On the first day of Ramadan, I get hungry and thirsty. However, that’s not point of fasting. God does not need my hunger or my thirst. Rather, God gives Ramadan to those who submit as a gift. The thirty days of fasting and worship represent an invitation from God to re-charge the soul.
In Ramadan, we increase our meetings with God. We make extra supplementary prayers during the night:
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
While fasting during the day and praying during the night, life continues. The activities that I did before Ramadan, I will continue to do during Ramadan. This list includes running.
Because I am fasting, my brain will work optimally–fasting promotes brain health. So I expect not only to continue my pre-Ramadan routine, but to achieve each day with a new and improved focus.
In Ramadan, sometimes the focus shifts to the sunnah, the supplementary practices (i.e. night prayers) over the fard, the obligatory practices (i.e. 5 daily prayers). To achieve the full benefit of the sunnah, I hope to remember to focus on the fard.
God teaches us in the Qur’an:
(It is) the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for mankind, clear proofs giving guidance, and the Criterion (for distinguishing right and wrong). So whoever of you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” [2:185]
During this month, millions of Muslims read this book of guidance from cover to cover. To reach this goal, consistency is key–say, five pages after each of the five daily prayers.
Getting everything done and making the most of the month requires discipline. So, although I won’t be running mornings in Ramadan, I will aim to stay on a runner’s schedule.
Waking up early is a start. Once I am up, it is important to be mindful of every moment. There is no time for fillers that turn the brain to mush.
Every Ramadan, I also aim to revive a sunnah in my routine. This year, my sunnah is simple: I plan to use miswak, the toothbrush of the Prophet.
Ramadan Mubarak to all.