During Ramadhan I posted 30 acts for Ramadhan on Instagram and Facebook that you can download from the Resources page. This list of beneficial acts can be done throughout the year, and below are encouragements from Qur’an and ahadith, and practical ways to fulfil these acts. In sha Allah this helps you further to achieve them.
The most beloved deeds to Allah are that which are done consistently even if they are small. Aisha (ra) reported that The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” (Sahih Bukhari). This reminds us not only of the importance of good deeds, but also that we should remain mindful that Allah has allowed us to do good, that any good only comes from Him and that it should be done to please Him. We do good in the hopes that Allah forgives us for our wrong actions and accepts our good actions, but we do not do good deeds in an arrogant manner thinking that we know they are being accepted. Allahu alam.
Check out the resources page on A Modest Argument for Islamic learning activities and community resources.
1. Memorise a new dua and recite it regularly
We can make dua in any language, but reciting Qur’anic and Prophetic duas in Arabic have extra rewards. Like the Facebook page for weekly duas with English transliteration and translation, choose ‘see first’ so you don’t miss any posts. This book has a great collection of duas.
2. Make doing adhkar a daily habit
Say simple phrases throughout the day that you already know, and you can use prayer beads like these to help you count. Aim to learn a new phrase at least each week, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you learn.
This hadith reminds us of the benefits of making daily remembrance: ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If a Muslim man persists in two actions, he will enter the Garden. They are easy, but those who do them are few.’ He was asked, ‘What are they, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?’ He said, ‘That you say “Allahu akbar” ten times, “al-hamdu lillah” ten times, and “Subhana’llah” ten times after every prayer. That is 150 on the tongue and 1500 in the balance.’ I saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, counting them with his hand. Then he said, ‘When you go to bed, you should say, “Subhana’llah”, “al-hamdu lillah”, and “Allahu akbar”. That is 100 on the tongue and 1000 in the balance. Who among you can do 2500 bad actions morning and night?’ He was asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, how is it that they are not counted?’ He said, ‘Shaytan comes to one of you while he is praying and reminds him of something he has to do such-and-such and such-and-such, so he does not remember to do it.'” (Sahih, Al-Albani, sunnah.com)
3. Review the fiqh of fasting and relate it to your family or friends
Fasting isn’t just for Ramadhan, and it’s necessary to have an understanding of the invalidators of fasting and guidance around breaking the fast (ie. when it’s permissible to do so), exemption, expiation, etc. Different people may follow different positions, for example some might take a position that using nasal sprays does not invalidate the fast, and others will take the position that it does. It’s important to have an understanding of what the foundations for the different positions are and make an informed decision about what fiqh you follow. Read more Ramadhan Reminders and Fasting Tips here.
4. Order a new Islamic book or add it to your wishlist
I’m currently reading Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed and I definitely recommend it! Others on my reading list are Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan and The True Secret by Amira Ayad.
5. Understand the Qur’an more by reading or listening to tafsir
I really enjoy listening to Bayyinah TV which has tafsir, history and other Islamic videos to watch. You can find some of them on Youtube- just search for the surah along with Bayyinah.
6. Review your sleeping habits and diet and make sure you’re looking after yourself
This also goes for all year round! Our body has a right over us, so we should take care of it. We will also be more productive if we are healthy and rest sufficiently. Take some you time.
7. Read or listen to a talk about the sahabah
Again, Bayyinah is a good place to start.
8. Memorise some of your favourite ayat
If you can’t read Arabic, you can use quran.com to help you learn at your own pace, listening to and repeating the ayat as it is recited. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam said, “Keep on reciting the Qur’an, for, by Him in Whose Hand my life is, Qur’an runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels that are released from their tying ropes.” This should be a reminder to implement and maintain a daily schedule of reading and listening to Qur’an, so that you don’t forget what you’ve memorised.
