Yallah ! Watcha lookin' for?

{RAMADAN SERIES #3} How to Prepare for Ramadan

Mosquée Ketchaoua, Algeria

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Marhaba - Welcome! If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed, check out what's on offer at theRecipe Index. Or join in on the conversation on the social network Facebook, see what's going on today on Instagram or even pin along with me on Pinterest

Thanks for visiting!


Today is our third installment of a series of posts {Ramadan Ready}. There ‘a lot of things going on here these days, with only about a month until we welcome Ramadan. If you havn’t subscribed to my newsletter, I invite you take advantage of upcoming posts about preparing for Ramadan. It's really easy, just click on this link and select your prefered subscription and enter your e-mail. 


Today, I have a question for you: How do you prepare for Ramadan?


For those, who are not familar Ramadan is the Holy Month of intense worship for Muslims around the world. It is a month of worship, which requires a Muslim to fast and abstain from worldly pleasures, from dawn to dusk, consecutively for twenty-nine or thirty days. Muslims in this month, may still eat after the hours of fasting . 

We start the month out with high hopes. We strive like crazy for the whole month.
Worship after worship. We strive and work like crazy – for the first three days. After three days, some are so spent, they spend the next 3 weeks sleeping because they’re so tired. Then they crawl out of hibernation just in time for the 27th night, only to go back to sleep for the remaining two days so that that have energy for Eid. While I know many of you aren't like this (wink wink),  how do we manage to keep it all together for 29-30 days without falling apart like this?
‘There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of: Good health and free time’ {al- Bukahri}

Niyaa (intention): 
I think and I'm sure many will agree the first step in looking into ourselves way before Ramadan and examing our hearts. Before we do anything we should ask ourselves why are we doing this?Are we doing it to please Allah? If it’s not for Allah then it maybe a waste of time.

So it's only logically before such an important time like Ramadan we need to make sure we have a  healthy heart, body and soul ! We need to remind ourselves that Ramadan  nourishes the believers heart and soul. And we need to remind ourselves for WHO we're doing this for.




Make your intention Allah's pleasure. Fasting is not about dieting or showing off your cooking skills or piety to others! It is very important for the eventual acceptance of any act of worship to do it solely for the pleasure of Allah. If you want to fast sincerely for HIM, HEwill make fasting easy for you during the entire month. Cleanse yourself of any desire to show off during this month. And keep re-checking yourself althrought the month.

Goals:
After developing your intentions, making a plan or goal list for Ramadan is essential. Make a personal Dua list. Ask yourself what you really want from yourself, from Ramadan and from Allah. Make a list of each and everything, no matter how small or how big it is, whether it deals with this world or not. And don't forget to add people to the list whom you will make dua for also. Allah loves to hear from us. 

There are also several other types of you lists you can make to help you be prepared for Ramadan. Make also list of various Ramadan activites to do with your children. A list of bad habits you would like to work on this Ramadan. Make a list of family and friends you will be visiting during Ramadan. Schedule yourself times to give charity; this why you will not forget.


And to make your housework easier during Ramadan, write up a general housework list and even assign jobs to people in your family, as needed. 
Here are a few lists you could start making:
  1. General goals what you want to achieve during Ramadan
  2. Qur'an recitation list
  3. Bad habits to kick this Ramadan
  4. Iftar invitation list
  5. Charity list
  6. Dua list
  7. Children's activities
  8. Cooking list
  9. Cleaning list
  10. Family and friends visits
  11. Eid Preparations


Create a Ramadan Count Down

Counting down for Ramadan, whether it is done mentally or by keeping a physical calendar at home, office or on your mobile phone). This will help create that anticipation in your mind and heart. And also with the family. We tend to get excited about events we're counting down and waiting for. Soon the countdown to Ramadan will be a part of everyday conversations! Check out this fifty Ramadan Countdown Crafts.


As parents building up the excitement of Ramadan for our children by reproviding them with learning and fun activities makes Ramadan some memorable. I shared here about a project "99 names of Allah" that I started doing with my children. It's a really beautiful way of creating the hype of Ramadan's arrival.


