Sunday, July 8, 2012

How to benefit from Ramadhan even when you are not fasting

Contributed by sister Jennah J'amy McCracken

REMEMBER! Ramadhan is not primarily about abstaining from food and water nor is it about what you get to eat in the evenings. The root for the word siyam/sawm is “sama” - it means to restrain. You are teaching yourself restraint in the month of Ramadhan, that is delayed gratification and dilberately turning away from sin so that your TAWQA will improve and take you closer to Allah SWT.
“… that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious).” [al-Baqarah 2:183]

If you cannot physically fast this does not mean that you lose the benefit of Ramadhan! there are many other things you can do.

1.) On the Eve of Ramadhan you can still make the niyyat to observe Ramadhan and perform the accompanying du’a/amal.

2.) First of all, eat and drink only what is required of you. That means smaller portions without harming your condition which is preventing you from fasting. Delay your food and water if it is safe for you.

3.) Do not eat pleasurable things during the fasting portion of the day  - no teas, coffee, smoking, cookies, candies, etc. Eat a very small and very simple meal - only what your body requires.

All the other behaviours apply:
4.) Fasting of the tongue. Do not speak haraam: no lying, backbiting, cheating, obscenity conceal your anger or irritations. do not lose your emotions!

5.) Fasting of the ears - Do not listen to lying, backbiting, obscenity, or other forms of spiritual trash. Listen to Qur’an, Du’a, Dhikr, lectures, listen to your loved ones and the speech of other believers.

6.) Fasting of the  eyes - do not look at haraam things (TV, people poorly dressed (summertime!),  and fix your eyes on the most halaal (Qur’an, books, cooking, the faces of other believers)

7.) Fasting of the privates - refrain from sexual activities (and even thoughts as much as possible).

8.) Keep focused on the Dhikr of Allah by learning something to improve your Deen. Learn the Arabic alphabet, read the Qur’an daily, memorize a new surah, recite du’a.

9.) Breaking the fast of others by offering food at iftar is HIGHLY recommended and earns you a lot of reward.

10.) Give lots of Sadaqa. Clean out your clothes of what you are not using and donate it to the needy with the INTENTION to please Allah. You can do the same with your food pantry, and other areas of your life. Ask Allah to bestow His Mercy/Generosity on you for being merciful/generous  with others.

11.) Feed the poor.

12.) Observe the nights of Qadr

13.) Pray the night prayers every night (Salaatul Layl)

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