Ok, so it’s been ages since I last blogged, but hey, I’m back now! And, as Ramadan is the month of Iman and Ibadah, I’m hoping to post here on a regular basis.

Anyways, enough of the housekeeping (blogkeeping?!) stuff. Ramadan is here already! Subhanallah. Of all the things I planned to do to prepare myself for Ramadan, the only things I can honestly say that I’ve done – and only this month, at that – are read Qur’an and basically cut the TV. (I say ‘basically’ because I haven‘t entirely stopped watching it this past month. And in all honesty, the only reason I haven’t watched much is because I download stuff onto my laptop and the internet connection around here has been atrocious lately. But it still counts. 😀 )

That said, what little I have done makes me feel very motivated for Ramadan. Although I haven’t read all of the Qur’an this month, I have realised that reading it every day isn’t a good idea for me. I’m much better off reading a larger portion every few days then I am reading a small bit every day. It just seems to work better for me. This also means that I may actually get to revise some Qur’an this month Inshallah. We shall see. Another thing that I’ve figured out is that I concentrate much better on what I’m reading if I set a timer and read until it goes off. When I read by page number I tend to count down to when I’m finished, and my focus is more on finishing and not on the words before me. So, I’ve timed myself and worked out how long it takes me to read one Juz’ of Qur’an (roughly 25 minutes in my case – but it varies depending on the Surah and how familiar I am with it) and now I just sit and read until my timer goes off. Alhamdulillah, it’s worked so far.

I haven’t gotten into the habit of praying Qiyam ul-Layl (night prayer) yet, so I’m not sure how I’m going to plan out my Tarawih. I haven’t decided yet whether or not I’m going to do it all in one go, either after Isha or before Fajr, or divide it up so that I pray 4 rakahs after Isha and 4 (+ Shaf’ and Witr) before Fajr. I’m going to have to play that one by ear, I think.

I’ve taken out my little, itty, bitty, pocketsize dua leaflet, and plan on fitting in the dua’s listed during my day. I memorised most of them a few years ago, so I’m hoping they’ll be easy to revise Inshallah. Then I plan on saying my morning duas / dhikr when I get up and my evening ones after Maghrib when I’m doing the wash up. Ramadan, or more, specifically, fasting is one of the best times to be making Dua, so I figure this is an easy Ibadah to factor in. Easy but important. 😀

Like I’ve said I might also try to revise some Qur’an – I would really love to, really I would, but I don’t want to stretch myself too thinly. I want to focus on a few Ibadahs and do them to the best of my ability, rather than try to do a load and do them poorly and sporadically. Because that’s what happens to me every year. I also have no intention of memorising any new Qur’an. And that’s not just a Ramadan thing. I seriously need to revise my Qur’an and I’ve decided I’m not learning anything new until I’ve revised it all.

Nor will I be learning the 99 names of Allah. Although it is an easy one, and the reward is Jannah, I’m just not feeling it for this Ramadan.

Two things I have every intention of really focusing on are:

– Avoiding gossip and backbiting, and

– Improving my sincerity in prayer.

For the first, I’m going to have to really watch myself – it’s going to take a lot of concentration. And I ain’t going to lie: I spent a few hours before Ramadan going through my favourite celeb gossip sites to get it all out of my system. Now I’m going to delete them all from my internet history, so that when I type in an address they don’t come up. I’m not going to block them because I really don’t think I need to …

As for improving my sincerity in prayer, I’ll let you know how it goes, as it goes, Inshallah.

So, that’s my Ramadan plan. What’s yours? What Ibadahs are you going to focus on? How are you going to accomplish them? What works for you?