Ya Allah, your slaves are ready to go. We are ready to embark from the Lakes of Sins we have drowned ourselves in to the Island of Security, i.e. Your Pleasure and Forgiveness. Like that man who killed 99 men but You , the Most Merciful,forgave him because of his state of heart & distance, forgive us too for we are willing to take those steps away from our past’s sins and present’s shortcomings. Please make these steps blessed and make us come nearer to Jannatul Firdaus.
Allahuma ini ass-aluka al-Jannah wa ma qaraba ilayha min qawlin aw ‘âmal, wa na-‘oudhoo bika min al-Jahanam wa ma qaraba ilayha min qawlin aw ‘âmal.
“I will equip you with three words, then you must leave me to face what I am facing. Be the farthest of people from those things you have been forbidden, and be the most involved of people in the good you have been commanded to do; and know that the steps you take are two steps: a step in your favor and a step against you, so be careful where you come and where you go.” [Hasan al Basri (R) on his death bed, Abû Na’yam, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ` 2:154]
All of us get so prepared for various events in our lives. Some of us already know where we’d shop when we’d get married, while others already know what to buy when their first child comes into this world. We all have these mental-lists of things even though we haven’t consciously thought about it. These are Allah SWT’s ways of preparing us before we consciously prepare ourselves. Alhamdolilah.
But how about getting yourselves ready for Ramadan? I know all of us will eventually end up buying dates and some other ethnic ingredients to spice up our pantries etc. but there are so many things we must prepare ourselves because Ramadan’s a guest we can never get enough of and we have to show hospitality towards it inshaa’Allah, all for His Sake…just so that we can perform better.
Things you can do to prepare yourself:
- Start a mini-workout (it’s still not late) to strengthen your body in order to be able to stand up for Tarawih with pleasure instead of pain! Brothers, you can check out the Sunnah Fit people. And sisters just do jumping jacks,skipping/jogging in the privacy of your homes with some squats, push-ups and press-ups and umm crunches too. You can also step up and down the stairs to strengthen your feet muscles for long Qiyaam of Tarawih. It should be a good start if you’re new to this. But be sure not to have an aching body right on the first night of Tarawih.
- Is your closet/wardrobe ready? Iron all your best and cleanest clothes and line up them in an organized fashion so that you don’t have to look for them when going for Salah. Obviously, sisters are encouraged to avoid wearing flashy clothes if they’re going to the Masjid for tarawih.
- Buy ‘Itr (alcohol-free perfume) and wear it when you’re going to offer Salah. If you’re a brother, you can buy it and take it to the Masjid and put it on other Muslim brothers and encourage this Sunnah inshaa’Allah. Ladies can wear perfume at home and mustn’t wear it if they’re going out.
- Make a Quraan schedule and assign portions which you’ll ready every day. Find out how to achieve the goal of finishing the Quraan once or even twice inshaa’Allah in this post.
- Strive to Pray 2 Extra Nafl after Ishaa especially when you’re tired to overcome laziness and your Nafs.
- Decrease your food/caffeine intake. However, it’s a good idea to remain hydrated and still have water.
- Keep a ‘time-track’ journal for the next 2 – 3 days to see where and why you waste your time. This will help you identify your time wasting activities or slots of your day and help you utilize them better inshaa’Allah.
- Go to the Bank/ATM and withdraw the money you want to give in Sadaqah. Instead of giving a whole lot of amount in Sadaqah all at once, maybe given few dollars/cents every single day with the purest intention seeking His Pleasure only. Remember Allah SWT loves consistent good deeds even though if they’re small.
- Do some candy shopping. It’ll be a good idea to buy tons of candy and gifts for your little Masjid friends and keep them in your bag when you go to the Masjid so that when a child ends up crying during Tarawih, you can save the congregation’s Khushoo’ by offering candy/small gift to the child.
- ‘Eid shopping for yourself and others can be gotten rid of now so that the last 10 days of Ramadan are truly beneficial for you. In fact, this time around, buy ‘Eid cards or blank cards and send it to your family, relatives and even extended family relatives by mail. Trust me, this is bound to increase your love or bring about love if it wasn’t there before.
- Put up reminders in your space to motivate others and yourself. Need ideas? I’ve shared how I do it, right here.
- Make a food plan if you’re going to break your Iftar at home. Or if you’re going to break it in the Masjid, buy some extra food so that you can share with others whether it’s extra flour to bake some cookies/cupcakes or even for basboosa!
- Baby-sitting arrangements.If you’re a mum, then call up other mums so that you can alternate and baby-sit each others’ kids during Tarawih. Or call other baby-sitters who’d be ready to that when they’re not going for Tarawih.
- Collect a list of all motivational lectures that may come in handy when we hit the mid of Ramadan because that’s when most people get tired and need Eeman boosts. This way you won’t waste time which you would have already wasted by not following your schedule, in searching for good videos/articles. I’ve collected mine, if you want to have a look at it, feel free to do so over here.
- Be ambitious and make wishes that you thought you could never ever be granted. Halal ones of course. If you plan to work for the Ummah or launch a project, make a list of goals you want to achieve after Ramadan to launch your project. Everything’s possible with a duaa and be optimistic about whatever unfolds in your life! Make a duaa list and set your goals with duaas! I started this last year and mashaa’Allah it was very helpful! I also wrote down a list of Prophetic and Quraanic duaas that I wanted to recite as well. I will share some inshaa’Allah this time. SO get your lists ready and if they’re private, hide them somewhere but do write them out! You can also use duaas to overcome your weaknesses and bad habits which have stuck with your since forever. Promise yourself that you’ll change one bad habit for yourself for life and make that the focus of your Ramadan by not only making duaa for it but also finding out ways to overcome it inshaa’Allah.
Like I said last year on my previous blog, Ramadan is like a marathon, so we should go slow and steady. It’d be nice if you could use the first 20 days to get some practice and use that level of patience developed for the last 10 days. Maybe you could aim to finish the Quraan in the first 20 days and them aim to finish it in the last 10 days like the Salaf did. Just an idea.