Last year, as Ramadan was approaching, we were still in a state of confusion.
Would the mosques be open? Would there be taraweeh (night prayers during the month of Ramadan)?
The words “Ramadan” and “pandemic” had never been paired before but last year, we all experienced different Ramadan totally different from what we are used to. The doors of the mosque had never been closed before. At least not at such a large scale. The thought of making it through a Ramadan away from the masjid, the iftar gatherings and our usual routine seemed so… strange.
And yet, we made it through. We didn’t just survive, many of us actually found that we thrived in new ways.
The forced social distancing caused a new kind of closeness in the things that mattered most: our relationship with Allah, the Quran, and our immediate family.
Here we are again, about to approach another Ramadan in a world that is still finding ways to cope with challenges of COVID. Though it is difficult to predict exactly what Ramadan 2021 will look like, we are in a better place to prepare to make the best of this blessed month insha’Allah.
Below are things to keep in mind for a productive Ramadan in these unique times.
As always – Plan
As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Making a realistic plan is definitely a good place to start and start early. This will give you the opportunity to take your plan for a test drive. You can tweak and adjust where needed and be a lot more in the swing of things when the month of Ramadan begins.
Take time to create and use a Dua’a list
Allah is certainly encouraging us to turn to Him in these unique times and perhaps we all are, but being able to write our thoughts down adds a depth that can really elevate your dua’a game. Don’t wait until the beginning of Ramadan or the last ten nights, take advantage of the time we have until then insha’Allah to reflect and write. When we ask Allah we connect with Him, and it’s refreshing to step away from our usual post-prayer dua’as to strengthen this connection.
Focus on elevating “family productivity”
Whatever this means to your family, get everyone on board to figure out one or two key goals you can work on as a family. With the increased time families are spending together, building productive habits to please Allah is a beautiful way to grow together. Whether you are a parent or a child, there is something positive we can all bring to the table. Think of what that may be for your family and make the intention to build that this Ramadan.
Keeping in mind the public health guidelines that are in effect in your area, find ways to safely engage with those around you. Maybe it is simply sending a meal to a neighbor’s house or checking in on someone in their time of need or difficulty. Do not over isolate yourself because there is much we can learn from those around us, especially in the blessed month.
Be mindful of your mindset
With the excessive focus on what is difficult, limited or not possible in a pandemic, it’s easy to get caught up in a bubble of negativity. Be conscious of this through the month and remind yourself to focus on the abundance, not the absence. We all have something to be grateful for, in our blessings and in our tests. Making a habit to focus on what Allah has granted us is what will ultimately give us that sweetness in our worship of Him.
Give – in different ways
There is ample need out there – beyond just financial need. Find ways to give to those around you in ways they need. For some, it may be physical presence or assistance, for some, emotional support, while for others, it may simply be your time. Be generous with what you can offer to those around you and don’t forget to make the intention to do it because you want to please Allah.
Remember to embrace the tests
Lastly remember that Allah is trying to teach us something through everything. Keep that at the forefront of your mind and embrace the tests.
May Allah SWT allow us all to reach and live through the month of Ramadan, and benefit from its many blessings, in this life and the next, ameen!