Hey girl hey. And boy.
Here we go again – making Ramadan posts last minute. 😂 If you didn’t know already, Ramadan starts tomorrow. If you’re anything like me, I usually aim to be as productive as I can in Ramadan but usually end up slacking and wasting a lot of time sleeping and calling friends. I want to really make the most out of it for 2019 and I know that for me personally, 30 day challenges that I can just tick off will make me feel really fulfilled and productive. I’m going to sort these out into Cores and Creatives and I’ll explain what they are under each category. Also, before we start, in my Ramadan post last year, I explained what Ramadan was all about. But I’m aware of all the new people that joined me on my blogging journey a little after that so here’s the same brief introduction.
Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar. In this month, we Muslims fast (not eat or drink) from sunrise to sunset for the sake of Allah (God) and increase our offering of prayers, Quran recitation, good deeds, and charity. The purpose of fasting is to redirect our hearts away from the distractions around us and to cleanse the soul. Ramadan also teaches us self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate. And yes, you’re probably like “gurl food is bae, how do you survive for 14 hours without it?” 😂 It actually isn’t that hard and even when it is tiring, we’ll get rewarded in the afterlife inshallah which is what matters. Plus, some people go without food and water, except there’s no iftar (feast for breaking the fast) which is really heartbreaking so we get a little sense of how grateful we should be for accessible food throughout the next 11 months.
Also, I will be posting my April Wrappers today as well because I know this post doesn’t apply to everyone so stay tuned for that. Anyways, let’s get starteddd.
Before I begin with creative challenges, I want to address a little of the core things we could work on such as fasting and prayer. These are obligatory in Islam so if you’re looking towards building that foundation this Ramadan, definitely try these out:
Bird’s Fast: In my household, we call this the Bird’s fast and it’s basically when you fast until the afternoon or fast just a couple hours before Iftar. This is for anyone who struggles with fasting – even if you’re not a kid and struggling with fasting the full day, definitely try this out and build up a few hours week by week if you haven’t done it before. We’re all at different levels of strengths and weaknesses so it’s better to go baby steps than not to do it at all. You can do it!
One Day Yes, One Day No: If you’re comfortable fasting a full day but for any reason are still struggling with the full month, don’t give up and don’t stop fasting. Instead, try a one day yes, one day no. Or two days yes, one day no..etc. I used to do this as I was growing up until I was able to do the full thing at 10 years old but even if you’re older, definitely try instead of giving up. Also, ladies, we have a three weeks on one week off automatically because of our periods so inshallah this month won’t be too difficult. May Allah ease it on all of us.
Just Water: My friend did this for a couple weeks before Ramadan to get used to it before the actual month starts. I think it’s a great way to prepare but if it’s still your first couple times, try this 30 day method out and inshallah, you’ll have the strength to fast the full month next year.
Fasting is a pillar in Islam and it becomes obligated after puberty, so if you do not fast, try your best to build up your strength and inshallah, you will fast it one day. So many inshallah’s in this section haha. Moving on to prayer.
After the declaration of belief, prayer is the second pillar of Islam and it’s the first thing you get asked about on judgement day. If you don’t pray 5 times a day, you might want to aim for a few of these challenges.
1+ A Day: You can start off with one prayer a day and check it off on a calendar. Or maybe 2 or 3 or 4 – you get the idea. It’s better to start with baby steps than to overwhelm yourself.
Host Family Prayers (jama’a): My family and I actually started doing this recently. We’d all pray the prayers together. This way, you’ll ensure that everyone in your family prays and you do it together as a family which helps you focus more than just by yourself. You can start off with family ones at Iftar or Suhoor (maghrib and fajr) and then maybe do more. If you have Muslim roommates, you can do the same.
Attend A Mosque: If you have a mosque near you or can drive to one, maybe attend a prayer a day or more. It’s a great feeling to be around others from your community and praying altogether. Try to aim for Friday prayer when it comes around if you can although it isn’t obligatory for women but it replaces Friday duhr.
