Assalamu Alaykum everyone! I pray you’re all doing well.
With Ramadan fast approaching us I have decided to post some of my tips for Ramadan Preparations. It’s never to early to prepare for the holy month of Ramadan.
When I first reverted to Islam I didn’t know what to expect during Ramadan. I didn’t know about taraweeh, I didn’t know what time I was allowed to break my fast. I literally knew absolutely nothing. Alhamdulillah this will be my 3rd Ramadan.
My first 2 Ramadans were very lonely. I didn’t know anyone in the community except for one family and they were always so busy with their own lives and family that I didn’t feel like reaching out. I didn’t want to be a burden anyone. I broke Iftars by myself with my 2 daughters. Having no community or friends during Ramadan is super hard for us reverts. I don’t think people really understand just how lonely it is. Eid was even worse. Everyone was off celebrating with their friends and family they forget about us reverts in the community. Alhamdulillah for my sister who came out to an Eid carnival with me and my daughters.
I never want any reverts to feel like this. I know first hand. With all of this being said, if you know of any converts / reverts in your community, make sure you reach out to them this Ramadan and Eid. You don’t know how much of a blessing it is and how much it means to reach out and to help someone out when they need it. So please do remember the reverts this Ramadan. Most of us don’t have family to practise or celebrate with. All of this is a reminder to myself first.
Ive realized the key to having a successful Ramadan is to have everything planned out ahead of time.
Here are some tips to help you have a successful Ramadan.
Tip #1- Eid Shopping! Figure out your Eid outfit as well as your Eid gifts before Ramadan. The Last thing you want to be worrying about during this blessed month is what you’re going to wear on Eid. I know how important this is to the sisters. So lets get this out of the way! Make a list of everyone who you are getting Eidy for and buy their Eid gifts ahead of time. You really don’t want to be stressing over whether to get A’isha the bangles or that cute abaya she was eyeing in the store the other week.
Tip #2- Meal Planning. I think one of the most time consuming things we do during Ramadan is preparing Suhoor and Iftaar. Let’s prioritize Ibadaah not cooking. To make it a little bit easier plan your Ramadan menu now. Go grocery shopping for all of the spices and dry foods. Prepare and freeze your rolls and baked goods at least 15 days before Ramadan. As for meat and curries you can prepare and freeze those the first few days before Ramadan to make it cooking a lot easier. Don’t forget to read tons of Dhikr while cooking so that blessings go into the food.
Tip #3- Analyze Yourself. You know yourself best. You know your high energy peak times and your low energy times. If you don’t, now is a great time to start figuring it out. It is best to run your errands and tend to the children during your high energy times. Focus on Qur’an and Dhikr during your low energy times when you can sit down and relax. Make time for just you and Allah.
Tip # 4- Du’a List. Create a Du’a list for all of the Du’as that you want to make this Ramadan. You can get a book specifically for this. (Salaam Shop has really cute ones! Check them out here: http://bit.ly/1UfoWBZ) If not write up a word document and print it out. Keep your du’a list beside your prayer mat so when it’s time for du’a you can keep track of which du’as you will be making. Here is a great resource for tips on creating a great Du’a list. http://bit.ly/1pFj9ZC
Tip #5- Start Fasting. If you have any fasts to make up for from last Ramadan get them done now. If you don’t, fast anyways, its sunnah. It will also give you practise to prepare yourself for Ramadan. Start training yourself to be without food for the whole day.
Tip #6- Create a Goal List. Write down realistic goals for yourself that you want to accomplish this Ramadan; Reading Qur’an, Dhikr, Applying as many Sunnah’s as possible etc. Someone once told me “If it’s not written down, it won’t get done.” I have a huge white board at home. I call it my ‘Dream Beam’ It’s huge and in a common area in my home so I always have a chance to glance at it. I write down my daily and weekly goals and it serves as a reminder because it’s always there. Once the goal or ‘to do’ is finished I simply wipe it off. I highly recommend this approach! Here is a cute printable Ramadan goal planner if you don’t have a white / chalk board in the home. http://bit.ly/1o1KYcN
Tip #7- Deep Clean the House. Now that spring has sprung, why not do a nice spring cleaning and get rid of all of that clutter. Have you ever heard of the ‘Konmari’ approach to cleaning and organizing? I’m completely obsessed. If you haven’t heard of it, Martha Stewart gives us a good break down: http://bit.ly/1NeWxJ8 Now is the perfect time to start that! My motto is if you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it! Im very much a minimalist we only need the basics. Nothing more. Let’s also keep in mind that a cleaner and more organized environment adds to the peace and calm. Let’s get all the heavy cleaning out of the way that way, during ramadan, you only need to do small tidy ups around the home during your high energy peak hours.
What do you do to prepare for Ramadan?! I would love to hear from you! You can comment or write me an email Salam@ummjohar.com. You can also reach me on twitter https://twitter.com/UmmJohar
I pray these tips are beneficial and I pray that we all have a very successful Ramadan and that no time is wasted. Allahumma Ameen.
Until my next post.