By Nourin Ibraheem
Abu Dhabi, UAE
We enter the month of Ramadan with a lot of joy and excitement in our hearts, but we Muslim mummies also have anxiety deep inside about how to manage home, kids, school, iftars and suhoors, and not to forget taraweeh. This is the time that calls for effective planning and efficient usage of time.
Planning always makes affairs smooth, but we also have to keep in mind that everything might not go per plan. This is the reason why we must have realistic goals and understand that Ramadan is first and foremost a time for ibadah.
To make the most of this blessed month, here are a few things we can do that’ll help us reap maximum rewards, while keeping us positively charged:
1. The first step is of course, to make sincere dua to Allah to make our affairs easy. Accept the fact that Allah has placed us exactly where we need to be, and Allah is all knowing. This will help us in getting rid of any unnecessary anxiety and pressure.
2. Ramadan is indeed the month of mercy, and its blessings reaches each and every one of us according to our intentions. Making sincere intention is important so that we can utilise the time in a lot of ibadah and in doing good deeds. Ramadan is not just about staying away from food and water, it is more about cleansing of the heart and purifying it.
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said; Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
(Sahih Al- Bukhari)
3. Each one of us have different challenges, if you are a mom, you must plan earlier and decide which time is best for worship (for night prayers, learning and teaching Qur’an to the kids). It is also important to decide how you will complete other chores at home, giving yourself time to rest.
4. Avoid any vigorous cleaning during fasting. Doing so in will not only leave you tired and exhausted, but also take up much time from the time that should be used in ibadah.
5. Ramadan is a month of training. It is an opportunity to train our bodies and souls, and to exercise self control. Hence, going out of control at iftar ruins the purpose. Keep it as simple and healthy as possible. A heavy iftar makes it difficult to go for taraweeh, which is an essential part of Ramadan. I know we cannot imagine iftars without samosas 😉 but everybody knows their limits.
6. t is a good idea to make some food items like kebabs, samosas, spring rolls etc, in large batches, as they can be stored in the freezer and used throughout Ramadan. It saves a lot of time and reduces the effort for everyday iftar planning.
7. Introduce different fruits and nuts for iftar, as they provide the much needed nutrients, and are also filling.I Fresh fruit juices are also better options than artificially flavoured ones.
8. Include kids (according to their age) in preparations and allow them to feel the happiness and excitement of Ramadan. Activities like making Ramadan calendar, moon craft, lantern making, 30 days good deed jar are some ideas. Kids love it when they are given responsibilities and made to feel like a part of something. Give them simple chores like mixing fruits to make a salad, setting the table for iftar, handing out dates and water at iftar etc.
9. There are Muslimahs among us who are not able to fast. This could be because of their health, or if they are nursing mothers. Don’t feel upset, Allah knows everything. There are many things you can do to keep the spirit of Ramadan alive and feel its special warmth. Good deeds are not restricted, sit and think hard of all the good deeds you can do and write them down. Take them up one by one and constantly keep yourself engaged in adhkar.
Making iftar for the fasting, giving Ramadan gifts(small or big) to all those people you know (Muslims or non-Muslim doesn’t matter), Eid gifts for kids in the family, sponsoring eid dresses for the orphans, giving a lot of sadaqa are some of them to mention.
10. Our mind keeps wandering around the chores to be done and hunger makes our brain a little weak so it is natural to forget what to ask Allah for. To make sure you don’t miss out any important duas, make a list of ‘’personal duas’’ and keep it handy.
11. Dua to be read upon breaking the fast can be written down and glued onto a tissue box, or framed and kept on dining table so that all the family members are able to read it. If you have space in your home, create a special area for praying where you will be able to concentrate more, and the whole family can also use it to pray together.
12. Finally, do not lose hope if everything doesn’t go as you planned. Kids keep us busy and distracted, and can sometimes be hard to handle. Ask Allah for beautiful patience and very good health to deal with the little tantrums, and at the same time continue with our ibadah.
Let us all pray sincerely that Allah allows us to reach Ramadan with good health, and that we are able to make it a very productive one.