Something is different this year. I feel something special and a new excitement. Ramadan usually always brings a certain sweetness, but this time, it’s way different to me. I usually think of Ramadan as trying to verbally read as much Qur’an as possible. Sometimes I rush through and end up absorbing very little. Just a tongue exercise. Not really an effective plan considering I was not able to reach my goal last year. Actually, it is not a good plan for anyone at all. Just glossing over the Qur’an pages doesn’t do us any good except a dry mouth. I guess it was not tailored to my specific needs. Whoever reached any goals without setting a plan anyway? Benjamin Franklin said (read in British accent), “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” That guy knew what he was talking about.
This year I have put a lot of thought into my Ramadan goals. What do I really want to achieve? I thought about it for days and weeks. And just recently, I think about one week ago I figured it out. I want to make habits. I want to practice one or two or three good things and make it a habit. And that is my Ramadan resolution. Moreover, my goal is to set a goal in the first place. Last year I didn’t have one which makes sense why I didn’t reach it. This Ramadan is gonna be a whole lot better. My body and soul tell me so. I set three goals to achieve which in return will drill the habits into my daily routine.
1. THE WAKE-UP
Waking up before Fajr : setting my alarm till the exact time of Fajr (call of adhan) is not my cup of tea. My brain just doesn’t function that way. (Let’s all cringe a bit remembering the many times we woke up, shut the alarm off and went back to sleep). Every Ramadan, I make the effort to wake up early then forget all this effort right after Eid. Partly because I didn’t plan it and partly because I didn’t make it a priority to set goals. I find it best to wake up 30 mins or more before fajr and stretch. It’s PERFECT! Waking up early for Suhoor is a perfect way to set this as a good habit. I even planned out my stretching and quick workout routine
✔ Stretch 15 mins
✔ Abs/ core 15 mins (no weights)
✔ Read Qur’an
✔ Suhoor (take time eating: 1 hr)
✔ Read Qur’an
I am not going to set an unrealistic goal of finishing reading the Qur’an. Sometimes I cannot manage to read 4 pages after every salah. Sorry but it’s true and I’m just being honest. Plus my Arabic still isn’t that perfect that I can read quickly. But that doesn’t mean I won’t put in the effort to read more than usual. Instead here is what I can do. I CAN understand and absorb. I CAN read the Qur’an and understand the meaning and learn lessons. I CAN make it a HABIT of DAILY sitting with the Qur’an. This is more REALISTIC for me. I found support in the following awesome hadith. Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on how often the Qur’an should be completed:
The best view is that that varies from one person to another. The one who is seeking to understand it and ponder its meaning should limit himself to as much as he can understand fully when he reads, and the one who is busy spreading knowledge or other religious works, or working for the public interests of the Muslims, should limit himself to what will not cause him to neglect his work. If he is not among the categories mentioned here, then he should do as much as he can without reaching the point of boredom. End quote.
Al-Tibyaan (p. 76)
I’m no religious worker but also I’m not an Arabic perfectionist. For me to read Arabic blindly will not only lead me to dangerous boredom but would leave me without a clue of the glorious Qur’an. So my plan is the following. Starting from my favorite surahs.
✔ Listen to proper recitation (YouTube)
✔ Read surah in Arabic (repeat after recitation)
✔ Read English translation
✔ Understand tafsir
I may not be able to finish the entire Qur’an but I will absorb whatever quantityIi finish. Quality is better than quantity after all!
I am guilty like most of us when it comes to performing salah perfectly on time. When i am not busy I tend to get lazy and just delay a little bit…just a bit….just a tad bit more. I am not happy about it (head hanging low) and I want to change it badly. This Ramadan, I plan to make it a HABIT OF JUMPING THE SALAH GUN. Yes, I will be ready for salah before salah.
✔ Maintain wudu at all times (make wudu before leaving bathroom)
✔ Set a special outfit for salah and special scent
✔ Set alarm 5 mins before Iqamah and get ready
✔ Be diligent
Keeping salah on time is an excellent way to be punctual I believe. I hope to instill this sense of punctuality through Ramadan.
At the end of the day, Ramadan is not just a month of leaving behind music and movies and etc. Ramadan is a time to start healthy habits. Dedication and discipline will get me through this Ramadan. And all this was possible because of healthy lifestyle choices. In the last one year, I have drastically changed my lifestyle into a more healthy and strong one. Regular exercise and clean eating made me into stronger worshipper for Allah. I learned determination and will power. As strong Muslims, Ramadan is a time to set resolutions and crush them! I hope you can set some goals and look forward to conquering them. Stay determined always!
About the Author
Marina WonderMama Farook is a nature loving hippie, she believes in creating sisterhood through health and spreading knowledge. Her hobbies include eating, lifting heavy objects, reading and craving donuts all day. Alhamdulillah, Allah gave her the opportunity to help people through her passion for nutrition and holistic healing. Follow her on Instagram.