I will try too fast 3 days per month, like it ist describedin the sunna too. That helps you controling your nafs in sha Allah.
    May Allah t.a. be pleased with us. Amin

  12. arutu2ola2unji@gmail.com'
    arututu ahmed

    Alhamdulilahi Rabil’alameen….it’s inspirational and worth noting. May ALLAH swt increase your knowledge. Jazaq Allah khairan

  13. AfifaMarium111@gmail.com'
    Afifa Marium

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    Obviously I am sad at the end of this Month but after the sight of moon of Shawal I don’t know what happened suddenly my routine changed unwillingly, I wanted to recite Quran but I couldn’t, I guess it was due to the fact that Satan is unchained…
    I’m so confused, I want to continue my life routine as it was in Ramadan. Please guide regarding this..
    I am not waking up for Fajar prayer also…. I never put alarms on my phone for fajar prayer, by the will of ALLAH SWT I always wake up but I don’t know why is this happening…..

    1. khanquerer5pg@gmail.com'
      Dr. Nawazish Ali khan

      S. A. Sister it’s Natural so don’t be sad/guilty, solution is read translation of QURAN with Tafsir even if it’s 1 ayah, it will help you concentrate and avoid monotony of just doing anything without reflecting on it, it happens in all kinds of activities that if any act becomes routine it leads to monotony n boring If you don’t concentrate

      1. AfifaMarium111@gmail.com'
        Afifa Marium

        جزاك الله خير
        Sister.
        Actually all of this happened suddenly after the sight of moon, I wanted to pray but I couldn’t…
        I offered my Fajar SALAH very late…
        It’s not due to monotony I think because I didn’t feel any thing like that…. Today is Friday night In Shaa ALLAH I’ll try to please ALLAH SWT…
        Pray for me…

    2. Wa alaykum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh Afifa,

      I pray you had a lovely Eid.

      It’s not always easy to keep doing all the things we do in Ramadan afterwards. But it’s not enough to make excuses that Satan has been unchained. Remember he is your open enemy, trying to distract and distance you from your true Friend.

      First, think about and affirm your ‘Big Goal’ and ‘Purpose’ in life. You will realise that attaining Taqwa is one of such goals. You started out the journey towards Taqwa in Ramadan already, so you should continue beyond Ramadan.

      But rather than trying reach your goal in shawwal, spend small pockets of time e.g 5-10 minutes each day building habits that will help you achieve the goal. Make it a daily self improvement exercise. You can achieve this through the seven pillars above.

      1. Sunnah-tic. The sunnah teaches us that small but consistent deeds are the most liked and rewarding. So pick one or two of such deeds and stick to them for a week, then two weeks then three and continuously. Do them according to the sunnah – as the Prophet did. For example, read the Qur’an slow and melodiously as he did.

      2. Self control. Yes, shaytan is on the leash but control your thoughts, deeds and acts. Follow what you read in the Quran rather than follow your desires or peers.

      3. Schedule. This is very important – for example, read the Quran for 10 minutes after Fajr everyday. Make it a special fixed time.

      4. Simplicity. Be simple in your approach. Don’t complicate things for yourself. Keep a copy of the Quran close, or use your phone of tablet while travelling to and fro work/school.

      5. Space. Reflect and review yourself daily using lessons you read from the Quran. Are you moving closer to your big goal? If not, why? How can you do better?

      6. Support. Get buddies to help you stay accountable. Tell them your goal and daily steps needed to reach there. You can even compete with each other and check up on each others’ progress.

      7. Sincerity. Do whatever you do for the Pleasure of Allah alone. Read the Quran to develop yourself, fulfil your life purpose and please Him alone.

      And with Allah is all help. Ask Him to help you at all times.

  14. ingridmarzo@hotmail.com'
    Lamees Haadiya

    Iyo quiero continuation…..quiero aprender…..sentir….no cuentos con una comunidad que me ayude ….pero se que puedo see cada Día mejor porque en cada moment temo a Allah…y eso me corrige.. agradezco ser muslim ….porque mi vida esta más cerca a Allah….un abrazo al equipo y Allah les bendiga por compartir

  15. imwarsame@hotmail.com'
    ILYAS WARSAME

    I starting fasting Mondays and Thursday almost a year ago. Thanks to Allah, I know fast regularly on Mondays and Thursdays. In addition to that the last two to three months my wife joined with me for fasting Mondays & Thursday. A year or more, I think I started to read half chapter of the Qur’aan everyday; and I complete the Qur’aan once almost every two months.
    Brothers & Sister make du’a for me to sustain the good deeds until I meet may day.

