Long winter cosy nights are here! In the academic world, that also means a long winter holiday. Sleeping in, hot drinks, the lot! Short, cold and gloomy days may also stunt our productivity levels.
So here are ways we can make the most of this winter Inshaa Allah:
Taking a break is good! But as Muslims, we must also remember that we will be asked about how we spend each hour of our lives, so we want to be prepared to answer that right?
The prophet ﷺ said: “The feet of the son of Adam shall not move from before his Lord on the Day of Judgement, until he is asked about five things: about his life and what he did with it, about his youth and what he wore it out in, about his wealth and how he earned it and spent it upon, and what he did with what he knew.” [Tirmidhi]
Therefore, it is important that, as well as getting the much-needed rest, we should also plan how we would like to spend each day of the holidays, including religion, health, education, work and leisure.
Although the long nights are excellent for salah and Qur’an, we forget that Ibaadah comes in other forms too. By changing our intentions, we can also gain Jannah points from worldly actions. For example: rather than studying just because you have to, study in order to have the means to provide for your family and to give more to charity in the future.
Don’t forget the saying, “Free time is the playground of the Devil.”
Winter nights are super long! This gives us the opportunity to gain so many easy Jannah points.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The best of prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]
There are incredible amounts of reward to be gained during night prayers and is an optimal time to seek forgiveness. As the sun rises much later in the winter, it allows us to get enough sleep with plenty of time to still get in those extra raka’at and time to read Qur’an.
Winter days are frustratingly short, which can often result in a deficiency in our productivity. A great way to maximise the time in your day and to look after your health and akhirah, is to fast.
Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (رحمه الله) said: “The best season to a believer is winter. Its nights are long for those who wish to pray, and its days are short for those who wish to fast.” [Latāif al-Maʿārif]
The sun sets rather early in these colder months, allowing us to break our fasts long before our conventional ‘dinner times’. It is an amazing way to gain so much reward without the trouble of hunger or thirst, especially if you can get those sunnah fasts in on Mondays and Thursdays Inshaa Allah!
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Fasting in winter is an easily acquired booty.” [Tirmidhi]
4. Practice Modesty
As a young woman born and raised in the western world, I know the struggle. But during winter, we all want to just layer and wrap up as warm as we can, this is a great opportunity to practice modesty. For example, covering more skin, wearing longer/looser items of clothing, wearing the head scarf etc. Modesty is an obligatory part of our faith, despite the struggles, it is important to try our very best to observe it. Starting to take small steps this winter might just be your chance to build a habit that’ll pave your path to Jannah, Inshaa Allah! Rectify your intentions, try your absolute best and trust that Allah will do the rest.
‘O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.’ [Quran, 33:59]
May you have a wonderfully productive, enjoyable and Jannah points-filled winter, Aameen.
Zakiyra Bint Tayeb