Preparing for Ramadan Checklist
You should start preparing for Ramadan many weeks in advance and here is a preparation checklist of what you should aim to achieve when it comes:
- Start a countdown timer and practice what you will do in Ramadan
- Make up the previously missed fasts before Ramadan starts
- Complete as many tasks as you can before Ramadan
- Keep in contact with other family members
- Make a private prayer area in your home
- Learn something new about the Quran
- Think how you will spend money on those less fortunate that you
- Practice patience beforehand
- Start reducing screen time (social media etc) from now
- Save money now to spend in Ramadan
When is Ramadan this year?
Expected dates across the world vary from April 12, depending on the time zone.
But it could be a day or so either side, not just because of time zones but because of announcements of moon sightings.
How to cope with the shutdown
With billions of people under lockdown to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, which is likely to continue into the next couple of months, it means the holy month of Ramadan will be spent in physical isolation when usually it is a time of congregation.
Families look forward to Ramadan, yet it will be different this year. There will be no large iftari meals (breaking the fast) with friends and family and no nightly Taraweeh gatherings for congregational prayers. The Eid festival is also likely to be affected and will be more muted than normal.
Although this is almost unprecedented, thankfully our religion provides help in all circumstances and there are still many ways we can connect with our Lord in this sacred time.
With the global death toll increasing, many countries announced lockdowns, and so did mosques, with many closing their door completely and others banning congregational prayers. They have taken a series of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
Many mosques are trying to keep the communities engaged by using live-streams and local radio stations to broadcast sermons and classes. Here are some ways you can ensure your connection with Allah is established and maintained in Ramadan:
Prepare for Ramadan by fasting before
Start a countdown timer to Ramadan and really bring it in to our homes. The Prophet (SAW) used to prepare for Ramadan by fasting most days of Sha’ban the month before, and especially Mondays and Thursdays. This will help us feel what a day in Ramadan will be like and get us physically and mentally ready.
Check out our Ramadan prep board on Pinterest for more information.
Take little naps to get energy for worship
In Ramadan, we usually get less sleep with the various routines of the month. But with the Coronavirus lockdown and most people either working from home or not working at all, the time you would normally spend getting ready and travelling to work could be used to catch up on sleep leaving you more time and energy for worship the rest of the day.
Keep in contact with family, it is a form of worship
Fasting may be an individual act of worship but Ramadan has always been about keeping in touch with family. Make sure to call or message family and friends to see how they are and if you can help with anything. This is worship too.
Make a Prayer area at home
Make a particular area in your home a masjid or prayer area, if you have space. Some place that is accessible to all yet provides an amount of privacy. Keep a prayer mat in place so family members know you’re in prayer at that time and to give you peace and quiet.
Call the Adhaan at home.
Designate someone to call the adhaan at each prayer time and to lead Salat. Make congregational prayers with all family members taking part, rather than praying the compulsory salah individually.
Learn something new about the Quran
Try to make it a month long project so it’s lengthy and comprehensive. Something like:
- Learning by heart certain Surahs which you’ve never attempted before, like the Musabbihat (the 7 surahs which start with Sabbaha or Yusabbiho.
- Learn the meaning and context of as many Surahs of the last Juz (part 30) as you can.
- Or learn about the Quranic stories of Musa, Yusuf, Yunus and Isa (AS) and their duas.
- If Arabic is not a spoken language of yours, then make sure to read the translation of the Quran to correspond with what you have read in Arabic, try to complete the reading of the full Quran translation in the month.
Make excessive dua at this time. Pray for the wellbeing of the Ummah and all humanity at this stressful time. Make dua that the masjids around the world are opened up again and we can once again pray in them to satisfy our hearts.
Think of those less fortunate than you
There so many people who have lost their jobs or livelihoods from the current situation and will struggle to pay some of their bills. There are others that are in an even worse situation where they can’t even feed themselves or their families today. Think of them and try to be even more charitable than we usually are at Ramadan.
Use the money saved from having to travel to work or spending on luxuries and entertainment that we usually do and give more to charities at home and abroad. These times are difficult for us, but for them are terrifying.
This is truly the month of patience
In times like these, some people will inevitably lose their wealth, income and some even their lives. It is helpful to remember the Prophet (SAW) advised that property lost during tribulations will be considered charity, and those who die as a result of pandemics will be considered martyrs. The Prophet’s dua is even more apt at this time so close to the holy month:
Make sure helping others in on your Ramadan checklist
A core principle of Islam is helping our fellow human beings. During the coronavirus outbreak, there are many ways we can practice this, whether by donating to food banks, supporting local businesses or checking up on our neighbours.
May Allah protect us and guide us. Ameen