The Holy Month of Ramadan is a great month to seek nearness to God and to build your discipline. Here are 14 pro-tips to help you really make the most of the Holy Month!
1. Make sure you plan ahead
Whether you’re at school, university, at work or at home – there’s no two ways about it, Ramadan requires preparation. Alongside mentally and spiritually preparing yourself its also important to plan life based day-to-day tasks.
It’s very hard to maintain the same level of productivity whilst fasting, so plan ahead and think about how you will complete your tasks and manage your time efficiently during the Holy month.
2. Eat and drink healthily and properly
I won’t be a complete party-pooper by telling you not to enjoy the culinary delights of your culture, but just make sure you eat and drink nutritiously! When fasting for longer hours than usual, it is important to that you stay hydrated and have energy.
Sugary and salty foods will deplete your hydration, so bear that in mind when you tuck into those onion bhajis! Have plenty of water, watermelon, dates and food that is going to keep you going!
3. Don’t indulge and be excessive
Okay so I may need to be a party-pooper here. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a wholesome meal after a long and tiring fast, but we often prepare large amounts of food for Iftar which then leads to overeating and to food being wasted. It is important to remember the purpose of the Holy month is to gain closeness to God – not a bigger waist size.
Try to prepare just enough food, or make sure leftovers are eaten the next day. Better yet, share food with your neighbours and spread the love!
4. Qur’an, Qur’an and Qur’an
It can’t be stressed enough how highly recommended it is to read and complete the Holy Qur’an in the Holy month of Ramadan. Try to as much as possible, even if its for 5-10 minutes a day after Fajr or whilst you’re lazing around anxiously waiting for time to break your fast. Even just listening to the Qur’an racks up your points.
With everyone having smartphones and WiFi, there’s literally no excuse for any of us to neglect the Holy Book, not least in Ramadan.
5. Spend time with family and friends
One of my favourite things about the Holy Month of Ramadan is the time you get to spend with family and friends. Sometimes people will try and downplay the socialising aspect of our religion, but its actually quite important and goes a long way to establish a good community.
So this Ramadan, be social! Invite people over, go out and enjoy the company of your family and friends and remember that having good relations with people is a form of worship.
6. Make time to reflect (at Fajr)
Make sure you take some time out of your day this month to reflect and contemplate. Even for just 5-10 minutes a day; thinking about your life, reflecting on your actions and contemplating on what you need to do to push yourself to the next level.
The time after Fajr is extremely precious, and it can be tempting to jump straight into bed and sleep – but try to make the most of it, especially in Ramadan.
7. Attend mosque prayers
The importance of ‘community’ cannot be emphasised enough, and the Holy Month of Ramadan is a great time to really nurture community relationships. Attending prayers and breaking bread with your fellow brothers and sisters is a great way to help strengthen your community and network.
Sidenote: This Ramadan set yourself the challenge of meeting and talking with new people and build new connections!
8. Boycott Israeli dates
Damn right. Look out for dates being sold that are from occupied Palestinian lands! There are some places you can order dates from Palestine where the proceeds go directly to Palestinian land owners and charities.
Click here for more information and tips on boycotting the illegal state of Israel.
9. Give charity and help people
The Holy Month of Ramadan is also a great time to give charity, and there are plenty of causes to donate to. Even if you’re struggling a little bit financially, giving a little bit is better than not giving at all.
Make yourself available and consider helping people out in any and every way you can this month – whether you’re donating to different causes or even just helping out at mosque.
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.”
– Prophet Muhammad (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604)
10. Play hard and pray harder
The Holy Month of Ramadan is a great time to enjoy great food and company, no doubt. Try to fit in as many prayers and supplications as you can to capitalise on your spiritual momentum.
There are a great selection of short and long Duas and Amaals (supplications and good deeds) that are highly recommended to really boost your spirituality!
11. Make the most of Laylatul Qadr
The holiest night of the holiest month in which the holiest of books was revealed – Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). It is said that on this night, we have the ability to change our destiny through supplication and praying to God. So, it’s definitely worth it right?! The exact night of Laylatul Qadr is unknown, but is said to be either the 21st, 23rd, 25th or the 27th night of Ramadan.
As a healthy precaution, it is recommended to stay awake and supplicate on all of these nights. As Ramadan this year falls in summer for most of us, staying awake shouldn’t be all that hard!
12. Keep yourself busy
So, there’s a few hours left to open your fast and it’s like time has frozen. We’ve all been there! The best way to beat #RamadanTimeFreeze is to keep yourself occupied with things to do otherwise the last few hours can really be punishing.
Read the Quran, go for walk, clean up or help with the cooking – basically, do something!
13. Avoid temptations and sins
Whilst Shaytan and his crew may be locked up in Ramadan, your own animal self isn’t. What this really exposes, is how many of the sins we commit that we are solely responsible for – without any Satanic encouragement. You may even feel like the test to not sin becomes a lot harder in Ramadan, and this is the case for many people – this is your nafs (animal/lower self) trying to resist the positive change you are working on.
It’s like at gym, when your muscles start aching and burning – it means you’re doing something right. Try your very best to not give in to any temptations and sins.
14. Don’t give up, keep on going
The temptation to give up and call it quits can sometimes be overwhelming, and oftentimes we stumble. The Holy Month of Ramadan is designed to help us build discipline against our own selves, so do everything you can to resist.
There may be times we stumble, but don’t give up on yourself and remember that God is the most forgiving and understanding. Pick yourself up, and keep going!