5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Heart, Your Work, and Your Family this Ramadan
We are awaiting our second Ramadan during the pandemic, which means it will bring some of the same unique challenges we faced last Ramadan. Among these challenges is how to balance our spirituality with our work and family life.
Now that work, schooling, family time are all entwined in one, it can be difficult to separate your work, spiritual, and family time.
While Ramadan is a month in which we are to give priority to our hearts, i.e. our spirituality, we cannot neglect our work or family life either. That’s we present some tips on how to balance these three areas in a simple way but with maximum benefit:
Tip 1: Set your intentions.
“Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have only that which he intended.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet (SAW) said that our actions are rewarded by intentions. When it comes to intentions, we should aim high. We should aim even for things that we might not be able to reach. This was the practice of some of the salaf, our pious predecessors.
One of the salaf, Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak, said:
"Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention, and perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great."
If we make great intentions, perhaps Allah SWT may reward us according to the intentions that we made even if we fall short in our actions.
It’s also important to we layer our intentions for more reward; We can make the intention to earn a halal living for the sake of Allah SWT and to support our families. We can make the intention to seek beneficial knowledge in order to please Allah SWT and to be independent. We can make the intention to exercise to stay fit and also to preserve the body Allah SWT has given us.
Always keep your intentions sincere for the sake of Allah SWT and He will make every goal easy for you to achieve this Ramadan and beyond.
Tip 2: Set your goals.
There are different types of goals we can set for Ramadan: daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals. Here are some examples of each type of goal:
Daily goals: Morning adhkar, evening adhkar, Qur’an after each salah, praying Tahajjud, stretching every night before bed, reading a prophet’s story for bedtime with the kids, doing istighfar 100 times, gratitude journaling every night.
Weekly goals: Reading Surah Al-Kahf, giving £5-£10 in charity, reading a beneficial book, having a crafts day with the kids.
Our 30 days Platform will also help you achieve your daily goals of giving charity!
Monthly goals: Picking a quality we want to emulate from the sunnah or a character flaw we want to change and then working on it every day during the blessed month of Ramadan.
Since it takes 28 days to make a habit, the daily goals can also overlap with the monthly goals and become a lifelong habit, by the permission of Allah.
Setting smaller and more achievable goals during this blessed month will also make it easier for you to continue to do good deeds even after Ramadan departs.
Tip 3: Learn the Love Languages and use them.
Communicating clearly with your family will help make your Ramadan a whole lot easier!
Dr. John Gottman identified 5 Love Languages to help couples in their marriages. Now, there are Love Languages for Children and Teens that can help parents in understanding their kids better. The 5 Love Languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation
3. Acts of Service
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch
Taking the Love Languages quiz is a quick way to see what your love language is, and your family members can do the same. Learning the love languages means that you can ensure that everyone in the household feels seen, heard, loved and cared for, even when you are busy with work and other personal goals.
Spending time with family can be maximized by having meals together, by reading a hadith of the Prophet (SAW) together, and praying together in jama’ah (congregation) in the home.
Tip #4. Stay awake after Fajr:
Sakhr ibn al-Ghamidi reported:
The Messenger of Allah(SAW) said, “O Allah, bless my nation in their early morning.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
After suhur, it can be tempting to jump right back into bed to catch some sleep before work or before the little ones wake up, but these are the golden hours for a Muslim that are filled with barakah. The Prophet (SAW) made dua for us during this time!
What could be greater than that in terms of blessing and productivity?
Instead of staying up late to finish some work, sleep early and use the time after Fajr when everything is quiet to get a head start on the day.
Tip 5: Do something consistently every day.
This goes hand-in-hand with the daily goals, but it also goes a step further. This is about consistency no matter what happens. Pick one good deed, no matter how small, and do it every day.
Make it something easy, something you can’t miss. Something like dhikr or istighfar every day. Something like smiling for the sake of Allah, or offering to wash the dishes every night after iftar to serve your family for the sake of Allah.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” (Sunan ibn Majah)
Allah (SWT) loves the consistent good deeds, even if they are small, so we should do something every single day for the sake of Allah, making sure not to miss it.
May Allah give us all the ability to balance our Ramadan life and our post-Ramadan life in the best of ways. May Allah help us make good intentions for His sake and follow through with ihsan in our actions. May Allah allow us to excel in our spiritual goals, in our family life, and in our work. Ameen.