As my first year of university draws to an end, I think about how things typically were at this time for me in the previous years. I would be getting summatives upon summatives (AKA culminating tasks or ISUs) and finding out about my exam dates, stressed beyond imagination. But one thing I did not have to stress about was dealing with Ramadan and school at the same time.
This year, Ramadan will start at the end of May and carry through until the end of June, and while I will be done with university for the summer inshaAllah, I worry for my dear younger sisters and brothers who will be in school and will have to juggle between “summative season” (the time period between midterms and final exams in high school), an intensive study period, and Ramadan, the month of intensive worship.
While I have not experienced this specific situation myself, I do have a relatively packed schedule and constantly have to juggle between projects, so here are some pieces of advice that I offer to anyone who will be in school or working this Ramadan, or just has a busy schedule in general.
Firstly, Ramadan is a month of purification. It’s a month in which we go “all out” in terms of our worship and efforts in the way of Allah. It’s the month in which we establish habits that we hope to sustain for the rest of the year, and hopefully, for the rest of our lives. If this is the case, then we should prepare our goals for this month carefully and wisely and make sure they are goals that are SMART (look that up, it’s an acronym that helps with goal setting).
Secondly, consistent and small deeds can make a huge difference. Fine, you might not be able to pray 20 rakat of taraweeh every night, but you can do 2 rakat of ishraq* before heading to school, right? Anytime you feel that you are lacking in certain aspects of your worship this Ramadan, think of other ways you can make up for those acts of worship. There are many ahadith that show the importance and weightiness of deeds that are done regularly, even if they are small – and many more that mention the reward for good intentions.
Finally, do not overwhelm yourself by complicating things. The month of Ramadan is the month of the Quran, so focus on the Quran. Divide your worship into five different sections (recitation, memorization, understanding, implementation, and teaching) and set goals for each section. Here is an example:
- Recitation: I will recite a quarter juz** of Quran everyday
- Memorization: I will review my hifz of the 30th juz
- Understanding: I will rewatch Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan’s Quranic Gems series
- Implementation: I will actively try to have more Husn Adh-Dhann (good thoughts, or assuming the best) for others
- Teaching: I will tell my younger brother/sister the stories of the prophets
Aside from staying especially connected to the Quran, do something or another to improve your Salah (prayers), either quantity-wise or quality-wise, and increase in your adhkar (remembrance of Allah). All these acts of worship may seem like small things that will not really contribute to our “Ramadan experience”, but they will all add up and provide us with that spiritual revival we all seek inshaAllah.
May Allah grant us all a satisfying and memorable Ramadan experience.
*A post-sunrise prayer
** One of 30 sections of the Quran
This article was published in our June 2017 issue of MY Voice Magazine. For more articles like this, subscribe today!