The Ramadan Dip
One of the hardest parts of being in a regular routine that you can’t control – whether that be work, exams, or other requirements – is feeling that physically you might be too tired due to the fast, the low glucose levels, etc. This usually means that we might feel demotivated as we aren’t able to do enough, or that we might even get complacent and spend the long fasting hours doing something else or justify not putting in more time with the Qur’an etc.
One of the things that really motivates me to push hard was brought up in a lecture where Ramadan was referred to as “the month of victories,” due to the sahaba gaining so many victories – most notably the victory of Badr. Not only does this show the immense blessings of Ramadan but also serves as an incredible inspiration. The sahaba did not view Ramadan as a month to pause their normal routine and activities, they even went to war, on horseback, in the heat, with all of its physical challenges – all while fasting.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to be in Makkah during a few of the last ten nights. I was quite struck during the trip with the number of really dedicated people who were pushing themselves beyond what one would assume they were capable of. I remember seeing an old Egyptian man who was waiting for his wife in the piazza, I happened to be carrying a chair and decided to offer it to him. He just collapsed on it, clearly shattered. We had just finished 20 rak’at of taraweeh, during which he could easily have taken a break or even just gone home – but he chose to stick it out. What came to my mind was the Prophet’s description by a companion of how he would have marks on his forehead from the length of his sujood and swollen ankles due to the long prayers at night. This contrasts with our often-blase approach of going to sleep without praying even witr when a hint of tiredness hits us, or avoid going to taraweeh if it is a few minutes drive away.
The same applies to our work, we have an obligation to deliver with ihsaan at our workplaces, and although being in a state of fasting might have some impact on us or some days where we were unable to sleep properly we might be a bit tired – we still have a duty to deliver our work to the best of our ability. Our employer should not be the one to pay for our worship through lower productivity.
With almost half of Ramadan now passed, it’s a good time to recalibrate our senses, renew our intentions, and find the energy to push through the next half of the month. Setting up a good routine or various systems such as availing the opportunity to donate with ease, or finding out when various masjids are doing their khatms and seeking to be there to join in the du’a is a good idea. It’s also a good time to start thinking long term, what are some of the things that you were doing at the start of this Ramadan that you don’t want to cut out of your life by the start of next Ramadan? How much time do you spend using your phone? Perhaps if you opted to delete the apps of Instagram and Facebook from your phone or disable the notifications, you could consider how much impact this has had? If they don’t really increase your happiness, maybe you never need to switch them back on.
Let’s make sure that we do make use of Ramadan to be forgiven, and also plan to catch Lailatul Qadr, whether through making the same dua every night of the last ten nights or through some other means of catching the barakah. Various hadeeths emphasise very strongly on the rewards of the last ten nights so let us not waste this blessed opportunity.
Thaqib Moosa is a member of MAB(Y) and is based in Birmingham. By day profession, he is an engineer – by night, he is an Ertugrul watcher. His contribution to MAB include through public speaking, technology and media work.