Ramadan is a month-long race towards righteousness.
As Allah says: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” 1
It is a period of mindfulness, doing good and shunning sins. It is also a month of self-reflection, self-purification and self-discipline. Despite these opportunities, fasting tests your ability to remain a self improving, righteous servant. It requires great physical, mental and spiritual effort in order to help you pass successfully, to get your sins forgiven, increase in consciousness of Allah and ultimately, earn His Pleasure and jannah.
But, is there a better time for improving yourself, a better opportunity for dropping bad habits and building on good ones other than Ramadan? What offer comes with so many incentives to guide you through the finish line with great success?
Ramadan is that perfect opportunity. It is your personal race to righteousness and success.
What you need to do is sign and commit to a personal challenge to help you attain success. And the challenge is simple – pick and stick.
Pick at least one self improvement idea. Choose one that will increase your consciousness of Allah ; help you grow, achieve excellence and gain rewards; and develop your personality spirituality beyond Ramadan.
Stick to that habit daily for each of the 30 (or 29) days of fasting. You can pick 2 or more but make sure you repeat this activity every single day.
Easy, right? Let’s get down to some Ramadan self improvement ideas.
Ideas to Improve your Personality
Allah’s Messenger said: “The most perfect man in his faith, among the believers, is the one with the best behavior.” 2
- Spread salaam to those you know and those you don’t; and return the greeting of peace.
- Meet your brother/sister with a smiling face.
- Keep silent for each time you are about to speak and realise you have nothing good to say.
- For each time you gossip, make sincere du’a for the person and give charity – task yourself with a specific amount before starting the challenge.
- When you catch yourself complaining or if you’re about to complain, say alhamdulillah; remember and thank Him for His blessings.
- Read a page from the Prophet’s seerah and note practicable lessons.
- Control your anger. Repeat ‘A’udhu billahi minash shaytan-ir rajim when you find yourself getting angry.
- Write 3 things you are thankful for.
- Lower your gaze and look away when your gaze accidentally falls on something sinful.
- Say jazak Allah khair (may Allah reward you) for something gifted to you or good done to you.
Ideas to Improve your Spirituality
“And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it. And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness. He has succeeded who purifies it, And he has failed who instils it [with corruption].” 3
- Provide food for breaking of fast for a fasting person.
- Pray 2 units of tahajjud (night prayers).
- Repeat the Istigfar; constantly ask for forgiveness for your sins and errors.
- Supplicate to Allah sincerely when breaking your fast.
- Spend 30 minutes with the Qur’an daily – recite, reflect, read the translation/ tafseer and take lessons.
- Memorize one verse each day (e.g surah Al-Mulk with 30 verses).
- Invite someone to Islam.
- Teach the Glorious Qur’an to someone.
- Listen to a beautiful recitation of the Qur’an for 30 minutes – one of my favorite is Sheikh Khalil Khusary.
- Offer a total of 12 units of optional prayers throughout the day.
- Memorise 3 of 99 names of Allah ; remember and reflect upon the names and use in your supplications.
Ideas to Improve Relationships
Allah says: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers.”4
And the Prophet said: “None of you has belief until he desires for His Muslim brother that which he desires for himself.” (Bukhari and Muslim) 5
- Visit an elderly relative or neighbor.
- Visit, call, chat, email or send an SMS to your parents and siblings.
- Teach someone a beneficial skill or knowledge you have.
- Make sincere du’a for your friends and loved ones.
- Baby sit for 30 minutes so a busy mother can take a nap.
- Serve iftaar meals at the masjid or community center.
- Before going to sleep, empty your heart of all grudges.
- Wake your friend, sibling or spouse for tahajjud.
- Be kind and compassionate to everyone you meet.
These are ideas to aid you on your personal race for success – in this world and the next.
Now, it’s your responsibility to turn these simple deeds into mountains of rewards.
Finally, remember that Allah only accepts and rewards deeds which are done sincerely for His sake. If done according to the sharia, it becomes a form of worship. You can turn your challenge into a worship fountain that will nourish you with righteousness by affecting your thoughts, feelings and behavior positively.
Ready for the challenge?
Great! Hurry and get on the race to righteousness – to all that is good and rewarding this Ramadan.
Pick and stick to the Ramadan self improvement ideas you need to succeed in your life.
Which of these challenges will be you be taking on? And what other ideas can you think of? Please share below in the comments section