Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened. Narrated Abu Huraira Sahih al-Bukhari 1898
Ramadan is such an important month in the Muslim Calendar, there is excitement in the air when it is due to arrive and muslims look forward in anticipation for a month of worship and fasting. It brings a community feel with everyone fasting, increased acts of charity and meeting up with friends and family to break your fast and pray together.
However not everyone is able to fast. There are exemptions for the elderly, the sick, the menstruating women, pregnant or nursing and travellers. (Please note that there can be differences of opinions so always best to check before you decide not fast).
This year I am unable to fast due to pregnancy. Although some women do continue to fast while pregnant, I am also diabetic and being monitored closely by my consultants and midwives and on that basis I decided it was not in my health interests or the baby’s to fast for over 16 hours a day. In sha Allah I will make up the missed fasts once the baby has arrived safely (in sha Allah).
But then how do I feel part of the month? How do I get into the spirit of Ramadan and feel like I am making the most of it? There are various ways that those who are not fasting can benefit from this scared month.
Read more Quran
Ramadan is not just known as the month of fasting but is also referred to as the mont of the Quran.
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the Criterion (between right and wrong). So, whoever of you sights the month, he/she must observe fasts that month and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not observe fasts must be made up) from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and he does not want to make things difficult for you. He wants that you must complete the same number of days and that you must glorify Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (2:184).
Therefore what better way to feel part of Ramadan then you recite the quran, and not just recite it but understand its meaning and reflect on its meaning by studying in detail.
Pray your Salah and Taraweeh Prayers
Salah is a pillar of Islam and should already be part of your routine 5 times a day. Ensure you are praying on time and with reflection, rather than something that simply needs to be done. Do any recommended extras rather than the bare minimum.
Prepare food for those fasting
Obviously those who are fasting need to eat when sunset arrives. In particular consider donating to help feeding the needy via a charity.
Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.” (Tirmidhi)
Although Sadaqah (voluntary charitable act) should be thought about all year around, Ramadan is often the time where more is done.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “The Prophet ﷺ was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan…more generous than the fast wind in doing good” [Bukhari].
Listen to Lectures
Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah makes easy for him a path to Paradise . Source: Sahih Muslim 2699
Islam is all about increasing your knowledge and there is always something to learn. You can use the time in Ramadan to listen to beneficial lectures. If you are time limited then there are many short videos you can watch in Ramadan to provide you with snippets of knowledge. For example Meeting Muhammad ﷺ by Imam Omer Suleiman
In general, increase your daily ibadah and feel involved in Ramadan even if you are not fasting. In sha Allah may we all have a blessed Ramadan.