As Ramadhan hits us, we all power towards our own personal goals. Whether it be reading the Qur’an as many times as possible, praying 20 raka’ats for taraaweeh, or even just memorising du’as and supplications.
I wanted this Ramadhan to be different. You see, we often forget that speed isn’t the goal during Ramadhan – enrichment is. We want to end the month better than we started it, but we often end the month completely and utterly exhausted.
Not this year.
No, this year I was going to keep myself focused and sensible. My focus will always be the Qur’an (this is the month of revelation, after all), but I also wanted to highlight other goals in life that could be pursued during this blessed month.
We forget that it is not just the Qur’an and prayer that holds reward, but ANY GOOD DEED done with the right intention is an opportunity for multiple rewards. And so, I set about making my list:
1. Detox my body
Intention: Take care of the body God has blessed me with.
I haven’t been looking after myself these past few months. No exercise, not eating enough (and when I did eat, it was just junk), no water intake, and not enough sleep. Fasting, when done properly, can be a fantastic way to detox your body from all the built up rubbish that bad habits inevitably encourage. I set to work deciding how I would approach my suhoor and iftar meals in order to gain the most nutritional benefit.
I found ‘Clean Food, Clean Heart’. A 30-Day Ramadhan Meal Plan complete with recipes and grocery lists. It was the perfect way for me to tackle my poor diet in a fun way and without spending a lot of time in the kitchen (I’m not known for a love of cooking!). So far, this plan has worked out brilliantly for me. Not all the recipes worked for me (user error, probably!), but on the whole, I have found some truly wonderful meals that I will continue to make after Ramadhan has ended. Alhamdulilah, my energy levels have been up, my mood has improved, and the fasts have, alhamdulilah, been very easy!
2. Develop a homeschool routine for my children
Intention: Nurture and educate my children, who have a right over me, to give them the best foundation in life.
I have been slowly easing myself into the homeschool life, whilst gradually convincing the Hubster I can do it for all our children for the long haul, not just one at a time in their Early Years stage.
I found The Well-Trained Mind a few months ago, and I have been devouring it, researching their resources, finding other homeschool opinions, and devising a plan of action. This month, I began to implement it slowly, whilst saving time for Islamic Studies.
Alhamdulilah, we are all starting to adapt to this new way of working and hope to continue it into the Summer, inshaAllah. I’m still working on homeschooling my eldest (almost age 7), but the Hubster is still unsure about that one! Stay tuned ;).
3. Develop an increased spiritual connection to God and the Qur’an
Intention: Please my Lord and feel the strength of iman again.
Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I felt the sweetness of an ‘Iman High’, but I blame this on myself. For too long I have focused on halal and haram, hijab and niqab, music Vs no music Vs percussion, camel hump Vs flat head, etc. By focusing all my energies on fiqh (rulings) and differences of opinions, I had lost the spiritual essence of Islam, and as a consequence, I felt empty inside. My salah was robotic and my limbs lethargic.
My aim this Ramadhan is to SLOW DOWN. Turn away from different opinions for a while, and focus on FACT: God’s words, the Qur’an. Armed with the beautiful translation by M.A.S Abdel Haleem and his companion guide to the Qur’an, I have SLOWLY been digesting various verses of the Qur’an, and subhanAllah, what a difference!
Taking my time to taste the sweetness of understanding, to appreciate the sheer beauty of His words is a feeling words cannot describe. I can already feel my heart softening and my attitudes changing.
It is still very early in my ‘Quest for Spirituality’, but this Ramadhan has been a wonderful start.
So please, take my advice. As these last 10 days fall, don’t speed up. Slow down. Savour. Contemplate. Meditate.
May your final days of this blessed month be fruitful and filled with blessings that will extend all year round, inshaAllah.