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10+ Ways to Prepare for Ramadan

Mariam Mohammed

Every year, as the holy month of Ramadan ends, I sulk in the fact that I could have done more. I tell myself that next year I'll prepare myself and family, so that we're not wasting the time that we could've spent on Ibaadah, on other things that I could have done prior to Ramadan. With that in mind, I've compiled a list of 10+ ways to prepare for Ramadan.

If you have anything to add, be sure to share in the comments below so that we may all benefit insha'Allah. 

  • Some of the basic advice is to do more voluntary things before Ramadan. More Sunnah prayers, more sunnah fasting, more charity. Get yourself used to doing more so that when you're tired and hungry, your body is already used to the "extras."
  • Push dinner time back 1 hour every week. Also eat breakfast earlier. This will start getting your body ready for the longer days of fasting.
  • Reduce snacking between meals.
  • Start to reduce your caffeine and sugar intake from now. Both are very addicting and you certainly don't want to go through withdrawal when you could be spending that energy on Ibaadah.
  • Start regulating your sleep so that your body is a bit more accustomed to waking up earlier. Instead of praying Fajr right before sunrise, try praying Tahajjud and then pray Fajr as soon as it comes it.
  • Recognize faults in your behaviors and start changing them from now.
As the time passes from one Ramadan to the next, the lessons that we've learned are sometimes forgotten. Maybe we stopped yelling last Ramadan, but over time that's become a habit again. Maybe it's cursing, maybe it's becoming easily angered, maybe it's lying, maybe it's something else.
There's always room for improvement in our behavior. "Allah loves those who are patient." (3:145) By starting to rectify our behavior before Ramadan, it will, insha'Allah, help us to not have difficulty when we are tired, hungry, and more irritable from fasting. Start creating the habits from now.
As far as things we can do to prepare our lives for Ramadan and free up more time for Ibaadah, here are a few tips you'll love.
  • Prepare a list of meals that are appropriate for the long days of fasting. Ideally, meals should be high in fiber and low in sugars, including processed sugars. A simple google search will provide TONS of ideas, but in general, high fiber foods would include beans, oats, quinoa, barley, and veggies.
  • Prepare some meals and freeze it for when you're just too tired or overworked to cook iftar, or just so that you can spend those moments before iftar on Ibaadah, rather than cooking. This is also helpful for during the last 10 days/nights of Ramadan.
  • Make a list of approximately 10 dua'a and keep them in a notebook, journal, or just a small peice of paper. Use the time prior to breaking fast to make these dua'a. This time if often forgotten because we're so busy preparing for iftar. But Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "There are three whose du’aa’ will not be rejected: a just ruler, the fasting person when he breaks his fast, and the prayer of one who has been wronged." -At Tirmidhi
  • Prepare everything for the charity/cause you'll be focusing on for Ramadan. Most of us will donate our time, money, or both to a cause during Ramadan. It is, of course, the BEST time of year to do Ibaadah. It's helpful to have thought about this ahead of time. If you wanted to volunteer somewhere, set it up from now so that you're not spending precious Ramadan-time on this part.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink, and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times." -Sahih Bukhari

 

  • If you have children, especially young children, it's helpful to have activities prepped ahead of time so that you're not spending too much time on that. You'll still have to clean up after, but the time saved on prep will make the idea of crafting easier. There are tons of Ramadan (and non-Ramadan) crafting ideas out there. I love A Crafty Arab  and With A Spin's ideas, so that's a great starting point.
  • Another tip for younger children is to have a playlist created ahead of time filled with Islamic songs, videos, or Qur'aan on youtube or wherever you watch/listen. Let's not joke ourselves, when fasting for 16+ hours we definitely need a rest at some point. Don't feel bad about the inability to be 100% present if you're exhausted from fasting and praying late at night. 
  • One last tip for those of you with younger children is to start gathering materials, such as noise and image-free toys and activity books, to carry to the masjid. This could include cars, blocks, activity books, printables, or books. If you have toys for young kids that your family no longer uses, and your masjid allows it, consider donating it for those parents who've forgotten to bring...or for those little ones who are bored of what they've brought. 
  • For older children, prepare an advent calendar where, instead of getting a treat every day of Ramadan, there's a "Fun Fact" or "Good Deed of the Day" or both! 
  • Don't forget about activities for the older children. Start preparing activities such as lap books on the 5 Pillars, Ramadan specifically, Charity, Salaah, Laylatul-Qadr, the revelation of the Qur'aan, or any other Islamic topic.
  • Another idea is to set up Islamic group activities for the older children, especially if they're old enough that you don't have to actually be present the entire time. Ideas for this are volunteer-time, group projects, or even having a group of older children in charge of an activity for the younger ones...that's a win-win. Prepare them for this ahead of time. Pick a few dates, let the older children start developing their own plan and let them take ownership and control of it.
    While asking other Muslim's for their suggestions, someone shared a wonderful quote. "Rajab is the month to plant, Shabaan is the month to irrigate, and Ramadan is the month of harvest." 
    Narrated 'Aisha:
    I never saw Allah's Apostle fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha'ban. - Sahih Bukhari
    May Allah help us to have a successful Ramadan and may He accept our Ibaadah. 
    10+ Ways to Prepare for Ramadan

    4 comments

    • Some awesome Ramadan activities can be found at:
      http://imanshomeschool.blogspot.com/2015/05/ramadan-curriculum-30-days-of-activities.html

      Mariam Mohammed

    • Pls mention some crafty activities for older children.How can be they busy in a fruitful way? Jazakallah

      Nazneen Sultana

    • Masha Allah! Jazakullah Khair for this lovely post! Great advice and suggestions!

      Juli

    • Masha’Allah. What a wonderful post, Sis! Thanks for all of the wonderful reminders!! ❤

      Nancy

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