Eat, drink and be moderate
Almost all of us do it - once Iftar time hits, we just keep plowing food and drink into our mouths till it's hard to move afterwards. And those of us who do it know this is totally contrary to the spirit of Ramadan, through which we're supposed to learn self-control not self-indulgence. Let's try to stick to the Prophetic rule on eating: fill our stomachs with one-third food, one-third water and one-third breathing space, even in Ramadan.
Give a dollar a day in charity...or five or ten
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was always generous but even more so in Ramadan. Let's open our hearts and dig a little deeper in our wallets this year. Even less than a dollar a day adds up. Whatever you can give, it's the intention that counts.
Memorize 4 new Surahs
Memorizing the Quran often seems like a daunting task. But the key is doing it in small bites. Since there are four weeks in Ramadan, try to memorize one new Surah a week. Start off with a short, easy one. Once you've started, you'll build momentum and may even want to memorize a longer one the following week.
Go to Tarawih prayers
Post-Iftar, the first urge is to sleep after an exhausting day. But try your best to head out to the mosque for Tarawih prayers. Praying alone is wonderful, but doing it in congregation is fantastic. The community spirit is part of Ramadan's blessings. Don't miss it this year. If going every day is not possible, try going at least once week.
Attend the Tarawih prayer in which the recitation of the Quran will be finished
Call the local mosque and find out which day the Imam will be finishing the recitation of the Quran in prayer. Attend to not only hear part of the Quran's recitation in prayer, but also participate in the heart-rending Duas that follow it.
Stop swearing and/or backbiting - with a special box
It's hard not to shoot our mouths off when someone's upset us. Whether we utter those four-letter words or backbite about someone to our family and friends, we know this isn't the God-approved way of letting off steam. In Ramadan, when we want to build our spirituality, we've got to wage Jihad against our bad habits.
Try this: get a box and every time you catch yourself swearing or backbiting put some money in it. It could be a buck or less. The point is to choose an amount that makes it feel like punishment.
At the end of the month send the money to a charity or buy a gift for the person whom you've backbitten the most against.
Call/email your relatives
You'd think that given the easy access to email, competitive long-distance calling rates, phone cards, etc. these days, we'd keep in touch with family and friends more often. But the opposite seems to be the case, as we get caught up in life's "busyness."
Strengthening ties with family members and keeping in touch with friends is part of our way of life and an act Allah is very pleased with. This Ramadan, call family and friends or at least email them a Ramadan card and ask them how their fasting is going.
Go on a technology diet
Even if you work in the IT industry, you can do this. Avoid checking personal email and surfing the web during your fast. After Iftar, instead of plopping yourself in front of the screen, go to Tarawih. The same goes for the television. The point is to try to give our full attention to spiritual elevation this month.
Read 5 minutes of Quran a day...just five, not more, not less
Even if you feel you've got absolutely no time, set a timer or the alarm on your cell phone and find a relatively quiet place. You can read the first page of the Quran you open or follow a sequence. The choice is yours. The point is simply to connect with God through His revelation in the month of the Quran.
Forgive everyone who has hurt you
Still got a festering wound from the fight with your friend last year? Still upset about something your spouse said during a heated argument? Or are you still bitter about the way your parents sometimes treated you as a kid? Let go of the anger and pain this Ramadan and forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiving someone is not only good for the body, but it's also great for the soul. And in Ramadan, ten days of which are devoted to Allah's forgiveness, shouldn't we lesser beings forgive too?
If you find it very difficult to forgive everyone, forgive at least three people.
Happy Ramadan !!!
When people try to overcome a chemical dependence using only their will power, certain cognitive centers in the brain activate and initiate the struggle. Sometimes that is sufficient and sometimes it is not. My speculation is that the schemas associated with the Ramadan Effect are much more complex and powerful and the resources they can summon are more holistic and systemic, tapping also into the emotional and spiritual centers and not solely in the cognitive ones.
The Ramadan Effect is something that millions of people around the world share. This is only an attempt to show how this common resource can be generalized to specific areas in our life where we face challenges in implementing successful behavioral change. By the same logic the Ramadan Effect can be employed for weight loss and nutritional improvement.
Roumen Bezergianov, author of "Character Education with Chess", on Amazon.com
May the almighty accept our efforts and forgive us our misdeeds.
Salaam to all my bros and sisters! Rahmadan Mubarak!
I have very litle words to express my apprecition on this article and much more I've been receiving from you.
It's very rich and educative. I game me and my friends alot to practice Insha Allah.
May Allah reward you abundantly.,
Please do not show my name. Jazak Allah Khair
May Allah (swt) be pleased with us.
This is a good article. I think we all have something to work on, and during the holy month of Ramadan, we should be serious about working on our shortcomings. I really did enjoy reading this article. I could relate to 100% of the things that was written. Please make dua for me and for my family.
I hope that each and everyone of my Muslim brothers and sisters have a blessed Ramadan.
May Almighty Allah reward you abundantly.
Thank you for this article. Some of these points have been a real eye opener.
When the guy says avoid the computer, would that include this sight?!?#* or any dvds on the Koran??? Nahhhhh probbably just stuff like action movies and video games, sorry teens.
lifted my spirits, and got me excited for my most beloved month of