Learning to feel good about doing good

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Indeed your Lord says, ‘Every good action is rewarded by ten times its kind, up to seven hundred times, except fasting, which is for Me, and I reward it.’” [Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi].

Some scholars explain that fasting is for Him because it involves leaving our natural inclinations and desires for the sake of Allah – and this is not found in any other type of worship. It is usually difficult and inconvenient and a big struggle to give up things that we naturally desire. But when we know that doing so pleases Allah, what normally would be an inconvenient struggle instead becomes an easy pleasure.

This brings us to one of the great opportunities and lessons of Ramadan:

Fasting provides an opportunity to train yourself to feel good about doing good and to want to do more and to learn to feel good about doing what is good. Feeling good about doing good is contrary to how popular society encourages us to feel – it shows us that we ought to feel good about and desire things that are taboo, wrong, or contrary to what is best. It encourages us to seek and enjoy vice instead of virtue, to engage in activities that pass the time in forgetfulness instead of engaging ourselves in remembrance.

Ramadan is an opportunity rekindle what it is like to feel good about doing what is good and to reset our values. These – in sha Allah – will be among the positive changes we continue after Ramadan.

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