Five Ways to Welcome Ramadan
By Samana Siddiqui

With barely a few days left between us and the blessed month of fasting, it’s crucial to start preparing, not just physically, but also mentally. Here are a couple of quick ways to get into the Ramadan mode before it begins.
1. Plan out what good deeds you want to do
Whether it’s cutting an elderly neighbor’s grass every two weeks, keeping in touch with parents living far away by calling weekly, or teaching someone even one verse of the Qur’an over the phone every three days, plan your good works for the blessed month. While doing good can be random and sporadic, planned good works offer more benefit for you spiritually.
A good reminder in this regard is the advice of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him: “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately. Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise)" (Bukhari).

2. Decorate
Especially if you have kids, but even if you don’t, break out those banners and balloons to add to the excitement of welcoming Ramadan. The visual reminder will help raise the anticipation level.

3. Set up a countdown
Put up a “Countdown to Ramadan 20” chart on your fridge. Cross out each day left of Shaban. Seeing the days flying by can give us a sense of urgency that the blessed month is about to begin.

4. Tweak your schedule
Weed out anything extra that would take away from time for Tarawih, additional prayers, Qur’an reading, and other forms of worship. That can include television watching, socializing, extra projects at work, and bigger chores around the house. All of these things can be picked up after Ramadan, when good deeds are not rewarded as highly.

5. Plan a “Welcome Ramadan” party
If you intend to forego Iftar parties this Ramadan, as a number of Muslims choose to do, then instead plan a “Welcome Ramadan” fete. With summer still in swing, this can simply be a potluck barbecue with family and friends, followed by a brief talk and discussion about the blessed month, its benefits, as well as what each guest (and host) hopes to accomplish in it.





Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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