With Ramadan drawing near, one of the best ways how to prepare for the holy month is to draw up a Ramadan checklist. A checklist will contain tasks and deeds that you must complete. You can have daily, weekly, and monthly checklists, which will help keep your goals organized and sorted out better.
Having a well-planned checklist will help you map out your goals and remind you what to avoid during Ramadan. It will keep you on the right track and provide motivation, making it a blessed and productive Ramadan.
Your Ramadan checklist can have anything you want, only that it should always be what pleases Allah. Otherwise, you can set it according to your day and what suits you best. Here are some of the things that should be in a basic Ramadan checklist.
Ramadan Daily Checklist
This is the daily checklist for your Ramadan. Here, you can map out the tasks, goals, and activities that you must do every day.
1) Wake Up for Suhoor
Start the day right, and wake up for suhoor! Eat a light and nutritious meal that’ll help keep you going throughout the day. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
2) Pray Sunnah Prayers
If praying the sunnah prayers as shown by the Prophet (sal) is not a part of your routine already, now’s the time to start. Sunnah prayers include those accompanying fard, tahajjud, and duha prayers as well.
3) Pray Taraweeh at The Mosque
Make an effort to visit the mosque to do Taraweeh prayers and complete your fard prayers in jamaat. If you do so for all of them, then this one gets a check!
4) Read the Qur’an
Set a daily goal of one juz per day so you can finish the entire Qur’an by the end of Ramadan. Or, if you intend on finishing it two or more times, make your checklist accordingly. And if you are just beginning to learn and reciting one chapter seems too difficult, again, set your own limit. The important thing is that you need to set a goal or minimum limit and meet it every day.
5) Understand the Translation
Understand the translation of the Qur’an. The point of reading the Qur’an is to read and understand the words of Allah, so it’s important that you read at least a little bit of it every day.
Ibn 'Abbas (rali) reported that the Prophet (sal) embraced him once and said, "O Allah! Bestow on him the knowledge of the Book (Qur'an)." – [Sahih-al-Bukhari]
6) Make Dua and Dhikr
Make plenty of dua and dhikr during the day; after prayers, just before iftar, after suhoor, or just as you go about the day. This is a blessed month, so make use of it!
7) Do Istighfar
It is the month when the gates of hell are chained shut and the gates of heaven are open. So, do istighfar and beg Allah for forgiveness.
Abu Huraira (rali) narrated that Allah's Apostle said, "When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the (Hell) Fire are closed, and the devils are chained." – [Sahih-al-Bukhari]
8) Do Sadaqa
Sadaqa can be anything; it can be of monetary value, or it can be something like moving a rock out of the way of passersby, leaving some water out for stray animals or even smiling at someone.
'Adi bin Hatim narrated that he heard the Prophet (sal) saying: "Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity." – [Sahih-al-Bukhari]
9) Help Someone
Make one of the points listed on your Ramadan guide be to help someone every day and do it for the sake of Allah.
Ramadan Weekly Checklist
This would be the list of things that you intend to do during Ramadan that would be too difficult or tedious to be done every day, but also to be done more than once a month.
1) Visit the Elderly/Sick
Visiting the elderly and sick is a sunnah of the prophet. Doing it during the month of Ramadan will increase the rewards in tenfold.
“A Muslim visiting his sick brother will continue to be in the harvest of paradise until he or she returns home.” – [Sahih-al-Muslim]
2) Feed the Less Fortunate
Make it a goal to feed the poor at least once a week. If you find it difficult to cook for lots of people, you can provide them with groceries and rations they’d need to feed their family.
The Messenger of Allah (sal) said: “Whoever gives iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” - [At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]
3) Participate in Sermons
Look around your locality for any sermons or Islamic programs that are taking place and clear your schedule so you can also participate.
4) Memorize a Surah
Memorize a surah of the Qur’an every week. You can break it into five-six verses per day, depending on the length of the surah you choose.
5) Learn New Duas
You could learn a new dua, or a set of duas every week.
Ramadan Monthly Checklist
This is a sort of master checklist, the one that all the tasks in your daily and weekly ones lead up to.
1) Finish the Qur’an
As mentioned earlier, this could mean once, twice, or more; it’s up to you! Set yourself a goal and reach it by the end of the month.
'Abdullah bin 'Amr narrated that the messenger of Allah (sal) said to him, "Recite the whole Qur'an in one month's time." When he said, "But I have power (to do more than that)." Allah's Apostle replied, "Then finish the recitation of the Qur'an in seven days, and do not finish it in less than this period." –[Sahih-al-Bukhari]
2) Give Zakat
As one of the pillars of Islam, this is surely one of the main things a Ramadan guide must include. If you are eligible for Zakat, carefully calculate it and complete your duties before Eid.
“You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and obey the messenger, that you may attain mercy.” - [24:56]
3) Do Dawah
Teaching others about Islam is something that helps spread the religion. It also helps you learn more about the religion, making you a better, more knowledgeable Muslim.
Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said, "Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam)."
4) Mend Relationships
If you have any grievances with your family, friends, or neighbors, make an effort to resolve the issues and strengthen relationships.
5) Become a Better Muslim
The ultimate Ramadan goal is to better yourself and your deen. It is a benchmark that each Muslim sets for themselves, the standard that we must try hard to achieve in our lives.