This Ramadan (2015) is a really significant time for me. It marks the end of 5 years of Alimiyyah studies and a total of 8 years of studying Islam both privately and at educational institutes. It’s scary to think that after almost 8 years of attending the same institute, being in the same environment that life is about to change quite drastically.
For me, Ramadan has always been a month to reset myself both spiritually and physically. It’s the month to really slow down and amplify your connection with Allah. With my change of circumstances, I’m also using this month as a transition period. To gently tie off any loose ends from the last 8 years, appreciate all the good and create space for a new chapter in my life. Needless to say that I’m really excited but also quite apprehensive – you really never know what Allah has in-store for you!
There are so many beneficial articles online about making the most of Ramadan (it’s wonderful!), so instead of going down the advice route I thought I’d share my personal insights that has helped me and hopefully other women too.
It’s Time To Reset
People use new years day, birthdays, summer holidays, religious holidays to get back to what matters most. I think Ramadan is an incredible opportunity to do the same. To quite down less important areas of your life, focus on the coming years whilst grounding yourself through worshipping Allah.
- Spiritually: resetting spiritually is firstly leaving sins like music, gambling, dressing immodestly, arrogance etc. and secondly worshipping Allah more than you’d do normally. You don’t always have to go all out and commit to standing in prayer all night, just do more than usual and make a sincere effort to do your best.
- Physically: the theme for me is resetting so I stick to yoga and gentle cardio. A few years back, I would exercise until I would just about lose my breath and crave for water. Not a good idea! Now I leave the more intense exercise for after iftaar, approximately 30 – 40 minutes after I finish eating, otherwise it gets too late.
Nourish Your Body
I recently read this food philosophy of an organic meal delivery program. One of their key principles was that the food you eat should make you feel really good. Like really, really good :)) You should feel energised, confident and sensual within your own body. But eating junk, fried food every day won’t make you feel like that.
In both your meals (Iftar and Suhoor) you want to include all three food groups: complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats (with the addition of unlimited vegetables and greens). When you sit down to eat, make sure your meal consists of all there food groups. Use the table below to get a gist of what your plate should look like.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: 3 supplications will not be rejected (by Allah), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler. [al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi – Sahih].
I can’t think of anything more motivating than the hadith above.
Pour your heart to Allah. Honestly, say everything that needs to be said and don’t hold back. Ask for everything, even if it feels impossible. Speak to Allah like you do to your best friends. You know how you say everything? You cry, you laugh, you crack jokes, you blabber on and you speak your heart out.
Give To The Man You Love
During ramadan we make an effort to have a fun iftar with our friends, neighbours and relatives. As women, we got so busy with work, children, family, social projects that we sometimes forget to nourish the love at home – Sounds so cheesy :)) But it’s easy to forget the significant man in your life who’s working all day to provide for you. Ramadan should be just another opportunity to strengthen your relationship. Maybe it’s an unexpected kiss, a favourite dish or a back massage – keep lighting the sparks in your marriage.
Don’t Procrastinate After Maghrib
If you don’t pray taraweeh at the mosque, I know it can be so tempting to lounge around and nibble on food long after taraweeh prayer has begun. What works for me is knowing that if I pray on time, I can have my relaxation afterwards. I don’t like the idea of hastening prayer or feeling stressed because I choose to lounge around (which didn’t even feel that good anyway). Instead, I’d rather pray on time, then complete household chores and then relax fully with no stress or bother.
A Tired Woman Is An Angry Woman :))
I know that during Ramadan your sleep timetable is all over the place. Some nights, you barely get 20 minutes of sleep. Through out the day your feeling tired, weak and you just want to sleep! (Is that too much to ask for? :)) So consciously, have naps through out the day – If you need more than one nap, then let it be so.
The most important thing is your health. If you have a choice between catching up on your sleep or completing household chores, choose your sleep girl! Who cares if your house looks perfect when your tired, angry and moody because you haven’t been able to rest properly? Taking care of you is much more important than taking care of your house. I’m not saying to neglect your household chores but rather know your priorities.
Lastly, in this blessed month do the best you can. Even if you don’t reach your targets or mess up, there’s really no need to mentally beat yourself up over it. As women, we are so harsh on ourselves – one little mistake and we can spend hours thinking over it. Instead be more proactive in your approach: learn the lesson, accept that it didn’t go as planned, forgive yourself and seek plenty of forgiveness from Allah.
So those are my key takeaways from previous Ramadans, what are your time tested insights that have helped you become a more productive, efficient woman in Ramdadan? Many women (and men too ) visit this site daily and your insights could really make a difference to someone’s productivity this Ramadan.
Do share your insights in the comments below. I am forever grateful for each and every comment/email/message – it’s so exciting to know that we are all contributing to creating an online community of inspiring and fabulous women :))