A time to refresh. A time to rejuvenate.
It comes just once a year, and we are blessed to have reached it each time.
Growing up, Ramadan meant a month of not eating the whole day, scrumptious iftar meals at the end of the day and sleeping in after late nights at the mosque. Even through my college and university years, worldly responsibilities took over my life, leaving me little energy to reflect on what this precious month was really about.
Now, as one Ramadan passes on to the next, I regret not taking advantage of those earlier Ramadans of my younger years, but have come to understand and truly appreciate how priceless this month really is.
My husband recently inspired me to look at our year in the form of a chart or a graph if you will. He said, over the course of the eleven months that follow after each Ramadan, our motivation, spiritual energy, Imaan steadily deteriorate. In some people’s case it takes a real nose dive. Throughout the year, this world’s distractions, slowly and steadily creep into our lives and deviate us away from beautiful habits we form during the month of Ramadan. Everything from giving sadaqah/charity on a daily basis, praying all prayers on time, praying extra prayers (such sunnah and nafl), going to the mosque, to a daily reading and reflecting on the Quran. Even our good manners and proper etiquettes seem to dwindle down the year. We start out strong, but this world creeps up on us, and softly whispers there are more “important” things to do now that Ramadan is over. Our priorities change and we slowly slip. Our Imaan, good habits and relationship with Allah (swt) and the Quran, all take a hit.
That’s why, I need Ramadan. I need this month to re-energize my Iman. To re-train myself to use my time wisely and productively. To re-focus myself. To revisit those goals I made last year. To re-establish those good habits I made last Ramadan. To revive my relationship with Allah (swt) and the Quran.
Thirty days fly by very fast. Therefore in order to take advantage of this little time, I decided to set real goals for myself. I wrote them out in my bullet journal, so that I could literally see them, refer back to them and check them off on a daily basis. Goals that I want to turn into habits during these precious 30 days, and inshaAllah will continue for the rest of the year, hopefully the rest of my life. (Remember it takes 21 days for something to become a habit:)
The true essence of this month focuses on bettering ourselves, while getting closer to Allah (swt) and the Quran. Why not take advantage of this time and do the absolute best that we can? Especially while shaytan is chained up and locked away.
Goals to turn into habits:
- Wake up for tahajjud
- Suhoor and fajr
- Morning duas and dhikr
- Read and study the Quran, in Arabic and with the tafsir
- Pray sunnah prayers with all Fard
- Pray all Fard on time
- Practice surah for memorization, try to finish one per week depending on length. (Memorize juz #30 by end of 2016)
- Evening duas and dhikr
- Taraweeh prayers
- To not rush through prayer
- To sit and make dua after each prayer
- Dhikr after each prayer and during: cooking, driving, on the train or bus, on walks, shopping, etc.
- give some thing every day: a meal, help, money, advice, kind words, a smile, etc.
- Be kind, Be grateful, Be patient and repent!