The long awaited month of Ramadan is a mere 2 days away, and the Muslyfe team is nothing but excited to greet this beautiful month with arms open wide with love and long and longing after what feels like a long year of waiting. However, the fasting month brings with it inevitable challenges that us Muslims have to face with patience, sincerity and ultimately spiritual strength. As part of our Road to Ramadan series, where we aim to aid our readers to prepare for Ramadan in certain ways, this article will provide certain ways in which one can prepare for this beautiful but challenging month with as much readiness as one can.

Fasting

The most important thing about Ramadan is to fast, as we all know. To those who are not familiar with the concept of fasting in terms of the Islamic religion, it is to refrain oneself from eating or drinking from sunrise until sunset. With that said, it is imperative that one should prepare himself for a whole day of not consuming anything. Prepare yourself, even if it is for just a few days before the arrival of Ramadan; learn to control your impulses, and yes, I am looking at you, scrolling through your Instagram Explore page drooling over appealing photos of gourmet food.

Train yourself to cut down on prioritizing food and your cravings- Remind yourself that cravings are not necessities, they are, instead, luxuries. By the time Ramadan arrives, you will know better than to give in to the foods you desire and with this, your commitment to the idea of fasting will become strengthened.

Praying

Of course, to the ones who identify as Muslims, it is a known fact that to pray five times a day is mandatory. Let’s face it, however: We are mere humans- Just normal people who are easy victims to the distractions that our everyday lives have to offer. Take it from me; a 25 year-old sufferer of the beautifully therapeutic but guilt-dominated world of online shopping, who, because of indulging in the stated activity, actually missed the time slot to perform the Isya’ prayer last night. Distractions are called distractions for a reason; they divert us from doing what we are supposed to be doing in the first place, which, in this case, is something as important and a must as your prayers.

Ramadan is a month filled with blessings, those that are not made available in the other months in the Islamic calendar, and this is so that us Muslims would realize how beautiful it really is to devote ourselves entirely to the Almighty Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. It might sound easy to us now, to just jump into praying the mandatory five prayers and additional Sunat prayers in Ramadan, but let us maintain a level head and be logical. We are humans, as stated above, and not robots which can, with a flick of a button, start praying and devote themselves to God the very instant the holy month arrives. This is why we should start praying as much as we can before the month arrives, so that when Ramadan finally comes, we would already be revved up to fully give ourselves to Allah SWT and take advantage of the benefits the month has to offer.

Reading the Qur’an

Just as praying, reading the Qur’an is also a necessity for Muslims, and again, as stated above, it is a task that we dismiss a lot of the time for we are too indulged in the wonders of the world (like online shopping, if you ask me, for those bead-embellished flowy pastel-coloured blouses keep calling my name).

Keep your retail-therapy needs at bay in these few days leading to Ramadan, for one needs to train himself to read the Qur’an, at least a few pages a day- Baby steps, they say.

Reading the Qur’an is important for it has been stated that it contains the answers to whatever questions that will and might arise in the hearts of the lost Muslim wanderer. The Qur’an is also able to put us at ease and make us feel peace in the heart. From the perspective of the believer of Islam, this is because Allah SWT knows the hardships in the hearts of his followers and has stated advice and wisdom in the Qur’an for our benefit. From the angle of the neutrals, however, reading the Qur’an provides a peace of mind for it is an action that is close to if not meditation itself. There is something about the swishes of the Arabic letters and the smooth song-like inflections of the spoken words that give out a sense of calm and serenity.

With all that said, reading the Qur’an in the holy month of Ramadan will most definitely place you in a state of peace incomparable to anything else. How beautiful is it that Allah SWT gives us a full month of peace and encourages us to increase that sense of calmness by reading the Qur’an in addition to devoting ourselves to him? Reading the Qur’an in Ramadan will be worth it, which is why one should prepare beforehand and not simply just jump into reading a chapter of the Qur’an a day, because that would take a mighty toll on you.

Pro-tip:

Remember to always prepare yourself for the arrival of the holy month. Never just expect that you are able to turn 180° in the span of a day or less- You will end up wasting the first half of the month getting used to the Ramadan lifestyle, and how sad would that be to lose all the benefits those fifteen days have to offer because you were too busy adapting? Prepare, and take full advantage of this beautiful month.