In the next few days, Muslims in Malawi and all over the world will be fasting following the onset of the moon in the month of Ramadan. However, I have seen that there are numerous things that make some of us fall into the Ramadan guilt trip.
The first thing I came across is that of lack of training. As they say ‘if you fail to prepare you are also preparing for fail’, many Muslims do not plan for Ramadan nor do we train for it. Despite that Ramadan is the arena for the believers, it needs training which will take almost a year. We need train if we are planning for the big race like this one.
The second mistake, which many Muslims do, is that they promise what they cannot deliver or I should say having unrealistic expectations. I think you have heard your friend, sister or brother promising that he or she is going to finish Quran five times in this coming month and that he or she is going to pray taraweeh and tahajjud in every single night. Much as I appreciate that there is nothing wrong with having high aspirations, the problem that comes thereafter is that they do make these goals impractical hence, putting psychological pressure on themselves. So, when we realise that we slipped or failed to achieve those expectations, we tend to fall into oh-well-maybe-next year syndrome instead of changing our minds and re-adjusting our plans.
The other problem is that of inconsistency. You will see some people at the beginning of the fasting, reading 15-25 pages of the Quran after Fajr, praying 20 rakaats of taraweeh. But they can only sustain this for few days and when they reach at the middle, their hectic schedule overtake them, they slip, lose track, feel tired and back to square one.
Lack of energy management is another factor. Most of us eat too much during and after Iftaar thinking that it will slide all the hunger we had experienced the whole day. This is a wrong assumption; it just makes us feel tired and not able to make taraweeh and sleep seem to become the first casualty.
However, I urge brothers and sisters in Islam that let us not fall into above categories for us to have a successful Ramadan. I wish you Ramadan Mubarak!