This article was first published by Jamiatul Ulama KZN.
Many of us usually live life dependent on an upcoming major event e.g. “I’m going to start reading a page of the Quran a day as soon as Ramadan starts; I’m going to start praying every Salaah when I come back from hajj; or I’m going to stop smoking when my child is born.” And because of this way of thinking we usually end up with an anti-climax; we don’t end up giving up smoking, we don’t end up praying Salaah and we start reading Quran but then get back to our normal old self after a few days or weeks.
This is because these ‘statements’ or ‘feelings’ are based on impulse and not a real thought-out plan. We usually don’t prepare for Ramadan or hajj or have a plan for our Imaan to stay at the increase; we just go with the flow and expect it all to happen. Well, it doesn’t!
Wouldn’t you love to enter the month of Ramadan on a real high and have the effects of this beautiful month be a permanent impact on your life thereafter?
Below are 7 steps for a prosperous & productive Ramadan:
This will help you ensure you will do things correctly and perfectly for Ramadan, it will create hype as there are many motivational aspects and events in the month to look forward to and finally it is a reward reaper. The more you know about Ramadan the more you can apply, hence multiplying your rewards.
Be it reading the entire Quran or ensuring you pray Taraweeh every night; make a list of things you would like to achieve in the month and then how you plan on achieving these goals. It is important that goals are realistic and it is better that your life doesn’t need to entirely take a different road this month (i.e. take the month off work or change work hours etc.) so that you may continue to do these deeds after Ramadan. Knowing what you want to achieve in the month will help you stay focused.
Be aware if Ramadan affects anything happening in the month or shortly after. Do you have exams during Ramadan? Or is there a major family wedding just after Ramadan? Moving house? If so, plan for these events from now. Study now so that you are prepared for the exams before the month starts. Be packed and ready to go before Ramadan or plan that you do it after so that it doesn’t take time away from your worship. The last thing you want to do is spend Ramadan at the shopping centers. Buy any Eid presents and prepare for any wedding before the month starts.
We all know that Ramadan is about Fasting, Praying, Reading the Quran, and giving to charity. Start these worships early; don’t expect to click into them as soon as the first day of Ramadan starts. Start performing extra prayers from now, begin regularly reading Quran now, and get used to being generous and following the daily Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW.
Fasting is for us to refrain from more than just what we consume with our mouths. Start working on your patience; be extra vigilant with your conversations: ensure you are not backbiting, slandering, or talking about useless things.
Know what bad habits you have and stop them from now, don’t wait until Ramadan begins. If you sleep late, start sleeping early, if you are into Social Media start cutting it down, etc. It might sound much easier said than done, but once you’ve committed yourself, and purified your intentions – make sincere Dua for guidance. Insha’Allah, these bad habits will be easier done with than you ever expected.
For instance; instead of working through your prayer or setting up meetings etc. at prayer times, plan that you have a break at prayer time. Don’t take your phone with you to the place you pray and forget the world as you stand before Allah SWT.