Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims all over the world dedicate the entire month to fasting from sunrise till sunset. And it’s right around the corner!
Many of us prepare months in advance for Ramadan, but that’s not always easy. It can feel overwhelming when everyone around you is excited but you’re not feeling the ‘Ramadan vibes’. This can specially be true for those of us still in lockdown due to the pandemic.
I understand with all the other things in life, sometimes we just don’t want to think about Ramadan until it actually starts. So if you need a little push, are some simple tips to get you started:
Jot down realistic goals to accomplish.
Be it reading a certain amount of the Quran and/or reflecting on its meaning, praying tarawih every other day, or memorising certain surahs – it is important that goals are realistic because life does largely remain the same for most of us (still having the same work, home or school responsibilities). Knowing what you want to achieve in the month and tracking your progress will help you stay focused without losing motivation after the first week.
Make up missed fasts.
With just a few days left until Ramadan starts, there’s no time better than now to start your fasting a little early and use this as an opportunity to make up the few days you may have missed in the previous Ramadan. Maybe you got sick and skipped a day, or you missed a few due to menstruation. Perfect chance to make up for those now!
Do some meal prep.
It’s a part of many cultures to have certain fried or sweet dishes every year during Ramadan and it can be a beautiful tradition. But we need to be careful about not focusing too much only on the food and neglect the true purpose of Ramadan. One great way to do that is to cook some dishes in advance that can be frozen so you have to spend less time cooking during or after your fast.
Set up a space for worship.
Having a designated place to perform prayers either as a family or even by yourself can be motivating in itself. It will give you a space that is separate from your work-from-home desk or your sleeping place. It’s not a problem even if you live in a small space, I live in a one bedroom apartment and a corner of my living room is the assigned place for prayer this year. If you are staying in a room you can also do the same.
Adjust your sleeping schedule.
Waking up for Suhoor every morning before Fajr prayers can be a difficult adjustment to make. Getting enough sleep during Ramadan can sometimes be difficult. How exactly you adjust really depends on your own schedule and the timings you have for work, school etc. Or if you don’t have a rigid schedule then you are in luck and can design it accordingly. I remember back when Ramadan fell during school holidays we would just stay up until Suhoor then sleep after Fajr. That works too, as long as we wake up in time for the afternoon prayers!
That’s it for the tips to get us started – wishing everyone a very happy and blessed Ramadan ahead!