PREPARING FOR RAMADAN

Preparing for Ramadan: The Concept of Two and Top 11 Ways to Prepare your Soul for A Spiritual Ramadan

preparing-for-ramadan

4 CORE STRATEGIES FOR BALANCING YOUR TIME BETWEEN IBADAH, WORK AND FAMILY IN RAMADAN

The Concept of TWO

“We are not ONE but TWO.”

Don’t shake your head maám/sir. I can sense that head-shake…. 

I don’t mean we aren’t ONE as an Ummah, that we are. 

I meant that each one of us is NOT just made of a human body. In fact, the human body is only the vessel. The Vessel carrying the Soul. So that means that each one of us is, in reality, the caretaker of 2 things: The Human Body and The Soul ( Rooh ). 

The truth is, this should be an eye-opener for all Muslims preparing for Ramadan. In our pre-Ramadan preparation, we get totally engrossed in buying food, storing stock for the month, buying eid clothes, making the resolution of shedding pounds of fat off our bodies etc. Sounds familiar right? 

What many of us do not do is prepare our Souls for the challenges and blessings that come our way with Ramadan.

But why prepare for Ramadan at all?

See, you can’t expect to jump from grade 8 of school to grade 10 (from easy to difficult) and adjust immediately, can you? Similarly, on normal days we eat three meals and sleep all night. But in Ramadan, our daily routine becomes topsy-turvy.

We start fasting which means that the time period between our meals increases and our body experiences hunger and thirst. We also start praying tahajjud and doing Qiyyam, which means that we can’t sleep all night.

These are some of the major changes that our BODY has to face.

But what are the challenges that our SOUL has to face?

In Ramadan, the level of spirituality of a Muslim does NOT increase simply by abstaining from food and drink. That is a misconception that we need to clear right now.

All those endless rewards and blessings associated with Ramadan are NOT in proportion to the amount of time we stay hungry or thirsty. That’s only doing 50% of your job and asking for full pay. 

 

Narrated by Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”  
[Sahih Al-Bukhari 1903, Book 30, Hadith 13]

 

The Soul has to put in an effort to connect deeply with Allah, which is the true purpose of Ramadan. To increase our level of spirituality. 
 

Now if you expect to make a list of  things to-do in Ramadan for eg, praying 5 prayers on time, praying Taraweeh, reading Quran, giving charity, controlling your tongue, not listening to songs or watching movies. And then you put your pen down, pick up your list, kiss it and put it neatly inside your folder, smile to yourself proudly and say “Alhamdulilah, I am well-prepared for this Ramadan.”

Let me break your sweet thought bubble right there..

It ain’t gonna happen. OUCH… 

You don’t seriously expect that the moment Ramadan arrives, you switch on your “Spirituality button” and voila! You become a righteous soul with an impressively strong connection to Allah.
 

Don’t get this the wrong way.. it is as easy as calling out to Allah to feel closer to Him instantly. But to be in a highly spiritual practicing state and stay there.. that doesn’t happen overnight. That takes conscious effort and consistency on the part of the Muslim.

In the context of preparing for Ramadan- Just like your BODY takes time to adjust to the physical challenges of Ramadan, your SOUL also takes time and effort to adjust to the spiritual challenges of Ramadan.

Let’s utilize the months of Rajab and Shabaan to sincerely prepare both our body and soul for the most beautiful month of all- Ramadan. Think of Ramadan as a 30-day reward sale for which you start saving up money before-hand, so that you can spend more to buy yourself as many bonus points as you can. 

 Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari 1901, Book 30, Hadith 11]

Aren’t you going to ask for some tips on preparing for Ramadan?  

We can talk about the ways to prepare your body for Ramadan in another article. The more important “Spiritual” aspect of preparing for Ramadan needs our unrelenting attention.  
 

Oh and BTW,  I’ve put together a short training for you to help you manage time in Ramadan, especially if you’re working. 

