A Structured Ramadan
Ramadan is the month of blessings. During these 30 days of mercy and forgiveness, we have the privilege of getting closer to Allah swt. It provides unity, a sense of belonging, and new beginnings for spiritual healing. This can also create a lot of anxiety and fear in the hearts of some.
The fear stems from many factors – with some drawing upon lack of preparation for the blessed month, other from wanting to be the best they can but not knowing where to start!
Understanding what causes you anxiety & fear is the first step to tackling and overcoming it. Writing down what you struggle with the most in Ramadan – such as praying enough/ dedicating time to prayer, making food for your family, work/home balance, or fasting during exams/assignment season.
Creating a schedule during the month of Ramadan is essential. Even if you haven’t yet done that, I urge you to go and do so. It is vital that you dedicate time to the Almighty this Ramadan. Knowing when you will get up in the morning, the pockets of time we spend in prayer & the Quran. There are four main things you need to schedule in your day:
- Suhoor & Iftar
Everything else (work, daily tasks etc) should be structured around the four main components in order to maximise the benefits of the month whilst maintaining a healthy work/life/sleep balance that our bodies will desperately need.
“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (An-Nisaa, 4:103)
Structuring our day around prayer will allow you to make prayer the focal point. Even if you didn’t pray five times a day during the other 11 months of the year, now is the best time to start. Research shows us that good habits take 21 days to form, so use Ramadan as an opportunity to set good intentions and actions for the months to follow.
As mentioned previously, our intentions (niyyah) are of significant importance in Islam.
“Actions are judged by intention. A man will be rewarded only for what he has intended”. (Al-Bukhari)
Examples of intentions could be the intention to fast for the sake of Allah swt, preparing the food for a fasting person, the intention of attaining peace within, and the intention of seeking rewards of the Night of Qadr. Having the correct intentions during Ramadan will allow you to keep yourself steadfast and allow for your actions to be done with full focus and to the best of your ability.
I pray that this Ramadan is a productive and blessed one for us all.
Alina Ali is General Secretary at MABY. By day she is a Criminal Investigation student at Derby University, by night she specialises in fine arts. You can check out her work on her instagram page alinaali.designs