Last Minute Ramadan Prep





That time of year is here again, we await it eagerly but still seemed surprised by how quickly it gets here, the most special month of the year - Ramadan. Every year I promise myself I will spend the month before prepping to ensure I make the most of my time during these special days, but yet I always end up leaving it last minute! So if you, like me, have left your fasting plans till the weekend before Ramadan begins, then do not despair as you still have time to get things in order. If you have any tips, then do share them below and carry on reading to discover my tips. 


Goal List 

Start by making a goal list. Heading into Ramadan without a clear plan is a waste of an oppertunity, so plan what you want to acheive. It may be completing the Qu’aran, it may be learning a certain surah that you don’t know or it might be reading Taraweeh in the masjid every day. Make a clear list of what you want to achieve and then break down how you will achieve it. Be realistic. Its good to be optimistic and try and get as much done as possible, but fasts in the UK are long (the weather will probably get really hot because it always does in this month! lol) and if you’re juggling fasting with school, uni, work or even exams it can get very draining very quickly. Thats why its better to be realistic and try to aim for less, but achieve it and do it properly, then to aim for more and just do the bare minimum of everything.

Reading - Qu’aran

Every Ramadan I aim to complete reading the Qu’aran, its something that was embedded into me at a young age. Ramadan is the month of the Qu’aran so we should dedicate ourselves to not only reading it, but understanding it. Yes it is beneficial to recite it even if you don't understand it, as the words will soothe your heart and soul - but imagine spending an hour every day for a whole month sitting with someone who does not speak the same language as you. Imagine listening to them all month long - what will you have gained by the end of that month? Yes you will have an attachment with that person, but will you have a better understanding of what they were saying to you? - probably not. As such, try and take some time to read the translation so you understand what the Qu’aran is teaching you, once you know the teachings then you can begin implementing those changes into your life. The Qu'aran is our guide on how to live life, and in order to follow the guide you must be able to understand what you are reading! 

This year, I will have more time to dedicate to reading in sha Allah, but in previous Ramadans when I have been at work, it has been hard. As such, I devised the following routine to get as much read as possible. 

Half an hour between Fast closing and Fajr Salah 
Half hour after Asr Salah 
This was normally sufficient to read one chapter a day, and complete 30 chapters in the month, At the weekend I would try to read half hour with every salah to get ahead or catch up with the chapters that I missed when it was my time of the month and I couldn't fast. 

I would then also try to read the english translation for half hour before fast opening - this is because my Mum or Mother in Law would be cooking for Iftar so I had some spare time. If you need time in the evening to dedicate to cooking then I advice reading the English translation during your lunch break at work or on your daily commute - there are many apps available these days so its super easy and there are no excuses. If you struggle with reading, you can also listen to translation on your phone - lots of people advice listening whilst you go about your daily chores, but I prefer to dedicate some specific time to listening so I can ensure I am actually taking it in and understanding it. 

Other Books 

Ramadan is also a great opperuntity to educate yourself further about the deen. Every year I make the intention to get through some books, and this year my aim is to learn more about the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. In Islam we should love the prophet more than anyone else, but how can you love some you don't know? We may know the basis facts, like when he was born, or the names of his children or when the revelations came to him. But how much do we know about his characteristics - do we know how he would deal with a certain situation? In order to imitate the behaviour of the best of mankind, we need to learn about the best of mankind, we need to grow a relationship and grow love. 

Here are some books I am hoping to read this month;


Kube Publishing also have 25% off books during Ramadan, so it is great time to stock up - use code Ramadan 25. 
  

Charity 


Any charity given during this month garners a reward of 70 times more than normal. So if you give charity every single day, your increasing your reward by 21,000! Charity doesn’t have to be just money, smiling at people, visiting the sick or eldery, helping out in the community all count as charity. 

Remember to calculate your zakat and pay this on time! This is obligatory on all muslims and is calculated based on your savings and things you own - I don’t know the exact calculation so check with your local imam to ensure you are doing this correctly. 

One thing I love to do during Ramadan is pitch in with friends and family to raise a significant amount for a certain cause. Whether its building a well, or raising money to feed a family, its amazing how quickly the money can add up when you have a big group of people. Instead of going out for a Ramadan Iftar, why not save that money and let it increase your reward both in this life and the hereafter? We have the rest of the year to go out and enjoy ourselves, and little sacrifices so you can donate to others will benefit you in the long run. 

Dua and Dhikr


Spend as much spare time as you can making duas or reciting surahs. Whether its when you're driving the car, or walking to work or going shopping, just remember to make the most of your time. Why not create a Dua jar or Dhikr jar? You can fill it at the begining of the month with little slips of all the things you could pray for or recite, and then when you're leaving the house pick up a slip so you have something to recite. This way you're reciting something different every day and always learning something new. 




Meal Plans 


This isn' something I have had to worry about in the past because my Mum has always cooked Iftar meals, and last year we were living with my Mother in Law so she did all the cooking, and while we will still be popping over on most evenings (lol) I still have to put together a meal plan for the nights we are at home. Sadly, there seems to be a huge wastage of food during this month - people tend to be hungry and too much gets cooked, and when you've been fasting all day, it doesnt take much to fill you up.


So device a meal plan, decide in advance what you want to eat during the week and stick to it - this will avoid over indulgence as well as wastage. Try to stick to healthy foods that slowly release energy rather than super sugary foods which will give you instant energy but then make you come crushing down after a couple of hours. Try to drink plenty of water throughout the evening to ensure your hydrated through the next day.

Ramadan Planner 

I've put together a Ramadan Planner which you can use, and share with your friends to help make planning and organisation a little easier this month. Click here to download it. 

Each minute in Ramadan is valuable, so if you’re Ramadan doesn’t start in the most productive way then fear not - use every day as a fresh slate and try to do as much as you can. We all know it will be over so quickly so don’t let the month pass without reaping the rewards and benefits. Feel free to leave any tips in the comments below or reach out if you have any questions and I pray that all of you have a blessed month :) 








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