Assalamu Alaykum and welcome to the Preparing for Ramadan series!
I want this Ramadan to be different. If Allah bestows upon me the blessing of witnessing these most incredible days and nights that are approaching, I want to make sure that I am making the most out of every blessed minute of it.
I always make grand plans for Ramadan, only to be disappointed that I can’t keep up with everything I’ve set out to do.
But this year is going to be different inshaAllah. And it starts here – in this series I want to give myself (and hopefully you too!) some motivation and inspiration to become a better person by the end of this blessed month.
In the first part of this series, I’ll be sharing some thoughts that I have had regarding preparing for Ramadan over these coming weeks.
Get on track BEFORE Ramadan
Ramadan is not the time for figuring out your Ramadan schedule. Instead, you want to have a great system already in place before Ramadan so that you can practise and therefore strengthen new habits you want to develop throughout this blessed month.
The key is to start implementing your Ramadan schedule NOW! Don’t wait until Ramadan Day one.
Zero to Hero?
If your relationship with the Qur’an is almost non-existent now, you can hardly expect that as soon as Ramadan comes in, you’ll find it easy to pick up a Qur’an and read 20 pages every day.
It’s true – the Shayatin (devils) are locked up during Ramadan as a Mercy from Allah, to make it easier for us to avoid evil and come closer to Him. However, this doesn’t mean that we turn into angels just because it is Ramadan. Unless we actively strive to improve ourselves, Ramadan will come and go without any real impact on our worship or our character.
Let’s be real – the diet never starts tomorrow! Unless you start the diet today, you can be pretty sure that months from now, you’ll still be starting your diet ‘tomorrow’. Similarly, if you keep waiting until ‘Ramadan’ to get back to Allah, you might find that Ramadan will never come.
Start your Ramadan routine now
Begin incorporating the things you want to achieve during Ramadan today! By the time Ramadan comes, you’ll be so used to making those habits part of your daily routine that they won’t feel like a strange addition to your schedule.
Sometimes the goals I set are unrealistic – as in – there is physically not enough time in the day to do all of that! But actually, most of the time, the problem isn’t unrealistic goals but an unrealistic method of achieving said goals. I know that I want to recite the entire Qur’an by the end of the month, and this in itself is not an unattainable ambition. However, for my schedule as a busy (fill in the blank: mum, teacher, student…), reciting an entire Juz’ after fajr every morning is pretty hard to maintain. But what if I had figured out and practised a schedule that suits my lifestyle before Ramadan? Then, I wouldn’t have wasted so many of these blessed days that I might never live to see again.
For this reason, this year I want to start planning and trialling different Ramadan schedules before the month comes so that I have it finetuned by the time Ramadan is here inshaAllah.
Who gave you the guarantee of living until Ramadan?
For me, it was this realisation that hit me the hardest. It’s all too easy to dream about how this Ramadan is going to be different.
“This year, I’m going to pray Tahajjud every night!”
“I’m not losing my temper or falling into this sin even once this Ramadan…”
But who guaranteed for you and me that we will live until Ramadan to enact these ambitions? We cannot afford to wait until then to start implementing good into our life. If you have started to imagine how much of a better person you want to be in Ramadan, then you have to start now! You cannot afford to wait until the first day of Ramadan, a day that you don’t know if you will actually live to see or not. If you have had the thought: I need to stop such and such habit, or I need to make sure that I’m praying on time every day – you need to start implementing this now! Don’t wait until Ramadan!
We ask Allah to bless us with witnessing another blessed Ramadan, along with our families and loved ones inshaAllah.
The next post is all about setting realistic Ramadan goals. I will be sharing some of my favourite tools for tracking new habits to make sure that we make the most out of Ramadan.
See you in the next one, inshaAllah!