Ramadan is a month in which Sierra Leonean Muslims attempt to train the nafs (inner self) to resist obeying its desires, and instead obey Allah. Therefore, it is essential, that along with planning what they are going to do in Ramadan, they should also plan what they are not going to do.

Ramadan is a time to detox our bodies, and more importantly our hearts from the toxins of ‘sins’ and the ‘diseases’ of the heart.

If we fast-by not eating, drinking and abstaining from intimacy – but do not protect our eyes, ears and tongues from sinning, we will miss out on the essence and spirit of fasting.

The following are some of the key aspects Muslims should focus on:


Food is the fuel of desires. The more we fill our stomachs, the lazier we feel to perform ibadah. If we eat a lot, we drink a lot. And this makes us sleep a lot, which leads to us losing out on precious time. The Prophet ordered the unmarried companions to fast, because fasting is meant to curtail and restrain sexual desire.

Likewise, we have to internalise that Ramadan is about fasting, not feasting. We shouldn’t spend too much time preparing our meals. Naturally the long hours leave us hungry, making us want to cook more than usual. Similarly, we should not pressurise our family members to cook elaborate meals for us.

Imām al-Ghazali explained that one will only reap the full benefit of a fast if one does not overeat at iftar. We should only eat what we would usually eat on a normal night. Otherwise, the purpose of fasting will not be fulfilled and it will be easier for Shaytan to make inroads into our hearts.


Ramadan is the best time to rectify our speech. The Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent” (Bukhari). This includes how we talk to others through our phones and on social media.


Ramadan is the best time to reduce sleep, and spend a greater portion of the night in worshipping Allah.


Too much socialising hardens the heart, and often leads to sinning. Ramadan, especially i’tikaf of the last 10 days, is the perfect retreat: away from people, and fully focused on Allah.

May Allah al-Fattah (The Supreme Opener) open the paths of goodness and blessings for us in this month, and may He help us to utilise our time in the best way possible.