Welcome to your recipe guide with simple steps to follow, to reach Ramadan this year like no other year before bi idhnillah.
Believe it or not, we’re all definitely from ONE of the following types of people before Ramadan. And YOU get to decide which one, so go ahead!
- The overly enthusiastic one – All prepped up and excited to begin the blessed month, probably with decorations up, meal plans ready, Dua lists and what not!
- The halfhearted–almost-there one – scared to see what unfolds but also ready to face it?
- The feeling completely lost and guilty one – feeling overwhelmed with whatever it may be that caused it, but unable to describe your state. The one letting it be, and choosing to take it one day at a time, and hoping Ramadan does the change needed.
Whichever one you belong to, this article is STILL definitely for you because it’s not going to address anything related to Ramadan prep like in the usual articles you’d find before Ramadan. So if you’re looking for meal plan ideas, decoration themes, homeschooling ideas, print-ables, Dua or Zakat-list planners, then this isn’t the article you’re looking for.
Firstly, WHY to prepare for Ramadan? One would rather just enter it and let Ramadan do its magic. But just like warm-up before a sport, or when you go weightlifting, you don't start with the heaviest weight first; for Ramadan, you gradually prepare your soul. You're more ready to experience the spirit of Ramadan wholesomely.
The Simple Ingredient:
The focus here is to welcome Ramadan with the emphasis Allah placed in the Quran about it.
Only once does Allah mention the month of Ramadan in the Quran, describing it first by the revelation of the Quran in it as clear guidance for humanity to distinguish between right and wrong, and then commands with what to do during this month i.e., fasting. Before this verse, He explains explicitly that fasting is prescribed for us just like it was for our ancestors, with the reason ‘so that we become of the muttaqoon’ [infamously translated as pious or righteous; but actually means more than that: one who strives to attain a state of taqwa, where he strives to do what pleases Allah at all times, and abstains from all things that displease Allah at all times]
Ramaḍan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard to distinguish between right and wrong. So whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then ˹let them fast˺ an equal number of days after Ramadan. Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful. [Surah al-Baqarah, 185]
O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you1—so perhaps you will become mindful of Allah. [Surah al-Baqarah, 183]
Our ingredients to prepare for Ramadan, thus, only include the 2 verses from the Quran:
- To focus on achieving God consciousness,
- Connecting to the Quran
- Clarity of mind by prioritizing on what is really important.
Our main goal is to draw closer to Allah.
So let’s aim to make the best of the best of months!
Follow these simple steps, and reach Ramadan with an enhanced spirit!
1. WRITE IT DOWN:
Sit up and write down now, how you want to reach Ramadan this year: Visualize yourself entering Ramadan and how you want to feel when it begins. Make the best of intentions and aim for the best always! Put this note up as a reminder to look forward to every day. The most successful individuals are those who envision their goals!
Some examples of goals you can keep:
- I want to reach Ramadan with a heart ready to grasp it from the first second, and make the best of it spiritually.
- I want to reach Ramadan with a heart close to Allah
- I want to reach Ramadan, ready to let it make the best out of me, increase my time in Salah, dhikr and Dua.
- I want to be totally prepped up for Ramadan with meal planning done, kids activities prepared, time for my ibadah planned, and an actual plan with all things in place to enter it readily.
Prepare a set of action points to achieve your goal, by breaking it up into easy tasks to reach Ramadan in the remaining days we have left, and act upon it.
2. ADOPT THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE:
Make it a habit to spend a couple of minutes every day to be grateful to Allah. Allah promises that when you are grateful, He increases you in favor. A content heart faces any storm with peace. Imagine entering Ramadan with that sort of a strong heart.
- Action Point: No matter what state of life you're in, make it a point to be grateful for three things every single day from now. Bonus is when you're upset or vulnerable, angry or complaining- take a second to be thankful for the million other things and then get back to your situation with a better state of mind.
3. SEND SALUTATION UPON THE PROPHET ﷺ EVERY SINGLE DAY:
Consciously take time to send salutation upon the Prophet every single day. Keep an alarm to remind you until it becomes a habit. Doing this makes a huge difference in your life!
The Prophet ﷺ said, “whoever sends salawat on me, Allah sends him TEN times blessings and erases ten misdeeds and raises him ten degrees in status” SubhanAllah! Such a simple act can make a huge difference in life. It hardly takes a couple of minutes!
