How to balance Religious and Academic duties in the month of Ramadan?
Ramadan is a great opportunity for Muslims to transform themselves into better individuals and to solidify their ties with their families and friends. However, despite one’s eagerness to spend the entire month solely for praying, reading Qur’an, fasting, supplication and other forms of worship, there are other activities and responsibilities that one has to perform.
Academic responsibilities do not end in the month of Ramadan. If you live in a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, you may experience less academic stress because there would be Ramadan vacation given to students. For Muslims who live in non-Muslim dominant countries, they are more likely to struggle in performing their religious duties without compromising their academic tasks and responsibilities. During Ramadan, they may have to sit in an exam, study, write their assignments and engage to activities that require heavy physical effort.
We should be reminded that Ramadan is not an obstacle in whatever we do, it does not hinder anyone from performing his duties in work or school. Remember that whatever Allah commands, such as fasting in Ramadan, is what will lead us to our success, both here in dunya and akhirah.
I list down 5 tips for my fellow students to boost our faith and academic performance at the same time during the month of Ramadan:
Get enough sleep
We are encouraged to sleep less during Ramadan but it does not mean we should not get enough sleep. We need sleep to get the energy we need to be productive the entire day. If we are deprived of sleep, there would be a high chance that our energy drops making us unproductive in our worship and other activities. Also, Allah does not want us to put ourselves in harm. Allah does not oblige us to deprive ourselves of sleep during Ramadan. Allah encourages us to manage our time and to balance all our responsibilities.
We can take some sleep when we arrive home from our classes, but we should wake up 2 hours before iftar to help the family in preparing the iftar and also to do worship. These hours are essential because it is the time that one feel most hunger thus du’a is powerful.
The prophet declared, ‘Three men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah ) are: the fasting person until he breaks his fast (in another narration, when he breaks fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.'[Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi – Hasan]
We are abstained from eating for a couple of hours but it does not mean we should eat more. We should eat right by choosing the right food. We should avoid eating additional meals from those extra festivitities/celebrations/parties with family and friends. Ramadan is a month of fasting, not feasting. Overeating or eating the wrong food will make us sluggish and lazy to do our religious duties and academic responsibilities So, we should not stuff our stomach with heavy food cause it may lead us from neglecting our duties making our scales of ibadah empty at the end of Ramadan.
Organize your time
During the month of Ramadan, our top priority must be to perform our religious duties rightly. But we should not neglect our other responsibilities as well. For students, we should be very wise in scheduling our activities without failing either our religious duties or academic responsibilities.
Ramadan is just 30 days in a year. So if there are some activities that could be done later after Ramadan, then remove them from your focus for the meantime. You can start doing them if you don’t have any other activities to do this Ramadan. But, make sure to focus on what is NOW. Focus on Ramadan, and on your activities that have to be done this month.
Don’t stuff your mind with additional pressure, if you have extracurricular activities that could be done later after Ramadan, set them aside for the meantime.
Set aside worries
You will not be able to accomplish your activities productively if you are preoccupied with personal problems, worries and fears. Those will not help you in concentrating. You should make sure you’re not delaying your obligatory prayers and other religious duties. That helps to decrease your worries and guilt, if you don’t pray on time you will feel guilty and disturbed while studying.
You may be an independent student who does not like depending or asking help from anyone in doing your tasks. During this month don’t be hesitant to ask help from those who are willing to help you such as your family and friends. If you have some projects that require physical effort, ask help from others to help you so you will be able to complete it soon with less pressure. That will decrease your worries as well. Also, don’t underestimate the power of asking advice or reading self-guide articles. The information you may get could help you in being productive in both your religious and academic responsibilities on this month of Ramadan.
Asking guidance from Allah is not enough for you to accomplish your goals. Allah does not change people if they don’t change themselves. So, you have to exert an effort and to perform your duties consistently as you seek the guidance of Allah . May Allah grant us success.
Read more of The Muslim Bricks articles about Ramadan here.
If you have exams scheduled on the month of Ramadan, read these tips from Productive Muslim.