Jun 18, 2015

Ramadan Diaries: Day 01 - Strengthen Your Core This Ramadan

By Anum Ali

"If you want to get rid of pain, you need to strengthen your core." 

... said my chiropractic health coach. She went on to elaborate how I can achieve that by de-stressing my mind, detoxing my internal systems, and training my body. I fell in love with the term "strengthening the core".

Our religion (Deen) is our core and we can use Ramadan to strengthen it. When I say religion I don't just mean theological Islam but the Islamic lifestyle according to Quran and lifestyle (sunnah) of Prophet peace be upon him and his progeny (Muhammad salAllahu aleyhi wa'aleyhi wasallam).

The theme for Ramadan Diaries 2015 is "Strengthening the Core" and it works around simple strategies:
  • De-stress: from the world (dunya) and focus on the Hereafter (akhirah)
  • Training: of the psyche (nafs)
  • Detox: from major and minor sins

De-stressing From The Dunya: Sunnah Reloaded

I recall Agent Smith's expression form The Matrix (1999). He was pretty annoyed by Humankind and said: 

" Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not."

True! It is a mad race we appear to be running each day in pursuit of worldly gains. Of course, Allah SWT has sent us to attain success and enjoy the boons and luxury of this world but we tend to forget that we are not here to stay, and that we will be accountable for what we do. People who over-indulge tend to believe that this world is a permanent haven and keep on striving for more of everything - money, fame, fortune, glamour, and etc. Such pursuits come with enormous stressors because an individual feels a constant, pressing need of either becoming rich, famous, superior to others, and etc.  He or she lives like there is no Hereafter and whatever is there to achieve is in this dunya alone. In this process they end up twisting and contorting their lifestyles, personalities, beliefs, and attitudes. Conclusively, they lose or compromise their faith (Imaan) over the world (dunya). This is where the Spoon Boy's advice comes in:

"Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead ... only try to realize the truth. Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself."

We need to realize (and there is no better beginning than Ramadan) that there is no dunya (material world). Only then can we escape from the stress, panic, troubles, and depression haunting our bodies and minds. If we follow the Sunnah (lifestyle of the Prophet Muhammad SAWW), we can attain this state of true being. 

Prophet Muhammad SAWW said (narrated by Abu Hurairah):
"The world is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever." Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2324

Training Of The Psyche (Nafs)
Ramadan is a month of quality control for a person which allows him or her to polish character, realize and refine virtues, and introduce and instill good manners. The biggest challenges are not hunger and thirst but the control of one's nafs. A successful fast is that in which a person succeeds in living through the day without food and water and also maintaining strong emotional and social balance.  Anger, greed, lust, hate, backbiting, lies, pride, arrogance, harsh talk, and possibly all evils budding from the likes of Satan (Shaytan) must be hunted down, restrained, and destroyed forever.

Ramadan Diaries will; therefore, be a journey to Strengthen The Core and I shall be sharing with you some strategies to De-stress, Detox, and Train. Taking it on as one principle per ten-day period (ashra) here is a proposed timetable insha'Allah.

Detox For Major & Minor Sins
Seeking repentance (Istighfar) is the only detox for major and minor sins. Ramadan is a golden opportunity for having sins forgiven and all records cleansed, provided your intention is pure and you never repeat wrong again.

Prophet Muhammad SAWW was heard saying (narrated by Abu Hurairah):
"Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." Sahih al-Bukhari 2008

First Ashra:
De-stressing From The Dunya: Sunnah Reloaded

Second Ashra: 

Training Of The Psyche (Nafs)

Third Ashra: 

Detox For Major & Minor Sins



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