Without a doubt, Ramadan is a sacred time of the year for Muslims all across the world. With this Holy Month just around the corner, our follower – Zeenat Shahbaz – sent in her tips help you prepare for Ramadan and make the most of it:
Understanding The Essence Of Ramadan
Ramadan is a time for self-improvement and spiritual reflection; a chance to cleanse our souls from the impurities of the world. In addition to eating and drinking, Muslims are expected to abstain from sinful behaviour. Try to be more patient, loving and kind during this month – it will do wonders for your personal growth after Ramadan as well!
Setting The Vibe
Prepare your home for Ramadan. clean and organise the entire house – a clean environment will bring you clarity and clear the clutter in your brain too. Decorate with balloons, banners and lights. This will elevate the mood of the house. Create a nook in the house reserved just for ibadah. Many expats tend to do this in order to create excitement amongst their children for the holy month, but we all should do this at home in Pakistan too! Try to make an effort in your appearance every day. Take out your prettiest shalwar kameez and matching jewellery. Looking good leads to feeling good!
Jot down all the milestones you wish to achieve during this Ramadan, regarding your ibadah and yourself. Write down all the duas you want to make and habits you want to adopt. Some duas you can add to your list are:
“Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni”
Oh Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me.
“Rabbi inni lima anzalta ilaiya min khairin faqeer.”
“My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!”
“Allahumma inni as’alukal-‘afwa wal-‘afiyah fid-dunya wal-akhirah”
“O Allah, I ask You for forgiveness and well-being in this world and in the Hereafter.”
Make achievable plans, such as reciting different surahs during salah, learning more surahs, reading tafseer. Start from the shorter surahs at the end of the Quran. Remember, ibadah is all about quality, not quantity.
Fixing Your Salah
Push yourself to pray all prayers during Shaban so that you are ready in advance. Once Ramadan starts, proceed with the sincere intention of being consistent in your prayers. Make or download a tracker if need arises.
When you cannot pray, indulge yourself in other doings;
- recite the ayahs you have already memorised
- practice good deeds
- listen to Islamic lectures and Quran narrations
- make iftar
- make lots of dua, zikr and salawat
- give charity
Completing The Quran
To complete the Quran once in Ramadan, follow this technique: take the number of pages of your copy of the Quran, divide it first by 29 and then by 5. The resulting figure is the number of pages you’ll have to read after every salaat. If you wish to complete it twice, simply double the number of pages.
Clean Sweep Your Media
Try to limit the amount of media you consume during Ramadan. Call it a technology diet. You don’t want to spend your precious time on something other than securing your akhirah and your relationship with Allah. If you’re unable to avoid it completely, try swapping it out with something interesting like an Islamic documentary. But this is a personal choice – not everyone feels the need to take a break from media and that’s fine too!
Instead of waiting for Ramadan to come, prepare beforehand. Try to shop for food and clothes before Ramadan starts. Not just for Ramadan but for Eid as well. You don’t want to be roaming through the markets during your roza. Similarly, plan your meals and workouts. Despite intending to lose weight during Ramadan, people end up gaining it instead. Remember, Allah will accept your fasts even if you don’t have pakoray for every iftaar!