Marhabaan…Ramadan is in the air!
I feel sort of an excitement inside –something special that I always feel when Ramadan is about to come. The taraweeh prayer at the Masjid, suhoor, iftar, the reverberating taddarus from the Masjids, the wandering children playing ‘klotekan’ (a percussion random instrument made by bamboo and drums) to wake people up whole village house to house, and (I know this is not a good one) yeah, the rumble of fire crackers! Those are the things that made Ramadan definitely special.
Ramadan has become like an oasis month after eleven-months of hustle-bustle overloads regular activities. If we want to get the most out of this blessed month we need to prepare it.
Here, I compiled and listed 4 things that (I think) necessarily need to include in Ramadan preparation, which are not only spiritually but also physically. Some articles I read (which I will mention here) provided some amazing tips and guides, Masha Allah. Those are really helpful and worth applying!
Everyone can arrange their own Ramadan projects which are some spiritual goals that want to achieve during Ramadan. Having Ramadan projects written out is a first step that will boost our spirit of Ramadan. Here, I listed some that can be included for our Ramadan Project:
1. Build khusu’ in Salah
“The key to the prayer is the performance of ablution, the opening of the prayer is the exaltation of Allah (takbeer) and the closing of the prayer is the invocation of peace (tasleem)” . (Ibn. Majah).
Learn about ‘khusu’ and apply it
“It is the believers who are successful: those who are humble in their prayer….” (Q.S. Al-Mu’minun (23) : 1-2)
We can learn about and how to be khusu’ in our Salah from a book by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, The Humility in Prayer.
2. Get closer to the Qur’an
Memorizing surah Al-Mulk
Try to memorize an ayah a day, so at the end of Ramadan, Insha Allah we can memorize the whole 30 Ayahs of the Surah.
Jazakallahu khairan sister Um Yusra Gilded Dunya for the article ‘Project Surah Mulk: Memorise it!’ which presenting 30 Days Surah Mulk Challenge. It is really a nice idea and a motivating way to memorize this surah.
Learn Quranic Arabic Words
Some time ago I came across a social media post from Islamic Experiences fanspage and I still saved that post until now. It’s a beautiful artwork by Tahir Chaudhry presenting 100 most frequent Quranic Arabic words in an understandable way which can help us to understand Qur’an better. It’s worth memorizing!
Improve Tajweed Understanding
A little note taken from the tajweed book about some particular rules which often being forgotten to hold along with when/to read a moment before reading the Qur’an. It’s just a simple way which hopefully will be helpful to read the Qur’an with the correct recitation.
3. Nafil prayers
It’s more likely need to put more effort for waking up at the last third of the night to perform Tahajjud prayer in regular days. In Ramadan we wake up for Suhoor so it can be effortless, Insha Allah. Take the chance to get closer to Allah at the last third of the night in this blessed month.
Taraweeh at the Masjid
Even though the Taraweeh prayer can be done at home Taraweeh at the Masjid has become one of acts of worship that makes Ramadan so special. People from elders until children, men and women, all come flocking to the Masjid for Taraweeh, this is the spirit, the beauty of Ramadan which so precious to be missed.
4. Adhkar and supplications
Forty Rabbana Dua
There are 40 beautiful du’as in the Qur’an which start with Rabbana (download the e-book). Some of them have become familiar as we had been taught at School and may be recited daily. In this Ramadan, try to recite at least one Rabbana du’a a day. I read a post from Gilded Dunya, that Umm Yusra high-lighted the dua’s in the Qur’an by marker and write the meanings next to. I think this is a good idea to apply which we can be reminded by the du’as when came across with those Ayahs whilst reading the Qur’an.
Subhanallah Alhamdulillah laa ilaha illaAllah Allahu akbar and Subhanallah wabihamdihi 100 times (Less than 10 minutes of worship for a mountain of rewards)
5. Improve Islamic knowledge
Take an Islamic online course
For ones who obtained degree or currently study in this field this is may be inapplicable, but as the one who don’t study in this field taking these courses is quite significant for me. Some free Islamic self-paced non-degree courses are available online, why not take this Ramadan to start seeking knowledge and deepen understanding in our deen with this beneficial resource?
Read at least an Islamic book during Ramadan
It doesn’t have to read a 300/400-pages-book completely. Just collected some selected books in a special Ramadan shelf/box or – if those are e-book –in a special folder which can be reached by hands and read whenever possible during random times along days of Ramadan.
6. Leave and avoid trivial things
Excessive social media use, idle talks, and TV.
Get caught up in idle talks, lounge around TV and social media will only soak up our time whereas that spare time actually can be invest on other beneficial acts/deeds which can brings rewards during Ramadan.
BE FIT AND WELL
Take a daily light exercise (early-morning stretching and walking)
Besides to maintain our health, having the plan to do exercise at the early-morning is also a way to avoid taking nap after Fajr prayer which is commonly happen at Ramadan. It should not a heavy exercise or running, but stretching and walking outside home at the park or yard for about 20-30 minutes and take a deep air at the morning is enough to help us feel fresh, fit, and positive to start our day instead of sleeping right after Fajr prayer and then waking up at mid-morning with the fatigue feeling. So, after eating Suhoor and perform Fajr prayer, spend time peacefully to read the Qur’an. Then, take a light exercise outside for 20-30 minutes.
Good Quality and Quantity of Sleep
Maintaining a good quality and quantity of sleep during Ramadan can be a challenge. It’s better to plan our sleep immediately after Taraweeh and wake up with following sleep cycles (I find an article-series from Productive Muslim which gives a practical guide to master our sleep during Ramadan is really helpful). Besides, to recover our lack of sleep we can take nap before and/or after dhuhur.
Proper healthy menu for Suhoor and Iftar
Having a proper healthy menu in Suhoor and Iftar each day is necessary to maintain our health as well as to support our body to keep being productive during Ramadan. It’s more likely can be easily obtained by preparing 30-days menu plan in advance.
Being fit and well (above) is the first step for being productive in this Ramadan. Besides, make schedule and a daily checklist for the Ramadan Projects as well as the daily activities which need to accustom during Ramadan.
Make a Journal
Recording those days in a special journal actually is not only can be applied in Ramadan but also in regular months which is important to track our healthy period cycles.
In Ramadan this journal will be important to help us count and remember our fasting debt. It also will remind us automatically to make up our fasting as soon as possible.
Keep doing the Ramadan projects which still can be able to do during period
Even though we skip our fasting, Salah and reading the Qur’an in this period we still can be able to do the other Ramadan projects that we planned and gain rewards from Allah (SWT) in this blessed month.
Those all are 4 things that (I think) necessarily need to include in Ramadan preparation. May Allah (SWT) make easy for all of us to do our best and get the most out of this blessed month. Ameen.
Ramadan Mubarak 🙂