Ramadan Series - 5 Things To Do Before Ramadan Kareem.

Ramadan is coming and we have done so little.
I am starting a Ramadan series that will help both, you and I, to do better during this month and hopefully keep on doing the good for the rest of the year too.
Below are a few tips to prepare for Ramadan before hand so that we have more time for prayer and connect with Allah, rather than prepare for food all day and laze around.

  • Prepare everything beforehand.
Lets face it. Most of our day is spent making sure that we have ample food on the table. From samosas to chaat and not just regular chaat. But fruit chaat and dahi chaat and what not. Prepare for food in advance, starting a month before. There are so many food items that can be made and frozen. Items like shami kebab, marinated chicken, samosas, roll and all sorts. Make them a month before so you can start preparing for other stuff.

  • Read the Quran.
Now, there have been lots of pictures circulating around, stating how to complete the Quran in 30 days. No. Just  no. Although it is advisable to complete the Quran during Ramadan but its not necessary. Reading the Quran is about understanding what you are actually reading. Take each Surah by day, maybe two and make an effort to read the meaning! Understand the meaning of the Surah, reflect upon it and slowly take it in your stride. Get a Quran that has translation side by side and after completing each Surah, read the translation. Reference it with Ahadiths if something intrigues you. If you are always on the go, download Muslim Pro to your smart phone. This application has everything you need. Salah timings, Quran with translation, Zakat calculator, Qibla directions and other helpful things. Start reading the Quran before Ramadan starts and set a time for reading the Quran so you know your routine well enough to continue it through Ramadan and later on too.

  • Prepare your kids for Ramadan.
I have a two year old, so its going to take a little time for me to introduce the concept of Ramadan to him. But that will not put me off. There are so many activities that you can do with your children, for example, make a board of 30 good deeds to do everyday. Pull out a deed everyday and make sure that you do it with your child. These deeds can include giving out water on the road, to help someone, even if its around the house, donate a few clothes to charity and not just old ones, but new ones too. Make sure you start doing this a few days before Ramadan so they are equally excited to do it for the rest of the month and then continue with it.

  • Let go of all your negative thoughts.
Prepare yourself to be nice to everyone. To smile through out the day. Once you release your negative energy, you will feel the best peaceful feeling while praying. It will bring you more closer to Allah, knowing that you have forgiven the people who hurt you in the past. If you are living with people that make your day a bit difficult, make peace with them in your heart. Know that Allah is all knowing and a healer of all distressed hearts.

  • Set your routine at least 10 days before Ramadan.
Wake up early, which I know is difficult after sehri, but try. Get up early and clean the house. Prepare everything for the day so you know what to do throughout the day and you can have a little nap during the day once you are done with the work. Set a specific time to read the Quran so that you do not get caught up with work during the day and regret that you did not get time to read it. Make yourself steadfast in prayer. If you are struggling to get up for fajr, then this is the perfect time. Making a routine and following it makes a huge difference and that way you get more time to connect with Allah rather than struggling to get things done during the day and slugging of after Iftari because you are tired.
Always remember that Ramadan is only 1% of fasting and 99% connecting with Allah. While writing this, I had to speculate a little on my routine too. I struggle with following a routine so much that in the end I manage to get my work done hastily and then get no time to pray. So this time, I am going to follow a routine with you all and make sure I stick to it all year round!

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