1. We have the power to change our bad habits.
We adjust our routines during Ramadan. We change how and when we eat. Our sleep patterns get disrupted. We improve our behaviour. Ramadan shows us that we can change the things that seem engrained in us. Not just that, but in Ramadan, we give up things that are usually halal or permissible, like food, drink and intimate relations. This gives us the strength to give up that which is impermissible.
2. We can be good even in difficult circumstances.
Being good when life is going well is easy enough. In Ramadan, we go without eating and drinking for many hours. We get tired. Our energy levels get depleted. Despite less-than-ideal conditions, we know we have to exercise patience and resist getting angry. We are to be on our best behaviour. And that helps us to rise higher and aim for better even when we’re struggling.
3. We don’t need to satisfy all our material wants.
We survive without eating or drinking for many hours in the day. What’s more, when it’s time to break our fasts and eat the delicious food before us, we find ourselves unable to stomach much. This experience demonstrates how fleeting our material wants are. It forces us to reconsider how much we care about worldly matters. We know that these are not what will draw us closer to God or help us when we meet our Creator. But there are also benefits to resisting our consumer-driven society. We are freer. We have space to look inward and focus on what gives our life purpose and meaning. This in turn makes us happier.
4. We can push ourselves beyond what we thought our limits were.
In normal times, we’d struggle to concentrate if we missed breakfast and lunch. But in Ramadan, we discover we can survive – what’s more, we can thrive for the sake of pleasing God. This gives us the confidence and tools to work towards other aims we may not have thought possible.
5. We can exercise patience.
Good things come to those who wait. So the saying goes. Ramadan helps us develop and strengthen our patience. Despite being hungry, we wait hours until it is time to eat. And the reward is delicious! Acting rashly and expecting immediate results can mean we make unwise decision that leave us unfulfilled and unable to achieve our goals. Being patient can help us in the long run, when we find ourselves studying for years to get a degree or searching for a life partner.