Muslimah hurdles

Ramadhan – The Race

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Salam alaykum warahmatullah,

So 6 days are gone already! Time flies so fast these days, you can barely keep track.

Alhamdulillah for allowing us the opportunity to experience this month again. We all know there are quite a lot of benefits in this holy month; the utmost being forgiveness from Allah and salvation basically.

Quite a number of us work 9-5s (which of course are not exactly 9-5) and we have to keep up with quite a lot. Now add the ‘rigorous’ routine of Ramadhan – Tahjud, Sahur, Iftar, Quran (recitation, memorization, studying), Tarawih, Dua, Visitations, Adhkar etc – and you’ll find that if you’re not careful, you’re just running around like a headless chicken without really achieving anything.

So I asked myself what exactly is this month about? My answer- spiritual cleansing, renewal of my faith, repairing my heart and relationship with Allah; basically- salvation.

Ok. So the next question is ‘should this be a Sprint or a Marathon’? A ‘3-day detox or a lifestyle change’?

In my opinion, it’s a little bit of both, but mostly I would rather treat it as a marathon/ lifestyle change.

Here’s why:

A sprint is basically a race against time… so you are trying to finish everything as fast as possible without necessarily focusing on quality. Just like when you are trying to lose weight and you do a quick fix detox. Of course you lose weight, but what happens after the detox program? Do you go back to your previous eating habits? Very likely! And of course you gain all the weight back. (I know this because I’ve been on that weight loss cycle forever).

Ramadhan is a blessing we only have once a year; and the way i see it, it’s meant to kick-start our pursuit of being better versions of ourselves not just for the month but perpetually – in other words, lifestyle change, longer process, requires perseverance and endurance.

So rather than racing to do everything all at once, I’ve decided that I want to focus on specific things and do them very well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying drop any acts of worship or Sunnah’s of the month; I’m saying – re-evaluate how you do them.

For example, Quran recitation, memorization and generally studying the Quran are some of the key activities for this month of the Quran.  Instead of running a race to finish reciting the Quran once or twice or more, how about choosing to read study (portions of) the Quran, ensuring that you understand the details and interpretations of the tafsir, the whys, hows, whens, of the portions you are studying. This way, we’re not just going through the motions, you are embedding yourself in it and in sha Allah, the in-depth understanding will help soften our hearts and increase our eeman. Same applies to giving charity and zakat and others. Whatever you do, make it count. Make sure you are touching a life or more.

As a working Muslimah, I have quite a number of obligations and distractions (unfortunately) and I’m sure I’m not even half as busy as a lot of people. You need to see me driving around iftar time to understand what I mean – but no matter how busy life gets, what can be more important than my deen?

So the key is to figure out what works for you really and how to be more productive in general. This is what I’ve done so far; hopefully you’ll find some of them useful

  • I drew up a plan at the beginning of the month showing how I want to spend my time,
  • I wrote out my goals and prayer points,
  • I drew up a food timetable (yes… thinking about what to make for iftar is an just unnecessary waste of time),
  • Did some bulk food shopping (though NEPA abi na PHCN is just not helping with that),
  • Downloaded books I want to read, Calculated my zakat and figured out how I want to contribute in terms of sadaqah
  • Set plenty alarms for the night and created my daily timetable on my phone so I get a prompt when I’m taking too long on something else.

May Allah make it easy for us to be exemplary Mu’minuun, forgive us our shortcomings, accepts our acts of ibaadah and grant us through His mercy; AlJannatu Firdaos.

Barakallahu lee wa lakum

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ    



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