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Graduating Ramadan Without Regret: 7 Realistic & Manageable Tips to Help You

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Graduating Ramadan Without Regret: 7 Realistic & Manageable Tips to Help You | ProductiveMuslim

You’ve probably been getting tons of messages telling you how to make the best of the last 10 precious nights of Ramadan and the most anticipated Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power/Decree). But instead of getting motivated, you get overwhelmed and feel that the goals and plans you are reading about are unrealistic given your circumstances. You feel like you cannot measure up to what everybody else is doing, so you just feel like giving up completely, even though there are still a few nights left.  

This article is to tell you: “Do NOT give up, and do NOT get overwhelmed!” You can still make your best of the remaining nights- even if it’s just one night left.

Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) says:

“Make things easy and do not make them difficult, cheer the people up by conveying glad tidings to them and do not repulse (them).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The fact that you are living and witnessing these nights now in-and-of-itself is a MAJOR blessing from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to you. Remind yourself of that. He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) chose you to be among those who witness these nights, receive the major multiplied rewards and nearness that come with seeking Him earnestly, humbly and sincerely during these nights.

This is not to tell you to relax completely or settle for less. Rather, this is to encourage to do your own sincerest effort and to know that Allah appreciates all efforts done mindfully and sincerely for His sake.

So, if you feel that your busy schedule or distracting lifestyle have left you with a sense of regret about Ramadan and the last nights so far, then here are some manageable tips to help you find your heart, revive what’s left of Ramadan and graduate this Ramadan with a sense of joy and gratitude instead of regret.

Refresh the Prerequisites of Success: Intention, Faith, and Hope for Rewards

Before we discuss anything, we need to remember that the hadiths that talk about the rewards of Ramadan, whether fasting, praying Qiyam (night prayer) throughout Ramadan or specifically in Laylatul Qadr had these two prerequisites: “faith and hope for rewards”.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan” and according to the Hadith of Qutaibah, the Prophet said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer (Qiyam) out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins, and whoever spends the night of Lailat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
This means we need to be conscious of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. This means that both the heart and mind need to be active. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wants to see our hearts desiring His rewards, not see our bodies mindlessly performing actions.
A tried and tested tip: if you sincerely want to do something for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) out of faith in Him and desire for His rewards and closeness, then Allah will surely facilitate this thing for you. Guaranteed. So, if you sincerely desire and have the intention to take action in the remaining nights of Ramadan, then Allah WILL facilitate for you the action.
So, first and foremost, check your heart, renew your intention and know that it is Allah who facilitates for us His worship like He taught us:

“It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” [Qur’an 1: 5]

There is no room for giving up now. Seek the help of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), He never turns away anyone who seeks Him, and He will open doors for you to make the best of these nights in a way that fulfills you spiritually in Ramadan and beyond and fill you with gratitude.

Eliminate Distractions Wisely

We are not asking for revolutionary moves here. Just actual doable ones. In the coming nights starting from Maghrib and until Fajr, disconnect from unnecessary things that distract you. For example, turn off the Internet from your phone. You should not be distracted by notifications and social media updates. This is not “social” time, this is “me and Allah” time. So keep what’s necessary only. Meaning, if you are expecting emergency phone calls from family, for example, you can leave your phone on. If not, then switch off your phone. In all cases, disconnect from the Internet and social media.
Also, do not engage in useless talks or conversations with anyone around you. Speak only what’s necessary.

This will give you space, peace, and room for clarity. These are nights of peace, “Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” [Qur’an 97: 5]

So, create for yourself an environment of peace to the best of your ability. When you have more time for yourself, you’ll be able to fill it with what’s most important, which takes us to the next point.

Engage with the Qur’an Mindfully as Per Your Capacity

This is the time of the Qur’an. This is the month of the Qur’an, these are the nights of the Qur’an. If there is something you should be indulging in, it’s the Qur’an.

“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree.” [Qur’an 97:1]