I know your time is valuable. So I packed my best strategies in the shortest amount of time for you. In this training, you’ll learn:

  • The meaning of “balance” (It does NOT mean dividing 24 hours of your day equally between work, Ibadah, and family. HINT: It’s all about managing 3 KEY aspects of yourself]
  • The limiting barriers (beliefs) in your way of finding success in Ramadan.
  • How to create a DO-ABLE but powerful action plan for this Ramadan following a simple  framework I’ve laid out for you.
  • The ONE thing that matters most in Ramadan.

I’m so excited to share this with you because I sincerely believe that this short training can help you have an amazing and super-productive Ramadan, Insha’Allah! 

Sign up below to join me in this free training! 

 

4 CORE STRATEGIES FOR BALANCING YOUR TIME BETWEEN IBADAH, WORK AND FAMILY IN RAMADAN

Preparing for Ramadan: Top 11 Ways to Prepare your Soul for A Spiritual Ramadan

1) Learn HOW

You are doing just that right now MashaÁllah! Keep reading more articles and books. Start listening to informative and motivational podcasts and videos about Ramadan. This (Pre-Ramadan) is the time to broaden your knowledge so that you can start  practicing from now and reminding others as well!

Another useful thing to do is to collect and arrange all the books that you plan on reading this Ramadan. Needless to say, the most important of them is The Holy Quran. Another book that’s a must-have is a good Hadith book, and a tafseer of The Quran. Here’s a list of Islamic books that I have compiled for you.

2) Who are you going to tell? Others.

 “And remind, for verily the reminder benefits the believer” [Quran Surah 51: Ayah 55]

As a Muslim you have the responsibility of educating others about Islam as well. You don’t have to go for the masses. Your family is a good place to start. Be the motivational driving force for your family and friends.

Educate the young ones about making the importance of preparing for Ramadan and remind the older ones about it’s true purpose.

3) Can you really move forward when you haven’t gotten over your past?

 Allah says in the Quran: “And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[Quran Surah al-Noor 24: Ayah 31] 

Seek repentance. Ask Allah to forgive your sins so that you start with a clean slate before Ramadan. So that Allah adds even more barakah in this Ramadan for you and levels up your spirituality during Ramadan.
4) Get the tongue into practice.

While preparing for Ramadan, you must also develop the habit of making tasbeeh in your free time. Read the 3 Qul, Ayah-tul-Qursi and send Salawat (durood) upon Prophet Muhammad S.A.W in your free time instead of talking idly or gossiping.

By Ramadan, your tongue would have fallen into the habit of making tasbeeh and will become a constant source of reward while fasting. InshaÁllah!

5) Who said lists don’t work?

Make a list of all the dua’s that you plan on asking Allah. It sounds silly to think you will be reading your handwritten duas from paper but that’s not why you are making the list.

Sometimes we forget an important dua and wish we remembered it at a particular time, for eg, during tahajjud prayer.

A list will come in handy when you start jotting down whatever dua’ comes to your mind before Ramadan. If we can prepare flashcards before a viva/ exam, notes before an interview or speech then why not before asking Allah for His blessings?

6) Three before Two?

The last thing you want this Ramadan is to struggle with praying all the 5 obligatory prayers on time while fasting.

It just doesn’t make sense y’all.

Salah is the Second Pillar of Islam after Tauheed (First). Fasting (Sawm) is the third. We all know that 1 comes before 2 and 2 comes before 3. Even a 2-year-old knows that much maths.

If your Fajar or Asr is getting missed day after day and you are fasting regularly.. you got your maths all wrong. That doesn’t imply at all that you stop fasting until you become regular in your prayers.

Nuh-uh. That’s also wrong maths.

You should start with a sincere intention to fix your prayers (ideally while preparing for Ramadan), and work on both (prayer and fasting) together. Afterall, it’s not like there’s a choice between the two. BOTH of them are obligatory upon Muslims.

7) Set achievable goals for yourself

Plan well while you are in the stage of preparing for Ramadan and set do-able targets for yourself.

For eg, Don’t plan on finishing the entire tafseer of Quran if you don’t even read an ayah a day pre-Ramadan. That way you will only burn yourself out midway of Ramadan or be depressed if you can’t reach your really high-set target.

A more achievable plan would be to complete the recitation of Quran once during Ramadan and read tafseer of a short surah a day.

