Jul 10, 2013

Ramadan a Time for Family

By Bint Ali


As Muslims, we do everything for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Every action we do should somehow be a form of worship to our Creator. Doing anything for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gives you a warm and joyous feeling. Doing things for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with friends gives you positive vibes and increased ties of friendship. Doing things for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with your family?


Yes, really. Priceless.

Every year, during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world are united in their worship for Allah, through observing the daily fast. Families surround the sufra*, or dining table (depending on the culture), and break their daily fast together. Sure, it was a hard day, and fasting was difficult, but it's okay. Your family went through the same thing with you. Why? Only for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. You, along with your family, and over a billion other Muslims around the world, went through the same thing. Why? Only for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Ramadan should be a time we get closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, that is a given. But why not use it to get closer to our families as well? It is one of the few times of the year they will be doing the same ibaadah as us, at the exact same time. We should use this month of mercy to exercise some mercy on our nearest and dearest. They will be going through the same difficulties as you during the month, so it’s a perfect time to open up to them, to befriend them, and, hopefully, help each other get closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the One who made us family in the first place.

Practical Suggestions For Families In Ramadan

Before Ramadan:
- The training for Ramadan starts before Ramadan. It was said that the Sahaabah radiyAllahu 'anhuma spent the six months after Ramadan asking Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to accept it from them, and the six months before Ramadan preparing for it.
- Sit with your family and listen to some lectures about the fiqh of Ramadan, and attend lectures together.
- Learn to read Quran together, so you can enjoy reading the Quran both individually and with your family when the month comes.
- If you have any issues with any of your family members, do your best to make amends.

During Ramadan:
-In the month of Ramadan, help sleepy family members wake up for Suhur (pre-dawn meal). Take it one step further if you can, prepare it for them! 
-Same goes for iftar (breaking fast). Turn on the radio to the Islamic station, so everyone can await the adhan together. 
-Help the home-maker of your household. Whether it's your mum or dad, your sister or your grandmother, make sure you help whoever needs helping around the house. Prepare the salad, watch the cooking while they pray, help with the clean-up afterwards. Remember, even the chef of the house needs to get some ibaadah done during this blessed month. Many hands make light work, so offer yours. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make your work on the day of Judgement light!
-Encourage your family members to read Quran together and attend Taraweeh as a family. If this means helping them out extra during the day so they can go, then do it! It's only one month of the year; you should make an effort!
-Eat together. Do not sit huddled up in your room, even if you are studying hard. If you're really pressed for time, take at least 10 minutes out and eat with them. It is worth it.
-Forgive any and all who test your patience during Ramadan. Blood sugars are low, stomachs are grumbling, and iftar time might seem too far away for some of your family members. Do not take it personally if they snap during that time. Remember, “I'm fasting, I'm fasting!” Forgive them and be understanding of any difficulties they are facing.

After Ramadan: 
-Once Ramadan has ended, commit to continuing all the things you did during the month. If you ate with your family the whole month, keep it up. If you held your tongue with your husband, keep holding it! If you made the effort to hug your parents each day, do not stop! These little things will help bring a family together, and who knows what great strides you can make the following Ramadan if you manage to implement the habits you performed the previous one.

Ramadan is a time to get closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and what better way to get closer to Him than by assisting the ones we love most. Ya Allah, help us and our loved ones reach Ramadan and bless us in it! Ameen.

*sufra: a mat used to serve food upon on the floor.

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


Jazakallah khaira :)

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