How to make the most out of a socially-isolated Ramadan

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SHAFAQNA- IQNA:  There is a very high chance that all of us are going to have a socially-isolated Ramadan because of the coronavirus pandemic that is currently spreading across the globe.

For many of us, it’ll be the first Ramadan where we will not attend the congregational prayers in mosques, have iftar dinners with our friends and extended families, volunteer for charity, or even travel for Umrah.

This is a thought that none of us wants to process, but it is a reality that we might have to face sooner or later.

But the thing is even though we may not get to do most of the things that we have come to associate with Ramadan, a socially-isolated Ramadan may not be as dreadful as it sounds. We can make the most out of this situation by making a few changes.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of this socially-isolated Ramadan.

Have a Mindset Change:

Many times, we think that the experience of something that we are used to is the best way to experience said thing. So, you’ve only had your sandwich with tuna but there’s suddenly a scarcity of tuna and you were forced to use chicken, only to find that you actually enjoy it.

To make the most of this Ramadan, we have to start by changing our mindset to believe that even though this isn’t what we are used to, it may be a good experience for us.

Sure, we are going to miss the brotherhood of the congregational prayers and breaking our fasts with strangers, but maybe experiencing congregational prayers and other acts of worship in our homes will also bring us a feeling of happiness and unity that will fill our hearts.

Don’t spend too long looking at what we are missing by spending Ramadan indoors. Rather, think also of what we will gain spiritually and emotionally by spending these blessed thirty days with our families.

Another important part of our mindset shift is to look at this potential socially-isolated Ramadan as a blessing from Allah. Is it possible that Allah is steering us towards a particular goodness by giving us the opportunity to spend Ramadan indoors?

Whenever Allah takes something away from His servant, he replaces it with better. Let’s keep this in mind as we think of all we are going to miss outdoors.

Prepare to Have Your Most Productive Ramadan Ever:

Last year, you couldn’t finish the Quran because you had a huge workload at the office. Or you couldn’t wake up for tahajjud every night because you were tired most nights and slept like a log. Or you couldn’t do much adhkaar because your mind was just all over this place.

This Ramadan is a chance to do things differently. It’s an opportunity to slow down and fulfill all those grand plans that you’ve always had for Ramadan.

This is the Ramadan where, In sha’a Allah, you are going to have the time to:

– Read the Quran

– Listen to beneficial lectures

– Teach your children the religious principles

– Lead your family in salah

– Sleep early and wake up refreshed and inspired to pray tahajjud

– Read the tafsir of the Quran

– Memorize a few verses of the Quran

– Pray your five daily salah at their appointment time

– Pray a lot of nawaafil (non-obligatory salah)

– Have a dua list and make lots of dua

– Learn about (and memorize) some names of Allah

– Correct your tajweed and Quran recitation

– Recite the morning and evening adhkaar

– Check in often with your parents and gladden their hearts

– Bond with your family and those who you live with

– Mend strained relationships

– Do i’tikaaf (seclusion) without having to taking leave from work

Of course you may not be able to do ALL of this. The idea is that we now have a chance to do as much as we want, In sha’a Allah.

If you look at it this way, you will come to see this socially-isolated Ramadan as an opportunity to have a productive Ramadan. An opportunity to focus on ibaadah (worship) with reduced distraction. An opportunity to do things differently and better. This indeed is a Rahmah from Allah if we take advantage of it.

Plan Out Your Ramadan:

It is easy to look at the bullet list above and nod your head in agreement, but to have a productive Ramadan while we are staying home during this pandemic, we need to have a plan. If you have noticed, many people have been spending their days during this pandemic doing random things just to pass away the time. The last thing we want during Ramadan is to have free time but be unable to utilize it well.

Get out your favorite journal, notebook, or even printer papers stapled together and write out the ibaadah that you will like to achieve during the month of Ramadan. Make a list of all the dua that you want to make during the nights of the blessed month, and plan how to spend your time during the month.

Writing all these down will help you stay focused instead of winging it and it will keep you guided on days when the enthusiasm is low.

Many of us are going to experience this blessed month like we never have. We don’t know how this will be yet, but we can proactively plan to make the best of our socially-isolated Ramadan while praying to Allah to make us of those who will witness and benefit from the month.

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