By Amber Von Grat

Bismillah, Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem,
This year we are facing our own unique challenges when it comes to protecting our communities and trying to ensure the well-being of everyone around us. Whether this year is your first Ramadan, or you’ve experienced it before, I want to give you three ways to help you increase your faith and embrace the solitude that we have all been gifted.
1. Separation of the Self

The reality of social distancing and self-isolation means that we are unable to congregate in prayer inside of the masjid. We are encouraged to be with the people that are already around us and most importantly, with ourselves.
This Ramadan we have the opportunity to learn about ourselves and experience whatever Allah is sending our way. We may be forced to feel what we may have been avoiding, breathe a breath of fresh air that we have not had in a long time, and reflect on the path we were walking for the previous 11 months.
As we spend this Ramadan in quarantine, we should learn to start embracing the uncertainty of who we thought we were and be open to becoming someone we never expected. Often times we find ourselves chasing attachments in the worldly life to fulfill the longing in our hearts and we bury and taint our soul with truths that don’t exist. A lot of us create this illusion of what we believe to be true and decide to hide in the darkness rather than stand out and embrace the light. Some of us don’t even know that we’re living in our own mind and ignoring the heart.
The first reminder that I wanted to share with you is the positive reality Allah has given us this year. For 30 days, the Shaytan is locked up and His power to influence us has been lessened. This allows us to separate the beliefs that are ingrained in our mind, from the whispers of the Shaytan that follow us the rest of the year. Take 5-10 minutes every day during Ramadan to start to listen to the thoughts that pass through your mind. These may be beliefs that your mind is subconsciously saying to you that may no longer serve you moving forward. If you start to notice negative thoughts coming up, start to write down and reframe them as positive affirmations. For example, “I talk too much” can be reframed as I am passionate about sharing my voice.
2. Make room for change
When we start to pay attention to our subconscious thoughts and start training our brain to believe what our soul already knows – change happens. We start creating space and opportunity when we let go of old patterns and invite new ones in.
Quran Surah Ghafir 40:60 “And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.'”
Another tip I would give to you this Ramadan is to let go of the attachments in the worldly life that no longer serve you and to make room for change. For example, letting go of what our idea of mercy looks like and calling upon Ar-Raheem to give us the mercy He wants for us.
The kicker is that it may not come to us the way that we are expecting to see it. Allah swt may test and trial us to ensure that our hearts are sincere. Through this, remain steadfast. With hardship comes ease, and Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can handle. Allah does not want to see you suffer; he wants you to love and worship Him alone – the more that you can prove this, insha Allah, the more peace and light will enter your heart and manifest in your life.
3. Expect miracles
Our mind believes what we tell it and the more dramatic we are about the words we use, the brain will listen. It doesn’t matter what other people believe about us, it matters what we believe and tell ourselves. Therefore, reach for the stars!
Allah wants you to talk to Him and ask Him for what you want – you just need to believe that you deserve it. For some of us, it is difficult to believe that we are worthy of Allah’s love when it is so unconditional and powerful, but he wants us to be close to Him.
Allah doesn’t need us, we need Him and He is closer to us than our jugular vein. Allah rests in the hearts of the believers and we have to believe that with Him anything is possible.
Ask for that trip to Hajj, that spiritual awakening, the closeness and presence of Allah and His angels. Expect the unexpected when it comes to Allah and have grace with yourself for being human.
Last, but not least, do not be afraid. It can be emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually overwhelming sometimes to have a close relationship with Allah, but He loves you. All you have to do is prove you’re worthy, believe you are, and allow the Divine to lead your life.
May Allah allow us to reach the end of Ramadan and bring down his mercy and blessings upon us all. Ameen.
Amber Von Grat is a speaker, Soul Coach, and the author of Heal. Her upcoming book is called Soul Detox: 15 Principles to Discovering Your Truth and Freeing Your Spirit.