When it adds so much barakah to your life, your mind gains more clarity in matters of the Dunya and how to deal with them.
4. READ THROUGH AND UPDATE YOUR DUA LISTS (OR MAKE ONE):
If you already have a set of Duas you always make, take a few minutes to add a new Dua to the list. A special one perhaps. Include it consciously while making Dua. Examples:
- Ya Allah, make me amongst one of your ‘special’ servants.
- Allah, You say BE and it is, so please say ‘Kun’ for ---, if it is khayr for me!
Right after talking about Ramadan and fasting, Allah most beautifully explains about Dua: He is near and responds to the call of the supplicant.
When My servants ask you O Prophet about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond with obedience to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided to the Right Way. [Surah al-Baqarah, 186]
This is the icing of our recipe to enter Ramadan with enhanced connection with Allah- being able to talk anything to Him anytime and at all times, and believe firmly in His ability to grant them to you! So go through those lists and make them extraordinary Duas!
5. HOLD FAST TO THE ROPE OF MORNING & EVENING ADHKAR:
If you don’t have the consistent habit of reciting morning and evening adhkar yet, then add one Dua a week from the morning & evening adhkar list, and make it a habit to do it. Add upon it week by week, so it becomes a consistent solid habit. Each of the Adhkar are from the masnoon duas carefully put together, and each of them carry their own beauty in their words and virtues: try to internalize them when you say them. Keep a reminder every day to spend 5 minutes in the morning and 5 in the evening to make sure you recite the adhkar.
One thing many don’t realize is that not only does this help your soul, but it also physically strengthens you. This is very apparent from the hadeeth when the Prophet’s daughter complained to him of exhaustion through housework, he gave her the antidote in the following story-
It was narrated from Ali, “Fatimah complained about the pain caused to her hand by the mill, and some prisoners had been brought to the Prophet ﷺ, so she went but did not find him, but she met A’ishah and told her.
When the Prophet came, A’ishah told him about Fatimah coming to her. The Prophet came to us, and we had gone to bed. We started to get up, but the Prophet said: “Stay where you are.” Then he sat between us, until I could feel the coolness of his foot on my chest. Then he said:
“Shall I not teach you something better than what you asked for? When you go to your bed, magnify Allah thirty-four times, glorify Him thirty-three times and praise Him thirty-three times. That is better for you than a servant.”” [Bukhari and Muslim]
6. SIT BACK CONSCIOUSLY FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES:
Take a few minutes after Salah, sit on the mat and focus on the adhkar after Salah. Don’t hurry back into the hush of the world. Take your time there and let your mind re-energize to face the world. It hardly takes a minute, so instead of rambling it while getting back up for work, sit there and do it.
7. UPGRADE YOUR QURAN CONNECTION:
Set a Quran goal from now and work on it. Make it higher than what you’re doing now. If you’re not reading at all, then start with a page a day. If you’ve already been having Quran time scheduled into your routine, then upgrade it with more. Set either a fixed no. of verses or a fixed time during the day, or both, for the Quran and stick to it!
Enjoy reciting it:
- Try to improve Tajweed via repetition with a mujawwad Qari,
- Listen to it often and memorize forgotten verses,
- Prepare for Ramadan prayers,
- Memorize new verses to lengthen your Ramadan prayers.
The sky is the limit (or not) to your dreams! So SET those GOALS and strive to achieve it!
And the best for the last:
8. MAKE A SPECIAL TIME JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ALLAH:
It could be anything to connect to Him- read Quran to your heart’s fill, or memorize a few verses from a Surah (keeping a goal to memorize by Ramadan would be motivating), or revise previously learnt Surahs. Whatever it is, choose a time and ensure that it’s only for you and your Lord.
Suggestion: the quiet after Fajr.
Make sure you fill this time with secrets between you and Allah alone. It could be giving an anonymous charity, to sending food to someone blind who doesn’t know who you are. Sending new clothes to an orphanage without actually letting them know you. Get creative!
May these simple yet soul strengthening steps help us reach Ramadan in high Iman and make the best of it. Ameen!
Share with us in the comments below of your plans and ideas for Ramadan preparations so far!
اَللّهُمَّ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان
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