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A common goal for many Muslims is to be able to finish reading the entire Qur'an within the month of Ramadan. However, if you're not confident you don't have to start there right away!
Take some time after each prayer to read a few ayats of the Qur'an. It can be just 1 ayat, or a whole surah at a time, but as time goes on these small efforts will help build your confidence and comfort.
If you're starting to practice reciting the Qur'an, it can be daunting to try and recite entire surahs at once. However, Allah sees all, and He sees and recognizes your effort.
Start small and strive for precision, taking care to pronounce each letter properly and clearly. Rather than rushing through, understand the meaning of the words and aim to perfect even the smallest of recitations. In this way, you'll build your confidence as well as fall in love with the beauty of the Qur'an.
Ramadan is a month for deepening our faith and knowledge of Islam. You can now find dozens of online lessons and podcasts covering everything from fiqh to the tafseer of selected surahs - and most of them are 30 minutes or less! Put one on in the background while you get ready for your day, or when you're winding down just before it's time to break your fast. A little knowledge goes a long way!
Al-Fatihah is the first chapter of the Qur'an and is one of the most important surahs in the book. Muslims around the world say the Al-Fatihah every day when we pray, so Ramadan is the perfect time to dive into its meaning and significance. As we say it multiple times every day, it also makes it so much more important to understand the meaning behind the words and how it reaffirms our worship of and belief in Allah.
There are 5 obligatory daily prayers in Islam, but each of us is in different stages of our journey of prayer. For some who may be starting out, committing to all 5 prayers can be difficult for a variety of reasons; for others who are already in the habit of praying 5 times a day, the challenge may be in maintaining khushoo during prayer instead of letting your mind wander. No matter what your relationship to prayer is, this is a good time to relearn the basics.
It gives us more flexibility and ease with timing the prayers and recitation, and we get to pray in a comfortable and familiar location. It's also a chance to spend time with our family and loved ones, and get closer through the observance of our faith.
Some of us may not have the habit of eating sahur, so why not start trying to create this habit this Ramadan! Sahur can be as little as a glass of water, or a handful of dates. As narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and At-Tabaraani in Al-Awsat:
"Allah and his angels definitely send salutations on those who eat Suhoor."
Having sahur can help set the tone for the rest of your day - and you can pray the Fajr/subuh prayer immediately afterwards too.
This year, try to be more mindful and aware of what you eat. Taking care of your body is also important in Islam, as is the value of moderation. So try cutting down on sugary drinks, and limiting your desserts and snacks. You can also try to substitute healthier ingredients such as wholegrain rice or try meatless meals. And don't forget to practice good eating habits - don't rush through your food no matter how hungry you are!
As we're fasting for the whole day, it's important to hydrate ourselves when we get the chance! By hydrating yourself, you're not only ensuring you have enough energy for the day but you'll be in a better mood and find it easier to practice values such as kindness and compassion.
Keep a water bottle by your side after iftar, and sip water until you go to bed. Make sure to have water or other fluids during sahur too!
One of the values of Ramadan is learning how to resist temptation, and for many of us, the biggest temptation around is our phones! While our phones are essential for communication (or just every part of life) these days, this is a good chance for us to take a step back as well. If we can resist food and water (which are essential to our survival) for over 12 hours, we can surely resist looking at our phone for just a fraction of that time.
During Ramadan, many of us do acts of charity to give back to our community as well as show gratefulness for what Allah has given us. But giving sadaqah (voluntary acts of charity) doesn’t just need to be monetary!
So while you may be stuck at home, you can still reach out to do good for others. Whether that be sponsoring meals for those who need them, donating to fundraisers for illnesses or other causes, or even just checking in with your older neighbours to see how they're doing.
A medical student!🩺 I’d like to live as simply as possible. I love reading- regardless of what type of book it is. People are wonderful, especially those closest to me. I’m determined to do some good for others in whatever I end up doing in the future.
Wishing you good health and a warm spirit this Ramadan!❤️
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