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Preparing Oneself for Ramzan

Ramzan is a time for coming closer to God. Understand what an individual must keep in mind before this month begins.

When someone decides to go on a trip, the first thing he does is make preparations. This includes booking tickets, making room reservations, planning an itinerary, etc. Similarly, Ramzan can be looked upon as a journey to God. In preparation for this journey, one must prepare himself both physically and spiritually. In his journey to meet God, he will come across many hurdles, which will obstruct him. He must anticipate these obstacles as best as he can. This way, he can take the proper precautions.

The Right Attitude

Ramzan is the most holy month of the year according to the Islamic calendar. A Muslim must welcome the arrival of Ramzan. He should be glad that he is being presented with the opportunity to display his devotion to the Lord. Ramzan should not be looked upon as a time of sacrifice and hardship. In fact, it is a time to let go of our earthly wants and strive to achieve a greater level of spirituality.

Getting 'into the mood' is not difficult to achieve. A person can start by listening to some hymns or reading the Quran, for a short while each day before the month of Ramzan begins. As an added practice, he should reduce the amount of time he spends watching television and engaging in other non-religious activity.

Adjusting his Schedule

During Ramzan, an individual has to be more dedicated to God than at other times of the year. He must show his devotion to God by praying more often. To make this possible, a person will generally try to work less hours. If this is not a feasible solution, he might ask his workplace for a flexible work schedule during this month. Besides work, an individual would also have to rearrange his daily schedule so that it does not interfere with his prayer time.

Rearranging a schedule can be done in a variety of ways. Grocery shopping for most non-perishable provisions can be done before Ramzan begins. This way, a person need not spend time rushing around to purchase something during Ramzan, except for some food items. This will also prevent his focus from shifting to less important tasks.

During Ramzan, an individual must arise before dawn in order to pray. One should start adjusting his sleeping hours accordingly. It is recommended that this be started well before Ramzan so that a person does not have difficulty waking up early when he actually has to.

Preparing the Family

While all adult Muslims fast during Ramzan, children have their role to play too. Children do their bit for the home to help their parents during this time. It could involve anything from writing shopping lists and helping in the preparation of meals to setting the table before Iftar and clearing away the dishes after the meal is finished.

Preparing meals during Ramzan can be accomplished quickly, with a little careful planning. Vegetables may be cut and stored in the refrigerator well in advance. Cutting them beforehand saves time while cooking while storing them under cool conditions ensures that the cut vegetables retain their freshness. Dates are usually eaten to break the fast. The pits of the dates can be removed before Ramzan and the seedless dates stored, so that they do not get spoilt.

Ramzan is a time of prayer and fasting. However, this does not mean that other aspects of life are neglected. An adult should ensure that children do not use Ramzan as an excuse to not complete homework or other assignments. Have children complete their tasks early, so that they can still be a part of the prayers.

Helping Others

Ramzan is the time for showing devotion to the Lord. An important aspect of Ramzan is 'Zakat' or donating a part of one's earnings to help the less fortunate. In addition to money, an individual is also expected to be of service to his fellowmen. He should begin by seeing to the needs of his family members. He should also keep a check over his own actions and words, so that he does not go against the Lord's wishes.

What do you think of these preparations? Do you know of any other way in which a person can get ready for Ramzan? How do Ramzan preparations differ from preparing for other festivals? To share your tips, views, and experiences, click here.

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