Ramadan is round the corner, what Ramadan resolutions are you going to take to make serious and lasting change in your life? How can you maximise on gains from fasting especially what practical steps are you going to take? What serious plans are you making?
For Muslims this month signifies the greatest event that took place in the history of humanity. It is in this month that God declared Muhammad as the blessed prophet in the line of thousands of other prophets who came before him. It is in this month that God revealed the Qur’an the final testament confirming all that came before and revealing conclusive guidance for humanity based on knowledge, understanding and conviction. The practical manifestation of the revelation in the lives of Muslims is that they accept God as the sole focus of their worship and devotion, and lead a decent honest life serving justice and equality for all. Is your Ramadan going to remain boring and unproductive as usual?
This month is not only about abstaining from eating, drinking or conjugal relationship during the daylight hours. I believe, this month is about taking strong resolutions for change and working towards achieving them.
The following are my Ramadan Resolutions –
1. I will reduce the amount of food I eat during this month and continue the same spirit for the rest of the year: I love eating good food and I love cooking it too. I like food of different cultures and countries and often end up making fusion meals at home. However, I do believe we eat far too much food and worst still we waste even more. My promise is I will only take on my plate the amount I can eat and eat all that I take on my plate. I may actually lose some weight in that process. Ideally we should all target to fill only one third of our stomach with food, one third for liquid and leave one third empty for air.
2. I will eat healthy and wholesome food: Many of us place so much emphasis on Halal (permissible) food but forget the other component of the Quranic teachings, wholesome and beneficial food (tayyib). I will not buy any processed food anymore and certainly end eating junk food once and for all. What we eat is what we are, my Ramadan plan will include ending a balanced diet and I will take control of what and how much I eat.
3. I will appreciate more the food that I eat: While I am fasting the food smells more tantalising, the taste buds become extremely sensitive and food taste heavenly. By abstaining from eating and drinking I learn to respect the food more and I appreciate it when I get it. We have a problem in our society today, people do not know where their food comes from, we see them all prepared and pre-packed in clean shiny containers. I will be more grateful, respectful and appreciative of the food I buy and eat.
4. I will give more in charity: On average a person would spend five pounds a day having lunch. That is £150 and in the developing world that’s enough to give a child one year’s education or feed a family for a year. Imagine, how it would be if we all gave that money to a charity of our choice. After all fasting makes me understand the pain of hunger and thirst and pushes me to sympathise with the less fortunate. In the month of Ramadan I will give my lunch money to the poor and the needy.
5. I will not do any evil, speak no evil and see no evil: While fasting I will abstain from quarrelling, swearing or fighting with anybody. I will not get involved in backbiting, slandering or gossiping about people. I will not lie or cheat anybody. I will be honest, kind and conscientious to people. Ramadan is the month of mercy, I will be more merciful, month of forgiveness, I will forgive those I who have wronged me. I will switch my TV off for the whole month of Ramadan. I will not look at or listen to or see anything that will weaken my faith and resolve to be good.
6. I will give up my bad habits: Although I do not smoke, for many people who smoke Ramadan must be an amazing opportunity to give it up. I would like to take this opportunity to give up my bad habits and replace them with good, productive and useful habits. My bad habit may include watching excessive TV, spending too much time on my mobile phone or the internet. Some people I know sleep far too much, this is a bad habit. In Ramadan try your best to reduce your desire to sleep so much. Whatever bad habit you have, join me and make a pledge to give them up.
7. I will devote more time with my family: I have a wonderful wife and two young children. I have very elderly and frail father as well as not so physically well mother. I have five siblings and a handful of nieces and nephew. I will spend more time with them this Ramadan and appreciate all the happiness and pleasure they give me. I would like to improve on my relationship with my family members.
8. I will devote more time in developing and sustaining my relationship with Allah: The whole purpose of fasting is to help us develop a stronger commitment to Allah and enhance our character with the attributes that Allah loves most. This month gives us every opportunity to do just that. I will spend more time reading and studying the Quran, I will spend more time in reflection and remembrance of His Grace and most importantly seek to attain His pleasure.
9. I will drive my car less, recycle more and produce less waste: Far too many people drive far too many gas guzzling and extremely polluting cars. I believe unless we do something to reverse the serious damage to our environment we are sleepwalking into self destruction. I hope this Ramadan all Muslims would learn that part of the self discipline is also to protect the environment by abstaining from that which is harmful to the environment. I will walk or cycling more and if must drive, I will only drive a smaller and more environmentally friendly cars. I will recycle more of household waste and most certainly reduce the amount of waste I produce.
10. I will stand for justice, fairness and equality more rigorously: Fasting teaches me to be conscientious about the way I deal with people. Justice and fairness is associated with closest to Godliness. I will stand causes that about justice; I will campaign actively to ensure everyone has access to justice, fairness and equality. At the end of the day Islam teaches me to treat all human being with dignity. I will treat people equally, fairly and justly regardless of their background.