The beautiful thing about Ramadan is how it lasts for a month. It is not just a day of trying your best, or a few days of trying hard. It’s a whole month. This allows us to train ourselves, to keep trying to get to where we want to be even if we’re not there right from the start, and to build habits. As only a few days remain, I look back over what I have achieved, what I hope I had achieved and the things I hope to continue. I aim to use this post to continually reflect throughout the year, so that hopefully this time next year I can have better aims – and from there I will grow strength to strength.
Life does get in the way often, and I found myself rushing my prayers or missing them all together. But in Ramadan, I am conscious of this. My prayers are a time for me to zone out and think about the relationship between me and my Lord. They’re a time for me to reflect on myself, to re-energise and to reestablish my values. This month, I’ve been ensuring I do no touch my phone after wudu. I don’t let anything get in the way of my me time. The results, I’ve been calmer throughout the day, more focused and more at peace.
And if my daily prayers were shady, my relationship with the Quran was non-existent. I haven’t built this area as strongly as I would have hoped just yet but it is one of the things I want to keep working on. I have signed up to an Arabic class to appreciate the literature and unlock the miracles contained within. I’ve also created an achievable schedule and am excited to get started.
My focus for this year has been to stop backbiting and reduce my swearing. I say reduce and not stop because I think swearing can be therapeutic and in certain situations I don’t see the harm of it. But I have been swearing more and more at home and that’s not the kind of thing I am comfortable doing around family. Outside of actions, I have also been working on being forgiving. I try not to hold grudges, and have been actively siting down to release some residue anger I have left over from the past, mainly towards my abuser. This has been difficult because I keep thinking my Lord will deal with him accordingly but I’m not sure that’s the point of forgiveness.
So those are my top three. What sort of self-improvement things would you work on?
“Allah says, ‘I am as my servant expects Me to be, and I am with him when he remembers me. If he thinks of Me, I think of him. If he mentions Me in company, I mention him in an even better company. When he comes closer to Me by a handspan, I come closer to him an arm’s length. If he draws closer to Me by an arm’s length, I draw closer by a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him. If my servant comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” – Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him)