Ramadan Mubarak everyone!
Most of us have been preparing for this month even with the current pandemic. Some of us even hoped we’d have gotten past these trying times before Ramadan commences. Despite that, here we are: fasting on lockdowns, no congregational Taraweehs or other bonding activities.
It might be the first time fasting under these conditions but we have to do the best we can to make the most of the month. This is why I collated five tools that can help us plan the month and achieve our Ramadan goals.
TO NON-MUSLIM READERS:
Ramadan is a time of the year where Muslims all over the world embark on a month-long fasting. We take an early meal before the first prayer of the day and abstain till the sun goes down. Ramadan is not just about abstaining from food and water, it’s so much more than that. It teaches us to abstain from disliked acts like gossip, backbiting and all unlawful acts. It also helps to keep a constant reminder that there are people out there who feel hunger pangs everyday and to be grateful for whatever we have. It teaches us to reflect on our actions, mistakes and to be compassionate, kind and empathetic towards one another. It teaches so much more.
1. DAILY CHECKLIST – Accountability
This helps you plan out your day based on the activities you want to carry out or goals to achieve for the day. Writing out all there is to do provides a physical reminder for you, especially when you feel weakened and the urge to not do anything at all.
Make a to-do list, structured or not. It gives a reminder of the things you had planned out, thus helps keep you accountable.
Having a physical note gets you to check off activities you’ve carried out until you find yourself completing all goals you set out for the day.
2. GUIDES/PLANNERS – Accountability
This is a more structured form of a daily checklist and great for outlining activities and goals ahead of time. You can organize your activities and outline weekly or biweekly goals and include more specifics for each goal.
There are several template planners that can be of great use, I personally have this planner designed specifically for Ramadan. I prefer to use physical copies of planners because they help me remember what I have planned. Digital copies are fine too and great for ease of use.
You can download some Ramadan planners here.
UPDATE: I uploaded three more Ramadan planners, each of them have their unique features. You should check them all out here to select & download your preferred one(s).
3. MEAL PLANS – Convenience
Having a meal plan makes life convenient. Thinking of what to eat for Iftar can be very energy-draining, having a meal plan saves you from that. It could be a structured week-long/ month-long plan by a food expert of different meals to make for Sahur and Iftar. You can reach out to your favorite food bloggers if they have such meal plans available.
You could also make a list of foods that can be prepared from your pantry or foodstuffs you have. Plan “high-fibre” foods for Sahur that’d give enough energy to last you through the day, drink lots of water, eat fruits and a lighter meal for Iftar. A lot of people (myself included) are guilty of eating heavy meals after a day’s fast. Try not to indulge too much at Iftar, instead consume enough to boost your Sahur for the next day.
4. LEARNING RESOURCES – Knowledge
There’s no better time to learn more about your Deen and receive more rewards while at it. If you’ve been wanting to finish reciting the Quran or read translated versions, this is the time. Interested in learning hadiths? Now is the time. There’s always something new to learn or refresh on about the Deen, try your best to learn something. Listen to new lectures/podcasts or rewatch the ones you already own to refresh your memory. Try to find answers to some questions you have about the Deen or controversial aspects that are not clear.
Don’t pressure yourself or burn yourself out, no one is perfect. Learn at your pace and gain as much knowledge as you can.
– You can download the Quran with several translations on the relaunched Quran Pro.
– You can also download a pdf version of the English translation of the Quran here.
– Download pdf versions of Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from here and here.
– This tweet includes a thread of podcasts that might be great to try out.
5. TIMERS/STOPWATCH – Scheduling
I struggle with keeping to time when carrying out activities on my to-do list. This is because I never assign realistic deadlines or put a lot of thought into estimating the length of time each activity might take.
Timing specific activities like your daily recital if you plan to complete the Quran or when to listen to lectures/podcasts can help in estimating the time it takes to complete them. This will help in better scheduling and time allocation. I plan to work on using this tool more as I know it’s highly beneficial.
Remember not to pressure yourself, not meeting your expectations this month doesn’t make you any less of a Muslim. I realise these times can be challenging and it may require extra effort to stay sane and push through. However, the most important thing is to plan and work towards those goals.
Always Remember: Actions are judged according to intentions.
So that’s all I got for you. I hope one or two of these tools prove useful and help you achieve some/all of your Ramadan goals. What other tool would you be using this month? Share with me in the comments sections, you never know who might find it useful while reading🖤
Ramadan Mubarak once again!
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