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Ramadan is just around the corner, the month of abundant blessings, and the most anticipated time of the year for millions of Muslims all around the world. The mental, physical and spiritual effort that is required during this month of fasting calls for us to be intentional about how we are spending our time.
Before we set out making all of our wonderful plans for Ramadan, we first must repay any days of fasting that we have left over from the previous year, ensuring that we begin the month with a clean slate.
It's a Sunnah to break your fast with dates
Prepare for fasting by practicing the sunnah of fasting on Mondays and Thursdays throughout the month of Sha'ban, or whatever days you are able to do, gently getting your body used to fasting now can make the transition into Ramadan fasting much easier.
Utilise the month of Sha'ban for self-reflection
Sha’ban is a great time for reflection and looking at how we are spending our time, and assess if there are ways we can improve our habits. Give some thought to what you might be able to do to make this Ramadan a success.
You could consider reading a little more this month, or maybe memorising some ahadith. If this is your first time making personal Ramdan goals, remember to go easy on yourself. 30 days may not be a realistic timescale to tackle Tafsir ibn Kathir.
Brush up on relevant reading
Perhaps you would like to read the Quran from beginning to end, or maybe simply managing a few ayaat each day would suffice in fulfilling your daily goal. Would praying more nafl prayers take your ibadah to where you would like it to be? However you want to improve your habits and boost your imaan, now is the perfect time to implement it. Work on yourself in Sha'ban, gain the reward in Ramadan and make your new and improved habits a permanent part of your daily life.
Never underestimate the power of dua (supplication)
· Performing salaah on time with longer Surah’s
· Reading or reciting some Quran every day
· Performing more nafl prayers
· Voluntary fasting
· Performing dhikr after salah
· Making dua throughout the day
· Giving sadaqah
· Doing daily istighfar
Sha’ban is a great time to become a master multitasker. If you find your daily schedule too busy to fit in any of the above suggestions, you can take things easy by multitasking. Try listening to Quran, Islamic lectures, or memorizing dua’s while you are busy doing other work, such as commuting, cooking, or even relaxing of an evening.
Any tasks that do not require much mental effort will be an ideal pairing for gaining knowledge through Islamic media sources. Try each day to achieve some part of your goals, no matter how small, this will leave you feeling accomplished and more fulfilled every day in sha Allah.
During the tiresome days of fasting, we don’t want to be worrying about what food to prepare for the evening. Having a meal plan in place each week can be extremely helpful. Start by jotting down a few of your family’s favourite meals to serve as a default dinner for days when you simply don’t have the mental capacity to think about recipes. Give some consideration this month to batch cooking and freezing meals, for days that you might be working late or you know you won’t have time to cook from scratch.
Get your family involved in preparing meals
Perhaps there are a few dishes that you have never made before but would love to introduce for Iftar in Ramadan, be it a nice surprise for the family or to simply mix things up a bit. You can take some time this month to have a trial run of making new meals and trying out some fun new recipes with you family to perfect them before Ramadan begins.
Do your best to strike an effective work-life balance in the run up to Ramadan. This might mean adjusting your regular daily schedule to accommodate the change of routine that Ramadan brings for you and your family.
Whatever your goals and aspirations this year, always remember to have the right intentions, as every action we make in our daily lives can become an act of worship once our intentions are pure.
Let's do our best to make this Ramadan our best yet. Get closer to Allah and build on our imaan, enjoy the time with our families and keep the ties of kinship, and practice gratitude for the blessings we wake up to every day.
Thank Allah for blessing us with the chance to experience Ramadan for yet another year
Can you think of anything else we could do this month to better prepare for Ramadan? Feel free to login and leave a comment below to share it with us.
Wishing you all a super productive Sha’ban and a successful Ramadan in sha Allah.
Your Sisters at Veil & Virtue x
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