- Get closer to Allah
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56) The objective of Ramadan is to immerse yourself in the worship of Allah and to do good deeds. Therefore, we must ensure that we do all that we can during this blessed month. We can set smaller goals along the way to ensure we’re on the right track. However, the aim should be to exit Ramadan, closer to Allah, than we were at the start of the month.
- Recite the Holy Quran
Completing the Holy Quran once during the month of Ramadan is recommended, but it’s not obligatory. The primary aim, however, should be to get close to the Quran. Most Muslims don’t spend a lot of time reading the Quran throughout the year. Ramadan provides a period where we can focus on this task. Not only recite, but we must also ponder over the meaning of the Quran.
- Offer Taraweeh prayers
The Prophet PBUH said, “Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i). It may not always be possible for us to attend the full Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan. However, we should do as much as we can in the hope of attaining rewards.
- Ask Allah for forgiveness
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.” (Sahih al-Bukhari). We must avail of this opportunity to do lots of istighfar, especially during the last ten days of the month.
- Give lots of charity
Abdullah ibn Abbas said, “The Prophet (PBUH) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari). Hence, we should utilize this blessed month to gain extra rewards by giving in charity. The reward for righteous deeds is multiplied in Ramadan.
- Strengthen your family ties
Since righteous deeds have increased benefits during this month, we must try and do as much as we can. The Prophet (PBUH) in several Hadiths emphasized the importance of family ties. So, we should try to rekindle family ties if we have any conflicts with others. Nowadays, people are often too busy to worry about family. We should look to change that by strengthening our connection with our relatives.
- Forgive others
“…Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 24:22). In line with the theme of doing rewarding actions, we should overlook people’s mistakes. We should be forthcoming with forgiving others, in the hope of attaining Allah’s forgiveness.
- Memorize Ramadan duas and surahs
We should use the opportunity of Ramadan to learn something that will help us, going forward. This can be accomplished by learning a few of the plethora of duas and implementing them in our lives. We can also learn a few of the shorter surahs of the Quran (if we haven’t done so already).
- Enjoin the good and forbid the evil
“[Such believers are] the repentant, the worshippers, the praisers [of Allah], the travelers [for His cause], those who bow and prostrate [in prayer], those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong…” (Quran 9:112). We can utilize the opportunity of Ramadan to encourage good deeds. Even simple things like removing trash from the road or smiling at someone can go a long way. Similarly, if we come across someone doing something wrong, we can gently correct them.
- Get rid of bad habits
During Ramadan, we often reduce or temporarily give up bad habits out of guilt. Instead, we should look to make this a permanent outcome. Whether it’s in the form of smoking cigarettes, watching haram movies, etc., these habits should all be put aside if we want to obey Allah’s commands.
- Be moderate
No, the moderation here doesn’t refer to your practice of religion – in that sense, do as much as you can. But we should try to be moderate with our eating habits, and try to improve our health. We should eat what is needed, rather than overeating. Getting some exercise or working out is also an excellent option to improve our health.
- Less technology
With the internet so widely available now, we often end up dedicating most of our day to online activities. Sometimes they can be beneficial, but often, we end up wasting time on useless social media activities and games. We should look to minimize such things and instead spend more time getting closer to Allah.