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This is such an important topic, and one that very few of us consider in the deeper sense of “preparing”.
There are many articles and lectures on how to prepare our bodies for Ramadan, including voluntary fasts to get our bodies used to the process by eating less proportion-wise and fewer meals.
This is wonderful advice and it’s very helpful, especially if you have days of missed fasts from the year before (like women who missed days because of menstruation/pregnancy/nursing).
But what about our hearts and minds? How can we get our truest selves ready for the rigors of Ramadan?
For starters, as always, we must make intention, or niyah, for welcoming Ramadan. Just as you would get excited for the upcoming visit of a good friend or loved one, get excited for the arrival of Ramadan.
Get excited for the ways in which Allah will purify the things that don’t belong in your heart. Ask Allah to prepare your heart to welcome the cleansing of Ramadan.
Suhaib Webb said, “Ramadan is from ra ma da, an Arabic word that means “extreme heat”. That’s because the heat of the month burns away our sins.” Plan in your heart to make the most of Ramadan, and ask Allah to purify your heart in this powerful time.
There is no room in our hearts for Allah if we continually stuff everything else in there to fill the emptiness we feel. Begin a practice of sitting along with no phone, no book, nothing to distract yourself from yourself.
Sit alone and make dua. Sit alone and listen to your breath. Just sit and allow your heart to connect with your mind, and your mind to connect with Allah. Sit alone in this quiet for 10 minutes a day and I guarantee your mind and heart will be less busy, less distracted, and less easily led away from your intentions.
Think about what life will be like after Ramadan. Don’t want the typical post-Ramadan slump? Make a real plan for how you will incorporate your life goals into Ramadan. Want to read more Qur’an? You must make a practical plan for it.
Want to make sure you pray all the obligatory and the sunnah prayers? Plan for it! I recommend a Ramadan Journal and planner that includes pre-Ramadan activities, like the Ramadan Battle Plan or StoriDori/SISTERS Magazine’s Ramadan Planner or Happy Muslim Mama’s Ramadan Planner.
May your Ramadan be welcomed like a beloved friend, cheer you and revive your heart and soul during its stay, and leave you and all of us better people. Ameen.
I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
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