We all know we look forward to the Iftar and Suhoor in Ramadan and feel our taste buds watering at the thought of all that scrumptious food being laid at our dining tables, but the ones taking care of the food arrangements are usually the women of the household. There is nothing wrong with celebrating Ramadan and its blessings but more often than not, the focus on food preparations take up most of the time of women and the purpose of this blessed month tends to get overshadowed.
Allah (SWT) constantly gives us chances and opportunities to turn back to Him and seek His refuge and guidance. If we miss a chance, He gives us another. If we miss it again, He gives us another chance to redeem ourselves. He never gives up on us. So why do we keep missing our chances? Why does the kitchen somehow overpower the need to spend those minutes in Ibadah?
The month of Ramadan is a golden opportunity for Muslims throughout the globe to fortify their bond with the Creator, solidify their faith and purify their soul through worship of Allah (SWT). So ladies, take this Ramadan and dedicate it to increased Ibadah- find that balance. Here is a small list of acts of Ibadah that you can integrate into your daily routines this Ramadan.
Make a schedule and set daily goals
If you feel like your days pass you by and you cannot find the time to multi-task with the kitchen duties and keeping up with your ibadah, put it down on paper, make a schedule, set daily goals of ibadah and organize your day. Jot down your cooking hours for the day- suhoor and iftar included- so you have a better idea of how to go about your day. Set daily goals of ibadah for yourself and try to integrate and distribute those throughout the day.
Choose simpler and less time-consuming dishes
There is no need to have extravagant iftars and suhoors every day. Stick to the basics and make the dishes that you are good at- this way, you can minimize your time in the kitchen. You can experiment and make special dishes too, but try to make the dishes you already know. Make it a point to choose recipes that are simpler and take lesser time to cook so you don’t find yourself stuck in the kitchen all day and can dedicate more time to Allah (SWT).
Sacrifice your sleep and pray
Prioritize your prayers over your sleep this Ramadan. If you know you have to wake up early to make suhoor, you can get up ten minutes earlier than the normal routine and pray your Tahajjud prayers before suhoor. There is no limit to the number of Rakaat in the Tahajjud prayer but it is advised to pray no less than eight rakaat.
And once the whole iftar ordeal finishes at the end of each day, try not to linger the kitchen chores and finish them up quickly and effectively so you can have some time for yourself and your Lord- take that time and offer eight Nafal prayers after the salah of Isha every night.
Recite the book of Allah (SWT) on a daily basis
If you know the main part of your day will be spent in the kitchen and you will not have the time to sit down and read the Quran in peace, you can put on the recitation of the Holy Quran on your phone or tablet and listen to it while you are cooking the food and doing the preparations. And if you find yourself free for even fifteen minutes, pick up the Quran, spend those minutes reciting the word of Allah (SWT), and remind yourself about the basic purpose of this month. Make it a goal to finish the Quran at least once in Ramadan- divide the parts according to your convenience and fit in the time to complete it in time.
Remember the Almighty and engage in dhikr
Another easy way of integrating the ibadah into your daily Ramadan routine is doing dikhr. You can do dhikr anywhere, anytime and for however long you want. Learn a few verses of dhikr this Ramadan, memorize them and then recite them throughout the day, even if you are busy in the kitchen or doing household chores or while taking a breather from the busy day. Remember Him so He may remember you.
These are just a few easy tips for you to balance your Ramadan cooking routines and earning Sawaab this Ramadan!