Ramadan has now ended and with it often goes the atmosphere of peace, simplicity and tranquility unfortunately. As we move further and further away from this blessed month, we should pay extra attention to maintain the habits we have implemented, the knowledge we learned and the growth we have achieved as Muslims. In some cases, however, we may not have achieved as much as we were hoping to. The month seemed to rush past and we were left in the dust wondering what happened.
Here are some tips to help you either continue to better yourselves or to give you motivation to push yourselves to improve, even after this blessed month.
1) Small & Regular Acts of Worship
“Verily, those who say, ‘Our Lord is (only) Allah, and thereafter stand firm and straight (upon Islam), on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Such shall be the dwellers of Jannah, abiding therein (forever), – a reward for what they used to do.” (46 : 13-14)
Who said that fasting had to be limited to the month of Ramadan? Or that you only give charity in Ramadan? Ramadan may have increased the rewards that you get from your good deeds, but that does not mean that there are no rewards for doing these acts outside of Ramadan. Do not loose hope if you didn’t do as much as you wanted, as still can work on your eeman and connection to Allah (swt) any time of the year. Set up new goals to do post-Ramadan that are not too difficult and can be done daily. Here are some examples:
- Voluntarily fast on Mondays and Thursdays
- Give (monthly) donations to different organizations or volunteer your time
- Attend Islamic lectures (as a family) at your local masjid
- Wake up early before fajr, even if only 5-10 min and pray 2 rakats/make dua’a
- Encourage everyone to complete sunnah prayers with the fard prayers
- Read a few pages from books or magazines about Islam daily with kids
These may be some of the habits we established during Ramadan and can continue to do afterwards. Whatever you pick, choose something that is simple and can be done regularly as those are the deeds we are most likely to keep up and get more reward from in the long run.
2) Create Incentives
A good way to keep up the spirit of Ramadan is to create incentives and rewards that will encourage yourself and members of your family to keep going. This works for both adults and children, and the rewards should be something that motivates each individual to want to continue the good deeds from Ramadan. Here are some ideas:
- Special dinner for those who observe voluntary fasts
- A gift card for anyone who reads a set amount of Qur’an within a month
- A visible reward chart that celebrates younger children when they do a good deed
- A day out or if you’re a mom a day off!
The ultimate reward for all good deeds is with Allah (swt) and the incentives that we create for ourselves and our families shouldn’t be the major reason why we do good deeds. While we create incentives as motivation for our family, we should always remind them that the reward from Allah (swt) should be the greatest motivation for doing good deeds.
3) Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Many of us had grand plans before the start of Ramadan. We wanted to complete the whole Qur’an, give charity regularly, pray all the tarawih salah or attend evening lectures. Then in reality as Ramadan ended, we realized we weren’t even able to read up to half the Qur’an, or give even a few times because of various factors.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” (Sahih Bukhari)
If you fell short of what you had hoped this month, do not see that as a failure on your part, or worse, believe that you wasted the month of Ramadan. We plan as humans, but Allah (swt) is the best of planners, and as Muslims, we know that we will be rewarded for our good intentions even if we were not able to achieve them. Try your best to continue and improve this post-Ramadan and fulfill your goals as you will still be rewarded even though the blessed month has ended.
4) Show Gratitude
Rather than beat yourself up about not ticking all the boxes off your Ramadan goals chart, be grateful for all that you were able to achieve. The fact that you were able to witness another Ramadan, and were healthy enough to participate no matter how little, is a mercy from Allah (swt), and we should be grateful for the opportunity. It is very important to show gratitude to Allah (swt) even if you achieved only a little as it shows that you acknowledge Allah (swt)’s favors upon you.
Showing gratitude also allows you to cherish your Ramadan experience more. Think of all the ways that Ramadan has made you a better Muslim, and be grateful for that growth, time and energy you were able to put into different forms of worship.
5) Keep Up the Ramadan Spirit
Nothing says that completing the whole Qur’an within thirty days has to be limited to the month of Ramadan. Or that you should abandon voluntary salah now that Ramadan has gone. Every single act of good deed brings its own rewards, regardless if it was done during Ramadan or after. So if you didn’t do as much as you had hoped in Ramadan, use that as a motivation to increase your energy and focus for the these following months.
Ramadan may have come and gone, but for a Muslim, the time to move closer to Allah (swt), to do good deeds, and to strive to be better is not restricted to any particular month. Set new goals, motivate yourself and your family, and continue to work towards the ultimate goal of Jannah.
Eid Mubarak from the myDeen Team!
Written by: Amina Oke
Amina is a full-time freelance writer mum living in Lagos, Nigeria. She loves to write about parenting, Islam and the Islamic Economy.
Edited by: Sanaa Izreig
Sanaa is the Editor-in-Chief for myDeen Magazines.