Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan)!
This is my fourth Ramadan and it’s the one of the best I’ve experienced thus far, Masha’Allah! This year, I actually took some time to prepare. Not as much as I wanted, however, I tend to be hard on myself. Therefore, that’s one of the things I am releasing Insha’Allah (God Willing) during this time of the year. Want to know how I prepared?
- Goal Setting
- Food Preparation (barely)
- Made up mind!
Let’s get into the goals I set – I know this post is late, but it’s still relevant as we conquer the last 20 days. That’s right! It’s not too late to set goals.
Below are the concrete goals I set for Ramadan:
- Expressing Gratitude
- Experience Ramadan with Believers
- Confront fears and anything holding me back
- Stay on track with reading The Holy Qur’an
- Be Productive
We as a people don’t show gratitude enough. This year I am showing my gratitude more and I hope to continue to carry this forward. I am so blessed to be able to participate in Ramadan and partake in the fast. Yes, I am thanking Allah for allowing me the gift of fasting.
Experience Ramadan with Believers
This is also a part of me expressing my gratitude. In the past, I made this month about me growing closer to Allah and improving self. However, I did not focus on building bonds with my family. Not just my Believing family. I want to share my Ramadan experience more with my household, although our beliefs are different. I think I’ve partially done this in the past, however, this year I am soaking up their love.
Looking at the urgency of the world, it is pushing me toward growing closer to the Believing family. This is helping me to appreciate them more and now the need to practice our faith together has increased.
When it comes to me doing everything on my own, I’m learning that some things are better done with family.
I am learning to make more time for family, while I’m also working to be successful. I need to fulfill my purpose and I need family along the way to share my happiness with.
What’s wonderful is on day one of Ramadan, I broke fast with a Believing family. Besides The Night of Power, I have not broke fast with Believers before during Ramadan. It was a beautiful experience and I look forward to continue doing this throughout the month. It appears to be Saturday’s for the day of manna (spiritual & physical food) with those who are dear to me.
Confront fears and anything holding me back
We oftentimes don’t realize we have a fear about a thing until a situation arises. However, as I become more in-tuned with self, I’m beginning to understand what my barriers are even before coming across a barrier (and in some cases, I don’t see them coming, but I’m still learning). For all of the obstacles I’ve already faced, I’m re-addressing them to ensure I don’t experience the same trial and to release the pressure.
During Ramadan sometimes we’ll tell people “Ramadan Mubarak” as a way to dismiss having a conversation. However, Ramadan is a great time to confront. Let’s understand “confront”.
Sounds like atonement to me.
8 Steps of Atonement
- Point out the wrong.
- Acknowledge the wrong.
- Confess the fault.
- Reconcile and Restore.
- Perfect Union with God.
So with the days we have left (and beyond), lets confront so that we may atone.
Stay on track with reading The Holy Qur’an
I am not going to get too far behind when it comes to reading The Holy Qur’an. I said I wasn’t going to get behind at all. However, I had to read three parts in one day, so I still need to ensure I’m balancing ALL of my priorities with God at the center and first to every goal. Good thing is, I’m all caught up and I’m going to finish reading The Holy Qur’an on time this Ramadan. I pray you do too!
When I do stay on track: I feed on The Word after prayer, while I’m commuting, taking a break at work and/or while my food is preparing. This has been best for me. Find what works for you. Let’s read together because it helps us be on a higher frequency together. Together does not necessarily mean that I read a part and you. It means that while you’re reading in your space, I am also reading in mine. And when we engage in dialogue it tends to elevated. Therefore, if we feed on The Word together our bond and unison increases.
One of my favorite experiences this year is reading The Holy Qur’an with a dear Sister of mine.
Part of the reason why I got behind is because I’m working on my purpose during this month. However, I know that my gifts have zero value when I don’t put them second to Allah. So I’m keeping Him first, especially with what my responsibility is to him as priority and then I’m working on completing my goals.
Progress towards my goals are looking great this month. I pray the same for you.
Being productive helps you stay awoke. The only time I feel very exhausted is when I’m commuting on the train or sitting still for too long. If you know me, you know I get about 3-4 hours asleep. So I have no choice but to be productive.
Productivity boosts energy.
Since I love writing, I’m constantly thinking of ways I can turn my reflective thoughts into purpose. Therefore I brought a journal to take note of my daily learnings, readings, and reflections. It’s been helpful to access where I’m at with progress towards my goals and my nearness with Allah. It will definitely be helpful for next year because I have a bunch of ayats (verses) written out for reminders, personal duas (informal prayers of supplication for use in a range of situations, in most cases they are personal prayers), inspiration (I am writing my favorite verses), a brief explanation of what my experience is like on each day. Tracking my growth, allows me to see how far I’ve come. So all though I have a Ramadan journal, I now have a sacred reference point for one of the best times of the year to get me through trying times.
That’s what’s working for me. We still have a ways to go, so I want you to put some tools in your kit.
Below are a few reminders and tips I took from How to Prepare for Ramadan (video):
- Prepare to be more obedient to Allah.
- More Sunnah & Less Haram.
- Put the Fard ahead of everything!
- Continue your efforts after Ramadan.
- The day of Eid is a test for you.
Now for some humor, but a reflective self-check: Watch this hilarious short 10-minute film. It simultaneously shows the difference between a productive and non-productive Believer while engaging in Ramadan.
Fight the madness of life with the calmness of Salat.
Don’t necessarily countdown, but plan ahead for the person you want to be once Ramadan has passed. You have 20 days to manifest that person. We manifest a new thing with a thought, so don’t tell me you can’t do it. Let’s go!