Will you be missing out on fasting all or some of this Ramadan due to an illness, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or your period?
Don’t worry – you DON’T have to miss out on the immense Barakah and mercy of this month altogether!
There are so many ways you can still gain closeness to your Rabb in this beautiful month, depending on your energy and health.
The first step is to develop the right mindset.
Acknowledge the strain on your physical health, and subsequent strain on your emotional and mental health as well, due to any of the reasons you’re unable to keep fast.
And then the second step is to acknowledge the Wise Creator who has placed you in those circumstances.
Allah ﷻ knows the limitations you have to contend with. And He has created this ease for you, this Rukhsat from having to fast, so you can take care of yourself (and your children, if you have them) now, then make up your fasts later, insha Allah.
So these physical limitations don’t have to result in an all-or-nothing kind of mindset. You can STILL benefit from Ramadan.
You can still utilize these precious moments to fill up your book with lots and lots of good deeds. You can still get close to Allah ﷻ and strengthen your connection with Him.
So what are some Ramadan goals that you can aim for? (Of course, you can set these goals for yourself even if you’re fasting!)
- Stay in a state of Wudu.
- Commit to memorizing more of the Quran al-Kareem.
- Make up your missed prayers (Qadha Salah).
- Fill every spare moment with recitation of the Quran.
- Repent and abstain from sins, especially sins of the tongue.
- Read special Adhkar and Tasbihat full of reward.
- Serve those who are fasting.
- Pray Tarawih.
- Adhere to the Sunnah.
- Don’t miss out on the blessings of Tahajjud.
- Read your daily morning and evening Adhkar.
- Memorize the 99 names of Allah.
- Make a lot of heartfelt Dua.
- Give Zakah and abundant Sadaqah (charity).
- Have good expectations from Allah ﷻ.
1. Stay in a state of Wudu.
Remaining in a constant state of Wudu means that even your sleep will be counted as Ibadah (worship). If you’re napping more due to fatigue from pregnancy or an illness, what a wonderful way to earn Ajar (reward) even during your rest!
One great benefit of remaining in a state of Wudu is the ease with which you’ll be able to perform your Ibadaat.
You can quickly pick up your Mushaf and recite the Quran whenever you get a pocket of time between tasks.
You can also offer extra Nawafil whenever you get a moment of quiet! In fact, it’ll be so much easier to offer your Fardh Salah as well if you’ve already done your Wudu.
**Tip: If you want to make a consistent habit of remaining in Wudu, I’d highly recommend investing in a pair of Wudu Socks that you can do Masah (wipe) over! These socks are Shariah-compliant, odor-free, waterproof, and so comfortable to wear! Order them via their website, The Wudhu Socks.
2. Commit to memorizing more of the Quran al-Kareem.
This Ramadan, take benefit of your time by committing more of the Quran to heart. If you already know the last 10 Surahs by heart, try to memorize:
- Surah Yaseen, the heart of the Quran.
- Surah Waqia, for Barakah in sustenance.
- Surah Mulk, for safety from the punishment of the grave and intercession on the Day of Judgment.
Once you have these Surahs memorized, you can recite them throughout your day when you’re busy with chores around the house and caregiving activities for your family.
**Tip: One easy way to learn the Quran by heart is to listen to a recitation on repeat, which is something you can do even if you’re on your period!
3. Make up your missed prayers (Qadha Salah).
A very important goal you can have this Ramadan is to make up for the prayers you’ve missed in the past. Include the ones you may have missed because you weren’t aware that Nifas (postnatal bleeding) ends when your bleeding stops, regardless of whether or not 40 days are up.
Also include the prayers you may have missed due to negligence, or because you didn’t pray in those initial years after reaching puberty.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If anyone forgets a prayer he should pray that prayer when he remembers it. There is no expiation except to pray the same.” [Bukhari]
**Tip: The easy way to start making up for the prayers you’ve missed is to pray at least one additional Qadha Salah with each Fardh Salah you pray during the day. So e.g. with Fajr, pray 2 extra Fardh with the intention to make up for the very first Fajr Salah you ever missed. At Zuhr, pray 4 Fardh additionally, with the intention to make up for the very first Zuhr Salah you ever missed.
4. Fill every spare moment with recitation of the Quran.
Ramadan is the month of the Quran so if you want to choose one form of Ibadah to focus on this month, let it be recitation of His Book.
Recitation of the Quran is something that helps you gain the pleasure and love of Allah ﷻ even if you don’t understand the meaning of the words.
Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah) saw a dream in which Allah ﷻ told him that the dearest way to gain His Qurb was through recitation of the Quran, whether someone understands the meaning of the words or not.
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5. Repent and abstain from sins, especially sins of the tongue.
If you’re struggling to break free from a bad habit, begin this month with sincere Taubah and try to let the sin go for at least this month.
This includes the sins we take so lightly – sins of the tongue. Stay away from backbiting, criticizing, assuming, and judging. Be kinder to your children and gentler with your spouse. Be softer with your hired help and try to ease their burden.
