Five Simple Intentions for a More Spiritually Uplifting Ramadan
Starting Ramadan Right
One of the greatest gifts of Ramadan is the opportunity to set our intentions to be better people, all for the sake of Allah (SWT). Here are five simple ideas to help you make the most of this blessed month.
1. Remember Allah (SWT)
“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”
How often are you impatient with yourself? Do you ever have those days when you’re trying your best, but it feels like everything is going wrong?
Instead of being hard on yourself, remember Allah (SWT) and strive to get closer to Him. Doing so can provide great comfort and help build resilience, particularly in times of difficulty.
One of the best ways to start this Ramadan is by setting the intention to get to know Allah (SWT) better. This will undoubtedly strengthen your faith and increase sincerity in all your actions during the holy month. Consider setting time aside regularly to learn, study and understand the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah (Asma’ul Husna) and His attributes through the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Also, remember to make sincere du’a regularly. There are specific du’a for each Ashra (third) of Ramadan. The first 10 days of Ramadan or the first Ashra is significant as it represents the mercy of Allah SWT. The second Ashra signifies the forgiveness of Allah SWT, and the third Ashra represents protection from Hellfire:
- Du’a for first Ashra: ‘Rabbi ighfir warham wa anta khayrur raahimeen’. In English this translates to: ‘My Lord, forgive me and have mercy, and you are the best, most merciful.’
- Du’a for second Ashra: ‘Astaghfirullah rabbi min kulli zambiyon wa atoobu ilaiyh.’ In English, this means: ‘I seek forgiveness from Allah for all my sins and turn to Him.’
- Du’a for third Ashra: ‘Allahumma Ajirni minan naar.’ In English, this means: ‘Oh Allah, save me from the hellfire.’
2. Practise patience
We all come across many challenges in life – in one form or another. It is in these times that our patience can be tested the most. But remember that patience, or Sabr, is one of the things Allah (SWT) loves most. So, when the hunger pangs are kicking in after a day of fasting or you feel irritated by someone’s actions, take a deep breath and remind yourself to practise Sabr.
Step aside from any bad feelings and recall the words of the Prophet (PBUH):
“The strong man is not the one who wrestles, but the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry.”
3. Be compassionate
Rahma (compassion) for others, particularly for those less fortunate, is central to Islam.
During the holy month of Ramadan, commit to donating charity regularly – particularly in the last 10 nights when the blessings and rewards are maximised. Donate your Sadaqah to feed the poor, provide education and urgent essentials like clean water. Help your elderly neighbour carry shopping; smile; make du’a for others; say kind words. Remember that Allah (SWT) rewards the smallest of deeds that have genuine intention:
“Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom’s weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.”
4. Show gratitude
“And whatever blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah.”
In our busy lives, we may take our health, family, friends, and wealth for granted. Let’s start this Ramadan with the intention to be grateful for everything we have, and the people in our lives.
And remember, there is no better time than the holy month to show Him your gratitude.
“Anyone who is grateful does so to the profit of his own soul” (Qur’an 31:12)
5. Maximise acts of worship
There are many acts of worship that show our devotion to Allah (SWT):
- Prayer: daily prayers, supplications and du’a, and attending Taraweeh prayers
- Qur’an: read and recite verses from the Qur’an
- Charity: donate to feed a fasting person; invite neighbours to break bread; pay Zakat
May this be your best Ramadan yet
As Muslims, it is our duty to please Allah (SWT), and the sincerity of our actions is what He loves most. Although your actions may sometimes seem small, they make a big difference to ourselves, to others and the world we live in.
We ask Allah (SWT) to make our intentions good and pure, only for His sake.