Ramadan is a time of heightened worship and deepened spiritual reflection, and one of the best things we can do as the blessed month comes to an end is plan how to carry the lessons and habits developed during this time into the rest of the year. They say it takes 30 days to develop a solid habit, and if you’ve been working to make any aspect of your ibadah a habit in Ramadan, you are primed to, Insha’Allah, continue it beyond this month.
Don’t leave it to chance! Make a practical plan to continue worship, charity and self-improvement after Ramadan ends. It’s one of the best gifts we can give ourselves and our relationship with Allah (S). Here are suggestions for eight things you can do after Ramadan to maintain your spiritual momentum and continue your journey of self-improvement:
1. Continue your daily prayers: Prayer is an essential pillar of Islam. Maintaining regular and consistent prayers is fundamental to a Muslim's faith. Keep up with your daily prayers, including the obligatory five daily prayers and voluntary prayers like the sunnah and nafl prayers. Maybe waking up for Fajr was a challenge before Ramadan, but you’ve been doing it all this month. So, set that alarm on Eid and the day after Eid and the day after that, and keep it going!
If you've been praying extra prayers during Ramadan, why not continue this practice? Keep up the momentum and stay connected with your faith, whether it's night prayers or any other additional prayers.
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2. Keep reciting the Quran: The Quran is a source of guidance and blessings, and its recitation is highly encouraged in Islam. Make it a habit to recite the Quran daily, even just a few verses or pages. Reflect on its meanings, and implement its teachings to continually grow spiritually. Read it in Arabic if you can, and if you can’t – read it in English. And then consider starting the journey to learning how to read it in Arabic.
4. Engage in voluntary acts of worship: Continue to engage in voluntary acts of worship, such as dhikr and istaghfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah (S). These acts of worship can help you maintain closeness to Allah (S) and increase your spiritual rewards.
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5. Practice continuous self-improvement: Ramadan is a sacred month for deep introspection and personal growth. Insha’Allah you’ve taken advantage of this time to better yourself by steering clear of harmful habits, cultivating patience, demonstrating kindness and generosity and expanding your knowledge about Islam. These efforts can and should continue throughout the year in whatever ways possible.
Sure, it may be difficult to keep up all of the things you were doing in Ramadan, so choose one or two and keep going. Remember: Self-improvement is a continuous journey that begins with small steps. And while we should try to carry on the good habits we've grown this month, we should also remember to try and not fall back on things we gave up for the sake of Allah (S). (Or at least, do a little less of those things, like mindlessly scrolling social media or the like.)
6. Engage in acts of charity and community service: Continue to give back to your community and help those in need through acts of charity and community service. Make a positive impact on the world by volunteering and donating to charitable causes. Maybe there was some volunteer work you did in Ramadan that really spoke to your heart, so continue on with it. Whether locally or globally, extend a helping hand and be part of the change you wish to see.
7. Stay connected with your community: Stay in touch with your fellow Muslims and the local and online communities that positively influence your life. Attend community events, gatherings and in-person or online lectures to continue learning, sharing knowledge, and fostering a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood among fellow Muslims.
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8. Set and work towards new goals: Reflect on your achievements during Ramadan and set new goals for yourself. Whether it's related to your spirituality, personal growth, or other aspects of your life, set realistic and achievable goals and work towards them with determination and consistency.
The month of Ramadan may be almost over, but the spirit of this holy season can stay with you all year round. Consistency is crucial to worshiping, self-improvement and acts of kindness. So, don't let your efforts end with Ramadan; continue on the journey towards self-improvement and closeness to Allah (S). May He bless you and guide you on this path. Ameen!