Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar during which millions of Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk.It’s one of the five pillars of Islam and involves intense fasting, prayers, recitation of Quran, charity and good deeds done only to please Allah (SWT). Muslims enter an unusual Ramadan amidst the lock down as mosques are shut, curfews are imposed everywhere and social gatherings have been prohibited. But despite the pandemic and global crisis its time to level up our intentions and to make this our best Ramadan ever.
Although, we are cooped up in our homes with family members and have no access to the community or mosques we could still make this Ramadan a memorable one by using the existing resources. We have technology and social media at our disposal and we need to focus on the positive and not let the lock-down dampen our Ramadan spirit. Its time to use this opportunity for spiritual growth.
Here are some creative ways to rejuvenate our faith as family and to transform this physical lock down into spiritual development:
- Virtual Iftar Calls– One of the most cherished aspects of Ramadan are the iftar gatherings. Nothing can replace the joy and barakah of gathering for iftar and breaking fast with family and friends. We could still revive this tradition by planning virtual iftar calls with different family members and friends each day via Whatsapp or Zoom app. If you are missing this whole community vibe then breaking fast together via live calls will surely boost your spirit.
- Taraweeh Together– Several posts have been shared regarding praying Taraweeh at home with the family. I miss praying Taraweeh at the mosque and listening to the beautiful Qiraat every night during Ramadan. As various scholars have advised we could still pray Taraweeh at home with our families or even pray alone. Schedule a time and space at home to pray Taraweeh with your family. If your are in quarantine with extended family members then the male members could take turns to lead the prayers and yes even the women could join them and young male children could also be encouraged to lead the prayers. Praying together will help us to stay steadfast and also complete the prayers on time.The Prophet (PBUH) would stay up the whole night and keep his family awake during the last nights of Ramadan so gather your family together for worship. We need to exert and increase our Ibadah as we search for Laylatul Qadr in the last nights. Since, most of us are overwhelmed with chores during the day, we could utilize the tranquility of the night to observe I’tikaf and spend some quality time in reflection. Also, you could use a Laylatul Qadr Ibadah Checklist to keep track and maximize the worship in the remaining days of Ramadan. You could download the Laylatul Qadr Ibadah Checklist at the end of this post.
- Islamic Game Nights- Now that everyone is at home, parents are trying to figure out different ways to keep kids engaged by exploring creative indoor games and are also revisiting childhood board games. Since its the month of Ramadan we could spend our time consciously and use it to increase our knowledge about Islam in a fun way. You could set up Islamic game nights for the kids and even adults. Simply fix a slot post Asr or Iftar as Islamic or Ramadan Quiz time. You could even schedule a live group call and invite the cousins or friends to join in. This is a an excellent method to teach kids about the Prophets and about Islam and there are zillions of Islamic quizzes available online. Also, as a bonus there is a free Ramadan quiz available for download at the end of this post.
- Bedtime Stories – One of my goals in Ramadan is to increase our knowledge about the Prophets and to learn more about the Seerah of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). My six year old loves to read about the Prophets and the best time to do this is before bed time. We started this a few days before Ramadan so that my kids could gradually get into the mode of reading and would make it a regular activity during Ramadan. We started with this awesome book called Goodnight Stories of the prophets and it has not only helped the kids but also updated our knowledge about the Prophets. And the big surprise was that my husband who absolutely hates reading also started making an effort to read these wonderful stories to the kids. This practice helps us to set an Islamic bedtime routine and if you dont have one then there couldn’t be a better time than Ramadan to incorporate this habit.
- A Hadith A Day- With entire families in self-quarantine,homes being transformed into work spaces and kids being home schooled its going to be a Ramadan like never before. It will sure be tough to spend quality time with kids and spouses midst all the chaos. Ramadan is all about self-reflection and gaining knowledge. A few years ago before we entered parenthood, during our first Ramadan immediately after our Umrah, my husband and I would spend an hour daily in learning and discussing a hadith or two from Riyad-is-Saliheen Collection. We had just commenced this journey to educate ourselves more about the Deen and would dedicate a few minutes post Taraweeh each night to learn about the Prophetic traditions. We would debate about our cultural practices and age old beliefs and it would drive us further to research and discover the truth. These one on one discussions were a double blessing as they enhanced our knowledge as well served as a special bonding time for us. I highly recommend you to schedule at least half an hour daily to learn and discuss about hadiths. I am yet to revive this practice but in case you find it difficult to do it all alone with your spouse you could even begin by involving the kids. Introduce a hadith a day during family halaqas or just before the bedtime.
The above tips have been shared based on my limited knowledge and experience and I sincerely hope that you would benefit from it. Although, some of these tips might seem daunting at the beginning once they become an integral part of our daily routine it will be easy to implement and gradually build on them. Its all about starting small with like a ten minutes discussion, 2 Rakahs of extra prayer or one small story or simply one hadith a day. We need to make the most of this Ramadan and whatever little we do if we do it consistently we will be surely rewarded for it.. I pray and hope that we use this time in isolation to do our best during this holy month.
May Allah accept our fasting and Ibadah and may He deliver the whole humanity from this pandemic. Aameen!
Enjoy the FREE Ramadan Quiz and kindly share it with your family and friends.
Download Free Laylatul Qadr Ibadah Checklist