9. Give food or money to a person sleeping rough
Giving people our time is one of the simplest ways we can be there for each other. If you think you can’t spare the means, talk to someone you think is in need and support them in some way. Allah says in the Qur’an in surah Al-Ma’un, ‘[Prophet] have you considered the person who denies the Judgement? It is he who pushes aside the orphan, and does not urge others to feed the needy.’ (Abdul Haleem translation)
10. Share some food with your neighbour
Even if you don’t have a relationship with your neighbours, start to create one. Offer them something simple with a smile. The Messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wa salaam said, “Jibra’il kept enjoining good treatment of neighbours until I thought he would make neighbours heirs.”. (Sahih, Sunan Ibn Majah)
SubhanAllah! This emphasises the necessity to treat our neighbours well to a great extent.
11. Learn a story of a Prophet and relate it to your family or friends
Re-telling stories and things that we’ve learnt is a great way to commit it to memory. I try to do this with my daughter- when I learn something new I’ll tell it back to her usually while we’re walking to school. She loves learning this way and I love being able to recognise that I’ve learnt something too. Alhamdulillah.
12. Read or listen to a talk about the life of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam
Learning about the life of Allah’s Messenger salallahu alayhi wa salam is not only significant from a factual and historical perspective but its value also lies in all the lessons we can learn and gratitude we gain from hearing about his early life and experience through Prophethood. This book was given to me when I first accepted Islam which describes the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam in many ways.
13. Memorise some hadith about the rewards of fasting
I find little more encouraging than reading what our Prophet, may Allah send blessings and peace upon him, said about the benefits of acts of ibada. When you feel like you need a push, read ahadith (and Qur’an) to find some encouragement, in sha Allah.
14. Review your daily habits and make sure you’re making the most of Ramadhan
Although we try harder in Ramadhan, we read more, pray more, behave better- the month shouldn’t just be a segment of boosted imaan that ends when Eid comes. Instead, try to make lasting changes to your routine that you stick to throughout the year. Schedule time to do the things on this list!
15. Work on improving your tajweed and fluency
If you’re yet to learn Arabic, I promise you it isn’t as hard as it seems to be. Bayyinah TV has basic Arabic class videos you can learn from. If you can read, then keep on improving your tajweed and fluency in ways that are practical for you- whether that be with a teacher, an online tutor, or from listening to recitation.
16. Check in on a family member, friend or neighbour
This is so important! Especially for Muslims, The Prophet, may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him, said, “Do not hate each other; do not envy each other; do not desert each other; and be the servants of Allah as brethren. It is not allowed for a Muslim to keep apart from his brother for more than three days.” (Sahih, Al-Albani)
Allah reminds us in the Qur’an, in surah Ali ‘Imran, ‘And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.’ (Sahih International translation)
We should not let things that cause animosity between us grow, if we follow different positions on certain things or have a disagreement about something outside of religion, we should make excuses for each other where we can and remember we are indeed brothers and sisters in religion.
17. Read some Hadith Qudsi
Hadith Qudsi are ahadith where the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam is relating words from Allah that are not in the Qur’an. Find some online or get a book like this to read them from.
18. Donate some of your things to a hospital, residential home or charity shop
When donating in this way, it’s good to remember these things Allah tells us in surah al-Baqarah: ‘do not cancel out your charitable deeds with reminders’ (ayah 264), that is to say- don’t give to someone and then boast about it or use it as reason to gain something in return; ‘give charitably from the good things you have acquired…do not give away the bad things that you yourself would only accept with your eyes closed’ (ayah 267), meaning don’t give away things you wouldn’t want to receive. This ayah ends with ‘remember Allah is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise.’ which can be a reminder that Allah is the one who provides for others- the provision does not simply come from our donations, and that Allah is not in need of our giving away of bad things to people as an act charity.
The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam also tells us sadaqah does not diminish wealth in this hadith: “Charity does not diminish wealth, Allah does not increase a man in anything for his pardoning (others) but in honour, and none humbles himself for Allah but Allah raises him.” (Sahih, Jami at-Tirmidhi)
So give, but give with the right intentions and be mindful of Allah.
