"And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers."
(Al-Quran 51:55)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tips for a Productive Ramadan

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Today is the 12th fast, alhamdulillah, so we are near to half way. It’s quite common that after the initial enthusiasm of the beginning of Ramadan, our attention might be starting to slow down, and we may be feeling extra tired, not bothered and falling back into our regular routine. Here are a few tips to get you back on track, inshallah!

1.        As always, have a good intention. Here is given the example of person A and person B. Both want to have a good and productive Ramadan. Person A really sets his intentions – finish the Quran, pray all prayers on time, volunteer for charity, teach others about Islam, read Islamic books to build up my knowledge – so he has very concrete plans. Person B just says I want to have a good Ramadan. Who will have a more productive Ramadan? Person A will because he thought clearly and he planned what he was going to do.
The most important to do is to be sincere. Make sure your intentions are powerful – clear, think properly about what you want to do! Change and go over your intentions now even half way – its not too late to make a change!

2. Now, intentions alone are not enough – you need to take action! The way to do this is to do something called time blocking. All you do is make sure you block time out for anything you have to do, e.g. if you want to finish a Quran, then fix a certain time in the day for reading Quran. That will be like your appointment with the Quran. Do this with all other activities that you want to do – this will help you achieve your intentions. If something happens at the time of your appointment, then attend to that thing, and then carry on again the next day or later on in the day.

3.Many people when they look at Ramadan they look at it in a month view e.g. I want to pray a whole Quran in Ramadan etc. But we should look at things day by day – what will you do today? Don’t worry about tomorrow or the whole month.  In this way we will live in the moment. Focus on today so you can make the most of it. What happens if you don’t do this? Procrastination kicks in – you think oh it’s ok if I haven’t read Quran today; I’ve got the whole month to go – so take things day by day.

4. Do your Most Important Tasks early in the day. This is because this is the time when you have more energy. Figure out at least your 1-3 most important tasks (something you have to do), and get them out of the way early in the day, where possible. This is great to beat procrastination! Another benefit of doing things early in the day is because this time meaning the morning is a time of blessings for the Muslims as the Prophet (saw) made dua to Allah – “O Allah, bless my Ummah in the mornings”. He himself would carry out his most important tasks in the morning. So this is also a Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).

5.If you are productive in the early hours of the day, that will generate more energy later on in the day. And the same for the opposite – if you start off lazy, the whole day will end up being lazy! It’s like a chain reaction. E.g. if you read your daily portion of Quran, you’ll feel motivated to do other things as well.

6. We are creatures of habit, and we fall into a routine very quickly. Now, as it’s the 12th day, we may already have a set Ramadan routine. So, think, what is our Ramadan routine? What do we do in the morning, afternoon and evening? It’s important that we review our routine and think is our morning routine the best it could be. Is there more we could be doing? Read Fajr and then sleep – is that the best I can do? Maybe I should pray Quran in that time, for example. But do not over whelm your routine, so that you can’t do anything or do too much in one go.

7. Next, how do we have a meaningful Ramadan? Have we become bored of Ramadan? The reason for this is that we are not using our time wisely and we are not striving towards anything. As humans, we have been created as slaves. We are the slaves of Allah, and a slave is supposed to work. Slaves are meant to serve their master. So, if we are sitting flicking through the channels and wasting away our Ramadan, then we will lose the meaning of Ramadan. We will become bored and tired of it. To have a meaningful Ramadan, we need to strive for it. Have our own routines and help others. Don’t let Ramadan pass you by just so that you can survive it – thinking if I do this it will kill some time. Instead have goals to focus on to make your Imaan stronger and to make you a better Muslim.

8.        Now, what happens when you don’t feel like it? How many of us wake up on a Ramadan morning and we don't feel like doing anything? Feeling tired, sleepless nights, struggling with getting everything done? What do we do? First thing to do is to slow down. Maybe there has been a lot going on and you’re trying to do too much. Slow down to regain your energy. Slowing down doesn’t mean missing out your obligations like missing your namaz or not praying Quran at all. It means that you reduce a bit – cut down on Quran or nafl prayers. This will help you be stronger. All you need is 2 or 3 days – sleeping a bit more and relaxing a bit more. This will help you especially for the last 10 nights. Most of us go through Ramadan and by the middle we start to struggle. If we don’t slow down, then by the last 10 nights we will be completely gone!

(Sourced from Productive Muslim)

May Allah give us all the ability to have a productive and blessed Ramadan - Ameen.


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