The spiritual energy and activity of Ramadan is unparalleled, as is the opportunity to leverage the strength and support of community. Learn how to have an amazing Ramadan with the following suggestions and get the most out of the most incredible time of entire year.
The Prophet Muhammad (saws) greatly emphasized the importance of engaging with the community in a positive way and worshipping Allah Almighty in congregation.
In community and association based upon the worship of the One Eternal Creator, divine mercy, strength and security descends upon the community. Grace, barakah and noor, divine blessings and light, are amplified.
“Indeed, God will not unite my Ummah upon misguidance, and the hand of God is upon the Community.”
— Prophet Muhammad (saws)
Ramadan is the best time to experience the social and communal spiritual power of Islam.
And to help you prepare for this unique and most blessed time of the year, I’ve put together a few suggestions.
1. Join the Community
A key dimension of Islam is its social and communal aspect, and Ramdan is the best time of the entire year to experience the goodness and grace of healthy friendships and relationships.
Seek unity, and encourage unity. Within Islam, there are many different schools of thought, and we must learn to be tolerant and loving with everyone and with one another.
Separation and isolation lead to aberration and distortions, and by being intolerant, we force one another into isolated environments that then become progressively misguided.
The mercy and guidance of God descends upon the community, and the Prophet (saws) said, “The differences of opinion among my ummah is a mercy,” for through differences of opinion we learn and grow, and our personal understanding evolves with differing perspectives.
Through tolerance and love for one another, we can attain unity, which is the key to success on so many levels.
Also, we must remember that everyone is at a different stage in his or her spiritual journey. And separation and isolation are not the Way.
Follow your personal path, yet remain united collectively.
And hold fast, all together by the rope which God, and be not divided among yourselves.
And remember with gratitude Allah’s favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren, and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it.
Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you, that ye may be guided.
— Surah aali-Imran [Holy Quran, 3:103]
2. Host Iftar
At least once per week, host an iftar and invite new friends to share the barakah and goodness of breaking fast together. Take advantage of this beautiful opportunity to strengthen relationships and share love with others.
Invite new friends, especially they who may have recently come into and embraced Islam. Many new Muslims have had to go through significant personal challenges, social pressures and alienation from family and friends, who do not understand and have been misinformed about Islam, to come to the Way.
As Muslims, we are a spiritual family based in the light and love of God, the Eternal, and when our love and worship is sincere, there is no stronger bond upon which to forge relationships.
More than personal spiritual exercises, Allah Almighty loves love being shared among His servants. And one of the best ways to experience such joy is to share breaking fast with others.
Open your heart and your home. You may make a powerful and positive impact not just on others’ lives, but upon your own as well.
3. Eat Light
While fasting, your body will be detoxing and your metabolism will be slowing down. By overeating, which in general is disliked in Islam and in the Way of the Prophet (saws), we counter the benefits of fasting, and can actually do harm to the body, which is now limited in its ability to process excess food.
This is even more true when Ramadan falls during the summer months when the days are long, and we break fast and eat later at night.
Keep it simple, and experience the amazing strength and power that come from an energized body, mind and soul.
Eat natural foods, those closest to their natural state and thus “light-energy.” It may be a bit difficult based on cultural meals, but try to keep fried foods down to a minimum.
The long term and immediate health benefits of eating light far outweigh the short lived pleasure of overindulging. In fact, you will actually enjoy rich foods even more when they are experienced in moderation.
4. Increase Spiritual Activity
Ramadan is the holy month in which the Qur’an descended and was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saws) on Laylatul Qadr, which occurs towards the end of the month.
This is a highly spiritually charged time, and you can take advantage of it by increasing dhikr and meditation, as well as prayers in the deep night before suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, and Fajr morning prayers.
It was during the blessed month of Ramadan that the Holy Qur’an descended and was revealed by the Archangel Gabriel (as) to the Prophet Muhammad (saws) while he was meditating upon Jabal Noor, the Mountain of Light.
Dhikr, or Islamic Meditation, is a powerful and unique gift that can instantly connect you to the Divine Presence, and to inner peace, calm and clarity. It is a powerful doorway into stillness and surrender.
Through heart-centered awareness and surrender of the mind, you will develop in-dependence and draw from the infinite reservoir of spiritual light, strength and energy that Allah Almighty holds for you.
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How to Have an Amazing Ramadan
To have an amazing Ramadan, spend as much time in the evenings at the Mosque and break fast with the Community. Invite others to your home for iftar, for the Messenger of Allah (saws) always encouraged hosting guests and treating them with love and honor.
Encourage unity with others and be united upon common core values. This is far more important that slight differences in schools of thought, should there be any.
Eat “light,” meaning do not overeat, as well as actually seek to consume foods of good quality closest to their natural state, i.e. closest to “sunlight.”
And last, but certainly not least, take advantage of the heightened spiritual power and presence that comes with Holy Ramadan, and focus during the quiet hours on prayer, dhikr and meditation.
May your Ramadan be filled with limitless divine barakah, noor, grace and spiritual support.