Ramadan is a time for us to grow closer to Allah, to reflect, worship and to nourish our souls. So much of our spiritual growth in Ramadan is led by community iftars, congregational prayers at the mosque and coming together in remembrance and learning.

For the second year running, these vital parts of our Ramadan experience may not be possible. While this is difficult for us all, this doesn’t mean we can’t achieve the ultimate purpose of Ramadan: to attain taqwa (God-consciousness).

Spending more time reflecting on our relationship with God, doing dhikr and worshiping can really help us in these times of uncertainty where we may be experiencing a heightened sense of anxiety, the prospect of poor health and even the loss of loved ones.

Below are some tips to help you take care of your soul and benefit from the spiritual rewards of the holy month.

Take time for reflection

Our daily lives are very busy and we are connected to one device or another most of the time. If we aren’t using our laptops, we are on our phones, or watching television. It’s important, especially in Ramadan, to create spaces that are calm and quiet to allow you to reflect and reconnect.

This doesn’t mean you need a total digital-detox, but perhaps consider taking just 10 minutes every day to sit alone in a quiet space to reflect. It may feel strange at first, but guide your thoughts towards your relationship with God, your purpose in life and how you could improve.

Being caught up in the busy pace of modern life for far too long, we may have forgotten how to sit still and simply think and reflect on the glory of God. We can use this slower pace of life to spend more time in worship to heal our soul.

Increased remembrance of God (dhikr)

The Qur’an states, “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace,” (13:28).

While we actively remember God, the mind is relieved from anxieties and worries, promoting peace and happiness within us which can help you become more focused and productive.

This is also a good time to learn all you can of the many virtues of Ramadan and increase your religious knowledge in general. Reflecting on the Qur’an and sunnah will help you move closer to God and understand your duties as a Muslim. Seek forgiveness for any transgressions, work on improving your character and make sincere dua for yourself and those suffering all over the world.

Support your loved ones

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever,” (Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim).

Let’s use this difficult situation to increase our support for those whose lives could be saved or made so much easier with our support. The Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous of people, and he was even more generous in Ramadan.

This Ramadan, many people will be feeling lonely and isolated as they are unable to spend the month with their loved ones. Reach out and check in with friends and family living alone, older neighbours and anyone who is unwell. It is important to remember that we can really help others, and we have many shared experiences, especially in this difficult time.

Give charity to those in greater need

The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged the sharing of food, saying: “He who breaks another’s fast earns the same reward as the one who fasted, without diminishing the latter’s reward in the slightest,” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).

While many of us will enjoy wonderful meals at suhur and iftar, millions around the world will have no choice but to go hungry.

Islamic Relief supports those in need with vital food packages throughout the month of Ramadan and beyond. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we helped provide over 934,000 people with food to break their fasts.

Donate to help us support even more vulnerable people this Ramadan and become closer to Allah as you help His people.

Count your blessings this Ramadan and share with those in need. We are one. Read more about Ramadan 2021 with Islamic Relief here.