“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness” (Qur’an, Sura al-Baqarah, 2:183)
Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him, sws) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Al Bukhari]
Tomorrow we enter the month of Shaâban, inchaallah, which is the blessed month before Ramadan.
That means that there are only about four weeks left until this years Ramadan, the blessed month for Muslims.
It is the most sacred time during the year, the time of humbleness, faith and devotion.
And it is the time to tune in to “religiously devoted”, to make changes and new beginnings and it is the best time to strive to better one’s self.
I want to take the opportunity to prepare myself early enough for Ramadan this year although it will be different because I am not able to fast.
I am fully breastfeeding the baby and need to eat and drink well to allow my body to produce rich nurturious milk.
But even though I hope to strengthen my faith and I want to soak in the blessed, sacred atmosphere of this month by changing our rhythm and habits, inchaallah.
So yesterday I sat down and put together this years’ list on “How to prepare for Ramadan”:
1. Getting mentally ready, checking off the days and looking forward to this blessed month!
2. Putting together a collection of Islamic literature and articles to read during Ramadan (making sure the Qur’an wil be read entirely!).
3. Decorating home, making it special for this month with candles, lights and garlands. Cleaning out to make every room fresh and shiny and purifying the walls from images that possess a soul (such as pictures of people and animals, especially those with the eyes shown), for that the angels will enter home, inchaallah.
4. Creating a Ramadan-Kids-Calendar with a gift to open for every evening. Filling it with sweets and little toys but also with little religious reminders and verses to reflect on.
5. Baking cookies and special sweets to stock and to have them ready whenever they are needed. Making the baking itself a special event with the kids to enjoy.
6. Putting together a collection of gifts and sort out old clothes as give-aways (sadaka) for the poor and needy people around.
7. Figuring out a “what to eat”-list for breaking-the-fast-meals (even if it is only Hubby who fasts) and making sure to have all the ingredients at home.
8. Defining a daily schedule for Ramdan (time for chores, time for the breakfast and breaking the fast, for prayers and devotion, for spiritual self-education and surely for kids and family).
9. Putting together religious related homeschooling ideas for the kids (Prophetic stories, 5 pillars, acts of correct Ibadat (worship), etc.).
10. And most important: Figuring out a “what to do”-list with things to be achieved, things to restrain from and activities to be done during that month because Ramadan is the best time of the year for new beginnings. It is the best and most blessed time to make changes, to strengthen one’s faith, to increase one’s Iman and to get rid of bad behaviour.
I wish you a blessed time and would love to hear about your ideas on how to prepare for Ramadan as best and as deeply spiritual as possible!