During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for the entire month, an act that brings joy and contentment to every Muslim who experiences the practice. We pray that this blessed month brings divine blessings to all of us.
This year, Muslims celebrate the month of fasting during some very challenging times. Islam and Muslims are under microscopic investigation. Every day new terms are coined to describe Islam. Sometimes, the believing Muslims are described as radical Islamists and Islamo-fascists. Often, our faith is linked with terror and we are accused of crimes that we ourselves discover when we open the front page of newspapers.
In times of difficulty, our only source of strength is our faith in the absolute power of God. We know that if we have His protection and guidance, we will be able to overcome all the challenges that surround us.
This month of Ramadan is giving us yet one more opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves to the absolute power of the divine and refocus our lives to worshipping Him and Him alone. Each of us can develop an individual plan to benefit from and we can all do something extra to earn some additional grace from God, the Almighty.
Here are a few suggestions that we can look into:
1. Let us make it a habit to visit the mosque as often as possible but atlas once a day with our families.
2. Let us make it a habit to break fast with fellow Muslims in the mosque at least once a week.
3. Let us invite our non-Muslim friends and neighbors to join us in the breaking of our fasts.
4. Let us pool our efforts and resources to feeding the homeless.
5. Let us be extra-generous and donate our money to worthy causes.
6. Let us encourage our children to offer taraweeh prayers with us at the mosque.
7. Let us at least try to complete reading the Quran with meaning once.
8. Let us ensure that we mend our relations with everyone regardless of the mistakes on the part of others.
9. Let us spend some time in seclusion at night praying to the Almighty.
10. Let us ensure that we will not hurt anyone and control our anger in all situations
12. Let us spend more time with our families especially in breaking the fast.
13. Let us make sure that we don’t miss our Fajr prayer and pray all the other prayers on time.
14. Let us donate at least one book on Islam to a local library.
15. Let us ensure that we offer Zakat ul Fitr ahead of Eid prayers so that the poor and the needy can make use of it in an appropriate manner.
Let us place our trust in Allah in everything that we do. May Allah accept our ibada.
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Dr. Aslam Abdullah is Editor-in-Chief of the Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic society of Nevada, Las Vegas and acting president of the Muslim Council of America, a Washington-based newly formed groups of Muslim activists.