This is going to be a different — and perhaps difficult — Ramadan for everyone this year. No one could have anticipated such things would happen the way have this year, but indeed, Allah is the best of planners. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I thought I would share some tips on how I plan to stay motivated and productive this Ramadan while many of us are under lockdown and shelter in place orders.
Make dua for the ummah.
Let us pray, for we are in times of hardships, so we remember to be grateful for what we have, but to also pray for one another during these difficult times as family members are being lost to COVID-19.
During Ramadan, it is a good idea to set some realistic goals on what you would like to achieve in this Holy Month. For example, you may want to complete reading the Holy Quran, or focus on learning a new Surah.
Read Islamic books.
This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about Islam, and gain more knowledge on information you know little about. It may also be a good time to re-read and regather information that you may have forgotten about.
Remember why you’re fasting.
Keep in mind why we fast. With the difficult times that everyone is facing, do not overbuy in a panic. Buy with others in mind, so other family’s can get what they need as well. It’s important to remember to not be wasteful.
Of course, we are expected to give our zakat, but even small acts of kindness go a long way in gaining rewards. For example, check in on your elderly neighbors, and see if they need any help with grocery shopping.
Create a routine.
Create and maintain a routine once you’ve spent the first few days of Ramadan to figure out what sort of timetable works best for you. Having a schedule will, inshaAllah, make the time go faster and keep you busy during the day. Allocate at least an hour each day to unwind and do something productive outside of Islamic education.
Spend quality time with your family.
It seems silly to say this, especially when a lot of us are stuck in lockdown, but make sure to spend time with your family outside of seeing them just for iftar and suhur. Don’t forget to also Facetime and contact other family members and friends during this month. It’s a good way to take your mind off things, and you can definitely spend half an hour just catching up.
Take care of your physical and mental health.
This should go without saying, but don’t forget to maintain your mental and physical heath during Ramadan. Remember to eat a little healthier, give your mind a break, and try a get in a little exercise every day.
Be mindful of your electronic usage.
There are many great Islamic apps on your phone that you can download to use during the month of Ramadan. Muslim Pro is excellent example which shares Hadiths, the Holy Quran, short duas and more. To prevent yourself from listening to music or using other apps, either delete them from your phone or create a folder on your phone titled “do not use.”
Finally, please enjoy this blessed month. Allah knows best, and alhamdulillah, we have made it to see another Ramadan, so we should be grateful, positive, and stay united.