Eid resolutions – The best version of you

Can you believe another Ramadan has been and gone?! I pray that Allah swt accepts all our fasts and duas from the blessed month and that you have all had the most wonderful Eid with your loved ones.

I always come out of Ramadan feeling rejuvenated, spiritually cleansed and at peace with myself, my world and my life as it is. Now that the Eid festivities are over, the intense training period is complete and we’ve been thrown back out into this world where everything just seems that little bit less peaceful and less safe than it was a week ago. For this reason, I feel it is super important to try to maintain that sacred inner, and outer, peace and therefore I am determined that my life doesn’t go back to “normality” to how it was before Ramadan arrived.

As per each year, I’ve tried to spend the last month bettering myself and connecting with Allah swt and the Qu’ran in a way I never have before. But most of all I hope that I have spent these last few days understanding myself, my nafs and my bad habits better. I’ve tried eating more healthily, pulling away from media and mindless entertainment, spending even more time with family and concentrating on what really truly matters to me, all in order to ultimately try to become the best version of me.

I’m determined to stay the best version of myself that I have worked hard to become in the blessed month, for both myself and for others. Islam is about the constant journey of our faith, the ups and downs of our imaan and the efforts to become better servants of God all year round. So I thought, as we’ve all heard of new years resolutions, why not make some official Eid resolutions for myself to work on!

 

Connection with Allah and the Qu’ran

Throughout Ramadan we strive to connect with Allah swt and His Qu’ran in a way we never have before, or perhaps we strive to reconnect with Him after our lives have somehow led us to distance ourselves from Him. It goes without saying that after Ramadan we should continue this relationship on and work tirelessly to better it even further. Ramadan is always a wonderful time when praying fajr is so much easier due to waking (or staying up!) for suhoor. If you used Ramadan as a way to pray all your salah on time, or to read all your sunnah prayers, or all your nafl prayers, then challenge yourself to continue this on. It can be so easy to slip back into a habit of cutting out your nafl, then your sunnah and perhaps your fardh when the Holy month isn’t upon us.

I’ve been a huge advocate of Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan on my blog for years. He has devoted himself to understanding the true awe-inspiring meaning of the Qu’ran and works to then share this knowledge with the public. His work with Bayinnah Institute is amazing in helping those, particularly of a non-Arabic speaking background, to connect with the Qu’ran. InshaAllah my first resolution and goal is to spend more time studying Quranic Arabic and the background and meaning of specific surah’s. I am super excited to see how much I can learn before next Ramadan so that my learning next year inshAllah will be even more fulfilling. If you would like to do something similar, I whole-heartedly recommend having a look at the Bayyinah website.

I will also be trying to learn and memorise surah’s and ayahs as I would throughout the Holy month. It may prove more difficult now but inshAllah just as, if not more, rewarding to know I have accomplished it outside of Ramadan!

 

Character building

As well as building our quranic relationship, over the last month we would have also been working hard on building our characters. Through controlling our desire to eat and drink we build up a resilience and strength where lunch does not determine our day. Where snacking isn’t the place our thoughts wander to and where we aren’t chained by the desires of our nafs. Every year I get asked by my colleagues or by non-muslims I cross paths with how I cope without eating – and each year I tell them that years of living through fasting has alhamdulillh built me up to a place where I don’t focus on food as much as perhaps  I might have if I didn’t have my lessons from many Ramadans gone by.  I then start to tell them that abstaining from food and drink is just the start of what Ramadan is about:

Forgiveness

Ramadan to me always serves as a reminder to forgive others more easily and to treat others how they would want me to treat them. I always find that if someone or something hurts me in the sacred month, I am much better equipped to deal with it and move on. The peace inside of me and the strength Allah swt places in my heart during those 30 days is remarkable. He shows you that anger is never the best option, that holding resentment for others is not the way forward. Therefore I always find myself so much happier for it and feeling so much better about myself when I don’t have any pent up anger or sadness due to the way someone or something has made me feel. Each year I feel this capacity to forgive grow and grow alhamdulilllah and I don’t ever want to lost sight of it!

