Spiritual preparations for Ramadan
It’s Ramadan again, the most precious and awe-inspiring time of the year. In the same way that we plan to physically prepare our bodies for Ramadan and seek hacks that will make us suffer less from headaches, hunger, thirst and tiredness, it’s also important to prepare our souls for the holy month.
Ramadan is a time of spiritual cleansing and rejuvenation, so to gain the most from the blessed month, here are some ways to be more spiritually prepared for it.
Learn from last Ramadan:
Consider the things that you regretted at the end of last year’s Ramadan and use these to highlight the things that you want to focus on this year.
Tasks done in advance:
Consider stocking up on your shopping and preparing and freezing food in advance. This will give you more time during the holy month to focus on worshipping, self-improvement, and charity.
Decluttering the mind:
Try to make more mental room for the blessings of Ramadan. Much like cleaning our homes, we should also aim to clear out the things that are cluttering our minds. This means letting go of the grudges, anger, and frustration that may be burdening us and making room for the patience, piety, and warmth that comes with Ramadan.
Make a list of goals:
Whether it is praying regularly, if you do not already do so, learning new duaas, performing the taraweeh prayers, or trying to recite a certain number of pages of the Quran regularly and reflecting on its meanings, setting a fixed place for your prayers, spending more quality time with the family, finding dedicated meditation time, controlling your emotions, or finding more time for charity, Ramadan can be a time to make a list of the spiritual and other goals you would like to achieve and how you plan on achieving them.
End bad habits:
Ramadan is the best time of year to end bad habits or negative personality traits and develop new and better ones. Write down what you want to stop doing, consider what simulates bad habits in the first place, and aim to stop them for good.
Distractions can consume our time and prevent us from living a more productive and fulfilling life. During the month of Ramadan, time is at a premium. If we allow everyday distractions to continue during Ramadan, we risk depriving ourselves of the holy month’s immense blessings. So, try to minimise the use of social media like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and steer clear of video games. Replace these things with more beneficial applications or worship.
Seek knowledge and act on it:
Pursue Islamic knowledge and learn all you can about the many virtues of Ramadan on a daily basis. Seek knowledge about fasting so you ensure you’re doing your fast properly. Find out which things invalidate you fast and the other things that are related to it.
Observe what’s obligatory:
When incorporating voluntary spiritual habits into our Ramadan routine, we should also ensure that we are properly fulfilling our daily obligatory prayers. This goes beyond simply praying and means making greater efforts to pray on time and with greater reflection. Learning the meaning of specific verses from the Quran and pondering them can better connect us with our prayers.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 31 March, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.