Assalam alaykum my beloved brothers and sisters.
I pray this post finds you in the best of spirits, but if you currently feel under the weather or are drained, broken or lost, I pray this post sheds a little light in your life and you find ease and answers to what you seek. May Allah perfect all that concerns you and envelope you in His infinite love and mercy.
If you remember In 2020, I published a free 30 Days Ramadan Activity Plan and received an overwhelming positive feedback from it. I honestly did not dream or think it would gain the kind of popularity and traction it did. I had shared a plan, which I initially prepared for myself but received divine inspiration to publish on my blog and share with my readers. It all happened so fast. The document circulated wide and far and across different social media platforms and community groups. I even had people sharing the plan with me not knowing I was the author and it was quite the humbling experience; the fact that Allah chose to use me as a tool to help people experience a more fulfilling ramadan. Alhamdulillah.
Last year, I received a number of messages from others enquiring about an updated version of the plan and didn’t realise people had expectations of me to release a 2021 Ramadan Plan. Sadly, I did not have one available because I was a nursing mum and did not have the time or capacity to prepare one at the time.
Alhamdulillah this year I have a different story to tell. I’m super excited to share with you guys my 2022 FREE Digital Ramadan Planner which I’ve been working extremely hard on for the past few months! It’s an updated and much upgraded version of my previous plan and I pray you find it beneficial and rewarding.
As we all know the Ramadan countdown has begun and a lot of posts about ramadan has been circulating on social media to awaken people’s spirit for the month but if you are yet to get high on the spirit of Ramadan or are yet to feel excited about ramadan, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay and that you’re not a bad muslim for not sharing in the excitement yet. If you fall under this category, I think it’s important we go back to the roots of things and remind ourselves of the virtues and importance of this sacred month that Muslims from around the world yearn for year in, year out.
Ramadan is the 9th and holiest month in the islamic calendar. The word Ramadan comes from the word ‘Ramad’ which literally means burning or that which is intensely or vehemently heated by the sun. Imām Qurtubi narrates that it is named Ramadan because it burns the sins of people with righteous deeds.
Ramadan is the month where Allah instructed all believers to fast; Allah mentioned in suratul Baqarah:
“You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God.”Al Baqarah [2:183]
Ramadan is also the month where the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammadﷺ.
Allah (swt) mentioned in suratul Baqarah:
“It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind, clear messages giving guidance and distinguishing between right and wrong. So any one of you who sees in that month should fast, and anyone who is ill or on a journey should make up for the lost days by fasting on other days later. God wants ease for you, not hardship. He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.”Al Baqarah [2:183]
Ramadan is also the month that contains the night of decree. Allah in suratul qadr mentioned:
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.”Al Qadr (97:1-5)
Abu Hurayrah (ra) also relates that the Prophet (saw) said:
“Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of Ramadan) out of faith and in hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever spends the night of laylat al-qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”Sahih Al Bukhari
Lastly, Ramadan is the month where the gates of heaven are open and the gates of hell are closed. Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”Sahih Al Bukhari
There is no denying how great and special Ramadan is. It is a month of self-purification. It teaches us to exercise restraint and master self-discipline and to break away from our bad-habits. We learn to control our desires and abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. We repel and guard ourselves from every foul and evil speech and action. We increase the level of our worship during this sacred month and observe as many good deeds that we can, in order to earn the mercy and pleasure of Allah.
In order to help rekindle your love and excitement for this year’s Ramadan I suggest you first do a little self-assessment. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you not feeling excited about this year’s ramadan? Are you anxious or worried about something?
- What is the current state of your physical health and current diet? How will this positively or negatively affect you in Ramadan?
- Has something been draining your soul lately? Are you stressed about something?
- Can you identify the vacuum/s in your life that is sucking and depriving you of receiving the love and excitement for Ramadan?
- Can you separate yourself from the identified vacuum/s?
- What practical steps can you take now to change your current situation and to feel more excited about Ramadan?
Once you have the answers to these foundational and deep rooted questions, you can then act on the knowledge you have and also attempt to rekindle your fire for this year’s ramadan by trying the following: changing your physical environment; decorate and beautify your home/room with some lovely Ramadan decorations, listen to khutbahs about ramadan, get a ramadan accountability partner, get a ramadan planner (you can download and print mine below), talk to Allah about your struggles, join sister/ brother halaqa (knowledge) circles that share knowledge and resources about ramadan and discuss other relatable matters, practice gratitude and last but not least reach out and discuss your struggles with someone you trust.
I remember last year’s Ramadan was extremely challenging for me as a nursing new mother. I felt a small void and sadness in my heart because I wasn’t able to fast and perform much supererogatory acts of worship. My soul wasn’t as fully charged as I would have loved it to be but I knew I was being hard on myself because I sincerely did the best I could in my given circumstance. For this year’s ramadan, you can only imagine how over the moon and elated I am. I actually feel emotional writing this. I wish I can find the words to explain the feeling but I feel like a giddy child and I just want to really do my best and go hard in filling my record of deeds with as many good deeds as I can and impress my Rabb and show Him just how much I love Him by practicing the things He loves and doing things that will bithnillah bring us even closer.
Now I know you’re here and have read this post up to this point for one thing only. To download my latest 2022 FREE Digital Ramadan Planner + 30 Days Activity Plan and Iftar Meal Plan click here.
May Allah azzawajal bless us all and accept our fasts, answer all our duas and cause us to witness laylatul qadr this year. Amin.
Until next time,
Picture Credit: JaccalArtStories, Indonesia