Ramadan 2013 is almost here

Masjid Al-Aqsa - seen through festive Ramadan lights (2009 - AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Festive Ramadan lights in Jerusalem (2009 – AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

OK, so admittedly, I haven’t posted much in the lead-up to Ramadan. The truth is, I’ve had a lot of other things occupying me, and with a new baby due near the end of the month, chances are I won’t be too active on this blog during Ramadan. (Other than the Hajj Chronicles series, which is actually finished, and scheduled to be published every 2 weeks or so.)

But since we’re on the doorstep of Ramadan, I’m recycling from last year 😉

Take whatever benefit you can from this post, and I make dua that this month is spiritually, physically, and emotionally uplifting for each and every one of us. And every night when we break our fast – which is a time when dua is readily accepted – let us consistently make a dua for our brothers and sisters suffering in Syria, Palestine, Burma, Guantanemo, Egypt, and every other place facing trials; as well as the Muslims who are so severely restricted / targeted during Ramadan (and outside it) – in China, Russia, and elsewhere.

If you’re in Cape Town, try to get to Gatesville this year, where Mufti Menk will be leading taraweeh insha-Allah; with his tafseer series this month titled “Pearls of peace from the Noble Quran”. Insha-Allah it’ll be posted online as well for those who can’t make it.

The Ramadan prep bits follow below:

Although the Ramadan 2012 Early Bird Challenge focused intensely on specific areas of preparation, it’s also important to do more general planning for the month – such as outlining the kind of schedule you’d like to keep, along with listing other areas you want to work on and actions you’d like to take forward beyond Ramadan.

With this in mind, I’ve updated the Ramadan planner template – which is a compact 2-page template you can use to help you prepare. It’s rather amateur – but it’s only a template, so you can customize it according to your own needs (including making it more visually attractive if you want).

Download: Ramadan planner template v2 (50Kb)


1. The Fasting and the Furious

I highly recommend listening to Muhammad Al-Shareef’s “The Fasting and the Furious” – which contains many important lessons for the month, and especially the middle of the month (when we lose momentum).

Follow these links for the video and the MP3 audio. (Note: If the links don’t work, just search the Internet. The talk is quite popular, so you should find it easily).

2. Ramadaan inspiration

One of my favourite Islamic speakers is Shaykh Hussain Abdul Sattar of Chicago – who has a knack for using easy to understand analogies to help make the listener understand some spiritual aspect.

His website contains a treasure chest of awesome audio material; including an in-depth series on purification of the heart, which I started writing about (kind of a transcription) in this article.

Anyway, for this month specifically, you can find hours of Ramadan-related talks in the Ramadan section.

All the best for the coming month. May it serve as a means of purification for our hearts, minds, and bodies – and benefit us in ways that will stick with us for the rest of our lives.

If you’ve found the template, any of these resources, or the Early Bird series beneficial, please share them with others. A person who helps spread goodness gets a piece of the reward – so be generous to others and think of what you yourself can also gain from sharing.