Preparing for Ramadan at home

It’s been an interesting spring so far, and there’s a chance that Ramadan this year might look different if we’re still avoiding public places. If that happens, don’t mourn the parts we might miss; instead embrace the blessings of the extra time at home with the people you love most.

Extra time at home is a blessing in disguise—an opportunity to slow down and indulge in more worship and studies together. And all those years when it was a struggle to fast while out and about, working and studying and doing sports—fasting might be much easier this year.

How to prepare for a potentially different kind of Ramadan? Here are a few thoughts.

1. Greet it with gratitude, no matter what.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.” (Sahih Muslim)

Greet our beautiful guest Ramadan with gratitude—even if we miss the gatherings and communal prayers we love—and that patience will bring additional blessings.

2. Practice like the sahabah

Ramadan during the Prophet’s time was not focused on iftars and gatherings, nor was it even all about tarawih at the masjid. (Though they did that, of course.) Rather, it was all about the Quran. The month when the first verse of the Quran was revealed was devoted deeply to the words of Allah. They read it at home, they recited while they worked—they immersed themselves in its glory. Some sahabah finished the entire Quran in as little as two or three days, which means possibly reading or reciting for up to five hours a day. This may be beyond us, but we might have time to finish a Juz’ each day this year at least.

When it comes to prayer, the sahabah would pray together in the masjid, but they also prayed at home with their families. This was common practice for both the Prophet and his sahabah.

3. Know that we are rewarded for what we long to do, even if we’re prevented from doing it.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “When a slave falls ill or travels, then he will get reward similar to that he gets for good deeds practiced at home when in good health.” (Bukhari)

He also told companions during an expedition, “There are some men in Al-Madinah who are with you wherever you march and whichever valley you cross. They have not joined you in person because of their illness. They share the reward with you.” (Muslim)

This shows that we are prevented from doing something we love by a circumstance outside our control, we can still enjoy the full reward for it.

Whatever our limitations are, we can enjoy a blessed and fulfilling Ramadan if we go back to the basics and focus on its meaning. God willing, life will be back to normal before Ramadan. But if it’s not, if this Ramadan looks different from usual, take solace in the possibility that it could be even better, more authentic in some ways, and more meaningful. It’s up to us to make the most of it. We wish you a Ramadan full of good health, abundant blessings, deep meaning, and joy.

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