When you’re physically unable to fast for long hours due to illness or feminine issues, not being able to fast for some or all of Ramadan can really take a toll on your iman. Here are 3 ways to benefit from Ramadan when you’re unable to fast:
1. Remember that Allah introduced Ramadan as the month of the Qur’an, not the month of fasting.
“The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was revealed…” (2:185). Don’t stop reading the Qur’an just because you’re not fasting. Set a goal for yourself, and stick to it even on the days when you feel like slacking off. Read the translation to get a better understanding of what Allah is saying to you. If you can’t read Arabic, try learning a little bit each day. If you don’t believe you should recite Qur’an while you’re in a state of ritual impurity, listen to it as much as you can and read the translation. Just don’t miss out on a chance to reconnect with Allah through His Book during this Blessed month, because once it passes it won’t be back for a year.
2. Don’t stop fasting from sins.
“Whoever doesn’t refrain from falsehood in speech and actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah may not accept his fasting)” [Bukhari]. Just because you’re still eating and drinking, doesn’t mean you can’t keep working on guarding yourself from saying or doing things that will displease Allah. Think of at least one thing you need to improve on (-be honest with yourself), and work on it diligently.
3. Make du’a during salah times.
If you can’t pray your daily prayers (or even if you can) don’t make du’a less than five times a day. “Du’a is the essence of worship” [Tirmidhi].
Write out a list of things to ask, if you find that you’re getting lazy or forgetting to ask for certain things. Make du’a for other people. Beg for forgiveness. Express your gratitude. Share your deepest desires with Allah. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable before your Creator. Seize every opportunity to connect with Him.
There are other ways to maintain your iman and enthusiasm during Ramadan as well, but these three may be a good place to start. If you experience a dip, don’t give up. You’ll get from Ramadan what you put into it, so put in all you’ve got and reap the priceless benefits inshaAllah.