Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Another beautiful Ramadan is passing us by. Some of us have gained some good rewards already, while others have perhaps gained nothing but weight. Some of our plans have succeeded, while others have failed. Perhaps our energy is already receiving a check from too much exhaustion. This is the time to take a step back, look at how things have gone so far, and refresh our plans and our intentions and our energies to make the most of the rest of Ramadan. Here are some steps you can take now:
- Write down all the things which you had planned to do for Ramadan, and then write beside it how far you have succeeded so far. Use a highlighter to mark those areas which are the weakest so far.
- Thank Allah for the things which He has allowed you to achieve so far, because Allah said in the Quran:
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ” [14:7]
This is an important step because oftentimes we tend to focus on the negative, on the things which we haven’t achieved, so much so that we forget about the positives that we have achieved. This attitude makes us feel guilty, feel mental pressure, and lose hope, and so is one of the main reasons why we give up on things when they get difficult.
Focusing on the positive on the other hand will help us reflect on the favours of Allah on us and make us feel hopeful about the future, and even if we have some temporary setbacks we won’t feel like giving up.
- Let go of any guilty feelings. We are human beings, and we cannot predict the future. We always make plans but those plans don’t always bear fruit. Sometimes we expect just too much from ourselves, things which are beyond our capacity, and just think, Allah says:
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. [2:286]
If Allah doesn’t burden us, why do we burden ourselves? There is no point brooding about the past anyway. Focus on the future.
- Take into account the plans which haven’t gone so well, those things which we decided to do at the beginning of Ramadan but somehow or other ended up not doing. Now decide which ones among these goals are not really important, and cross them out. This is important because this will help clear up your mental pressure. Then take the other goals and see how you can modify them to make them easier and more achievable. For example, if you’re having difficulty reading 1 Juz Quran daily, reduce it to half a Juz.
- Next, take those plans in which you did your best, then, since you’re finding them so easy, consider if you have the capacity to increase in these. For example, if you’re really enjoying memorizing the 2 lines of Quran you planned, consider increasing it to 3 lines.
- Edit your Ramadan planning chart according to the revisions you made in steps four and five. (If you don’t have a chart, no problem, you will perhaps find it helpful to make one now.)
- Make dua to Allah to give you the capacity of worshipping Him as you have planned and more.
ا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance. [18:10]
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكَ وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ
O Allah, help me in remembering You, in giving You thanks, and worshipping You well. [Abu Dawud]
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