Alhamdulillah we had the opportunity to increase our ibadah during the month of Ramadan. It was a month when were able to do more ibadah for our spiritual upliftment. It was a month than we witnessed our own generosity and friendliness. We were able to suppress our desires to reveal our better personalities. We wish that we can carry on with all these and permanently become an even better person. However we may find this very challenging. As the last Ramadan leaves us, we may find that the spiritual upliftment that we gained may gradually disappear and we wait for the Ramadan next year to build it up again. If all the gains that we achieved in Ramadan were lost before the next Ramadan and we need another Ramadan to get back what we have lost, truly this is an indication that we are in a viscous circle. We can only be a better person for less than a year but not a better person as we grow older.
We allocated more time in Ramadan for our spiritual upliftment but the challenge is how to keep the momentum so that we truly benefit on a long term. Every person is different and it is important for us to individually assess ourselves. With the assessment, we will be able to embark on a sustainable programme that we started in Ramadan. Sustainable is the key as this will enable us to carry on without feeling the burden. For example if we only complete reading the Quran every Ramadan but doesn’t read the Quran in the other months, we can start a daily programme for the recitation of Quran. We can, for example, read two pages a day and this will enable us to complete the Quran before the next Ramadan. The Quran has only 604 pages and it only takes 302 days, which is about 10 months, to complete it. If we read four pages a day, then we will be able to complete the Quran twice before the next Ramadan. Setting a sustainable minimum will enable us to achieve our target. If we read more on any of our “good days”, then this is a bonus for us. If we miss one or two days, we may be able to catch up later in the week. We can only feel good because the minimum target can be achieved.
Similar sustainable projects can be implemented as part of our programme for consistent spiritual upliftment. We may be generous in Ramadan and make sadaqah worth tens or hundreds of pounds but may find it difficult to keep that level of generosity for the other months. We can continue to be generous by starting a sustainable sadaqah programme. For example, we can give sadaqah of £1 per per month to Melayu UK. This is sustainable and if we find that we have spare money on some of the other months and give more, then we can treat this as a bonus for our generosity.
Setting anything beyond what we can sustain may not have a long term effect. If conditions changed and we are not able to continue with our commitment, we will feel bad and this may lead us to abandon what we started. Always set a sustainable minimum target. We should not feel embarrassed for doing something which is small or tiny. The main thing is that we can do it consistently without fail. Our prophet (peace be upon him) said “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” Sustainability is the key to deeds that can be done regularly.