But we need to be reminded here of a few things. The Qur’an will give you what you intend. If you’re reading it for guidance, you’ll get guidance. If you’re reading it for relief, cure and light, you’ll get relief, cure, and light. If you’re reading it for closeness to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), you will feel more connected to Him. If you’re mindlessly reading it to gather rewards (and there is nothing wrong in seeking rewards), but this is what you will get without having a meaningful, transformational experience with the Qur’an. The key here is to humbly carry the Qur’an with gratitude knowing that it’s the means of all khair (goodness), and let Allah guide you through His Book. He is the Best teacher.
 “The Most Merciful. Taught the Qur’an.” [Qur’an 55: 2]
Do not fearfully approach the Qur’an. Allah chose His name “The Continuously Merciful, The Most Merciful” when He talked about teaching the Qur’an. While holding the Qur’an to read, remember that you’re approaching the special mercy of Allah. This Book is mercy, guidance, and honor to those who take it.
Hold on to this Gift that has been descended from above seven heavens to this earth in one of these nights we’re currently witnessing. When you hold the Book of Allah with humility and gratitude, He will open the doors of understanding to you.
Indeed in that is a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while he is present [in mind]. [Qur’an 50: 37]
The Qur’an can transform your life, and this is a process that can start in Ramadan and live with you throughout the year… The most important thing is that you start with the right mindset and a sincere heart.
You can read the Qur’an by holding the Book in your Qiyam (some scholars do say it is allowable in voluntary prayers), or you can sit and recite. But do recite it mindfully, you can have your translation or tafsir book to refer back to if you want.
Remember, the most important thing here is to put your own best effort. If you spend the whole night struggling to read one juz’ or even few pages while stuttering because it is not your language, maybe, or it’s difficult for you, and someone else is reading it fluently and finishing up many more ajza’, then YOU are the one who is getting double the reward!
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
There is no loss with reciting the Qur’an, it is the most highly rewarded deed one can do, every letter uttered is rewarded and both the ones who recite it fluently and those who recite with difficulty get immense rewards.

The Best & Easiest Dua Has Been Announced. Maximize on Using it!

Do you see people around you making long lists of dua and you feel like your own duas are insignificant next to what they’re doing? Do you find that making dua in Arabic is hard and you envy those who masterfully make elongated duas? Do you fear that maybe you didn’t ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for everything you want or that you may forget an important dua that you need?
If so, then know that the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) -as the genius, merciful and deeply knowing of our conditions as he is ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)– has already advised us with the BEST dua to make that will bring us the best in this life and the next. And it is easy. And it is simple. And you can do it comfortably and get the best rewards.
‘A’isha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrated, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) ‘O Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) if I know what night the night of Qadr is, what should I say during it?’ He said, “Say:
O Allah, You are the Pardoner and You love to pardon, so pardon me. (Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni)” [Related by the five Imams]

There are many blessings in making this dua:

  • First of all, it is a sign that you love Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) because Allah says in the Qur’an “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.” [Qur’an 3: 31]
  • You get rewards for reviving a sunnah and following the Messenger of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).
  • You follow the right etiquette of making dua. Many people start making their duas right away asking Allah for what they want, while the best way to make dua is to send peace and blessings upon the Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), then praise Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and then ask for what you want. This dua shows that you’re following the Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) which is a form of gratitude to Allah, and it reminds you of praising Allah and calling Him by His Names and Attributes. So, it is a beautiful form of worship that gathers many blessings and rewards at once in just a few eloquent words.
  • Pardoning has a vast meaning that many people might not be aware of. If Allah pardons us, we will not carry the guilt of sin or the feeling of regret or the worry of not being accepted. If Allah pardons us, He removes the bad deeds and replaces them with good ones. If Allah pardons us, He facilitates for us the best routes to take in this life and the best results in the next. If Allah pardons us, we become among those who are nearer to Him. If Allah pardons us, He blesses us more generously in this life and the next.
So, if you don’t know what to say, then keep making this dua. Even if you spend hours or the whole night just repeating this dua while understanding its vast meaning, then you will be fulfilled with no regrets. If you do want to make other duas, it is definitely fine. But also do not underestimate the power of this one, especially that it has been taught to us to make things easy for us and to give us the best outcome.

Aim for Doable Nightly Prayers

What if, for some reason, you are unable to do i’tikaf or catch the night prayers at the masjid as you want and as others are doing? The answer is, do your best within your own capacity.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As:

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: If anyone prays at night reciting regularly ten verses, he will not be recorded among the negligent; if anyone prays at night and recites a hundred verses, he will be recorded among those who are obedient to Allah; and if anyone prays at night reciting one thousand verses, he will be recorded among those who receive huge rewards. [Sunan Abi Dawud]

Pray qiyam in whatever capacity you have. Just do pray at night. Allah says in Surat Al Muzzamil:

“Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words.” [Qur’an 73: 6]

And He says:

“Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an 73: 20]

Yes ideally, it is best to spend these nights in prayer with the Qur’an. But you can do that within your realistic capacity. The aforementioned hadith shows that night prayer can be done with as little as 10 verses. If you find that you have more time, do more, pray with 100 verses (reading them from the Book if you don’t know any by heart), and if you do feel you have more time, then go for the 1000 verses (which could be done conveniently by praying with the last 2 ajza’ of the Qur’an).
Again, it depends on your own capacity, but push yourself to do your best and do not give up or submit to hopelessness. Allah loves to see our efforts done sincerely in pursuit of Him.
“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Qur’an 29: 69]
If you can, try to make the last hour before Fajr (or at least a portion of it) for a special time between you and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). In this hour, pray even two light units of prayer and the witr (single prayer) if you can. Then, make a lot of istighfar (asking for forgiveness) it is a very recommended and praised act by Allah Himself to do at this time, you can make tawbah or pray the tawbah prayer if you feel you have intentionally wasted more time than you should in Ramadan and those last nights. If you’re sincere in regret and repentance over what you’ve missed, then Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can replace your bad deeds with good ones. There is still so much hope.

