Ramadan is a time when muslims are obligated to fast and avoid indulgence in immoral acts, from dawn till sunset. This month-long observance is more than just a duty to the muslim faith. Rather, it is an important time for thought, action and transformation for over 1.9 billion people worldwide.
Piety, discipline and self-control are valuable lessons we all can learn from Ramadan that will help us improve our financial lives, irregardless of religion or faith.
So, religious or not, these are the four things that Holy Month is teaching me about money.
The world we live in is an increasingly materialistic one. Every activity is over-commercialised, no sparing Ramadan. There are tons of tempting discounts and promotions daily, causing the urge to spend to become a near insurmountable challenge.
Nonetheless, the admirable self-discipline that Muslims practice by avoiding eating, drinking or indulging in immoral activity is much from which we can learn. If we adopt this same practice of self-control when it comes to our money, what can stop us from accomplishing those financial goals we set out to achieve?
Managing money should be liberating, and not an overwhelming feeling. Practising discipline allows you to prioritise important life moments like the car, your health, the emergency, or the house you’re hoping to buy one day.
Now this doesn’t mean that you cannot treat yourself, just remember that moderation is key. No holiday or observance should have the unanimous power to make you go broke.
No one has ever gone poor, solely from giving. You see, the effects of the virus have rocked the world this 2020 that unemployment rate in Nigeria alone is set to hit 33.5% from its current 23.1% according to NECA. This means that a potential 20 million Nigerians will be out of employment as a result of the pandemic.
All this is to say that, alms giving and charity are core parts of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to donate a percentage of their earnings to help people and you don’t have to be muslim to learn from its teachings to be humble and compassionate.
The opportunity to help those around you has presented itself. Be it essential workers who need masks or the unemployed who need food, there is something you can do no matter how small. Simply learn to share your wealth.
Another ideal of the Holy Month is self-reflection. Asking what promises where made during the last Ramadan, evaluating your progress and looking forward to where you plan to be in the future.
This kind of self-reflection can apply to your finances by making it a point to stop and think on your financial situation. Tick the boxes on your checklists and plan for where you want to be along your journey to accomplishing your financial goals.
In fact, practising this ideal can help you know when a goal isn’t working. Yes, I said that… plans can fail. So by evaluating regularly, you can detect quickly that a plan will go awry no matter what you do. What with being encouraged to remain at home for safety reasons, we are but left with our thoughts, forced to face facts and renew or set fresh goals.
4. You are Not Alone
And finally, everyone has money problems, dilemmas if you will. The sooner you realise it, the better. So don’t for one second think that you alone have all the financial problems on your shoulders.
Muslims practice abstinence to learn not to give in to hunger and push through the day positively, for the promise of higher reward. Financially, there’s lessons to be learned from this practice.
a. Your problems are temporary
b. Your problems have a solution
c. Taking a step back gives you a chance to plan
d. There is a greater reward which is for those problems to slowly fade away
With perseverance, steadfastness and a solid plan, we know you will overcome those challenges.
As we enter the last few days of Ramadan, we just want to encourage our Muslim friends to keep in high spirits and hope you emerge stronger and better than you did when you started.
If you’re reading this, Happy Eid friend! We hope that this season brings nothing but joy, peace and clarity to you and your family- Love Niki.
This article was written by Niki, for REACH HQ. REACH is a personal finance tool that’s helped thousands of Africans master their finances. Download REACH for android here.
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