Ramadan 2021 has ended with a bang,…and for some of us, now a whimper.
This year after being in virtual isolation for more than a year due to COVID-19, most communities had a relaxed, socially distant Eid-ul-Fitr Salah. Some of us may have even had an opportunity to socialize with other Muslims giving us a semblance of returning to community life.
During Ramadan, we collectively experience so much of the same things! Although our fast was individual, it was simultaneously shared by the community of Muslims worldwide. When we did Taraweeh prayers at home or socially distant at the Masjid, we could see or knew that other Muslims were doing the same. Even as we viewed online virtual khutbahs and Quranic commentary from the Imam, we rejoiced at noting the number of other “attendees” in the session. The activities of Ramadan surely connected and heightened our love for each other and this way of life as Muslims.
So naturally, when Ramadan ended this year, the feeling of loss was amplified because many of us may have to return to an isolated existence again, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This year, try to carry over the happiness of Ramadan through to next year. Consider some of these suggestions:
- Set post-Ramadan goals: The aim should be to achieve them by next Ramadan. It can be anything from curbing food waste, to memorizing five new Surahs, to controlling backbiting better. Choose something you made a conscious effort to adopt or drop in Ramadan
- Increase your Salah: Now that you have participated in Salatul-Taraweeh during the month, you are more aware of the benefits of late night prayer. Prayer connects us with our Lord, Who showers His Mercy upon us – thus giving us relief. These nighttime Salah can shield us from those things that make our hearts heavy.
- If you miss the Masjid: If your community has returned to a limited, in-person Juma Salah, then go. If you are not able to do that, tune in to the virtual version. If your community does not offer a virtual Khutba, tune in to Imam Malik Mujahid on Muslim Network TV for a virtual Khutba every Friday.
- Up your Quran quotient: Read five more minutes of Quran than you normally would in Ramadan, or memorize five more Surahs. Listen to Quranic recitation in the morning or on the way to work. Practice with your family. Whatever you choose, the purpose is to increase your daily exposure to the Quran.
- Miss the community spirit? Commit to attending a community event at least once a month until next Ramadan. This can include fundraisers, sporting events, lecture series, Halaqas (Islamic study circles), and classes. If your community is still virtual, tune in to online events.
- Visit other communities: Don’t be afraid to travel to another Masjid or Islamic Center or tune in to the events of a different Masjid in your area that are virtual. This not only widens your circle of acquaintances, but it also helps build rapport of Muslims in our individual cities.
- Fast outside of Ramadan. This may be fasting now during the first six days of Shawwal, fasting on Mondays and/or Thursdays, or just keeping voluntary fasts. Read this article on times throughout the year that Muslims may fast outside of Ramadan.
- Commit to reading Islamic books or articles until next Ramadan. The goal is to read one per month until Ramadan comes again. If your work and home life schedule don’t permit that kind of commitment, read articles right here on Sound Vision. Keep up to date on Islamic thoughts. One way to help achieve this goal is to set a time and a timer every day to read at least 15 minutes of the books so you maintain consistency and reach your goal.
- Commit to reaching out and connecting with other Muslims personally at least once a month. Many Muslims, especially our seniors and immunocompromised brothers and sisters are still confined to their homes due to COVID-19 restrictions, lack of vaccinations or personal preference. Isolation leads to depression and a sense of non-connectedness. We can call, set up virtual meetings, or even meet in person with these individuals and brighten their and our own day. If circumstances are favorable, hosting a lunch, dinner or even tea with fellow Muslims, neighbors, friends, and classmates or coworkers can be beneficial to all.
- Choose a Hajj-worthy physical challenge. You may or may not be going for Hajj this year. Regardless, the journey of a lifetime requires preparation of the spirit and the body. Pick a physical activity that can get you ready when Allah’s invitation arrives. It can range from simply walking 15 minutes a day if you currently get no exercise, to jogging more miles than your usual daily workout.
- Travel. Sometimes a change in location for a few days or weeks helps give us a fresh perspective we need to refocus and get back on track. Try these Muslim-flavored summer vacation spots (maintaining safety with COVID-19 restrictions).
- Watch Muslim Network TV: Muslim Network TV will keep you and your family involved and informed with daily programming. The news and television shows cover topics of concern, interest, or simply entertain. Tuning in to a daily Muslim news or television show keeps you busy and linked to the Muslim community. Who isn’t happy looking at a classic episode of Adam’s World or enjoying the entertainment on Art to Heart?