السّلام عليكم ورحمت الله و بركاته
Hello & warm welcome once again!
With Ramadan less than 2 weeks ahead, I cannot think of anything better than sharing with you some tips and tricks to go an extra mile this Ramadan and make the MOST of it. Oye,I have no magic to tell you. But personally, these are some tips that helped me sail through the past two Ramadans and hit Eid with a sense of satisfaction.
And if you are thinking ‘Nah, Isn’t it too early to prep up for Ramadan?’, No, we are way behind. But don’t lose hope, better late than never.
Now imagine a valley full of gold and you are told to take from it as much as you can. Which of the three types of people are you?
1. The type that will just not care and move on thus taking nothing, or
2. The type that will fill up their pockets and leave, or
3. The type that will bring trucks after trucks taking truckloads until it’s over.
It’s clear, without a doubt that all of us will be of the third type. However, the month of Ramadan is greater than a valley full of gold but yet you will find the majority of the people simply not interested and will leave empty handed. This is an interesting analogy that I read somewhere last Ramadan:)
Start preparing for Ramadan before it sets in, make to-do lists, clean up your spaces for worship and cleanse your heart. Purify your intentions, seek the reward only from Allah and then ان شاء الله (if Allah wills) you will find time for everything you thought you wouldn’t.
I am not going to give you an exhaustive list of to-do’s. Plus you don’t have to stick to every single step. Pick up those you feel are ‘the’ ones for you and work them up.
So, yeah, roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!
1. Before speaking of anything that adds up to your productivity, first let’s address any issue that costs you distractions. Delete those useless games off your phone, stop watching those Youtube videos for entertainment and everything else not worth getting into your Ramadan schedule. Maybe it’s nothing haram, still, keep it outside Ramadan if its not clearly not necessary. So No.1 – ward off distractions!
2. Set Quran memorisation goals for the month. Maybe you have never done one. Or maybe you feel you are too old for it. Or your memory isn’t good enough. Stop. Stop making yourself believe this nonsense. You never know what wonders you can do unless you fail at least ten times. You don’t have to compete with anybody. You don’t even have to tell anyone. Pick up a surah you feel you can complete in 30 days. Download a good slow recitation and listen to it a minimum of 15 times. If you confused where and how to begin ,check out my post on How to memorise Quran . Trust me, nothing is going to stand in comparison to the happiness you’ll feel at the end of the month. You may ask why this is so important, it’s because Allah introduces this month in the Quran as, “Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong)..” (Q 2:183)
3. Learn 20 duas by the end of the month. We all have those mini sized books quoting all duas. Duas are to be in our hearts and not papers. If you don’t have one, download the Fortress of a Muslim and kick a start. C’mon. This isn’t hard. 20 duas in 30 days.
4. Make it the month of Ramadan. Try to build an incredible connection with the Qur’an this month. Choose a surah, maybe it’s the same one you are memorising or some other- doesn’t matter. Learn the meaning of it. Find an authentic tafsir online or buy one and read it over and over this month. If you have no idea what I’m telling you, start reading from Tafsir Ibn Kathir. Let it penetrate your heart so much that every time you think of Ramadan 2017, you have happy memories of that surah. Go out of your way to internalize it. If you feel you are going to see a dip in motivation to move further a little later, Buddy up! Find a Friend who hold a similar interest and hook up. That way, you can encourage each other. Go find one!
5. Find a small sized notebook to list down all things you wish to make dua for this Ramadan. Let it run from teeny weeny things like asking Allah to make you brave to big things like refuge from the hellfire. One side of the book be for this list in English and one side for Arabic duas from the Qur’an and sunnah. I made myself one like 2 years ago and it still helps. Without one, you’ll find yourself scratching your head when you are sitting down to pray. It’s not always that you remember all the things you ever wanted. A written list makes it super easy!
6. Block an hour or 45 min purely for the recitation of Quran . It’s okay if you don’t understand what’s being said, there’s still abundant rewards.
7. WARNING: This tip is only for those who are able to control your use of gadgets. If you are sure you will not waste your time over other useless apps, download the Ramadan Legacy app available both on the AppStore and PlayStore. It is super amazing. I’ve used it during Ramadan in the past two years and I rate it 5-stars. It helps you track down all the progress you are making and there’s so much more! The 2017 version of the app will be available in a few days and their team sent me a mail claiming to have a new planner and so many new features, yippee! I’m excited!
And last but not least, the others. Don’t miss your suhoor(pre-dawn meal). Don’t overeat at Iftar. Break the fast with dates or water. Stay up at night for some extra prayers (taraweeh). Try getting your to-do’s done right after fajr prayers if possible. Don’t miss out on your morning and evening dikr. Plan things around salah times. Don’t associate Ramadan with hunger and thirst. Don’t sleep all day long. Seek a lot of forgiveness. Make it an amazing spiritual experience. Fast is not just for your stomachs but for your tongues, ears ,eyes and the entire self. And try involving in every bit of good possible.
Yeah! I guess that’s all I have got to share with you right now. Share in the comments below your ideas and tips too!
Now, here’s a small takeaway. Download/Print this 2017 Ramadan Tracker and paste it on your wall if you are planning to join me in ‘working out’ this Ramadan!
May Allah (SWT) make us of those who take full benefit of this blessed month ahead!