Seek knowledge about Ramadan:

Before, we dive into the fasting of Ramadan. We should know what Ramadan is all about. I briefly talked about what Ramadan looks like to in the second installment of this series, also two short lectures on Ramadan, but you can find a myriad of information on the Internet also get even more at your local mosque. And to mention there are organizations such as "Free Quran Project" you will give you a FREE Quran. Having all the correct knowledge will help you ensure you will do things correctly and perfectly this Ramadan. It will also create a hype as there are many motivational aspects and events in the month to look forward. Reviewing your Islamic knowledge isn't only for new or young Muslims, but for all Muslims. It is easy to forget or do things by habit that are incorrect - so reviewing is essential for us all. We should empower ourselves by learning as much as we can about the precise laws as well as the benefits of fasting. The more you know about Ramadan the more you can apply during the month, then we can multiply our rewards enchallah. 


Tying up loose ends:
Before Ramadan is the time to tie up loose ends. Do you have missed days to make up from the previous Ramadan? Do you have some administrative legwork like renewing a driver's license to take care? Do you need to see the dentist for a cleaning or cavity? Or perhaps visit the doctor for a medicine prescription renewal? Quickly work on or schedule all your worldly affairs so you are freed up during Ramadan for worship.

Daily Rhythm:

Fastings hours during Ramadan forced me to reset my daily rhythm. Worship, eat, sleep, household duties, exercise according to a tight schedule. While this year Ramadan falls into the summer, where the days are long, fasting makes one sluggish and slower then usual. Unfortunately, being a fasting Muslimah during Ramadan doesn't relieve me of my duties as mother, wife and household manager ... so planning, scheduling and readjusting of the daily rhythm is essential for success. is one is easier because I have social support. The only person whose schedule I have to coordinate with is a hermitic clergy, and he is already for schedules and productive Ramadan by default.
If you sleep late, start sleeping early, if you are a Facebook junky start cutting down, have a coffee craze, slow it down etc. It might sound much easier said than done, but once you’ve committed yourself, purified your intentions – make sincere dua for guidance.  Insh’Allah, these bad habits will be easier done with than you ever expected.

Prepare spiritually:
We all know that Ramadan is about fasting, praying, reading the Quran, giving in charity and doing good deeds, but these acts don't suddenly come about suddenly. As a revert to Islam, my knowledge and habit of doing religious acts didn't just get installed in me when I said my chahada. They took time to learn, understand and make a part of my living being. And with Ramadan right around the corner, we need to start early. Just like when we know a special guest is coming, we don't just throw something together the minute they're at our door, but we take time to carefully prepare and make ourselves ready.  We can't expect to just click right into Ramadan as soon as the first day of Ramadan starts. We should properly warm up our spirits and bodies. Starting extra acts of worships early;  doing extra prayers from now, , engaging in dhikr (remembrance of Allah) making it second nature, start reviewing and regularly reading, reciting, listening to the Quran, seeking out people and places where to do charity, being  extra generous,  and doing our best to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and also fast during Sha’baan.

 By making lists (as mentioned above) will help you ease mentally and spiritually into preparing for Ramadan.




Start New Traditions:
While, Ramadan and Muslims all around the world have some common traditions and habits, as long as we stay within the limits of Islam we can invent new family traditions to celebrate our religion. In my family, we've started a few new traditions like as we break our fast, sipping milk and dates we share a few things we're thankful. And as we eat our iftar, my husband tells the children a short story of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be up him). Some sisters, even do a Ramadan card exchange, some have communal iftars, some go out to do various charitable work. The possibilities are endless, enchAllah. 


