Salaam alaikum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh everyone, insh'Allah everything's well with y'all, and you're in the best of health and the highest of iman!
Do you like the picture? It's me and my SIL on top of the roof of our appartment building close to sunset. I'm not super tall (I'm just under 5'5")...it's just that my SIL is super short lol.
Anyways, it's that time of year again...my favorite time of year...that's right, RAMADAN is less than a month away, alhamdolillah! I had a great Ramadan last year, and I'm hoping that insh'Allah this year will be even better! I'm looking forward to it for so many reasons...it'll be my first Ramadan in Morocco...my first Ramadan with my hubby...my first Ramadan with my in-laws...but most of all, because I'm craving Ramadan. Yes, craving lol. The shaytan is locked away, and it's such a beautiful month that Allah(swt) has blessed us with. A month of inner reflection, repentance, and drawing closer to Allah(swt). I always used to get asked how I could possibly give up eating and drinking during the day for an entire month, and my answer was always very simple: I'm doing it for the sake of Allah(swt). My love for Allah(swt) is what gets me through those days where my empty stomach is violently churning, those days where my mouth is so parched that I feel like my mouth is full of sand. In my hunger and thirst, I remember Allah(swt), and all of the blessings He has bestowed upon me, without even being asked! This will be my fifth Ramadan, alhamdolillah, and, like last year, I've compiled a list of goals for myself for this upcoming month. However, unlike last year, I've tried to keep them a bit more realistic.
1. Pray all my prayers ON TIME: Astighfirallah, it's embarrassing to admit this, but I've been slacking in this area lately. That needs to change. This is something I've been working on before Ramadan begins, because the sooner it changes and I can develop good salat habits, the better.
2. Pray tarawih every night: Alhamdolillah last year this was a goal I was able to complete. I went to the Islamic center (a 15 minute drive from my parents' house) every night I was able to pray tarawih prayer last year, and I LOVED it. Now that hubby and I live a two minute walk from a mosque (literally, it's like 500 feet down the street), I feel like I have no excuse not to go.
3. Read the entire english translation of the Qur'an: This is easy enough to do insh'Allah. It's in my native language, after all. I also want to try reading the tafseer (explaination) along with the translation as well insh'Allah.
4. Follow along with audio recitation of the Qur'an in Arabic: Needless to say, last Ramadan I was NOT able to get through the whole Qur'an in Arabic (only up to Surah Taha I believe?)...and it felt more like a chore than something enjoyable because it was so difficult for me...and since then, my Arabic reading skills have not really improved...so this time around I think it will be more helpful if I follow along with an audio recitation. Insh'Allah it will make it easier and more enjoyable...and will help my reading skills.
5. Memorize at least two new surahs: It doesn't matter which ones they are...I just would like to make more of an effort in memorizing the Qur'an because I haven't been making much of an effort lately, astighfirallah.
6. Make lots of du'ah: Du'ah, or supplication, is something that is such a powerful tool, especially during Ramadan. In fact, one of the best times to make du'ah is right before breaking the fast. I sometimes made du'ah right before iftar last Ramadan, and was absolutely AMAZED by what Allah(swt) blessed me with. Never underestimate the power of du'ah.
7. Eat healthier: Who would have thought that Ramadan would be a prime time to start eating healthier? Well, guess what? It is! I have so many problems with food I won't even start mentioning them all to you. I will just say though that I will make my best effort to eat a nice healthy, balanced and nutritious iftar and suhoor this year (as opposed to last year's poptarts and icecream and salt and vinegar chips late at night after tarawih...yeah, I know, really disgusting, right? I have no idea how I used to be thinner when I ate so much crap, and then when I came here I gained 8kg in three months...I know, absolute mystery I tell you!)
What are your goals for this Ramadan?