Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh!
Ramadhan is upon us!Alhamdulillah.Granted that it's a tad bit late to be giving tips right now,but i do believe that it's better late than never. *Consoles herself.
I am aware that there are various Ramadhan tips swarming the web right now.That does not mean however that i will not add on to them.You can never have an excess of tips,because you always stumble upon some hidden treasures.Sometimes those tips work perfectly for you.Other times,not so much.Thus,after justifying my lateness with regards to this post,i feel we are in a good position to move on in shaa Allah.
So,tip number one.
1.Make sincere intention to do your best this Ramadhan.After that,make an intentions list as to why exactly you're going to be fasting.
I find that alot of times people get into a routine and thus end up taking things for granted.But Ramadhan should never be taken for granted subhanallah.That's why,after making a sincere intention,make an intentions list,this will help in reminding you not just why you are fasting,but why you are fasting in the way it is intended and not how society warrants it.
Now an 'intentions list' as i call it is basically a list of your whys.Alhamdulillah i have discovered that it really helps to put things in perspective when you actually write them down.So in the case of Ramadhan...why are you fasting?Is it because everyone else is doing it?Or that it is part of your culture?It is also extremely beneficial when it comes to renewing your intentions because you can clearly see them in front of you.My list looks a little bit like this...
2.Write down your goals and plan out your Ibadah.
Ofcourse, most of us have a number of things we want to achieve during Ramadhan.Whether it be taking up extra Ibadah (worship) or leaving off sin or some bad habit we have.It is always best to write them down so you can have them in sight and in mind.But after writing them down then what?
So for example,for this Ramadhan i want to increase visiting my family members.What i'll do next is find out why that is important in Islam.What are the benefits of keeping ties with kinship?What does the Qur'an say about such people and what rewards are mentioned for people who keep ties of kinship.Furthermore,what happens to those who sever the ties of kinship.
Thus,by doing this i am reinforcing in myself the motivation and drive to follow through with this goal.I would therefore advice researching on hadiths,verses of the Qur'an and even lectures that relate to the goals you have for yourself.After that,schedule times to listen to the lectures or read your books in order to help you push through.Also an intentions list will also come in handy. :)
3.Make a food timetable.
Whether you have a family to cater for,or you live alone,food is definitely an important aspect when it comes to Ramadhan.Now whether that food is healthy and comes in moderation is upto you.However,i would definitley recommend that you invest in a healthy,moderate diet as that is the sunnah.The Prophet (saw) never engaged in extravagance much less in Ramadhan.He (saw) always advocated for moderation and doing what pleases Allah (SW) and what benefits the soul.Hence,do some research on the healthy foods or sunnah foods to eat and plan out your Ramadhan meals.This will also serve well to reduce the stress of deciding what to eat, especially for the busy bees like me.
4.Shop in due time.
Planning is essential people.If you have all your plans intact,food wise,clothes wise and even house items,then your shopping becomes so much easier.This is because you have your budget set and you know exactly what you want and most times where to get it.All you need now is to manage your time well enough and you'll be enjoying your Ramadhan and your Ibadah because everything else will have already been sorted in shaa Allah.
5.Make constant Dua
Trust me,having an amazing, productive Ramadhan does not come on a silver palate.It takes hard work,dedication and determination.You have to have the want to strive in the way of Allah (sw).How many people fast, yet their fasts are just of food and drink?Do we want to be among those who let this marvelous opportunity pass us by?No.So i implore you and myself to seek the help of Allah (sw).Indeed,we can not accomplish anything without the help of Allah (SW).Nothing at all!He (SW) is the ONE.He (SW) bestows His mercy and blessings on us even when we don't deserve it.So who else better to call upon than Al Wali,The Loving Patron and supporter?
Ibn al-Wazeer wrote in his book Al- Waasim wa al- Qawaasim:
"Verily,to be hopeful of Allah SW's mercy opens the doors of optimism for one of his slaves,making him more avid in worship,and inspiring him to be more enthusiastic in performing voluntary acts of worship and racing to perform good deeds."
May Allah (SW) allow us to strive harder than we've ever done and may He make this Ramadhan our best one yet.Allahumma Ameen.Jazakillah khayr guys!I hope this helps in shaa Allah!