We are a few days away from the most important month of the year: Ramadan.
But for many of us, this Ramadan is going to be like no other as many of us come to terms with a Ramadan without the Masjid.
Yet with every difficulty, there comes ease. And there’s an opportunity to be optimistic and recognise that this can be the best Ramadan yet.
Here’s how despite the sadness of having to be at home, you can make this Ramadan the best one yet.
Beat Those Negative Thoughts Away!
The first step is to fix the negative mindset.
Ramadan is a special month, the best month of the year and one we all are normally excited to see. Negativity breeds disappoint and that’s not what Ramadan is about. It’s the only month mentioned by name in the Qur’an and has a special status in our minds and in our hearts.
Be optimistic. As Prophet Muhammad said, optimism is the sign of a believer.
The best way you can do this is by really knowing why Ramadan is important, the virtues of it and spiritual benefits you can take away.
Create Goals to Feel Like A Winner
A great way to genuinely feel that this can be the best Ramadan yet is by acting as it will!
This is done by creating goals for the month.
We all have a lot more time at home so think about optimising your time.
How much Qur’an do you want to read?
How much time do you want to spend with family?
If you could learn one new thing, have one main achievement, what would that be?
Writing things down makes things more permanent.
And we mean write too!
Studies have actually shown that those goals that are written vs typed are more likely to be accomplished.
So get that notepad and pen out and start writing realistic but ambitious goals to champion that winning spirit.
The First Ramadan Where You Actually Achieve Those Goals!
If you’ve tried in the past to achieve Ramadan goals and haven’t don’t despair. We’ve all been there. But a way to overcome this is by creating an accountability partner.
Writing is the first step to the process of holding yourself accountable.
Then the second is to make those goals obvious – stick them somewhere where you’re most likely to give them a regular read.
But then sharing them with someone who you trust, you know will challenge you, but also encourage you to keep pushing on (especially after the initial Ramadan excitement dies down), is a great thing to do.
Then at the start of every new week, share your goals for that week again and then review last weeks goals and for those you didn’t manage to accomplish, share why. Your accountability partner may even help you develop a plan to make sure the following week to come is more successful.
The average person gives up after the first attempt of trying to achieve a new goal.
This Ramadan will be the best one yet as you have a plan to achieve them all.
Moments With the Family That You Should Have Always Had
We don’t know about you, but Ramadan is supposed to be a time with family. But ask yourself, between making all those samosa’s and attempts to stay spiritually connected during those Taraweeh prayers, how much quality time do you manage to get to spend with family?
This Ramadan we don’t have any real excuses not to spend quality time with family.
Whether that’s teaching your children something new.
Spending time with parents, valuing them for what they’ve given you.
Or even deciding to make an effort with that sibling who drives you insane.
This Ramadan, make it a goal to connect on a deeper level and rekindle lost relationships.
Refine Those Culinary Skills
Unfortunately, many of us have stereotypical scenarios played out at home during Ramadan. One of the most common ones is our women spending hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning – or being expected too.
Brothers if you’re reading this, this is your opportunity to actually recognise that Ramadan is a time for the women of the household too.
Offer to cook. Better yet, cook with family. And include any children you may have too! And even better still, offer to do the grocery shopping and decide together to eat healthier.
This will get everyone involved and help you appreciate the roles of each other.
An appreciation that will help manifest to love and prayers for each other during a month when those things are worth more than most.
Practice That Prolonged Prayer
Ultimately, this month is about that of changing hearts. Through patience, prayer and perseverance do we see real transformation happen.
And there’s no better month for that than the month of Ramadan.
The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, used to spend hours in prayer in seclusion connecting with Allah. In Ramadan, this was intensified even more.
Yes, we’re all going to miss hearing the beautiful recitation that would make our hearts soften and tears develop.
But this Ramadan presents an opportunity to really develop that personal, one and one relationship between you and your creator. Something we’re all longing for.
And who knows, maybe this is why all this is happening in the world. So that we worship Him, recognising we could never do so in a way he deserves to be worshipped but through that start to really appreciate the real purpose of why we were created in the first.
And surely that in itself, would make this Ramadan the best one yet.