    1. May Allah keep you steadfast Br. Ilyas. I’m happy your wife has joined you on the Monday and Thursday fasts. May it count on your scale of good deeds.

      I know of people who have been able to motivate their loved ones through consistence and practice – as they say ‘Show me’ not ‘Tell me”. Keep showing others the right path please.

  16. imtiyazalikhan786@yahoo.in'
    Imtiyaz Ali

    SubhanAllah
    What a article perfect after Ramadan.
    And perfect tittle also
    “Seven pillars of GREAT FASTING”

  17. maaz6pk@hotmail.com'
    Maaz

    MashaAllah, great reminder. indeed human has been created very weak so we need constant reminder. May Allah help us all.
    Aameen

  18. ayeshadw1@gmail.com'

    MashaAllah this was a great write-up. I particularly enjoyed that the suggestions really are simple enough to implement as a lifestyle change.
    Recently heard someone speak of the importance of being “AbdAllah” and not just “Abd-Ramadaan” meaning that we should be true worshippers throughout the year, not just in Ramadaan. Thses suggestions would surely contribute toward making that niyyah a reality, InShaAllah!

  19. firoza0011@hotmail.com'
    firoza

    Thank you. This article is very inspiring. I have fastedx3 days after ramazan and hoping to fast sll 6 days insha Allah. Also continue with the sunna prayers reciting the quran and zikr. I hope I will continue this routine during my life with the help of Allah. I also communicate with Allah to forgive me for all my sins and thsnk Allah daily for all the blessings that I have received.

  20. abdikossar@gmail.com'
    Abdirahman Abdullahi

    mashAllah jazakallahu kheira ukhti fil islam may Allah bestow you with the knowledge and energy to share with us such an interesting and educative lectures.

  21. shaheen.siddique@hotmail.com'
    shaheen

    Jazakallah khairun kaseera,its a Big reminder for me,usually i fast on Mondays nd Thrsdays but ur article vll improve my intention In Sha Allah,:) nd same is the case with me,I want Allah to forgve me but m not so strong yet to forgbe the ones who hurt me,may Allah gve me strength

  22. aucmitch@umail.iu.edu'

    I feel optimistic post-Ramadan. Self-Control is something I’ve definitely come out of Ramadan with. I have a hard time with food, overeating and making unhealthy choices. Fasting let me reset my habits and get my mind off of eating. I’m implementing the Monday and Thursday fasts as well to kind of solidify that aspect of self-control and eating. I’ve never felt better!

  23. misbah1092@gmail.com'
    Misbah Sakhawat

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It’s a morale boosting article. By doing little changes in our daily routines we can pave our paths toward Allah’s love.

  24. emansur007@gmail.com'
    Ebraheem Almunsur

    Jazakhallahu Khairan for this beautiful write up. I do fast Mondays and Thursdays, but sometimes I find it difficult to do cos of the nature of my job, but after reading this, will try and reschedule my work time so I can be consistent. Salam.

  25. medbah01@yahoo.com'
    Mohamed Bah

    May Allah bless you and Grant you Jannah with out reconning. Ameen. I have been fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, praying at nights but my greatest weakness is reading the Quran regularly. My job is physical and after work most times am so tired that it is hard for me to sit and read the Quran but I try to read a few lines after fajr prayer. May Allah strengthen us. Ameen.

    1. Baarakallahu feek Br. Mohammed.

      Try reading 5 – 10 minutes daily or half a page; especially at morning times – before or after Fajr.

      May Allah make it easy for you to engage with the Quran daily, do more good deeds and strengthen us all.

  26. arp@brio.co.in'
    Arp

    Al humdulilah!! It is very useful. Thank you author and thank you IOU Whole team.

    May Allah reward you all and me too more and more rewards. Ameen

    Jazak allahu khayran!!:)

  27. Riazhaven@yahoo.com.com'

    Ma sha Allah. May Allah Subhanu T,ala accept the valuable efforts from our beloved brothers and sisters and May Him grant them with us the true success here and hereafter. Ameen
    May Allah Subhanu T,ala forgive us. And May Him Reward more and more who’s is related with Dawah activities and who’s are Muslim. Ameen

  28. Pingback : How I Overcame My Fear of Writing (And How You Can Too) - Youthly Hub

  29. Pingback : Beyond Ramadan: The Seven Pillars of Great Fasting Unveiled – IOU Blog | kokicat

Leave a Reply