Ramadan is a blessed month for Muslims all over the world. While this time is full of community spirit, joyous family moments and delicious Iftars, there are some anxieties that stem from studying whilst fasting.
Although there are some progressive institutions around, a lot of schools or universities do not cater for fasting students so it's always good to know some tips and tricks to support yourself! 😌
If you're a uni student, this guide takes you through how to ace your revision and exams – without compromising any fasts or festivities.
Without anymore of an intro – let's get into it! 👇
#1 Before Anything – Set Your Intentions
Did you know your studies can be a means for you to get reward?
Yep - you heard right!
By simply renewing your intentions, you can gain reward for revising and taking your exams even if those studies are not specifically related to the deen.
For example, if you're studying Medicine – by making the intention to become a health professional and help those in need for the sake of Allah, through all your hard work you can be earning reward (InshaAllah).
Before you open up those books, think about the 'why' and 'how' you can turn this work into acts of worship. You could be studying to:
- Earn a halal income
- Help those in need of medical assistance
- Teach children so that they have the means to seek knowledge
- Create resources for people to get closer to their deen
Linking your intentions back to Allah will illuminate the path of your studies and allow for more blessings and abundance.
#2 Create a Realistic Timetable 🗓
Okay so this is the best practical step I'd highly recommend to all students.
Open up a page in your notebook, grab a pen and draw out a weekly study schedule – something similar to this one here:
You'll want to note down each of the Suhoor and Iftar times on your schedule so you can easily see which hours of the day you have available to study in. Once you have your availability mapped out, write down exactly which tasks you want to get done in these hours.
I'd recommend getting the more complex revision done in your eating hours, and then leave the more simpler, or laid-back, topics for during your fasting hours. This way you won't feel too burnt out at any point! 💤
Here's a study schedule you could follow if you're independently studying for exams (these are based on UK Suhoor and Iftar times):
- 4-4:15am – Wake up and eat Suhoor 🍉
- Around 5am – Pray Fajr Salah 🤲🏼
- 5:15 - 6:30am – Get a bit of studying done whilst you have food fuel!
- 6:30 - 11:30am – Sleep 💤
- 12pm – 6pm – Study with sufficient breaks for Dhuhr, Asr and Dhikr
- 6pm - 7pm – Take a rest, wind down with Quran reading / Ibadah, and check in with the family 💓
- 7pm - 11pm – Iftar, Pray, Attend Tarawih and chill 😌
#3 Small Consistent Acts 🔑
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.”
It's common when we're studying during Ramadan that we feel guilty for not doing as much worship as those around us. The FOMO (Fear-of-Missing-Out) starts to kick in and so does the worry of how to balance everything.
Take small but consistent steps.
Perhaps you aren't able to help out at the Mosque this year or attend every Tarawih prayer but perhaps you can:
💰 Give Charity Each Day – Even if it is as small as £1, giving money to charity is among the greatest ways to earn reward
😌 Help your Parents in the Kitchen – When you take that well-deserved study break, help out with Iftar preparations as a way of getting involved
✅ Read as Much Quran as You Can – Try to take a few minutes after each salah and read a bit of Quran before returning to your desk
Looming deadlines and exam preparations can make us feel like we don't have time for anything else, but small consistent acts during Ramadan will prove that balancing both worship and studies isn't as difficult as it may seem!
Stick dua post-it notes on the top of your laptop screen or around your desk so that you can be consistently reading them whilst studying. This is a good way to continue your dhikr during any exam prep.
#4 One Topic at a Time
As a current uni student myself, I can think back to so many times where I pushed myself to the limit and suffered from serious burnout. I would cram all of my complex topics into one study session and feel so overwhelmed by the end – don't make the same mistake!
If you're on a bit of a time-crunch, or have a habit of leaving things last minute (been there, don't recommend 🤦🏽♀️), you'll still find that trying to revise multiple topics at once won't do you any favours.
It's better to understand one topic completely than to attempt a bunch of subjects at once in the hopes of absorbing it all.
#5 Take Frequent Breaks
It's really important to take a 20 minute break every so often to recharge yourself.
I would make the mistake of sitting at my desk for hours without any sort of break in between to stretch my legs. Don't be that person!
Especially when you're fasting, taking time out to read some Quran, pray Sunnah prayers or even relax with the family will do a world of good. It helps to break up the day as well as giving you the opportunity to complete acts of worship.
When creating your study schedule, make sure to highlight the time that you won't be studying so it gives you something to work towards in each session!
#6 Reward Yourself Along the Way🎉
Studying shouldn't be completely boring!
Whenever you've completed a pretty complex revision session, plan out what your reward will be. Maybe it's a post-Iftar dessert run with your siblings / friends, or perhaps going out for Iftar one evening! Don't forget to allow yourself to enjoy the beauty of this blessed month amidst your studies 💓
Fasting in Ramadan: Quick Summary
And there we have it! Our helpful tips and tricks to get you through your revision / exam prep this Ramadan 😌
Let's do a quick overview of the points we've covered:
- Set Your Intentions – Remind yourself of the 'why' so you can turn your studies into Ibadah and gain reward (InshaAllah)
- Create a Realistic Timetable – Write down all of your available working hours and mark the times for Suhoor, Iftar and other acts of worship
- Keep Going with Small Consistent Acts – The best of deeds are done regularly even if they are few
- Dua Post-it Notes – This is a great way to remember to recite your duas whilst studying so you can benefit from them
- One Topic at a Time – Try not to overload yourself with many topics at once, internalise one at a time before moving to the next
- Take Frequent Breaks – A 20 minute break every so often will help you recharge and regain focus
- Reward Yourself – Don't forget to treat yourself for all the hard work you're putting in this month!
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