By Lotifa Begum
Whenever we think of Ramadan, we are overcome with a desire to set high goals for ourselves spiritually, socially and physically.
These noble intentions are all well and good, but most of us then spend the rest of the year struggling to keep up with the energy burst, which comes from this spiritually charged month! We often find that we are burnt out from focusing on serving others in Ramadan so I want to share some useful tips and advice in this article to help boost your Ramadan as a Muslim.
There are many things you can do to ensure you have a well-balanced and spiritually charged Ramadan, but as with everything consistency is key. Over the last few years, Ramadan has undoubtedly been one of the best months of spiritual retreat for me and it’s only worked because I’ve been able to apply some key lessons of learning along the way as outlined below.
Plan Your Diet
As we all know, our body is an amanah from Allah. However, unfortunately we do not spend enough time learning about the ways in which we should protect and nourish our bodies. During Ramadan, it is essential to gain some basic knowledge on what to eat and drink to keep you energized. Islam taught us that Prophetic foods, which I call super foods, are filled with sources of energy. For that reason, they should be a part of your regular diet for iftar and suhoor. If you plan to have the following foods in Ramadan each day, you’ll feel much lighter, energetic and inshaAllah more productive in striving to achieve your Ramadan goals.
- Green olives
- Lemon water
- Honey (used in green tea or as spreads)
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Green vegetables
The Prophet (PBUH) would be the most generous and charitable throughout the blessed month of Ramadan. Set yourself a social productivity goal to take part in a fundraising initiative by getting involved with charities. Perhaps you can think about hosting an iftar party and raise funds for charities. Perhaps this Ramadan you can finally commit to sponsoring an orphan or contributing to local mosques. You can be charitable in so many ways so think about how you will donate your time, money, efforts and most importantly, your skills to better the people around you!
Keep a Ramadan Journal
For a couple of years now I have regularly kept a Ramadan Journal and it is one of the most powerful ways to reflect spiritually on your state in Ramadan. All you need is a blank notebook and a pen. Schedule in time at the end of the night or early in the morning to jot down what you have found went well about the day, reflect on your actions, and if you are reading Qur’an you can also combine your Ramadan journal to reflect on verses from the Qur’an which I often found to be a very useful way of using my journal to develop myself spiritually. After Ramadan, you can look back on the 30 days of the Holy Month and read over how connected you felt to Allah to inspire and motivate you to carry on doing the same throughout the months following Ramadan inshaAllah!
Plan Your Duas
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Three types of people’s dua’as are not rejected: 1) At the time of iftar the person who has fasted, 2) A just ruler’s dua, 3) The dua of the oppressed.” [Tirmidhi]
One of the most profound courses I did last year was the Online Visionaire course where I learned how to make duas that are effective and planned my dream duas for every prayer. Since that Ramadan, I have had some immense milestones and prayers achieved, including moving to a new house and traveling to a place I had been longing to visit, alhamdulillah. So here is the secret formula for having your duas planned (make it a daily habit and stick to it after Ramadan as well).
- List 6 short sharp duas to achieve by end of the year.
- Memorize them and add Allah’s Names to each dua.
- Make the same duas a daily habit everyday.
- Choose a time where dua is likely to be accepted! Such as in prostration or after obligatory prayers, when you are about to break your fast and in the last third part of the night.
- Make them tangible and specific.
- Be sincere and have conviction every time you make dua it will be answered!
I ask Allah to bless us all in this blessed month, grant us the ability to worship Him as He deserves to be worshipped and that He makes us live through a productive Ramadan! Ameen.