Remember Allah Standing, Sitting or Lying on Your Sides

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has made His remembrance easy for us. We can engage in the worship of remembering Allah in any position. As He says:
And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. [Qur’an 4: 103]
If you’re tired of prayer or cannot pray, then keep thinking about Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and speak to Him. This act of worship will not only give you great rewards, but it will also give you clarity and help you re-assess your life, regain your sincerity and focus you need in your life.
Allah says:
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.
Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, indeed whoever You admit to the Fire – You have disgraced him, and for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. Our Lord, indeed we have heard a caller calling to faith, [saying], ‘Believe in your Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord, so forgive us our sins and remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous. Our Lord, and grant us what You promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, You do not fail in [Your] promise.” [Qur’an 3: 190-194]

Remembering Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), even though it is easy and convenient, but it is a highly rewarded form of worship.

For example:

Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Purity is half of iman (faith). ‘Al-hamdu lillah (all praise and gratitude belong to Allah)’ fills the scales, and ‘subhan-Allah (how far is Allah from every imperfection) and ‘Al-hamdulillah (all praise and gratitude belong to Allah)’ fill that which is between heaven and earth.” [Riyad as-Salihin]

So saying ‘AlhamduliAllah’ fills the scales. Imagine saying AlhamduliAllah repeatedly and filling up your scales all night or saying ‘subhanAllah and alhamduliAllah’ and filling what is between the heaven and earth with good deeds!

So, do not waste time sitting silently, engage in the remembrance of Allah, speak to Him, praise Him, seek His forgiveness, and get the spiritual cleansing and immense rewards of these effortless, yet therapeutic acts.

Purification of the wealth helps purify the self

The word zakah carries the same letters for the word tazkiyah (purification). Giving out in charity is a means of purification. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“[He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself. And not [giving] for anyone who has [done him] a favor to be rewarded. But only seeking the countenance of his Lord, Most High. And he is going to be satisfied.” [Qur’an 92: 18- 21]

So, do give out in charity as much as you can with this intention. There are many trusted causes that you can donate to even online (but remember point 2 of not wasting time online except for what’s necessary), or you can feed an orphan or someone who’s poor, needy or fasting… the doors of charity are many, and the rewards of charity reflects on your spiritual and physical health.

Additionally, of course, do not forget to give out Zakatul Fitr before Ramadan ends, before Salatul Eid!

These are all manageable actions, insha’Allah, that you can incorporate within your capacity while being sincere and hopeful.

So, to recap, what you can do is:

  • Have faith and hope for rewards
  • Eliminate distractions and aim for “Me and Allah” time between Maghrib and Fajr
  • Engage with the Qur’an mindfully and with an open heart
  • Maximize on making the best and easiest dua for these nights
  • Pray night prayer within your capacity
  • Remember Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) standing, sitting and on your sides
  • Give zakat and give in charity with the intention of purification

If you are overwhelmed with regret over what has passed you of Ramadan, then pray the tawbah prayer and renew your intention to do your own best in the remaining nights –even if it’s just one night left, it could, in fact, be Laylatul Qadr and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can give you unlimited rewards and open the best doors for you in this life and the next. So keep going with hope.

The Plan Ahead

Most importantly, do not intend to relapse after Ramadan, this might actually negatively affect everything you’re doing. Allah knows and sees our intentions. We’re opening a new page with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) these days, the rest of the book should not be empty! It is not about making a temporary superficial commitment, but an eternal one. Ramadan is not an event or a season. The Night of Qadr that you might witness actually decides what will be decreed for you for the rest of the year. So, show Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that you want to transform your life to the best. Doing our best should be a lifetime endeavor. So, make the intention of continuing whatever progress you make after Ramadan as well. This is the whole point: to get the right motivation to keep going for the rest of the year.

If you feel that you need help and need a practical plan for consistency after Ramadan, then you can consider joining our Free Webinar: “The Practical Guide to Stay Consistent After Ramadan: Strategies, Tips, and Tools to be your best self after Ramadan: spiritually, physically, & socially

And if you’re really struggling and need more thorough, professional help in your life, then you can consider our masterclass.

There are many opportunities all around you. Take any that suits you. But by all means, keep making consistent actions even if small. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) says that Allah says, “If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ [Sahih Al Bukhari]

We urge you not to give up or lose hope or waste a wide-open opportunity in these nights to ask Allah to help you transform your life and aim for the best in this world and the next.

Now tell us, which acts are your planning to continue after Ramadan? Let us know in the comments. 

The post Graduating Ramadan Without Regret: 7 Realistic & Manageable Tips to Help You appeared first on ProductiveMuslim.com.

Source: productivemuslim

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