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Use Ramadan as a Time to Shed Your Vices

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In Ramadan, we learn to gain mastery over our nafs (inner selves), by abstaining from things that are halal for us… food, drink, intimacy, etc. This allows us to turn our focus to what is most important in life – the worship of Allah SWT. However, if one ponders deeply – the goal of the disciplines that we gain in Ramadan is to benefit us in our lives, long after Ramadan is over.

To help us understand the deeper requirements of an accepted fast, we have the following hadith:

Abu Hurairah RAu reported that the Prophet SAWS said:

“Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” 1

From this hadith, we learn that the deeper meaning in fasting the month of Ramadan is not just to make one’s body accustomed to physical deprivation or even to increase in acts of nawaful (supererogatory) worship. Instead, it is a training ground for mastering your nafs (soul) on a deeper level. And moreover, this training should position the Believer to move throughout life in a much different way – increasing his or her obedience and noticeably improving in character the remaining 11 months of the year and beyond.

In Ramadan, we are shown that if we can focus and submit purely for Allah’s sake — to leave off things that are halal for us – then what about the haram? The same level of self-mastery that we hopefully apply in Ramadan can be a springboard to permanently rid ourselves of vices, actions and mindsets that are not becoming of a Muslim. In essence, Ramadan is literally a training ground for the rest of the year – and the rest of your life, for those who take heed.

As humans, we all have things that we struggle with. However, Allah SWTis the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, and has blessed us with this opportunity for purification and elevation. So this Ramadan, in addition to focusing on Quran, Qiyam-ul-Layl (Night Prayer), feeding the poor, and seeking Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Decree), let’s also use this opportunity to strive to rid ourselves of un-praiseworthy actions and habits.

Below are just a few potential areas of focus (depending on the person), that can help one to exit Ramadan a better person than when they entered, and gain the love and reward of Allah SWT.

Music, Movies and Other Unproductive Media:

Most people will abstain from watching lewd movies and listening to music out of respect for Ramadan. However, if this is something associated with piety, then would it not be even more beneficial to reevaluate the type of media you allow yourself to absorb, partake in and are entertained by the rest of the year?

In addition to much of it being haram (musical instruments, fornication and immodest dress), much of what is broadcasted is purposely designed to reduce ones morals, increase promiscuity and keep a person distracted from their true purpose in life – the worship of Allah SWT:

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”  2

Mixing with the Opposite Sex:

In Ramadan, we frequent the masaajid more and purposely strive to lower our gaze, so as not to cause a break or deficiency in our fast. This is excellent training for life outside of Ramadan as it allows one to gain mastery in remaining chaste, guarding the eyes and not interacting with those who are not halal for us. Also, if you are in a haram relationship prior to Ramadan, honor yourself enough to either demand marriage, or walk away for Allah’s sake.

In addition, with the advent of social media, mixing of men and women has increased dramatically and has even spilled into real life. Unfortunately, this phenomenon has also impacted the Muslims, with many having “friends” or contacts whom they chat with on social media – yet, they would not want to be caught mixing with in the community. Use this Ramadan to purify your interactions and use the tools that Allah SWT has placed at our disposal for benefit, not harm.

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.”

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.)…” 3

Backbiting and Slander:

One of the most grievous sins is to backbite or slander someone, or to accuse someone without proof. In today’s hyper-connected world, people have more access than ever to “information” about people, groups and events, and this often leads people to critique, blame and slander individuals – often without knowledge. And when this action is directed toward your fellow Muslim, it is even more detrimental. Use this Ramadan as an opportunity to master your heart and tongue, and maintain speech that is fair and honorable throughout the yearblog-image

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” 4 

Usury and Unlawful Money:

One of the most hated sins to Allah SWT is the practice of ribaa (usury/interest). Many Muslims (especially in the West) feel as if they cannot live and acquire things that they need (education, housing, etc.) without accepting or paying riba. However, Allah SWT is sufficient for His slaves and provides without measure for those who truly place their trust in Him SWT.

If you have loans or transactions that involve interest, use this month to pray to Allah SWT for relief from this, and seek out the means to purify your wealth – even if it takes time. Also, if your income involves engaging in any haram or something illegal, know that leaving that off for the sake of Allah SWT will not only cleanse your wealth, but will also open up bigger and better opportunities inshaAllah.

“Those who eat Riba (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitan (Satan) leading him to insanity…” 5

Hijab:

It has become customary that some sisters who may not observe hijab, will do so during Ramadan, especially with the increase of activity in the masjid. Observing the hijab is a command from Allah SWT and is a means to ward off many evils. If you’ve struggled in this area, use Ramadan as a starting point to improve in your practice of hijab. And know that with any positive move, there may be setbacks. However, take this step sincerely for Allah SWT and He SWT will reward you greatly.

O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e.screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” 6

There are many such examples and we can all examine our lives to identify areas that we can work to improve during Ramadan and inshaAllah continue thereafter. So this Ramadan, all of the things that you do for Allah’s pleasure, and things that you abstain from fearing His displeasure – try to keep those up for the remainder of the year. If you do, imagine where you will be next Ramadan, by Allah’s Mercy!

Using this formula, you can embark on a journey of spiritual elevation each Ramadan – each year becoming better, instead of merely settling for yearly repetition. And with Allah SWT is the best of rewards.

Is there any reward for good other than good?” 7

“Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”  8

I hope you liked the article :) Let me know in the comments section about your feedback! 

