What is your plan this Ramadan? You have one, right? 🧐 🤓
My attention will mostly be focused on delivering the best Transform My Prayer experience that I possibly can, God willing.
If you’re still thinking about whether to sign up for this step-by-step journey to make your Salat a truly fulfilling experience, hesitate no longer! Let this be the Ramadan in which you achieve a real transformation in your Salat and connect with your Lord like never before.
The programme begins in just over a week on Sunday 3rd April and the Early Bird discount ends this weekend! So for the same price as one decent pair of shoes or a single family outing, please do seize the opportunity to improve the most important action of your life. You won’t regret it!
If you’re one of almost 600 people who’ve already signed up, congratulations! Do spread the word. You can even gift a place on the course to a loved one or friend here.
Is it possible for us to have a pointless Ramadan?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
🤦♂️ We can fast but only achieve hunger and thirst.
🤦♀️ We can pray more but only achieve fatigue.
🤦♂️ We can recite and listen to more Qur’an but only achieve a brief, melody-induced high.
🤦♀️ We can give more charity but only become poorer.
What can save us from such a disastrous outcome? It comes down to quality, inside and out, of both intention and action.
Here are some practical suggestions to help you avoid a pointless Ramadan:
One of the reasons we might experience uninspiring or monotonous prayers is because we fail to vary the words that we say in them. Yes, some phrases are standard and repeated but in fact there is a lot more scope for variation and originality than we think.
This is especially the case when it comes to supplication. Interestingly, from a linguistic standpoint, one of the meanings of the word Salat is Du’a. Many of us have become accustomed to raising our hands “to make Du’a” after the prayer is over. But the time to increase in calling upon our Lord is actually in the prayer itself.
This Ramadan, why not give extra attention to lengthening and beautifying your prostrations with more supplication? You can utilise Qur’anic supplications or ones attributed to the messenger Muhammad, may God grant him blessings and peace. You can even just ask God for whatever you like in your own language if that is easier for you and if it allows you to be more natural and heartfelt in your expression.
Don’t come up from your prostrations until you’ve poured your heart out. After all, that’s the position in which you’re closest to your Lord.
To encourage you, consider this famous verse which occurs right in the middle of a passage in the Qur’an about fasting and Ramadan:
“When My servants ask you (Prophet) about Me, then (tell them) that I am near. I respond to the call of the caller when they call upon Me. So let them too respond to Me and believe in Me so that they will be rightly guided.” (Chapter 2, The Cow, Verse 186).
"The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for people, as proofs of that guidance and as a criterion...” (Chapter 2, The Cow, Verse 185).
Please don’t miss the opportunity this Ramadan to increase your familiarity with the key messages in revelation. I would never discourage anyone from reciting and listening in the original Arabic of course. But to do that at the expense of understanding its meaning would be a mistake.
Why not set yourself a target to read a certain amount, or even all, of the Qur’an in translation this Ramadan? It won’t take more than 30 minutes a day.
And if you’d like a simple framework for the purposes of reflection, then try jotting down some answers to the following questions in relation to any verse or passage that you want to spend more time pondering:
- Why might God have decided to reveal this particular verse or set of verses in the first place?
- What is the general lesson from this passage? What might my Lord be telling me exactly, given my current situation and context?
- How should I change, either in terms of attitude or action, as a result of these words? What can I commit to going forward?
Remember, “This is a blessed book which We have sent down to you (Prophet), for them to ponder its verses deeply and for people of insight to take heed.” (Chapter 38, Sad, Verse 29).
One helpful way of seeing leadership is simply being alert and ready to take advantage of the chances that come our way to be of service to others. I don’t just mean with our money but especially with our time and attention.
It’s actually easy to become more selfish in Ramadan. I’m fasting, I’m working hard, I’m busy, I’m tired, so others should be making things easier for me.
If this ever occurs to you, or even if it doesn’t, how about this instead: Let me take the opportunity to help others have the best possible Ramadan they can have too.
This might involve you doing a little more around the house, or being a friend to someone who is lonely or new to the community of believers, or being a proactive volunteer at the local mosque.
We’ll all have the chance to do something to make someone else’s Ramadan special. Don’t miss the opportunity when it comes!
I've partnered with The Pillars App to bring you the:
5x5 Prayer Challenge
Build Your Life's Most Important Habit in Just 5 Days!
LIVE: Monday 28th March - Friday 1st April
If you're struggling to pray five times a day but you want to get there, then this 5-day challenge is designed just for you.
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Have a blessed fortnight. I'll see you in two Fridays, God willing
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