Tuesday, 1 April 2014

87 Days To Ramadan....

Source: Internet
There are about 87 days to Ramadan.
And Ramadan this year in Singapore, as according to the MUIS, (The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) website  starts on 29 June 2014.
And Eid or Hari Raya Puasa we call it here, falls on 28 July.

Our Sahabas (RadhiAllahu Anhum) prepared for Ramadan six months before it started. SubhanAllah.
We should do our best to prepare for this beautiful month that will arrive very soon.

Just a year after marriage, AZ and I decided we could, and should, do more to prepare for Ramadan every year. And we are making duas that Allah (S.W.T) guides us to getting better prepared.

A post I long wanted to write, and the 87 things that spells what Ramadan is to us, and the things that we hope to get to doing before Ramadan, In-Shaa-Allah.

Prayers, The Quran And Us
  1. The feeling of peace all around us that is just unexplainable.
  2. The automatic determination to read as much of the Quran as possible in Ramadan.
  3. To make this happen, starting to read the Quran in gradual phases before Ramadan.
  4. Learning and re-learning specific Suras of the Quran.
  5. Starting to reflect on the 99 names of Allah (S.W.T) more frequently.
  6. Memorising some duas from the Quran that are close to the heart.
  7. Coming up with the personal duas list that I would like to ask from our Rabb.
  8. Taraweeh prayers!
  9. Making it a point to pray as much of the prayers with AZ.
  10. Finding that sudden stamina to stay up for Tahajjud prayers after Taraweeh prayers.
  11. Making it a point to read at least a page from the Quran after every prayer, even at the office.
  12. The Adhan at high volume at Maghrib and Isha prayers in our home.
  13. The rush to make wudhu and settle down to make duas with all our hearts just minutes before breaking the fast.
  14. Crying our hearts out when making duas. Why do the tears flow more easily during Ramadan?
  15. Listening to the Quran on the way to and back from office (and nothing else)
  16. Doing all we can to pray on time!
  17. Making a conscious effort to start using Miswak. (started and didnt keep up with the momentum.)
  18. Starting with Sunnah fasts in Sha'ban.
  19. Waking up for Sahur.
  20. And staying on till Fajr.
  21. Taqwa, and beyond (this, I feel, cannot be explained too.)
  22. Breaking fast with Zam Zam water.
  23. Losing sleep and yet without the heart to complain.
  24. Preparing our body systems for the 30-day spiritual cleansing. Plan early.
  25. Making an effort to be in constant zikir and with wudhu always.
Food and Drinks

26. Samosas!
27. Nonbu Kanji (special porridge for Ramadan)
28. Dates, Dates and lots of Dates!
29. The sudden want to eat lots of fruits for Iftar.
30. Mum's special delicacies for Iftar on all 29/30 days.
31. Oh yes, Mum's Jallar Appam on the first day of Ramadan (as per Brother's traditional, yearly request.)
32. Bandung (rosemilk).
33. Mum's murukku (*smiles).
34. Making cookies to send home.
35. Making extra portions of food to share with our nieghbours.
36. Trying to make the fruit custard just the way Sis-in-Law makes it back home for AZ.
37. Reminding Mum to keep Iftar meals simple as she always gets carried away.
38. Thinking you can eat much more at Iftar but getting filled up with the fruits, dates and a drink.
39. Preparing the spread for AZ for Sahur meals.
40. Being extra mindful on not wasting food.
41. Having a cup of hot tea just before making the niyyah to fast for the day (albeit that fact that tea is not recommended at Sahur).

Getting The House In Order
(Had some improvements last year with these, will do better this year, In-Shaa-Allah.)

42. Cleaning up kitchen cabinets thoroughly.
43. Arranging for part-time helper to help with bigger chores (comtemplated on this many times and decided to get help only with our windows, and told myself that what we give her at the end of the day will benefit her family back home, In-Shaa-Allah).
44. Doing the yearly arranging and clearing out of bookshelves.
45. Cleaning out room cupboards.
46. Making a mental note to leave only necessary re-cleaning for before Eid.
47. Setting up routine to complete major chores right after Fajr every weekend, especially in Ramadan.
48. Completing shopping for new clothes for everyone in our families earlier.
49. Preparing Ramadan and Eid gift parcels for home and relatives in India much earlier too.
50. Wrapping up all shopping by May.
51. Packing clothes to be given away to charity by early June.
52. Cleaning out fridge thoroughly.

Lifestyle Changes
53. Reading selected books on Islam in Ramadan (AZ bought me some gems that I have saved for reading when I am not able to fast.)
54. Only listening to Quranic verses to and from work on the bus (and nothing else)
55. No watching of movies for the whole of Ramadan.
56. Not promising outings with friends (This year, have decided to invite friends who are visiting over, instead of meeting them outside).
57. Speaking less generally.
58. Trying to control emotions with irritations at the workplace.
59. Trying to smile more.
60. Not bearing any grudges.
61. Start asking for forgiveness and fixing up issues with everyone (as the need arises).

On The Internet
62. Ramadan Journal. I was an passive participant last year. Hope to be a part too on our blog this year.
Blogger Sister Neelu has said this will be back this year too, with some changes, In-Sha-Allah. You can read more here from my favourite blogger, Sister Umm Salihah too (her blog introduced me to this activity actually!).
63. Spending less time on Facebook (good that I am not addicted already).
64. Only a short, blog post everyday (that' s why the Ramadan Journal will be helpful with this.)

The cover of  'Ramadan and Eid Journal' that I compiled into a photobook last year.
At Work
66. Requesting in June for flexi-time, to start and end work earlier.
67. Applying for leave earlier, towards the last 10 days.
68. Discussing with colleagues to swop evening event coverages with them.
69. Sharing dates and mini-prayers books as Ramadan gifts with colleagues.
70. Carrying dates and water bottle in my bag, just-in-case I really have to work late.
71. Carrying dates in extra packs for cab drivers who are Muslims (cos I find myself resorting to cabs with my nature of my job).
72. Being extra polite with colleagues, and clients, especially in emails.
73. Arranging for interviews in the mid-afternoon for an opportunity to knock off a little earlier.
74. Opting for email interviews where possible.


75. Trying our best to help more people this year.
76. Reminding ourselves to look at our relatives' circle first.
77. Sharing food for Iftar with lesser privileged people whenever possible.
78. Starting to give more sadaqah in Sha'ban.
79. Trying our best to give sadaqah every day (look around and make lots of duas to be able to help more people.)

Preparing For Eid
80. Spending within means.
81. Cutting down on unnecessary expenditure, especially on decorative items for the house.
82. Making early orders for Al-Barakah Abayas from our suppliers.
83. Going for a trip down at Eid fair at Geylang Serai (just once this toime, In-Shaa-Allah).
84. Staying up till early morning before Eid day just to get some henna on hands.
85. Getting up with all smiles on Eid day.
86. Packing cookie bags for distributing with neighbours the night before Eid.

What I Actually Miss
87. Sending out Eid cards (physical, hard copy ones!). I still keep some from friends and cousins. It used to be so fun shopping for these and writing: "Do come over to our house on this special day!" on these cards.
Those times...

I pray that Allah (S.W.T) guides all brothers and sisters to  prepare for this year's Ramadan with good iman. Ameen.

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