What is it?… and why you should do it!
Yay! Ramadan is upon us, the most blessed month of the Islamic calendar. A time when families come together and enjoin to break their fasts over sweet dates and delicious food.
This social, spiritual and of course dietary detox has become such a staple in our lives. The older I get, the more I realise the true power and significance of this beautiful and serene month.
Personally, Ramadan has always been one of my favourite times of the year, despite what my work colleagues may think! It symbolises to me, strange and interesting daily routines, family unity and an unearthly surge in spirituality.
There’s just something different in the air, a new sense of hope, tranquillity or spiritual surrender. Whatever it is, I just love it and I rely on this month to give me the divine high I crave all year around.
My Ramadan Journal
For the last few years, I’ve started doing something a little different during Ramadan. I have started using the Bullet Journal Method to log my Ramadan progress and actions, and it really has elevated my productivity and level of engagement during this significant month.
By outlining the goals that I want to achieve and prayers that I want to learn, my whole perception of Ramadan has changed. It’s not just a passive process, whereby you don’t eat for a couple of hours. It is a chance to truly engage with the words of our Lord, and build a deep connection with the Quran.
Something amazing happens when you take the time to define your goals, once the destination is set, you can work towards them in small incremental steps. Using this method, I track and enhance my Ramadan by creating the relevant spreads that are specific to my goals.
If you’re like me and like to structure your days with to-do-lists and targets, this is a must!
Why should you try it?
There are so many benefits for journaling and logging your Ramadan activity. Here are just a few:
- Defining your goals
Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t manage what you don’t measure?” Identifying, outlining and defining your Ramadan goals is the best way to give yourself direction. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you’re more likely to take the steps needed to achieve it.
2. Measuring your progress
Who doesn’t like to see progress in their efforts? Once you have set your goals, you can use your journal to ensure that your hitting the targets on the way to what you want to achieve.
For example, I’ve set myself the challenge to learn Surah Falaq and Surah Khafirun. I have stuck the transliterations in my journal, so I know that when I’m ready, I can begin my memorisation progress. Once you have a target, you have a destination to move towards.
3. Keeping track can provide a sense of accomplishment
Logging and keeping track of things like your prayers and the amount of Quran you have read, will give you a sense of great achievement. Once you’ve memorised the Surah, or listened to an entire lecture series, you can revel in the accomplishment of having achieved your goal!
Remember, for every bit of worship you do within the month of Ramadan, your reward is multiplied, so you don’t want to waste any precious time during this month.
4. Being intentional about your day to day activity
Planning ahead can ensure you start your Ramadan in the best way. It all begins with an intention, but cementing everything into a plan-of-action creates a way to hold yourself accountable and acts as a reminder to yourself every day of the goals you’re gearing towards.Being intentional with your daily habits will ensure that Ramadan won’t just pass you by without you making the most of it.
What can write about?
Your Ramadan journal can be completely tailored to your needs. I have been doing this for 3 years now and every year, I takeaway spreads that I didn’t find useful or add things that I realised I needed. Here are some examples of topics to get you going!
- Goals that you want to achieve during Ramadan
- Write a list of Duas – Things you want for yourself, Your family & friends and the Ummah
- Take notes from any inspiring lectures you listen to.
- Track your food and sleep habits – see what combinations work best for you
- What you can do while not fasting – During that time of the month
- Your Zakat calculations
- Charities you would like to contribute to
- A good deed a day list
- An Eid to-do-list to ensure you’re super prepared
- A gratitude list
- An exercise log
- Your Ramadan reflections
- What habits you would like to continue after Ramadan is over
Creating and using a Ramadan journal will definitely help you to benefit from this amazing month. It can be a digital log, a physical bullet journal (like me), or even bullet points on your phone, it really doesn’t matter. But if you take the time to actually use it, I guarantee you will have a Ramadan unlike any other you’ve ever had before!
Go ahead, give it a try this month!
May we all have a blessed and fulfilling Ramadan…Ameen
Ramadan – The holy month of fasting in the Islamic Calendar
Surah – Equivalent of “chapter” in the Quran
Eid – Celebration for Muslims
Zakat – the obligation of a Muslim to donate a certain proportion of wealth each year to charitable causes.