6. Read special Adhkar and Tasbihat full of reward.
Make your time valuable by reading the special words of remembrance which are full of reward, including:
- Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi (100x, all minor sins will be forgiven).
- Subhan Allah, walhumdulillah, wa laa ilaaha illallah, wallahu akbar (plant trees in your Paradise).
- Surah Ikhlas (Thrice, reward of a full recitation of the Quran).
Read one Tasbih each of Istighfar and Salawat as well.
**Tip: For moms this Ramadan, I’d highly recommend reciting the Tasbih of Hadhrat Fatimah (ra) before going to sleep (33x Subhan Allah, 33x Alhumdulillah, 34x Allahu Akbar). You’d be amazed at the difference you feel in the morning – you’ll feel better rested, more energized, and much more refreshed than if you don’t recite this Tasbih. Guaranteed!
7. Serve those who are fasting.
Doing Khidmah of people who are fasting is a great way to earn equal reward as them.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for him is the same reward as his (the fasting person’s), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.” [Tirmidhi]
8. Pray Tarawih.
Tarawih is obligatory even for those women who aren’t fasting due to pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Feel the spirit of Ramadan by praying these extra Masnun Rakahs, whether you’re able to stand for them or pray them while sitting.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]
9. Adhere to the Sunnah.
Follow the Sunnah in everything you do, from routine acts like eating and drinking, to the way you dress, to the Duas you recite when entering and leaving the home or going to the washroom.
This is a comprehensive list of Sunnah acts you can adopt in your daily routine, as well as teach to those around you, including your kids and family members.
10. Don’t miss out on the blessings of Tahajjud.
Even if you’re not fasting, don’t skip out on the benefits of the time of Tahajjud!
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Hold fast to Qiyam ul-Lail, for it is the practice of the righteous before you, and indeed Qiyam ul-Lail is a means of nearness to Allah, a means of prevention from sin, an expiation for bad deeds, and a barrier for the body against disease.” [Tirmidhi]
Wake up before Fajr and try to pray at least 2 Nafl, then ask Allah ﷻ for everything your heart desires with Khayr and Afiyah.
Ask Him for mercy and forgiveness for the entire Ummah. Ask Him for the health and prosperity of your living children, unborn children, your spouse, parents, friends and family.
Even when you’re on your period, wake up during the last third of the night, spend some time doing Dhikr, and make heartfelt Dua.
11. Read your daily morning and evening Adhkar.
Keep a book of morning and evening Adhkar near you so you can read your daily Adhkar whenever you get the chance to.
In particular, be sure to read the Duas for protection against the evil eye, the punishment of the grave, and against all harm in general.
Here’s a PDF of morning and evening Duas and Adkhar as well.
12. Memorize the 99 names of Allah.
Make it a Ramadan goal this year to memorize the beautiful names of Allah ﷻ!
Even if you memorize 3-5 names each day, you’ll be able to commit them all to memory and attain the reward mentioned in this Hadith:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Allah has ninety-nine Names, one-hundred less one; and he who memorized them all by heart will enter Paradise.” To count something means to know it by heart. [Bukhari]
13. Make a lot of heartfelt Dua.
Ramadan is THE time of the year to get your Duas accepted. You can and should make Dua for everything that’s weighing on your mind and heart, your plans and wishes, your fears and hopes.
There are also many Jami’ (comprehensive) Duas mentioned in Ahadith that you can make this month. You can find them in different books, like Munajat-e-Maqbool and Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim).
I love this Dua in particular:
اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ سَرِيرَتِي خَيْرًا مِنْ عَلاَنِيَتِي وَاجْعَلْ عَلاَنِيَتِي صَالِحَةً اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ صَالِحِ مَا تُؤْتِي النَّاسَ مِنَ الْمَالِ وَالأَهْلِ وَالْوَلَدِ غَيْرِ الضَّالِّ وَلاَ الْمُضِلِّ
O Allah, make my secret better than my apparent condition, and make my apparent condition righteous. O Allah, I ask You for the righteous of what you give to the people, of wealth, wives, and children, not (to be) misguided, nor misguiding. [Tirmidhi]
14. Give Zakah and abundant Sadaqah (charity).
Like all good deeds, every bit of charity you give this month is multiplied by 70.
Go through the items you own and give away whatever you don’t need to someone who could really use it. Also make it a goal to give your Zakah this month to those who are eligible to receive it.
15. Have good expectations from Allah ﷻ.
Rather than despairing over missing your fasts, have good and positive expectations from your Rabb that He knows your struggles, He knows how much more you wish to accomplish, He knows every high and low you experience.
Be gentle with yourself. Remind yourself that consistency matters so make a sincere effort, in whatever capacity you’re able to. Acknowledge your weaknesses but don’t let them deprive you of the benefits of this month.
Strive for His sake, and while striving may look different for you this Ramadan than it has in the past, know that He is the Appreciative who’s aware of every bit of difficulty you’re facing and of how much you seek to gain His Qurb despite it all.
Share with a friend who could benefit from this article! May Allah ﷻ allow us to truly benefit from this month and make it a means of our Maghfirah, Ameen.
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