Are you too sick to fast this Ramadan? Are you feeling sad because you think you will miss out on the blessings of Ramadan as you can’t fast and offer Taraweeh in the mosque or read Quran as much as you would like to read?
Or is some one you love not well enough to fast? Would you like to help them fully reap the benefits of this blessed month but you aren’t sure how ?
It’s that time of year again! Ramadan is here! Alhamdullilah, that we are alive to witness it again this year. Well, I am happy to be alive this year. Last year, I was diagnosed with Cancer, Stage 4. Though my doctors were optimistic and everyone seemed happy with the progress, it was not possible for me to fast in Ramadan. Nope. There was no chance at all, with the havoc that chemotherapy and the steroids do to the body.
And this year again, it has come back and messed up with my fasting. Oh how I don’t like this Cancer. And so, I felt sad and unhappy at the idea that I could not take part in all the Ramadan excitement and couldn’t fast. Also, my worship would be hampered because of health issues.
But I was wrong! And now, I know how wrong I was!
And so, I want to tell you: Don’t feel sad about missing your fasting. This is Allah’s will. Accept it with good patience. And the good, in fact, the great news is that you can share the excitement, the planning just as everyone else and reap the benefits of this month insha’Allah.
There were some things that I did during Ramadan last year and I am doing this year as well. Ramadan is for everyone: for the one who is fasting and for the one who is not. This is why Allah exempted those who are sick or traveling from fasting, so that they can do what they can with ease as Allah does not burden a soul more than they can bear. And insha’Allah, once you are up to it, you can make up the fasts that you missed.
So let’s see ways in which we can fully reap the benefits and enjoy our ibaadah (worship) this Ramadan!
#1 Make Intention and Dua:
Say to yourself,
#2 Get Organized:
It’s still not too late. Get going! Get your du’a book ready. Start writing down all the du’as that you want to make for yourself, your health, your akhirah, your family, your friends snd the ummah. Get your Quranic du’as in one place and the masnoon du’as in another place. Make a basket or box in which you can keep these du’as near your bed or where you rest, so that you can take it out yourself and wouldn’t need to call someone to give it to you every single time. Too weak to read? No problem! 🙂 Get your du’a audios ready in your iPods or mp3’s.
#3 Read Quran Now:
Read Quran from now, if you aren’t already doing it: one page, half a page, what ever you can manage, just do it. If you can’t read, then listen to it: 10 minutes, 15 minutes or how much ever time you can afford to spend and pay attention to without feeling sick. Sadly, I couldn’t listen to a lot Quran with attention. I wish I had been able to. May Allah make it easy for you. Continue this habit even after Ramadan at a pace that you can easily manage. The key is to not overdo, but do!
#4 Plan Your Month:
I had 2 chemos during Ramadan. One in the beginning and one right before Eid. So I knew exactly on what days I would be down and out. So I invited my sister-in-law for iftar during the “good days” as I really wanted her to come over. So, plan your activities like iftar during any “good days” that you get.
#5 Plan Your Day:
Try to shift your daily activities if you can, so that you are able to wake up more easily in the night for tahajjud and fajr. Start with small goals—10-15 minutes daily. But stick to it. No goal is too small and no achievement is tiny for you. Remember Allah sees the effort that you make. Maybe the reward which you will get for doing ibaadah for 15 minutes will be equal to the reward for a person who does ibaadah for 3 hrs, simply because the amount of effort you put is equal to his effort. Allah knows your struggles. Don’t think its too less. Nothing is less for Allah .
#6 Get Your Fidiyah Ready:
#7 Keep your Tongue Moist with the Remembrance of Allah:
Just keep repeating la illahaAllah, SubhanAllah, Alhamdullilah, Astgahfirullah or any other adhkar that you like all the time. Don’t let your energy go waste in thinking negative thoughts. Make du’a…lots of dua all the time
#8 Don’t Miss Your Prayers:
Don’t let anything stop you from praying. There were times when I prayed lying down on the bed, not even knowing how many rakats I had offered. But I just didn’t want to give up. They felt like such an accomplishment. My father, may Allah have mercy on him, used to pray on his hospital bed, during the last 5 days of his life with tubes going in and coming out from everywhere. Just DON’T GIVE UP ON SALAH.
#9 Expect from Allah .. His Mercy and His Love:
As in a hadith qudsi, Allah says, “I am as My slave thinks of Me, and I am with him when He calls upon Me.” 2
#10 Smile a Lot:
Yes, you heard me right, smile. It’s a form of charity. Smile at every one you see this Ramadan. Not only will it be counted as a charity for you, it will ease your heart and the that of those who love you. As the Messenger of Allah said, “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity…” 3
#10 Don’t Give Up:
Do what you can do. In the part of a beautiful hadith qudsi, Allah says, “..My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him,..” 4
For those of you are taking care of your loved ones and fasting—
1. Spend Time and Visit Them: I had my family with me , but there was a sister who used to drop in during Ramadan, and specially came to meet me on Eid. And I cannot express in words my feelings of gratitude and love for her. She took time out of her busy life just to soothe me with some comfort.
2. Encourage and Praise Them for What They Can Do : What they can do might seem so tiny to you, but praise them for whatever little they manage to do during this Ramadan. Encourage them when their spirits falter, push and pull them along as much as you can. Recite the Quran to them, make your du’a aloud in their presence. Maybe, all they can manage to do is say ameen, but they will feel good about it. I know that. I have been there.
The Messenger of Allah said, “...your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.” 5
Sickness brings with itself a lot of emotions that are as bad as the disease itself. Medicines can cure the disease with Allah’s permission, but the negative emotions can only be cured by the remembrance of Allah and the love of those taking care of the sick.
“…No doubt, in the remembrance of Allah find satisfaction the hearts.”(Ar-Ra’d, 13:28)
Say Alhamdullilah that Allah has given yet another chance for you to live through this month once again. Alhamdullilah that Allah has given you the chance to worship Him in a manner pleasing to Him again this year. Who knows, you might catch Layatul Qadr this Ramadan insha’Allah!
If you have any tips and suggestions to help those who are sick, please share with us in the comments section below.