With Ramadan right around the corner, many of us are spending time reflecting on our worship from last Ramadan and our goals for this year. What went well? What can we do better based on lessons learned or things that didn’t work? In a quest to set a high standard for myself this Ramadan, I asked my friends and family to answer the following: “Last Ramadan I _____; this Ramadan, I _____.”
I received a number of responses, 13 of which I’ve listed below anonymously (at the request of everyone who sent me their thoughts), so that we may all reflect on our achievements or shortcomings and plan to exceed our worship from the past Ramadan, Insha’Allah.
1. Quran goals: “Last Ramadan I completed reading the whole Quran; this Ramadan I intend to read the Quran more than once.”
2. Make time for tarawih: “Last Ramadan I failed to pray tarawih every night; this Ramadan I intend to pray tarawih every night.”
3. Night-time prayers: “Last Ramadan I stayed up in the last third of the night to pray and make duaa; this Ramadan I hope to do the same.”
4. Fasting after pregnancy: “Last Ramadan I was pregnant and was unable to fast; this Ramadan I’m really looking forward to fasting.”
5. Reading the Quran in Arabic: “Last Ramadan I only read the translation of the Quran; this Ramadan I hope my Arabic will be good enough to read at least half in Arabic!”
6. Concentrating on being patient: “Last Ramadan I let my temper get the best of me and lost patience with my children on multiple occasions; this Ramadan I will follow the example of the Prophet (saw) when he was angry by sitting, laying, and making wudu when I’m frustrated.”
7. Less complaining: “Last Ramadan I complained too often; this Ramadan I made a goal to say one thing I’m grateful for every time I feel like complaining.”
8. Not sleeping my time away: “Last Ramadan I slept in to not feel the hunger; this Ramadan I understand that that defeats the purpose.”
9. Giving charity each day: “Last Ramadan I made du'a for others before breaking my fast every single day; this Ramadan I want to give a small amount of charity before breaking my fast each day.”
10. Reducing food wastage: “Last Ramadan I threw out so many leftovers; this Ramadan I’m going to make sure to cook just enough for my family to reduce food waste.”
11. Understanding the meaning of the Quran: “Last Ramadan I was too preoccupied with completing the Quran; and this Ramadan I will focus more on understanding the meaning of the Quran.”
12. Food discipline: “Last Ramadan I gained a lot of weight, which I feel defeats the purpose of learning discipline in Ramadan; so this year, I will teach myself discipline through food when breaking my fast.”
13. Trusting in Allah (S)’s plan: “Last Ramadan with COVID, I was constantly in remembrance of the way Allah is in control of everything; this Ramadan I hope that I continue to see and trust in Allah’s plan.”
I loved that within the responses of my loved ones, there were both positive and negative reflections. To me this shows that we are all a work in progress and so, too, is our worship. What matters is that we do the best we can, and Allah (S) will know our intentions. Personally my reflection is: “Last Ramadan, I gave it my all because I was the least busy I’d been in years; this Ramadan I’ll be incredibly busy, and I hope to still give this month of worship my all.”
May we all make it to this holy month and may Allah be pleased with our worship.
What were your Ramadan goals last year? Are they the same this year? Different? Share with us in the comments below!