There are many challenges that go under this category and the two above are more of a priority but if you struggle with hijab and maybe want to wear it someday, you might want to try these out for the month of Ramadan. Also men should also observe hijab through their attitude and clothing but here I’m just talking about the lady physical one.
Modest Clothing: If you have a habit of wearing shorts, maybe try wearing long pants this month. If you have a habit of wearing tank tops, maybe try t-shirts or long sleeves for 30 days. There is so much style in modest clothing out there and you don’t have to wear the actual headscarf yet, but you can maybe practise the covering for 30 days.
Wearing Hijab To Prayers: You actually need to wear hijab to prayer but maybe if you’re going to a mosque to pray, try wearing the hijab on the way there. Lots of women who don’t wear it come in without it and then use the ones from the mosque but maybe you can try the car ride there and back and too. I remember doing this when I was younger and I felt super awkward at first but it definitely eases you a little into wearing it fulltime later on.
Now the reason I don’t mention part-time hijab after puberty is because it’s worse to put it on and then take it off. The one to prayers can be an exception because you’re entering the mosque with a hijab which is good. If you still didn’t hit puberty, you can definitely try part-time (eg. going to grocery stores, at school,etc) but I don’t encourage wearing it one day and taking it off the next otherwise. ” However, the actual worship behind the wardrobe cannot be something one partially invests in” – Hana Qwfan words this perfectly but if you’re just wearing without the intention of doing it for the sake of Allah then I’m not too sure of the ruling behind that. Also, hijab is more than just a head covering but the physical part is also obligatory even if you haven’t “perfected” your inner modesty yet. Because let’s be real, who’s perfect? There are days that my faith strength is so low but the head covering helps ground me and remind me of what I stand for. There are other ways to practise hijab during Ramadan such as being humble, abstaining from swearing and all those bad habits but the two above are just ones I liked. Wow what is this ted talk? I think it’s time to move onto Creative Challenges.
- Read or listen to prophet Muhammad’s seerah and write down one story or hadith everyday. Bonus: Out of those experiences, pick your favourite and make a mini picture book about it for younger kids.
- Drink a cup of water every hour after Iftar.
- Workout one hour or half an hour before Iftar.
- Eat 1/3 of what you usually eat. For example, if you can eat three cups of rice, only eat one. This is actually sunnah but unfortunately, Bayance wants to hog the food.
- Watch an Islamic talk show or rewatch Khawater (that was the best show everrr)
- Try morning dhikr and evening dhikr every day or every other day if you struggle with remembering like me.
- Write something you’re thankful for every day and put it in a mason jar.
- Attend a community iftar or a religious study gathering every week.
Here are a couple more I found from this website.
- Spread salaam to those you know and those you don’t; and return the greeting of peace. (I actually struggle with this a bit because I’m like um I don’t know them but definitely say it if you encounter a Muslim brother and sister)
- For each time you gossip, make sincere du’a for the person and give charity – task yourself with a specific amount before starting the challenge.
- When you catch yourself complaining or if you’re about to complain, say alhamdulillah; remember and thank Him for His blessings.
- Pray 2 units of tahajjud (night prayers).
- Memorize one verse each day (e.g surah Al-Mulk with 30 verses). (one verse seems easy but we often find ourselves not memorizing at all)
- Memorise 3 of 99 names of Allah every day. (yas I want to do this)
- Make sincere du’a for your friends and loved ones.
- Baby sit for 30 minutes so a busy mother can take a nap.
Anddd that’s all for today. Jot down one or more of anything on here and write them down on a calendar. I totally recommend printing one out from Ljoy’s free editorial calendars. I printed out two and it’s been super handy! Write down the 30 day goals you want to accomplish and all the best for this holy month. ❤
Which challenges were your favourite?
What challenges do you want to accomplish? (could be your own!)
Ramadan Kareem everyone. Hope you all have a blessed month inshallah! ❤