Tackling ‘The Lazy Syndrome’ in Ramadan
The ’Lazy Muslim Syndrome’ is commonly experienced in Ramadan by those who fast, and unless there is proactive planning and continuous improvement of one’s self, Ramadan could fly by, not cherished like it should be.
Like a typical disease, the syndrome can be avoided through precautionary care and combated through active treatment.
This implies that you should proactively prepare for Ramadan and correct your shortcomings during the month, insha’Allah. We’ll be discussing ways to identify and deal with the signs and symptoms of the ’Lazy Muslim Syndrome.’
Identify What Makes You Lazy
You will only be able to treat a disease when you know what causes it and laziness in Ramadan is caused by factors that are often overlooked. Some causes of laziness are Shaytan’s whispers, hunger, over-eating, irregular sleep, lack of physical exercise, and a deficit in spiritual commitment. People who want to sleep in a bit longer compromise suhoor. Most people complain of insufficient sleep during Ramadan. This is because they stay up too late, following their usual routine of watching television, or pursuing another leisure activity.
Irregular sleep is the biggest contributor to laziness that one experiences throughout the day. In order to cover up, the person is found sleeping whenever he gets the chance, or spinning with dizziness when he doesn’t. A general practice is that people reduce their physical exercise. It feels as if they’ve labelled themselves “fragile.” They explain that if they move around too much they would run out of energy or feel hungry or thirsty. Also, the missing element of “commitment” to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) invites the “Lazy Syndrome.” When a person does not strongly feel the love for his Creator, he fasts as if he’s merely starving himself or skipping lunch, and Ramadan becomes very boring for him.
Fortunately, there are ways that can help you eliminate laziness in order to truly benefit from Ramadan. Being proactive for Ramadan means that you actively start a planning process before the blessed month arrives. At this stage, you schedule your Ramadan activities and identify the possible factors that can meddle with your sincere intentions of pleasing Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). You may ask what time, what number of days, before Ramadan should this phase begin? It is the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessing be upon him) to fast in Sha’baan, the month that precedes Ramadan, in particular, the first half (Al-Bukhari, Muslim). This is the ideal time to plan ahead.
Revise the Importance of Ramadan
When you are aware of your purpose, and have strong pure intentions, you can act productively without succumbing to laziness. Ramadan is an opportunity to show our love, obedience, and commitment to Allah. Second, it is a golden opportunity for self-development whereby you learn self-control, consciousness of Allah Ta’ala (a loose definition of taqwa). We can pray Sunnah and Optional prayers without food and water during the day; this shows us of our potential to perform these prayers during the year when we have nourishment. We can abstain from the usually halaal (food, water), so we surely also then have the ability to abstain from the haram. Ramadan is a training camp, Ramadan is a time to recognize your potential and live up to it, Ramadan is a time for change and improvement (though this is not restricted to the month of Ramadan).
The first 10 days of Ramadan present an opportunity to seek His Mercy, the 2nd calls for seeking repentance for all misdeeds, and the 3rd allows you to seek protection from the torment of Hellfire. You should look up the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the verses of the Noble Quran to understand the importance and the beauty of Ramadan – a treasure for the Muslims.
Plan for Quran Recitation
Reading the Quran and understanding its meaning is spiritually uplifting and mentally engaging, therefore it helps to combat laziness. It is a guide, a mercy, and a healing for us. You should plan for reading the Quran, improving your tajweed (pronounciation), and understanding the Tafsir (exegesis) throughout Ramadan. This connects you directly to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), increases your eman, and commits you entirely towards your purpose of pleasing Him (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).
Prepare for Laylatul Qadr
Since Laylatul Qadr is hidden in the odd nights of the last ten nights, it is advisable that you pray and observe Qiyamul Layl (standing in prayer and engaging in His remembrance) on all odd nights. Napping shortly but effectively during the day can help you achieve maximum productivity. You should also research prayers and supplications that help you maximize your efforts during the great Night of Power.
In addition to prayers, supplications, and Quran recitation, which will make you spiritually productive, creative involvement also keeps away the “Lazy Syndrome.” Brisk walking during early morning hours, after Suhoor, refreshes the mind and keeps you physically active throughout the day. This would be a good time to listen to a lecture or to do dhikr.
Suhoor and Iftaar Menus
Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) provides abundant sustenance for us during Ramadan. Suhoor shouldn’t be rushed and the menu should be nourishing instead of unhealthy fast food which will make you feel lethargic. You shouldn’t eat too little, so you feel hungry in a few hours, and you shouldn’t eat excessively either, it contributes to laziness. Iftaar should be planned like a nourishing celebratory meal at the end of the day when you’ve successfully completed your fast; but again, eat in moderation as over-eating will make you feel sleepy and lazy.
Conclusively, if you productively plan your Ramadan and take special care of the vital elements of nourishment, exercise, and spiritual bonding with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), you will reap great benefits. You can always monitor your performance by keeping a checklist, make your own Ramadan planner, and recognizing when you’re becoming lazy and work to rectify it.
You can download a one page Ramadan Checklist from here (Ramadaan Checklist – A Self Evaluation Leaflet).
May you all have a happy, beneficial, and accepted Ramadan!
About the Author
Anum Ali is a graduate in BA Business Administration, she is also a writer for Habibi Halaqas.