The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner! And we are so excited to prepare for the beautiful month of Ramadan, inshaAllah. Oftentimes Ramadan comes with feelings of excitement, joy, and possibly a little stress. With kids, work, and other obligations it can be difficult to find ways to balance ibadah, preparing food for yourself/and family, and dealing with life in general.
Our advice: change the framework.
Ramadan is about going back to the basics, resetting your intentions, and being mindful of your actions. When you get bogged down with all the stress of your everyday obligations remind yourself that our actions are by intention.
The first Hadith in Imam Nawiwi’s collection of 40 Hadiths, narrated by Umar ibn Al-Khattab reports:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Verily, deeds are only with intentions. Verily, every person will have only what they intended. Whoever emigrated to Allah and His Messenger, then his
￼emigration is for Allah and His Messenger. Whoever emigrated to get something in the world or to marry a woman, then his emigration is for whatever he emigrated for.
Remembering this Hadith allows us to change our framework. Sometimes it’s easy for us to fall into the pattern of separating obvious acts of worship like salah and reading Quran from our daily obligations. In fact, when we make the intention that the work we are doing is for the sake of Allah, this will begin to count as an act of worship. Working to provide for your family or cooking to nourish yourself and others are acts of service and can be acts of worship when we make a pure intention for it.
If you're feeling a little apprehensive about the long days and the lack of coffee, here are some tips to get you in the Ramadan spirit:
- Decorate your space! Hang up some lights and festive decorations to remind you of the communal belonging, warmth, and rich history of this month. It doesn't have to be elaborate, just keep it simple and focus on one or two things that can put you in the Ramadan spirit.
- Share the message! If you have coworkers that would appreciate it: take some treats to work and attach an explanation of the holiday. Letting the people around you know about the amazing month you are partaking in opens up the doors for knowledge and understanding. I found that letting my coworkers know what I was doing this month helped me to connect with them more and share with them the beauty of our Muslim community
We've made it easier for you and created free printable gift tags and an informational card that you can use. Click on the links below to download the files.
In addition to changing the framework, invest in prepping and research. Utilize your freezer, buy groceries early on, and do all prep work -like cutting up vegetables and marinating protein- when you have time. Look up recipes that work well for meal prepping or one-pan throw togethers. And don’t be afraid to keep it light, those traditional classic Ramadan iftars are delicious but everyone can use one or two iftars a week that are light on the calories and the carbs.
Ramadan is a month of remembering what's most important and using up your time in the act of ibadah whenever you can. As you prepare for the month, center that idea and purpose and inshAllah you will find it easier to integrate your obligations into your best Ramadan yet!