Welcome Ramadan:
Take a moment to take a look your home. Does your home need a good deep cleaning? Are the walls in need of a fresh new coat of paint. Does your entryway need to be organized and de-chuttered, making it more inviting for your ifatr guests? Perhaps you need to make more room for sitting? Or make up a sleeping area for overnight guests? Ramadan is the most honoured guest. About a month or two before Ramadan, we should start making our home more welcoming. There is no need to spent obscene amounts of money on the home, but a good cleaning, organization, some plants or flowers, and even some homemade decorations make the home more pleasant and inviting for this Holy and joyous month. In the next installment of this series, I'll be talking about Ramadan Cleaning, so stay tuned in ...

f29c678a15b254b7a55b6a7889c964fbOutside of cleaning, we can create some homemade or inexpensive decorations with our families. This isn't just a kid's project, but a project we can involve all the members of the family. Lights, starts and crescents and Welcome Ramadan banners are brilliant ideas to start from! Here's one fab idea I love from CraftyArab a star and crescent mobile made from papper plate. There are several online shops where you can buy decorations for Ramadan, I'm just not really into commericalizing Ramadan ... so here and here you can find find many  FREE crafty, interesting and outright beautiful decorations/craft ideas for Ramadan.

And finally, we should not forget to think outside of our homes ... into our neighbourhoods, schools and mosques. Involving the whole community not only builds sisterhood but spreads the spirit of Ramadan.

Involving the Children:
While Ramadan is about worshipping Allah, we need to also remember to involve our children and youth. All too often, I see in many Muslim countries the children being left out. While, older children are a part of the prayers and fasting, the younger ones remain in the bakground sometimes completely in the dark during the whole month. For some, it's a time to be able to stay up late or eat sugarly sweet desserts, but Ramadan is sooo much more then that. A child's experience of Ramadan lays the foundational groundwork for all their spiritual life. It's important for parents and grandparents to involve even the most smallest of children in Ramadan and its preparations. 
In Ramadan, a family and community’s routines are completely changed. Breakfast in the dawn hours becomes a source of mystery to children who wake up to fasting parents. Lunch becomes a children only affair, and the breaking of the fast in the evening is looked forward to with great anticipation by the whole family–whether fasting or not. 
Here are some of my favourite ways to involve children in Ramadan:
  • Ramadan game board from UmAbdulBasir  
  • Children help prepare iftar dinner
  • Children's only Ramadan Lunch
  • Good Deeds Jar (Jar filled with slips of paper with good deeds that your children can do) Or reversed  a jar with slips of paper with good deeds they have done themselves.
  • Ramadan Reading. Children love nothing more then a good story. From The Cat in the Hat to Harry Potter, my children oldest to the youngest all LOVE books and stories. During Ramadan, we tend to read Islam and Ramadan related books for them. And (as mentioned above) share stories of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as we eat our iftar. 
  • Have the children create iftar dinner invitations or even dinnerware. You can so many ideas HERE
Here are some of my favourite books:

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hera Khan

.

Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story by Hena Khan
Are there any other things that you’d like me to focus on? Or any particular topics that you’d like me to address?


BTW I've made some Pinterest boards to pin various Ramadan related interesting ideas I find.Ramadan ReadySuhour RecipesIftar Dinner RecipesEid al Fitr and Oriental Sweets.

6 comments:

  1. hrough fasting, a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
    ramadan calendar 2013 app

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological globe all is available on web?


    my page: Ramadan 2013 Usa

    ReplyDelete
  3. You can certainly see your expertise within the work you write.
    The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    All the time go after your heart.

    Also visit my blog Ramadan Gifts Ideas

    ReplyDelete
  4. i really like this from a modern point of view.. and with many things that will keep our kids involved and learning..and wanting to learn... :) Jazak'Allah..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jazakallah khair for adding my Ramadan Moon & Star Tutorial to your list. I'm so honored!!!
    A Crafty Arab

    ReplyDelete



Did you make this? Or have a question about the recipe? Have some helpful feedback to share? Or just want to say hello? Leave comment love below :)
❤ ❤ ❤

Please note:
I do my best to respond particularly on new recipes, but don’t have the ability to respond to every comment straight away. Insults and disrespectful comments are not accepted. Please do not include links not pertinent to the discussion.

Printfriendly

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...