You can use the 3-step Ramadan Goal-setting Worksheet  to fill out Ramadan-specific goals that you want to achieve this Ramadan. You will also get some extra trackers that you can fill up with your personalized goals and keep track of during Ramadan!

 

 Or you can download The Ultimate Ramadan Checklist (where I have done all the planning for you) for every Ashra of Ramadan containing all the important acts of Ibadah in one place. Try doing as many as you can and there’s even an end of the Ashra self-evaluation included. You will also get some extra trackers that you can fill up with your personalized goals and keep track of during Ramadan!

8) You need the ajar and the poor need the money

 Who is it that will give Allah a beautiful loan? A loan that Allah will repay after increasing it many times and grant him a generous reward.

[Quran Surah 57: Ayah 11] 

Save money in a charity box to spend on the needy during Ramadan. The reward of every good deed is multiplied many times in Ramadan. And spending money as charity is a deed that is very dear to Allah. Even if it is a small amount that you can save, it will bring a load of ajar your way if spent with the right niyyah (intention).
9) Put aside all the shopping and grocery lists

While you are preparing for Ramadan, buy and store food items for the entire month of Ramadan.

Also, buy your eid clothes and anything else you need beforehand. You don’t want to spend your precious Ramadan time out in the marketplace hunting for food or clothes. You have been doing that all year.

10) Clean sweep the media

Have you got any downloaded songs in your phone or computer? Maybe some movies or seasons? If they stay there, chances are you might end up listening to or watching them even during Ramadan.

So to be safe, clean sweep your media files from before so that even when you are tempted to listen to songs or watch movies during Ramadan, you will be deterred from doing it.

 

11) Choose your relationship
This one is a reminder specifically for those who are in a haram relationship. You have to decide which relationship matters more to you. The spiritual relationship with your Creator, Allah, or a forbidden relationship with someone who might not even be destined for you.

If you have the capability and opportunity, then make it halal by marrying the other person. But if you don’t, then you should leave the matter to Allah and let Him decide what’s best for you.

Remember, being in a haram relationship will harm nothing more than your Taqwah (faith) and spirituality. Afterall, Ramadan is our best chance to get back our spiritual connection with Allah and level up our spirituality.

 Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.[Sahih Bukhari 1899, Book 30, Hadith 9]

NOTE: Another important step in preparing for Ramadan; Make up for the fasts missed in previous Ramadan right now in Rajab and Shabaan. Otherwise they will only pile up every year until a point comes when it becomes extremely difficult to cove up pending fasts.

Finally, celebrate the arrival of Ramadan by calling others, inviting your loved ones for the first Aftaar, and sending out greetings via E-cards!

 

 

 

Luckily for you, The MYP Library has added a new Ramadan collection [updated] including:

1) Ramadan and Eid E-cards

2) A Pre-Ramadan checklist

3) Ramadan Goal-setting worksheet

4) Goal-Trackers for each Ashrah

5) The Ultimate Ramadan checklist (with pre-filled goals)

6) A 20-page Illustrated MYP guide to a Healthy Ramadan (you seriously need to check these out.. like, really)

If you have access to the library then be sure to download these items! And if you don’t, then all you have to do is signup with your email address and you will get instant access to The MYP-Library of FREE Dowloads!

CLICK ON THE BUTTON TO SIGN UP AND DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE RAMADAN GIFT BUNDLE!

Here’s the Infographic version of the post above. Save it on yor pinterest account to review later.

Which one of the tips did you like best? Let me know in the comment section below!

KEEP READING…

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SALAM! I’M AIMEN.

I help Young Muslims on their journey of Personal Development. I believe it’s always the right time to make ourselves better, what do you think?

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Founder & Author l Muslim Youth Programme
Aimen is a Medical Doctor who teaches self-development to young Muslims struggling with the fitnah of this century. Her aim is to educate and empower Muslims with practical advice on self-development, productivity, studies and health, with insights on Islamic psychology. Jumpstart your productivity and take action on your goals by signing up to her latest FREE productivity Bootcamp for Muslims.

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4 Simple Steps on How to BalanceYour Time Between Ibadah, Family and Work in Ramadan

 

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