Ramadan is the one time of year that is so special to many of us, a time which we wait and prepare for all year round, which brings a heightened sense of community, belonging and spirituality.
But this year it has been different. No Jummah or Taraweeh prayers at the mosque, no iftar gathering with your friends and family – for some students, their first Ramadan without their family, having to break their fasts on their own because they’re isolating in student accommodation, without all of these it often feels like the spirit of Ramadan just isn’t there.
Although this Ramadan has been tough in many ways, the blessings of Ramadan are always present, even in isolation.
It’s important to remember whilst it may feel lonely and isolating, there are many who feel exactly the same way. It may feel frustrating that you can’t pray in the mosque and break your fasts with people from your community who help bring that Ramadan feel, but it can also be an opportunity to finding peace in solitude which we often look for and want in our day to day lives. Although we may be missing the usual Ramadan spirit, I have found that we can create our own, by giving in charity (small amounts everyday), reading the Quran and understanding it, engaging with the people who we do have around us, checking in on family and friends – often hearing familiar voices can lift your mood – let people know that you are thinking of them too. And that that the spirit of Ramadan can be found in reflecting upon those who are not as fortunate as us and remembering that the main reasons why we as Muslims fast in the first place is to reflect spiritually and remember those in need.
I have also found this to be the perfect time to be reflecting and remembering that, although this may be the first time going through Ramadan in isolation for some of us, this is the norm for many Muslims every year, those who are reverts, the only Muslims in their family, those who live alone and for those who do not have any family. We should remember and pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters in war torn countries, living in poverty and famine, who fast but have nothing to break their fasts with.
As the end of Ramadan is fast approaching the last 10 days are not to be missed!
Although the whole month of Ramadan brings many blessings, the last 10 nights are significantly more important as we are told that Laylat Al Qadr (The Night of Power) falls upon one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. The Quran tells us that this night is "better than a thousand months" (Quran 97:3). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "Whoever stays up [in prayer and remembrance of Allah] on the Night of Qadr, fully believing [in Allah's promise of reward] and hoping to seek reward, he shall be forgiven for his past sins." Any action done on this night such as reciting the Quran or remembering Allah, is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of Qadr (power).
On this night we believe;
Here are some tips on how to best utilise last 10 days:
Dua for layl at Al Qadr –
This dua should be recited on Laylat Al Qadr as Aisha (RA) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Laylat-al-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (pbuh) replied, “You should supplicate…
اَللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفْوٌ تٌحِبٌّ العَفْوَ فَأَعْفَوْ عَنِّي
Allahumma Innaka Aafuwon Tuhibu AlAaffwa FAafu Aanni
Oh Allah! You are most forgiving, you love to forgive, so forgive me.
I hope this Ramadan has been beneficial and filled with blessings for you all despite the hardships we are all facing and that the blessings gained in this month carry you through to the next. Keep safe and don’t lose hope.