“…. But if you pardon and exonerate and forgive, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qu’ran, 64: 14]

InshaAllah my goal is always to continue this on throughout the rest of the year. I will continue to take that step back and see a situation from other’s point of views before deciding how I feel about something. I will try to be the best person I can be when it comes to matters of the heart, so that if I ever were hurt by another, I can swallow any pride and forgive. After all, it takes so much more effort and energy to stay mad or upset at someone then to forgive!

Good deeds

During Ramadan we make an extra effort to give to charity and focus on all the good deeds we can do throughout the day. This is one the most wonderful aspects of the month and, in general, the kind and selfless nature of the religion. We are always taught to be looking out for what would make another’s life better – be that paying for a meal for a homeless person or picking up a stone from a path. These deeds really open your eyes up to the wider world and show you how important random acts of kindness can be to someone who may be having a really bad day. I want to start to actively work on carrying out random acts of kindness, rather than only doing a good deed when the opportunity strikes. God knows the world needs healing and if small acts can help heal wounds, I’m definitely in! If you have some great ways of carrying this out I would love to hear your thoughts!

On a similar note, I love giving presents, I find so much happiness in doing so. I love coming across something thinking of a loved one and and surprising them with it. InshaAllah I aim to continue to do this, for giving gifts and seeing someone happy when you think of them feels infinitely better than buying something for yourself. Part of this will also involved regularly de-cluttering and giving away what I don’t need to charity. A really simple way to also carry out something similar is to donate to food banks. When you are out shopping, buy a few extra tins etc and donate them to your local food bank. Some Supermarkets even have boxes where you can do this. InshaAllah I am aiming to do this regularly, if not every time I do a big shop. If you’re interested in doing the same, you can find your local food bank in the UK here.

Eating habits

Alhamdulillah I am one on whom the physicality of not eating or drinking doesn’t seem to affect me as obviously as others, I’ve never really been one to focus on food for eating sake, I am much more of a social eater than one who feels hunger pangs or feels the need to eat 3 regularly timed meals to get through the day. For this reason I don’t really have any resolutions which revolve around on separating myself from the chains of food. I do however have resolutions on how well I eat and drink.

Throughout the holy month, from iftar until suhoor I would make sure I was drinking as much water as I could, whereas I’m really bad in that I don’t actively think about how much water I’m drinking on a usual day. I found that even with such long fasts I hardly felt the effects of dehydration, however on a usual day I might find myself with a headache due to not thinking about drinking enough water. InshaAllah I will continue to have a target of how much I want to drink in mind and try to reach that target each day.

Similarly, during Ramadan, I make it a point to eat healthily. Thinking about what foods and nutrients my body needs (and doesn’t!), I would start off breaking the fast with fruit and a light soup, before having a light main meal, making sure to not over eat or eat too quickly so as to bloat myself! I felt really good throughout this month and found I was hardly ever lethargic due to my choice of foods. InshAllah I will continue the good eating habits I picked up and stay energised by what I eat throughout the day.

Again, I’m not one that drinks tea or coffee on a daily basis, I do so more socially or as a treat. If you are one that drinks tea or coffee on a regular basis and gave up drinking as much during Ramadan due to managing cravings, perhaps try to stick to this good habit and don’t go back to relying on caffeine so much!

 

All in all, by revisiting my goals and reflecting on myself every few months, I aim to be the best servant of Allah swt I can be so that if I am blessed to see next year’s Holy month, I am even more equipped to better myself further. I hope my resolutions may act as a small reminder to anyone reading this. If you have any you would like to share, I would love to hear and learn from you too!

InshaAllah I pray that Allah swt allows us to see another blessed Ramadan, where we are better going into it than we are today. Now that the blessed month is over, the real test starts.

Any good in this post is from Allah swt only and any bad is from myself and shaitan.

 

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