With only a little over two months to go, Ramadhaan is eagerly anticipated. Slowly the women are talking about stocking their freezers and feeding their families, but how many are making preparations to feed their souls? We all love the month of Ramadhaan and we want to come closer to Allah but when it’s here we find that more than half the month is gone and we are still battling to successfully pray all our nafl or complete our Qur-aans. Without strong resolve and discipline, we may lose out as time flies, the month will come and go and all we would have gained is staying hungry all day.
Start from now.
1. Complete your qadhaa sawm
If you have qadhaa sawm, finish them before this Ramadhaan comes. Take it slow, as there is time if you do it from now. Maybe once or twice a week. In doing this you will train your body for what is to come, 30 days of fasting.
2. Wake for Qiyaamul Layl (Tahajjud)
Sleep is what is the most difficult part of the Ramadhaan routine for some, especially when you live in a non-Muslim country where everyday is a normal working day with no siestas. Again start now and slowly find a routine that works for you depending on the season you are in. For example in South Africa, Ramadhaan will come in the heart of winter. So the mornings are cold meaning tough to get out of bed and the days are short. So from suhur till the time the kids leave for school and you start your day at work is close. There is not really much time to go back to sleep. So as the days are already short here, why not get into a routine now which will help when we need the strength.
3. Increase in ‘Ibaadah
Make this a rule in your home. Don’t just sit with your Qur-aan, try to make a time where everyone can join in the good aamaal in the home even dad when he comes from work. It does’nt have to be very long, even if it is a litlle while but it is important that it is constant: Rasoolullah (SAW) said: “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.” (Bukhari, Muslim) Explain the importance of it to your children, but more likely children do as they see, quicker than as they are told.
4. Make it exciting
Discuss matters of Deen and the virtues of this great month that is to come. Make it exciting for them as if you are waiting for a beloved guest to arrive from a far off place. Show your kids you appreciate their help around the house and when they strive to increase in worship not by paying them with money or lavish gifts but more with sincere praise and recognition and healthy competition. Now and then small rewards may be offered as this works well as incentives to do more good. Younger children who may not totally grasp Ramadhaan and it’s meaning may be shown the excitement in a manner that is on a level of their grasping. For example you may take time out to draw a picture with them showing them sunrise and sunset or how people feel when they are hungry and a tasty treat when the fast is broken.
5. Make a list of the spiritual goals you want to achieve.
Even if you don’t get down to it all at once, don’t give up. Spiritual doesn’t only mean physical ‘ibaadah (worship). It must be balanced with good character and habits. Remember, a little as long as it is consistent is better. When you feel tired, just remember your reason for exerting in spirituality in the first place. Turn your heart to Allah and He will definitely make everything else turn to you to make your spiritual goals materialise!
We await Shahru Ramadhaan with the hope that it will be a spiritually uplifting month for us all.