A Mother’s Guide to Preparing for Ramadan

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Muslim’s around the world are getting excited at the thought of witnessing another Ramadan, in shaAllah ( if Allah wills). As mothers, we know that one of the overwhelming thoughts that comes with the arrival of Ramadan is how are we going to best combine our responsibilities in the home with an increase in Ibadah. You might be a little overwhelmed thinking about how you are going to prepare suhoor and iftar daily, add extra ibadah (worship), complete housework, maybe go to work outside the home and take care of the kids. Just the thought of all this might exhaust you, but in sha Allah with a little bit of planning ahead even the busiest of us mothers can make the most out of this Ramadan.

The most important thing to ensure that this Ramadan you achieve all or almost all your goals, is to properly plan in advance. That means preparing yourself ahead of time, as in right now, with just a couple weeks left to go. Use these tips below to help you get ready!

Preparing Physically for Ramadan

Before we can talk about a Ramadan experience where we feel satisfied at the amount of worship we were able to do, we need to first talk about how to take care of our health and body. We are going to be fasting all day, performing extra salah possibly, and attending masaijds more regularly in some cases. All these extra activities will require more strength and energy than we usually use on a regular basis. Now add on top of this our everyday chores and tasks, the days may become very long and tiring. Here are a couple of ideas to help prepare your bodies:

  • Engage in Light Exercise: Try to include 5-10mins of light exercise daily - something to energize your body, but not necessarily something rigorous. This will help prepare your body for the tasks of the day and give you a bit more energy during the days of Ramadan. If you have kids, try to encourage them to participate with you. Your light exercise can even come from playing a game of tag or chase with them and doesn’t need to be a chore or added work!
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating healthy gives the body the building blocks necessary to increase your energy and keep you moving. It’s a good idea to adjust your eating now to make it easier on your body when you are fasting to continue these good habits. Some ideas to increase your daily energy are:
  1. Eat appropriate sized meals.
  2. Avoid foods high in fat, salt and sugar
  3. Add to your diet plenty of fruit, vegetables, rice and grain
  4. Drink plenty of fluids leading up to Ramadan and before/after fasting

Preparing Spiritually for Ramadan

Ramadan is a time of the year that many of us will shift our daily focus more towards Allah (swt) and His book the Qur’an. We want our days to be full of worship to Allah (swt), prayer, reading Qur’an, and dua’a. This our opportunity to reconnect and get closer to our Lord, in sha Allah (if Allah wills) and gain many rewards. It isn’t practical to assume we can achieve this overnight as soon as Ramadan begins if we haven’t been slowly working on increasing our acts of Ibadah before hand. Right now is the perfect time to start to work on improving our Eeman (faith) and Taqwa (closeness to Allah (swt)) in order to reap as many benefits for the full duration of the month. Here are extra some tips:

  • Review / Read the Qur’an Daily: The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was completed and sent down, so make sure to set some time to focus on it everyday!

“Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and to tell apart between right and wrong.”

{Surah 2, Ayah 185}

Even if you struggle reading the Qur’an in Arabic know that Allah (swt) will reward you even more than those who can read it with ease. You can also read the English translation or which ever language is your predominant one, as long as you are learning and implementing what you read in sha Allah.

  • Prepare a Dua’a List: It’s a good idea to start brainstorming and writing down what Dua’s you would like to make throughout the month of Ramadan. This way you can make sure that the time doesn’t pass with you missing out on making dua’a for important things in your life.

Another great idea to involve your kids is to make a dua’a jar. Grab any jar and have your kids decorate it and label it dua’a jar. Then write down 30 or 60 different dua’s from the Qur’an, ahadith, or your own onto little pieces of paper. Each day pick a time like after fajr, or in the evening and pick out a set amount of papers/dua’a to read. Here’s the full DIY activity: http://www.theecomuslim.com/2013/06/DIY-ramadan-craft-dua-jar.html

  • Set Ramadan goals: Ramadan flies by so fast every year, so if you do not want to have that feeling of being lost during the month of Ramadan or not doing enough, you should set out clear goals from the very beginning. For example, how much Qur’an do you want to read daily? How much charity do you want to give? What things do you want to engage in with your kids and teach them? Etc. These two are just some of the several things that anyone can set out to achieve in Ramadan.

You can use this Ramadan checklist from myDeen to help achieve your daily goals: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

Preparing the Home for Ramadan

This is probably every mother/wife’s greatest struggle. How to cope with cooking so many meals, waking up for suhour, and possibly entertaining guests.

Few tips for preparing the home:

  • Spring clean the house to reduce clutter, take stock of what you have in the house, as well as what you will need for Ramadan.
  • Shop for pantry items in bulk since you will probably be doing a lot of cooking and you don’t want to spend precious Ramadan hours shopping.
  • Cook staple foods in advance and freeze them so that you have some go-to meals for the days that you wake up late, or for meals that will require a lot of prep hours.

A salaf (pious predecessor) once said: “Rajab is the month to sow the seeds; Sha’ban is the month to irrigate the crop; and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest!” We may be half way through Sha’ban already but it’s not too late to take advantage of the time remaining.

Extra Resources: 

Check out other great tips on how to prepare physically for Ramadan: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/06/13/Ready-for-Ramadan-Top-tips-to-prepare-your-body-for-fasting.html

If you need some tips to try to finish reading the Qur’an this year check out this great article: http://productivemuslim.com/ramadan-series-8-easy-steps-to-recite-the-entire-quran-this-ramadan/

Here’s a great resource with guidelines and tips to use while you make your dua’a list: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/06/13/Ready-for-Ramadan-Top-tips-to-prepare-your-body-for-fasting.html

 

Written by: Amina Oke

Amina is a full-time freelance writer mum living in Lagos, Nigeria. She loves to write about parenting, Islam and the Islamic Economy.

Edited by: Sanaa Izreig

Sanaa is the Editor-in-Chief for myDeen Magazines.