Bismi’Llāhi ir-Ramān ir-Raīm

In the Name of God, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate


As the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ (may the blessings and peace of Allāh ﷻ be upon him ﷺ) said, “Verily, actions (or deeds) are but by intentions, and each will have only what he intended…”

It never ceases to amaze me how the entirety of life experience is contained in this simple yet profound statement. In short, your qualitative experience of life is largely determined by your commentary of your present-moment experience. And your state of health is in large part a function of the conversation(s) that dominate your mind. As far as your body is concerned, what you think is happening IS what is happening.

Your inner commentary about life sets a “frame” for your experience. For believers, setting a frame or intention is a way of consecrating your experience of life, of establishing taqwa’Allāh (God-conscious presence), so that you are more likely to experience life as it truly is rather than for what it is actually not. So, how would you like to frame your Ramaḍān? What do you say it is ultimately about for you?

Ramaḍān is full of rich possibilities. We can be engaged in any number of acts of devotion, including the Ṣalāt (the ritual prayer), tarawīḥ (evening congregational prayer), qiyām al-layl (standing in prayer in the dark of the night), dhikr (invocation of Divine Names ﷻ), recitation of the Holy Qur’ān, the meal that precedes the daily fast (suḥūr), the daily fast, the meal that follows the breaking of the fast (ʾifṭār), and of course your usual daily work (as the Prophet ﷺ said, “Work is worship.”). It is important to understand that the outer acts of devotion are a means to something deeper. The question is, how do you access the inner realities of spirituality through the outer acts of devotion? This is where the intention you set is key.

While there are many ways in which you can consecrate this time, I suggest starting with the most essential and comprehensive intention. For example, you might make the intention to draw closer to Allāh ﷻ, to deepen your relationship with Him ﷻ. You can understand how this simple act would impact everything in your life. You can always build on this with more specific intentions, all the while tying them back to your primary “big picture” intention. A clear and powerful intention will permeate everything you do as if carrying you through the month on a magic carpet, insha’Llāh (God-willing). And Allāh ﷻ knows best.


© Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī