How to Get Over the Mid-Ramadan Slump
As I sit in the office this week trying to write “How to Get Over the Mid-Ramadan Slump”, words evade me. All I can think of is the visits to and fro the hospital as I visit my 23-year-old cousin who lie 97% motionless, with wires & tubes coming out of his nose and mouth and a hole in his neck (he’s recovering slowly but surely alhamdulillah, thanks to Allah and all your prayers) and how this concept of “mid-Ramadan slump” is a very first-world problem.
Some lessons I’m learning this Ramadan that hopefully will do something for your soul as much and as deeply as it has impacted me and may these lessons stay with us for a long time to come, inshaAllah.
Consider the many blessings you are surrounded with
I know such exercises throw Muslims in a shame and guilt-ridden trip and I really hope I won’t make you feel ashamed or guilty. But really, nothing energizes me more this month when I get lazy than recalling the image of my bedridden cousin who is literally unable to move. He cannot fast or pray tarawih or wake up for sahur or pick up and read the Qur’an even if he really, really wants to. He cannot. And I can. I can do any of those things at any time I want, without much effort or thought really. That humbles me greatly because I know that it is not out of my choice either.
I didn’t choose to be in good health. I didn’t choose to be born in safe Singapore. I didn’t choose to not be one of the millions of refugees currently suffering in the world. I had nothing to do with all of these. They are all gifts from Allah to me, by no choice or deed of mine. That actually stumps me (hopefully not into inaction).
I know my cousin would trade places with me in a heartbeat. If you are a mother in fatigue running after your tiny tots, someone barren or a single woman would gladly do the running for you. If you are heartbroken, ill, stressed, facing difficulties in your marriage, or experiencing any manner of hardship, know without a doubt that there are many out there who wants your ‘trial’ in exchange for theirs.
This in no way trivialises your test, because we all face our own set of tribulations, and they’re all real and justified and may Allah make it easy for us. But take a second when things get difficult to remember that someone, somewhere out there wants your trial, and perhaps in that split second, you get to thank Allah for placing you exactly where you are meant to be and inshaAllah gives you a sweetness in your suffering you never thought possible. And re-energises you into going into that next raka’ah or sujud with more clarity and presence, into opening the Qur’an and giving your last ounce of energy for the night to recite beautifully for Allah alone, in gratitude for a voice and the free time to do so and for the many gifts He is giving us, especially those we are unaware of.
Know with certainty the words of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam is as true today as it is on the first day of Ramadan
When we read the words of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam at the beginning of Ramadan, we are excited, hyped-up, delirious with joy. It gave us motivation and boosted our energy levels. We bounced to the mosque for extra prayers, sprung up like Tigger for the pre-dawn meal and smiled at every Muslim on the street.
It’s now the 15th of Ramadan, the excitement has died down, the fatigue and sleeplessness has reached our bones and altered our tempers. But! Remember and find strength and new life in the following words that you no doubt read before but know that it is still happening!
“Allah has decreed this month the best of all months. The days of this month are the best among the days and the nights are the best among the nights and the hours during Ramadan are the best among the hours. This is a month in which you have been invited by Him (to fast and pray). Allah has honoured you in it. In every breath you take is a reward of Allah, your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and your invocations are answered.” – Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam in his last sermon before Ramadan
As I sit here, heedless and unaware of the angels around me currently writing down good deeds in my record for merely BREATHING, they really and truly are! When we nod off on a stranger’s shoulders in the bus on the way to work or back home while fasting, it is being written as worship for us!
How amazingly Generous and Merciful is Allah! It’s as if He just wants to give and just finds reasons to give us. Breathing? Ok, points for you. Sleeping in Ramadan? Ok here, some more points! SubhanAllah!
Instead of beating ourselves up for not doing enough (because, seriously we can never do enough), let’s move the focus from our lowly, needy and weak selves to the Great, Merciful and Generous One. Think of the promises He has made for the ones who are fasting and engaged in good deeds, and derive your strength from Him. Indeed there is no strength or power except in Allah so turn to Him and His Promises when you need motivation, inspiration and energy, never ourselves for we have nothing.
“Whosoever offers the recommended prayers during this month, Allah will save him from Hell, and whoever observes his obligations during this month, his reward will be seventy times the reward during other months. Whoever repeatedly invokes Allah’s blessings on me, Allah will keep his scale of good deeds heavy, while the scales of others will be tending to lightness. Whoever recites during this month an ayat (verse) of the Holy Qur’an, will get the reward of reciting the whole Qur’an in other months.” – Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam in his last sermon before Ramadan
Do not compare what you are doing with what anyone else is doing. Your relationship with Allah is unique and special and intimate and only for you and Him, no one else. No one else knows your struggle except for Him and He will reward you in ways you cannot imagine. He does not carry a checklist on a clipboard like humans do, ticking off outward deeds. He sees and understands your heart and is Ash-Shakur, the Most Appreciative of the little you do. So do it, even when sleep threatens to overtake you, when the heaviness in your bones beg for rest, when your tempers flare – just do it. Rewards await inshaAllah.
May Allah grant us overflowing love for Him and His Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam so that it may be the fuel to drive us to serve Him and please Him in all our moments, inside or out of Ramadan.
Ameera is the Editor of Muzlimbuzz.sg, a chronic reader and a news junkie.