Ramadan is probably the most significant event in a Muslim’s calendar.

As with most big events, it requires preparation and careful planning in order for it to pass successfully.

Muslims can begin to prepare for Ramadan, months before it arrives. They must be ready both spiritually and mentally; to cope with the long daily fasts, additional night prayers and avoidance of worldly distractions. It is a time of great focus and contemplation.

If the mention of Ramadan fills you with trepidation, take a look at some of the handy tips below to help you feel more prepared:

1. Try and make sure you have made up any previously missed fasts, before the coming Ramadan begins. In most instances these fasts are deemed owed, and will need to be completed as soon as it is possible to do so.

2. If you don’t owe any fasts – congratulations! You could still consider using this preparation time to attempt some extra, or nafl fasts. This will prepare your body and mind for the fast once again, but also carries some wonderful rewards. Days that the Prophet Mohammed (SAW) encouraged us to fast are Mondays and Thursdays of every week, or what is known as the three ‘white days’ – the middle days of every Islamic month.

3. Attempt to minimise any habits that you know will cause you some discomfort at the start of the month. If you are a smoker, coffee addict or a sugar fiend you may struggle with headaches or mild withdrawal symptoms when you start to fast. These can be reduced by starting to cut down on your daily intake from now.

4. Try to think about what goals you would like to achieve this Ramadan. Each Ramadan should pass with some form of change or increase in our connection with God; so you could try to learn something new, or instil in yourself a good habit during this time. Examples include memorising a new chapter of the Quran, a Prophetic invocation or continuing with the night prayer once Ramadan has passed.

5. Make an arrangement with family and friends about expectations for iftar time. This could be a monthly meal plan, or even food preparation with some cooking and freezing from now. You could also think about if you would like to have any guests over and what you might make for them. In doing this, the idea of cooking a feast everyday will seem less daunting. The reality is, the stomach shrinks during the fast and there isn’t actually a need for any indulgence or extravagance during iftar time. Simple, hearty foods at the dining table are always the most satisfying.

7. It may seem premature, but if you have a large family it can pay to plan for Eid before Ramadan. No one wants to be trawling the shops at the last moment, looking for the perfect present or piece of Eid home decor. Make a list of what to buy and try to tick them off slowly. Make use of online shopping so that you can cut down on the time spent browsing in stores. Every minute counts during Ramadan, so it is vital that you use your time wisely.

Remember, despite the anticipation every Ramadan passes so quickly. The more prepared you are, the less likely you will have regrets about what you have achieved.

Wishing you a blessed and fruitful Ramadan from all at eidparty.co.uk!

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