22 May 7 Things To Do Before Ramadan
In the words of Winston Churchill, “he who fails to plan is planning to fail”. The people of our society knows this well and places a strong emphasis on preparing for events which matter. For example, in order to succeed in a school examination, preparations are done weeks prior to the actual examination. The same case is observed for events like competitions, where we tell ourselves to painstakingly prepare months ahead just so we have a shot at reaping the fruits of success.
“So knowing all these, how much time do we need to prepare for Ramadhan which is 30 days in nature? Or do we even plan for Ramadhan?” asked Ustaz Zahid Zain in a pre-Ramadhan lecture series.
Frankly I must say, the question he posed struck me hard. Guilty as charged – it was a ‘hashtag burn’ moment for myself and those sitting in for the lecture. Let’s face it – we have been so used to the routine of diving straight into Ramadhan, so we never thought it would be possible to plan and prepare for this blessed month.
By now, I am sure there is an impending question clouding in our minds: “So how then do we plan and prepare for Ramadhan?”
Here are some tips shared during the lecture that can be implemented prior to Ramadhan. We have about a month to Ramadhan. It’s still not too late to start now!
- START CLEANING OUR HOMES
Just like how we perform spring cleaning to our homes before Hari Raya, this step should also be performed prior to Ramadhan. Our homes are our sanctuary, hence it is important to make our sanctuary feel like a worship space. Once we succeed in capturing the mood and bringing the Ramadhan vibe into our home, we will be more enthusiastic towards making ibadah.
- MAKE THE QURAN MORE VISIBLE
If this past year the Quran has been placed high on a shelf untouched, alter the position of the Quran. Make it visible and reachable – be it in our rooms, a dressing table or anywhere within grasp. When something is more attainable (physically in this sense), there is a higher chance we would actually want to do it.
- RELEARN RAMADHAN
We may have experienced so many fasting months in our life to a point where Ramadhan becomes a mere routine. So break this cycle and take the opportunity to relearn about Ramadhan. What exactly is ‘Ramadhan’ and what is the history behind it? What are significant events of the past that have happened in Ramadhan? What are the do’s and don’t’s in Ramadhan? Having knowledge on why you do something helps refine your intentions and better the quality of your act. This year will be a great way to start relearning the true meaning of Ramadhan.
- BEGIN IBADAH ‘TRIAL RUNS’
Some acts take time to blossom. Hence, use the opportunity before Ramadhan to start performing acts that you would like to upkeep in Ramadhan. For example, try doing puasa sunnat on Mondays and Thursdays. Try performing solat sunnat on top of your regular prayers. Try waking up at night for Qiyamullail (night prayers). Start increasing your frequency of reading the Quran. We may not succeed immediately but with His grace and blessings, as we make attempts to better our ibadah, there will definitely be a higher chance of us succeeding in these attempts come Ramadhan. You know what they say – it takes 21 days to form a habit. You have a month to turn those acts into habits. Possible.
- INCREASE EFFORTS TO SPREAD POSITIVITY
We all need positive outbursts of energy to get by. With the presence of social media, it is very easy for us to do just that. Hence, use the mediums you are familiar with to motivate others and spread positivity. It might be a simple uplifting tweet, an instagram post indicating Ramadhan is near or a personal Whatsapp message to acquaintances sharing the benefits of Ramadhan. Never underestimate the power of positivity.
- REFLECT AND SET RAMADHAN GOALS
While we know we are not perfect masterpieces, we must acknowledge that we are all artworks in progression. Hence, to ensure that we progress well, reflection is a key component. When we reflect on how our past Ramadhan went, it gives us a good indication on what we have done well, what we may have lacked and what can be done to ensure this Ramadhan becomes a better one. Once that bit is done, set realistic goals that we can attain in Ramadhan. Remember, they have to be realistic so we can be consistent. There is no point in trying to leap too far with our ibadah and burning out quickly. Quality over quantity
- START ENGAGING IN A MORE ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
For many of us, Ramadhan is when we limit our activity for fears of exhaustion. While we cannot deny that this is partially true, this does not give us an excuse to portray a weak front towards others. Hence, pre-Ramadhan would be a great time to work on making our bodies more active. Set aside some time in the day for us to do simple exercises like jogging, climbing stairs or cycling. Start engaging in more activities like community efforts or mosque events. A healthier body equates to a healthier overall well-being, and this will definitely help us in Ramadhan when our energy is put to the test.
Hopefully, with these tips being shared and implemented, it will be of benefit to us all as we approach the much anticipated 06/06/06. Are you ready Ramadhan Racers? Start your engines and strive to make this Ramadhan your best yet.
“And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives” ~ Surah An-Najm Verse 39
Guest Writer, JOM.sg