We can’t believe Ramadan is so close! Before we know it, this glorious month will be at our doorsteps. What are you doing to prepare? We’re all familiar with the standard Ramadan prep tasks: Prepare your Ramadan goals so you’re ahead of the game, start cooking samosas now be frozen for Iftar, create duaa list, plan out your Quran reading time, etc. We think those are all stellar suggestions, but follow our unlikely tips and this could be your best Ramadan ever!
Wean off the Caffeine
While the debate still rages about the benefits of caffeine (does it make you live longer or does it kill brain cells?) one thing is certain- a lot of us are addicted. That cup of chai every night or that shot of Turkish coffee does affect your brain, and taking the caffeine away can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, our favorite of which is a gloriously pounding headache. If you’re like me and are very familiar with these first-days-of-Ramadan headaches, take heed: start quitting caffeine now! The easiest and most painless way to do this is to cut your caffeinated drink with the decaf variety, until you’re drinking fully decaffeinated coffee or tea. Then cut the drink out altogether so you don’t end up as one of those caffeine-drained zombies come the first Taraweh prayer of the year.
Who wants to start the holiest month of the year off with dust and clutter? Instead of cleaning during Ramadan, wouldn’t you rather spend time with family, reading Quran, or praying? And what’s even more important than the standard cleaning tasks of dusting, mopping, laundry, etc is de-cluttering your space. A clean space is the best way to prioritize your life and focus on the important things. Get rid of things you don’t need, and find someone who does need them. Finally put away those winter sweaters and boots to streamline getting dressed in the morning. Organize the pantry and fridge to save time while cooking and to help prevent wasted food. .
Start Charity Early
There’s no better way of getting in the spirit of Ramadan than remembering the importance of charity and acting upon it. While we recommend regular charity during this holy month (and throughout the year!), it definitely won’t hurt to start a bit sooner. Your giving doesn’t have to be a huge project or donation to our brothers and sisters in a far-off land, rather start locally. How about collecting some items for the masjid for Ramadan, or helping families in the community who might be in need of food staples this month. The best thing to do in your own community is just ask around! And don’t forget the non-Muslims as well. Charity is a great form of Da’wah and a way to spread the beauty of Islam.
Start Reading Quran Now!
If reading Quran is something you do every day (and it should be, mashallah!) then you’ve already got a head start. For those of us who don’t pick the quran up as frequently as we’d like to, now is the time to start. If you start reading on the first day of Ramadan, you’ll already be behind. If you are not a native Arabic reader, or you haven’t read Quran since last Ramadan (ahem, yes we know you exist), you’ll need these extra few days of practice to refresh your memory and reinvigorate your Arabic reading skills. This also gives you a head start to make sure you complete any Quran-reading goals you might have set for yourself this year. And don’t worry, there’s practically no such thing as reading too much Quran, especially in Ramadan.
Get ready for Eid
We all know the drill- the last few days of Ramadan we are scrambling around preparing for Eid- parties, outfits, desserts, gifts, decorations. Yes, Eid is a reason to celebrate and should be celebrated in its full glory – but do you really want to waste those precious last few hours of Ramadan preparing those celebrations? Why don’t you do what you’ve been meaning to do since… well, forever, probably .. and prepare for Eid before Ramadan even begins! Pick your outfit, buy all the gifts and decorations, plan any parties or events. This saves those last few days of Ramadan to catch up on more important things like finishing up all your Ramadan goals, making extra dhikr and duaa, and praying all the Sunnah you can. For any Ramadan and Eid Islamic clothing, SHUKR is the place to go.
Bonus tip: Cancel Netflix! Put a pause on bingeing on TV and movies from now to full get into the spirit of Ramadan. Don’t worry, all your shows will be available when you come back – and better yet, you might find that you don’t have as much interest in watching them after all.