19. Visit a sick or elderly person
This sahih hadith Qudsi illustrates the virtue of visiting the sick, feeding those who ask for food and providing drink to those who ask for drink: Narrated by Abu Huraira, The Prophet, may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him, said, “Verily, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, would say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me. He would say: O my Lord; how could I visit Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds? Thereupon He would say: Didn’t you know that such and such servant of Mine was sick but you did not visit him and were you not aware of this that if you had visited him, you would have found Me by him? O son of Adam, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me. He would say: My Lord, how could I feed Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds? He said: Didn’t you know that such and such servant of Mine asked food from you but you did not feed him, and were you not aware that if you had fed him you would have found him by My side? (The Lord would again say: ) O son of Adam, I asked drink from you but you did not provide Me. He would say: My Lord, how could I provide Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds? Thereupon He would say: Such and such of servant of Mine asked you for a drink but you did not provide him, and had you provided him drink you would have found him near Me.” (Sahih Muslim, sunnah.com) SubhanAllah.
20. Donate food or money to a local food bank
It’s important to remember local charitable initiatives that act as lifelines to our neighbours and community and could one day be something we find ourselves in need of. Remember them in your duas and in your charitable giving. If there’s no food bank near you, consider starting one.
21. Read about the names of Allah
There is a lot of comfort and benefit to be found in reciting specific names of Allah in your duas. This book was gifted to me when I first became Muslim which I still read today. Learning the attributes of your Lord is a means to better recognise Him in your life.
22. Set up a new small regular donation to a charitable cause
We’ve mentioned the benefit of doing good deeds regularly and consistently above. Regular donations in the form of direct debits are a great way to do this, and they’re great for the charity too because it allows them to plan better by being able to estimate what funds they will have available. Islamic Relief, Human Relief Foundation, Zakat Foundation, Muslim Hands, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Greenpeace and NSPCC are ones you could look into supporting. Alhamdulillah.
23. Make extra dua for those in extreme hardship
Never stop making dua. For yourself, for your loved ones and for those in hardship anywhere in the world. This means being aware of struggles that are happening and taking action where you can as well as asking for Allah’s help.
24. Add more sunnah and nafl acts to your daily routine
As the saying goes, if you don’t pray, start praying, if you pray sometimes, start praying on time, if you pray on time, pray your sunnah… etc. This method of thinking can be applied to many things and the lesson is to reflect on your behaviour and actions and always seek ways to improve.
25. Read or listen to a talk about seeking knowledge
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah, salallahu alayhi wa salam said: “Lo! Indeed the world is cursed. What is in it is cursed, except for remembrance of Allah, what is conducive to that, the knowledgeable person and the learning person.” (Hasan, Tirmidhi)
The lesson here is to busy yourself in the remembrance of Allah and in gaining and maintaining knowledge. Intend to gain knowledge with care- commit to and dedicate yourself to what you are learning and maintain proper adab whilst doing so.
26. Reconnect with a family member or friend
See number 16!
27. Start reading an unread Islamic book you own or reread one of your favourites
We should all try to read more. I’ve found that having an ebook reader on my phone has helped me read a lot more, Alhamdulillah. Since I always have my phone and I’m often using it for something or other anyway, I can spend 10 mins or so several times throughout the day to finish books a lot faster than if I were to rely on picking up a book in the evening to read. I use Amazon Kindle and Kobo Books.
28. Research one-off or regular volunteering you could get involved in
Call local charities or charitable initiatives and see how you could help them- your expertise might be just what they need!
29. Write a private account of your experiences and feelings this Ramadhan
Reflection can be done all year round. Focus on things you did and didn’t do, identify road blocks and figure out solutions. This exercise should be about improving yourself and your life going forward and not just list of to-do’s and didn’t-do’s.
30. Make a to-do list of ways you can increase your acts of worship and gaining knowledge
See number 24 and 25, and take some ideas from this list!
Don’t miss out on FREE Islamic learning activities from A Modest Argument, access them through the Resources page.
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