The Muslim world is officially preparing for Ramadan! I can already visualise the joyous salaams between community members outside the mosque, the fun family reunions – and not to forget the smell of my grandma's cooking 🥘.

As the fasting days begin to approach us, the question becomes, "What have we done to prepare our mind, body and soul for this holy month?".

If you're thinking that you don't feel ready for Ramadan, or you have no idea where to even start – here's 7 ways to get yourself Ramadan-ready:

1. Completing Voluntary Fasts Before Ramadan ⏱
2. Change Your Sleeping Pattern 💤
3. Cut Down on Caffeine ☕️
4. Get into the Habit of Reciting Quran 📚
5. Ask for Forgiveness / Renew Intentions 🤲🏼
6. Give Charity Without Delay 💰
7. Adapt Your Exercise Routine 🏃🏽‍♂️

Completing Voluntary Fasts

Getting used to the nature of fasting and withdrawing from food and drink during the day will allow your body to adapt better to the month of Ramadan. If there is a sudden transition from no fasting 👉🏼 to a complete month of fasting, there's a higher chance of difficulty and fatigue.

The beauty of this is that it's already a Sunnah to fast on Mondays and Thursdays!

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Deeds are shown (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 747)

You wouldn't start a marathon without any sort of training, right? – So it's only right that we get our minds and bodies in shape for fasting, too!

Change Your Sleeping Pattern 💤

Once the fast has opened, I'm sure we can all relate to how busy the evening / night becomes!

It ends up being something along the lines of:

Enjoying our Iftar with loved ones, before quickly getting ready and heading to the Mosque for night prayers – and then going for a cheeky milkshake run at 2am to satisfy those sweet cravings! 👀

I'm sure many of us can relate to this ☝🏻

There's not doubt that our sleeping pattern will be all over the place. So how can we adapt our sleep routine to ensure we're ready for Ramadan?

  • Try waking up a little bit before Fajr – Not only is this a great time to make dua, it will also familiarise our bodies with the Suhoor times ahead of us.
  • Catch a power nap in the day – A midday rest / sleep (called Qailulah) when the sun is at its peak is not only a Sunnah practice, but its scientifically proven to boost productivity as the day is split into two halves.
  • Beat Your Alarm – I'll admit I'm a big snoozer. The sound of my alarm is my least favourite thing – so I guess it works in my favour to wake up before it so I don't have to hear it! 🤷🏽‍♀️

Cut Down on Caffeine ☕️

This is one of the best tips I read about when doing my research for this article.

I love an iced mocha for myself all year round – coffee enthusiasts will shame me and say this isn't real coffee, but my lack of sleep begs to differ. 😌

Cutting back on the espresso may be a challenge for most people, and you may just be thinking, "why it's even necessary to do so?"– here's why:

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant and happens to be the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug – yikes.

So the point here is – if you were to suddenly withdraw from your daily dose of caffeine, you can expect some pretty serious headaches as well as a constant urge to step into your local Starbs 🥸

To avoid this sudden shock to the system, I'd recommend cutting your caffeine intake down before Ramadan, or even (dare I say it) making a conscious to stop completely – too far? 👀

Getting into the Habit of Reciting Quran 📚

Ramadan is the month of the Holy Quran.  It is during this month that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through Angel Jibreel (AS).

If you're not a regular reader of the Quran, or if you struggle with the reading in general, taking some time to read before the month arrive is a good idea.

Here's some tips:

🧑🏽‍🏫 Find a Quran Teacher – Having someone who can guide you through your Quran journey is one of the best things you can do. Whether it's pronunciation, or understanding what words mean, your Quran teacher should be someone you can turn to for advice.

📺 Watch YouTube Videos – As you read the Quran, it's helpful to watch online videos that give a breakdown of the section you just read. Understanding the translation is such a great tip for helping you memorise, too.

📖 Read a Page a Night – If you're able to get into the habit of reading one page a night before Ramadan approaches, you'll have formed an amazing habit by the time it comes around.

Ask for Forgiveness / Renew Intentions 🤲🏼

We all want to start the month off on a clean slate, right?

If the past few months haven't been the best for us, Ramadan is the perfect time to correct ourselves, our characters, and our actions.

Before we enter into Ramadan, take some time to yourself each day and ask Allah to forgive you, and have sincere intentions to make better changes.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allahumma innaka `Afuwwun TuHibbul `Afwa Fa`fu `Annii.

'O Allah, you are the Forgiver, You love to forgive, so forgive me.'

Give Charity Without Delay 💰

Why wait until Ramadan to give to charity?

Muslims are reminded to be generous and, with it being a time of spiritual cleansing, Ramadan is an opportunity to be rewarded immensely for charitable activities.

Gearing yourself up for this holy month can also mean reviewing how you currently spend your money. Are you satisfied with how much you're giving to charity? Do you have the ability to give more? Do you know there's a ton of different ways you can help the less fortunate?

These are all questions we should be asking ourselves so that, when Ramadan arrives, we have our affairs in order and no exactly where our money is going!

Remember – Charity does not decrease your wealth.

In a hadith from Abu Hurairah (may Allah blesses him), that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) says,
مَا نَقَصَتْ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ مَالٍ وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزًّا وَمَا تَوَاضَعَ أَحَدٌ لِلَّهِ إِلاَّ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ
“Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another but that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah but that Allah raises his status” [Saheeh Muslim]

Adapt Your Exercise Routine 🏃🏽‍♂️

Any Muslim will tell you that the pangs of thirst is what really gets to them during the fasting days – which makes exercising pretty tough to say the least.

As someone who likes to keep up with their regular fitness and gym days, you'll want to make a few changes to your schedule in advance:

  • Strength Train Post Iftar – Zahra Khimji (personal trainer) says she strength trains after she's opened her fast so that she has the carbs she needs to maximise that workout.
  • Stick with Low Intensity Workouts – A rule of thumb thats common amongst personal trainers is turning the intensity down on their workout sessions but increasing the times for relative effectiveness.
  • Exercising an Hour Before Iftar – If you power through a workout in the last hour of fasting, you won't have long to wait before you can guzzle down that water 🧃. Of course if you're feeling quite light-headed by this time, we wouldn't recommend going for a run – make sure to always listen to your body first!

Ramadan Prep: Summary

And there you have it  – our 7 steps to preparing for Ramadan!

It's always worth checking in with yourself and making sure that you're content with the progress you're making. It's not always easy to know how we can gear ourselves up for this beautiful month ahead so I hope these tips were helpful!

Let's have a quick review of what they were before we sign off:

📝 Ultimate Ramadan Prep List

1. Completing Voluntary Fasts Before Ramadan ⏱
2. Change Your Sleeping Pattern 💤
3. Cut Down on Caffeine ☕️
4. Get into the Habit of Reciting Quran 📚
5. Ask for Forgiveness / Renew Intentions 🤲🏼
6. Give Charity Without Delay 💰
7. Adapt Your Exercise Routine 🏃🏽‍♂️

Oh Allah, let us reach Ramadan. || اللهمَّ بلِّغْنا رَمَضَان