5 Simple Ways of Welcoming Ramadanby Helmy Sa'at
With Ramadan fast approaching, the anticipation is keenly felt in pockets of Muslim communities around the world. As we prepare ourselves to amp up our spiritual worship and reflection, including charity quotient, what are some ways to better prepare ourselves in ensuring a more rewarding Ramadan?
By the way, this is not just another article on Ramadan home decoration that are abundantly available online. Now, that you are intrigued, let’s read on about five simple ways of embracing your Ramadan, this year:
Stop. Look. Get Rid Of It.
If that box of magazines had been sitting in the corner of your living room for more than 6 months, you would most likely not read it anymore. Do yourself and the environment a favour by responsibly tossing it into the recycle bins. Start small. Moreover there are clear psychological benefits in decluttering your immediate space. It helps in reducing anxiety.
If it appears to be a heaping mountain that seems insurmountable in 24 hours, then set a timer. Again, start small. The key is consistency while staying committed to completing the task. You do not have to do it all in a span of a few hours. It could very well be scheduled which creates opportunities for other family members to get involved.
Once your living spaces have been decluttered, then the time is ripe for Ramadan decorations. Albeit, it is optional of course. Festive decorations do not have to cost loads of money.
Yes, online shopping is a mainstream activity presently, propelled by the ongoing pandemic. Yet, opportunities abound to create precious familial memories. One way is to search for DIY creative crafts on social media platforms. In the age of digitalisation and normalised literal social distancing, (re)nurture personal connections by encouraging your children to plan and make Eid cards for friends and family, for instance.
Literally Food For Thought
Fasting during Ramadan is no excuse for binge eating. Even more so, unhealthy food. As we discipline ourselves by refraining from eating and drinking from sunrise till sunset, Ramadan is also a great month to try to kick unhealthy eating habits, especially during iftar (evening meal after sunset) and sahur/suhur (pre-dawn meal).
A good start is to substitute food stockpiles in the refrigerator with healthier options such as fruits. Avoid buying ready-to-eat food that is loaded with sugar and salt. Avoid stressful moments which could quickly morph into a vicious cycle by trapping you into a stress eating pattern. Shop early for healthier options, instead of leaving it to the last minute!
At the same time, start cooking (more). Put away your smartphone together with the multitude of delivery apps available. An additional step is to learn more about the nourishing meal indulged by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to help you make certain lifestyle changes.
Keep On Swimming
Golfing, jogging, badminton or swimming. Whatever the physical activity or sport you like to indulge in, there is no reason to completely stop during Ramadan.
Instead, plan and take the time to either transition to a less strenuous schedule, or readjust your schedule. If you are considering Ramadan as a jumpstart period to finally get active, then do so according to your body’s capability. Aim to stay active daily without unnecessarily pushing your body to the breaking point on the very first day, or any other day for that matter!
In your daily worship in moving closer to Allah, it helps to have less distractions from your immediate surroundings. It need not be an exclusive space dedicated to prayer and reflection. Yet, it helps to choose a space that has minimal distractions, such as being away from the TV or shared spaces for other family activities in the house.
This is where the early decluttering process would help in identifying such a space. Within reach, there needs to be ample space to place prayer mats, the Quran, prayer beads and other essentials so as not to interrupt the tranquil period of worship. Furthermore, an additional lamp resulting in a brighter space might create a more inviting ambience in having clarity of mind and increasing concentration as much as possible.
Pulse Of Islam
As evident from the aforementioned points, preparation to embrace Ramadan does not start a day prior or on the very first day of Ramadan. In fact, it is advised to start now for that is what the entire month of Shaban is dedicated for. With a smartphone in your hand, Muslim Pro app has the features to aid your daily worship. One facet is the ease of not having to share a physical Quran or prayer bead.
Surely, this would also be a great time to download the Muslim Pro app and explore more wonderful features. Articles, such as the one you are currently reading, are also available through Muslim Pro Connect website whereby you could share and engage with the larger Muslim Pro family by leaving thoughtful comments.
Ramadan Mubarak to all!