We’re almost at the end of Ramadan, and it feels like the month has flown by in the blink of an eye! This year’s Ramadan has truly been life-changing. With mosques closed in Singapore and community events put to a halt, losing the social aspect of celebrating the holy month and being isolated from our friends, loved ones, and community has been upsetting for some and even devastating for others.
However, while this may have been the toughest Ramadan yet for many of us, those same hardships have also shown us the humanity, compassion, and kindness of our Muslim communities. From handing out bubur masjid in Singapore to community-based efforts in Malaysia and finally celebrating good news in Indonesia and beyond, this month has also been a beautiful time for growth and community ❤️
As we look back on our Ramadan so far, here are 5 lessons we’ve learnt from the past month!
1. We have more confidence doing ibadah at home
Due to social distancing measures, congregational prayers such as the Friday Jema’ah prayers and nightly Terawih prayers have to be done at home. It may have felt odd at the beginning but doing ibadah at home can actually bring you many blessings!
Useful guides such as this step-by-step guide to Terawih at home and guide to praying in a congregation have helped us be more confident in praying congregational prayers at home. ? We may have struggled to get used to this new routine, but in the process, we have been able to seek inner peace and quietness by creating new habits to get closer to Allah. Plus, even after the COVID-19 situation eases, these guides will definitely help those of us who are unable to go for congregation prayers outside the house!
2. We have new ways to seek Islamic knowledge
Though we cannot go out to mosques, madrasahs, or community clubs, there are still lots of opportunities for us to learn about Islam online! There are so many free online classes available now that we can gain a meaningful and insightful education without ever leaving our house.
From going back to the basics of solat (prayers) to strengthening our knowledge of Quranic studies, staying at home doesn’t mean we have to stay away from learning more about our faith!
3. We have become more grateful that we can experience Ramadan
During this time, being able to celebrate Ramadan at all can feel like a huge achievement alone. Many Muslims on the front lines or in essential jobs have had to face additional obstacles such as full-day shifts or busy shifts leading to needing to delay breaking their fast or fasting while exhausted.
Others who are more vulnerable to the pandemic or who are unable to fast for whatever reason may also feel disappointed that they cannot celebrate Ramadan to the full extent. However, regardless of what challenges you face, you can still strengthen your ibadah and faith in small ways such as reciting Dhikr for Allah, reciting Selawat for the Prophet, performing acts of sadaqah (charity) for those around us and reading the Quran.
These acts still bring us blessings from Allah and no matter what our circumstances are, we should stay grateful for Allah’s mercy and blessings!
4. We have more chances to immerse ourselves in Islam
During times of crisis or uncertainty, there’s even more reason to look inwards and seek connection with Allah. While there are no specific supplications for Ramadan, there are lots of beautiful dua you can recite to help you strengthen your connection with Allah.
As Ramadan is a time where we receive the most blessings, we should take this chance to call out to Allah as much as possible and seek His guidance in cleansing our spirit and attaining sincerity in our worship.
5. We have strengthened our faith in Allah
Throughout this pandemic, we can look back at how the Prophet’s companions dealt with past virus outbreaks to draw inspiration and lessons in resilience. At least 4 major plagues were recorded in the Muslim world, including the disease of Amawas in Syam. The companion Abu Ubadyah lost his life in the outbreak, but before his death was famous for being a front liner who comforted and aided those afflicted by the disease, and who spread positivity through his speeches.
Another companion Muaz ibn Jabal lost his children and family to the same virus, but he stayed positive and reminded Muslims of the time to seek reflection and guidance through Allah:
"يا أيها الناس توبوا إلى الله من ذنوبكم، فأيم عبد يلقى الله تعالى تائبا من ذنبه إلا كان على الله حقا أن يغفر له، من كان عليه دين فليقضه، فإن العبد مرتهن بدينه، ومن أصبح منكم مهاجرا أخاه فليلقه فليصالحه..."
“O People! Repent to Allah for your sins, for there is no servant who returns to Allah in the state of repentance, except Allah forgives him. Whoever has not settled his debt, should fulfil it. Verily a servant is tied with his debt. Whoever of you has parted from their brother should reconcile.”
Their strong faith in Allah shone through, and rather than placing the blame on others, they used their time to reflect on their religious and social responsibilities to the community. We can continue to do the same by continuing to do good deeds to help those around us.
Though we may not be able to go for congregational prayers or other communal rituals, this Ramadan has been a poignant time for reflection, spiritual growth, and repentance for us as well. Hopefully, the lessons we’ve learnt will guide us through next year’s Ramadan and beyond. ?
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