Ramadan – The Hustle and Bustle of daily life
Asalaam-u-alaikum lovelies. I hope you’re all having a most blessed Ramadan so far. Can you believe we’re this far in already?! Goodness it makes me so sad to think that our friend’s brief visit is passing so quickly.
I wanted to spend a little time talking about making the most of this beautiful month when you live a super busy lifestyle, which sadly so many of us do nowadays.
We’ve all had those days and weeks where work and your lifestyle can come crashing together to feel as though they’re acting against you in all aspects of life, leaving you with the most hectic day imaginable. In those days, it’s hard enough to find time to think let alone make the most of Ramadan.
The best scenario would be to take a few days off work or from the hectic lifestyle you lead, if not large chunks of Ramadan. Unfortunately we don’t all have the liberty of being able to take time off during this blessed month. For those that don’t, here are a few tips I’ve compiled to inshAllah help make the most of the time we do have.
1) Make Dhikr
This is one aspect of worship which we can do at any time, in any place. We can really underestimate the power of dhikr. Constantly remembering our Lord and reciting His names can give so much tranquillity in the heart and has so many rewards associated with it.
“O You who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance” – Quran [33:41]
When you’re at work, driving around or making dinner, keep reciting His names and doing tasbeeh and dhikr.
Another great tool is having a small prayer book on you at all times which you can whip out or keep on your desk to read when you get a spare minute. This will keep you feeling you are keeping that connection with the Almighty throughout the entire day.
The Prophet S.A.W. said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running” – Al- Bukhari
2) Planning meals
This is something I tend to do on a daily basis, outside of Ramadan too. But is something which I find vitally important during the Holy month.
I don’t know about you but I find that the process of thinking about what to make for dinner can sometimes take just as long as making the food itself!
Make a plan of what you intend to eat for suhoor and iftar for the week, preferably with more perishable foods towards the beginning of the week. you can then cut down on having to go shopping by planning a weekly shop where you buy all your ingredients in advance. It will also mean you don’t need to spend time thinking about what to cook during the week after a long day at work!
3) Make the most of Suhoor
These Summer-time fasts are ever so strange in terms of figuring out sleeping and waking up to start your fast. I won’t lie, I try to stay awake up until Fajr so that I don’t have to face the prospect of sleeping for just a couple of hours before waking up.
If you are one of those people that really cannot afford to wake up half an hour before suhoor, try preparing your food the night before, laying it out onto a plate and placing into the fridge ready for you to eat as soon as you get up.
Either way, try to make at least half an hour of time either before or after fajr – if not both- where you can really focus on speaking to Allah swt, asking for forgiveness and devoting at least this time to Him. After all it is this the last third of the night that Allah swt is closest to us.
The Prophet s.a.w. said: “The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’” – Al-Bukhari and Muslim
4) Take a nap
Lack of sleep is probably the aspect of Ramadan, in Summer months particularly, that I find the most difficult. As I mentioned above, I tend to sleep late after fajr and then have to wake up early for work. Now obviously keeping this up for 30 days is going to have significant negative impacts on both mind and body. This is where I find napping is really important.
For me, when I’ve had a really long day at work, I just want to get home and be able to catch up on reading my Quran or praying nafl. I often dive straight into it, only to find my concentration really waning and sometimes that I’m even drifting off into sleep into the open pages. Rather than trying to battle on through due to wanting to spend as much time as I can in worship, I try to take a short nap which will rejuvenate me. I do get awful headaches if I nap, but I find the headache is a short-term side effect of taking a nap which will overall allow me to feel better the next day and throughout the entirety of the month.
By napping, it may feel like you’re taking yourself away from maximising the time you have during this month, but it will mean that when you are praying it will inshaAllah be that much more productive and meaningful.
5) Listen to Islamic lectures
This is one of my favourite things to do whilst getting Iftar ready, getting dressed in the morning or driving around. I will download some onto my phone, or stream from my laptop and engross myself in the words of one of my favourite teachers whilst I am getting on with daily tasks.
At the moment I am really enjoying the daily doses of tafseer of Surah Baqarah by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan on Bayyinah TV.
6) Have conversations about Islam
I find that when I engage in a conversation about some topic of Islam, I come out of it feeling spiritually uplifted.
This is of course similar to dhikr, as remembering Allah swt in any form is said to act as worship.
The Prophet s.a.w. said: “Allah Almighty has angels who travel the highways and by-ways seeking out the people of dhikr. When they find people remembering Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, they call out to one another, ‘Come to what you hunger for!’ and they enfold them with their wings stretching up to the lowest heaven…” Al Bukhari
Try spending time discussing topics withing Islam with your loved ones throughout the month. It doesn’t have to be an intense discussion, you can simply talk about the beauty of His signs!
InshAllah I pray that this month be full of blessings for us all and that we are able to attain a relationship with the Almighty closer than we ever have been before.
Let me know if you have any tips for busy people during this month below.
Any good in this post is from Allah swt and any bad is from myself and shaitan only.