As we await the arrival of Ramadan, lots of us are busily preparing our hearts, writing du’a lists, setting Qur’an recitation goals, and carefully setting aside money to be spent on charitable causes, among a plethora of other things. In addition to these deeds that are most pleasing to Allah, I’ve been preparing our home to welcome Ramadan. We’re going to be spending a lot of time within our homes during Ramadan and this is the perfect opportunity to create a warm, spiritually uplifting environment that you and your family can create beautiful Ramadan memories in.
Think about what parts of your home you use the most or spend the most time in during Ramadan. For us, this is the kitchen and living area. We home educate so lots of the children’s books and resources are on display. I usually do a spring clean around this time of year anyway, so I’ve started decluttering the bookshelves and the children’s resources and pulled out everything that we can use during Ramadan – activity books that they may not have finished from previous years, colouring sheets, themed magazines, books – take a look at what you already have before you purchase or download and print additional items. Remember that anything that you add to your space needs to be stored, offered to the children, and tidied away, so anything that you bring into the home, will require some of your energy – choose wisely.
Re-arrange furniture if you can to create a space for salah, Qur’an reading and lots of iftars on the floor insha’Allah. Whilst you dust and clean in preparation for the month that is a cleanse of the mind, body and soul, keep your tongue engaged in dhikr and make fervent du’a that you reach Ramadan insha’Allah.
I am grateful for my home, just the way it is. I’m grateful for the family I share it with and grateful for the memories of another Ramadan within it insha’Allah.
Time in the kitchen is reduced significantly in our household during Ramadan, and part of that is down to the prep that happens in the weeks leading up to it. I start by looking at what we’ve already got in the house, and then make a list of meals for the month. Shopping for all the dry goods follows next and I freeze anything that will speed up the cooking process – whether that’s chopped onions, frozen fruit for smoothies, marinated meats, or dough for flatbreads. If it can be done ahead of time, I do it. This means I’m only shopping for perishables every week and our food bill during Ramadan is always lower than the rest of the year because of the prep beforehand. Spending a little time on decluttering the kitchen will also help – the less you have, the less you’ll have to clean and store away.
SubhanAllah, Alhamdullilah, Allahu Akbar on your tongues whilst you work in here insha’Allah!
Do your children have access to too little, just enough or too much? Go through your children’s toys and put away any that aren’t open ended or encourage creative play. Create a toy rotation system for Ramadan by separating the toys into two boxes and swapping them around mid Ramadan to keep them engaged. If there’s a huge mess created every time your children need to access toys or books – there’s a problem with how they are organised. Look at how you can change that ahead of Ramadan to avoid mess potentially being a trigger. When children are able to see exactly what they have, they play with it more too! I’m also doing this with clothing – putting away anything that’s currently out of season or no longer fits, so it isn’t something I have to do as the weather gets warmer.
Alhamdullilah for the gifts that are our children.
This does not have to involve lots of expensive decor. Re-use or make your own decorations if you want to. In our household, the atmosphere involves baskets of Ramadan books, games, and other activities for the children and the grown ups, lots of soft lighting especially for the evenings and reminders everywhere that also serve as decor. Whatever this looks like for you, get organised and start earlier so you’re not going into Ramadan tired and strung out. Try and use sustainable decor options where possible, and if you put together Ramadan gifts for loved ones, now is also a good time to prepare for those.
When it gets tedious and tiring, let’s try to remember
We will insha’Allah be blessed to welcome Ramadan,
We get another month for ibaadah and tawbah,
We have homes to welcome Ramadan into,
We have families who live within those homes,
We have people to fast with,
We have people to have iftar with,
We have food,
We have shelter,
We get to spend more time with His book,
We have the means to give charity (even its s’s just a smile)
Not all of this will apply to everyone reading this, but Allah tells us, ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more,’ so let us try to find gratitude in the little things – like in the preparation of our homes for the blessed month.