  1.   Saheeh Bukhari
  2.  Ad-Dthaariyaat 51:56
  3.  An Noor 24:30-31
  4.  Al-Hujuraat 49:12
  5.  Al Baqarah 2:275
  6.  Al-Ahzab 33:59
  7.  Ar-Rahman 55:60
  8.  Bukhari
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If you liked the article, do leave a comment down below

110 Responses

    1. rashidhasan227@gmail.com'
      Rashid Hasan

      It’s no doubt that the month Ramadan prevent us from the vices and lead’s us to the true path. God helps us to continue the same in our life. Ameen Suma Ameen.

  1. helyakub@ymail.com'
    hafiz Aliyu El Yakub

    JazakalLah Sister what a master piece. May Allah reward you immensely and make us part of his pious servants.

  2. nusaybah.abdullah@hotmail.com'
    Nusaybah

    Jazaak Allaahu khayran sister for this well-written article that is packed full of succinct yet gentle reminders and will benefit Muslims from all levels of understanding…in shaa Allaah.

  3. muthakabir@gmail.com'
    Sayeed Mutha Kabir

    Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatulla….
    Thank full for this article. Jazak Allah Qair….

    Inshallah will try to work on this….
    and would wish for reminders,
    as humans we tend to forget, so hoping for more articles even after Ramadan…..

    1. Islamic Online University

      Walaikum assalam,
      jazaanaa wa iyyaakum :)

      In sha Allah we will be posting more articles like this, do not forget to subscribe and come back :)

  4. babaz1979@gmail.com'
    twariq Said

    Jazaak Allaahu khayran for such a beautiful reminder.may Allah reward you with goodness in this life and the hereafter ameen.

  5. mwahab@hotmail.com'

    As Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

    Jazak Allahu Khair!

    May Almighty Allah forgive us, have mercy on us and guide us all to righteousness until our last breath, ameen!

    Was Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.

  6. shaheen855@yahoo.com'
    Shaheen Azad

    Assalamu Alaikum

    Jazakallah Khair…
    Thanks for the article and the reminder…

    Just a small suggestion (May be i m too small to suggest)..
    Who ever is reading this articles he/she already attained some of these qualities and thats why they r reading….may be the guideline should be given beyond that or in an essence of dawah practice…

    Hope i could make my point..

    1. salaam@womanbynature.com'

      Wa alaikum salaam Shaheen,

      Excellent question Mashaa Allah! The article is a general guide and something to get you thinking along this vein. We all have things and areas in which we can improve – this is a life-long journey!

      For those who don’t struggle with the particular items mentioned, they can consciously choose an area or two in which they DO struggle, or wish to become better in. Setting the intention and working to improve on these things in Ramadan for Allah’s sake can propel them throughout the year Inshaa Allah.

  7. bisiraji@outlook.com'
    Muf'tau Raji

    Jazaaki Allahu khayran for this piece, sister. It’s really a Food for thought. May Allah accept it as act of ibadah and reward you with barakah.

  8. asad.riaz76@gmail.com'
    asad riaz sheikh

    Ma sha Allah very impressive, keep it up n keep catching the muslim ummah :) stay blessed dear sis
    jazak Allah

  9. fatkanneh13@gmail.com'
    Fatimah Kanneh

    Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu, Maa Sha Allah the article is really wonderful, Jazakillahu Khairan

  10. Pingback : Use Ramadan as a Time to Shed Your Vices | Muslimyouthstoday's Blog

  11. jfnacario@hotmail.com'
    abdullah jeff

    Jazakallah khairan! this is indeed very essential to those who want to follow the right path. May Allah swt bless you sister khadija and those who share this article.

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  13. benjaminradian@libero.it'
    Ibrahim

    Ramadan is a great occasion to stop sins and to stop the haram. Just some examples: stop smoking, stop watching tv and stop listening music!!! Allah will help those who have the intention to abandon the sins definitely…

  14. Umartantray@gmail.com'
    Umar tantray

    Beautiful and informative! May Allah guide us to the right path. Above content is very very much informative.Thanks for the article

    1. Islamic Online University

      Jazakallah khair for your comment. Please share with your friends and family if you found it beneficial Umar :)

  15. Mk.oasis13@gmail.com'
    Mk

    Subhanallah… great article. Informative and a very good reminder. May Allah accept our fasting and lead us the right path. Insyaallah.

  16. Bashirisyakutsamiya777@gmail.com'
    Bashir isyaku tsamiya

    ASSALAAMU ALYKOOM WARAHAMTULLLAH
    jazakallah bi khayran
    it very interesting article
    may ALLAH subhanahu wata’aala
    reward you Ameen

  17. babetinu@yahoo.com'
    Roheemo bint muhammad Jamiu

    maa shaa ALLAH! may ALLAH SWT assist us in practising his way n guide us from what is forbidden by him..aameeen. salam alaikum warahmotullahi wabarakatuh

  18. Salifuwaris@rocketmail.com'
    Abdul-Waris

    Masha’Allah AlhamduliLlah, may Allah strengthen us and guide us onto the right path. We need more of articles like these even after Ramadan Insha’Allah.

  19. karsum_hajan@yahoo.com'

    ASSALAMUALAYKUM WARAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKATUHU..

    Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin..

    This article is very informative to everyone ..We hope everybody will read this article and try to reflect in their daily lives not just in the month of Ramadhan but for the rest of their lives.

    May Allah give us more strength and courage to fulfill all those things

    Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen..

  20. Siddiqisaka@live.nl'
    Siddiq

    It was such a great reminder. I am amazed by each part of the messages. I hope to continue lifestyle as in Ramadan. May Allah reward for you do. Stay bless N peaceful.

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