Thinking back to my first dozen or so Ramadans without a Ramadan planner, they appear so lack luster now. Some of them were great, some were extra challenging, but overall they were focused on the wrong things (food!) and there was little planning that went into how to achieve the goals I felt desperate to reach. As a convert, I only experienced one Ramadan before my first pregnancy. That was a fun one. All but that first Ramadan have been centered on caring for other people while fasting, and not prioritizing my ibadah to the extent I guiltily felt I should but simply didn’t know how to.
It took me years to learn how to plan all the tactical household stuff for Ramadan: shopping, menu, cooking, avoiding waste, caring for demanding children when my energy is low, etc. This was especially complicated for me to just learn and ‘do’ Ramadan as my household was constantly changing: having a range of childhood stages to deal with, being pregnant or nursing, working, homeschooling, going back to school, moving abroad, moving abroad again, etc. I don’t generally compare myself to others, I think I may actually be too busy to! Still, at the annual Eid celebrations, when I heard about other moms’ ibdah successes during the holy month, it really left me feeling like I was missing out and doing things very wrong. That all drastically changed when a few years ago I stumbled upon ‘The Ramadan Battle Plan’ planner.
SubhanAllah. I wasn’t even using a daily planner at that time (yaye! I now am) and was amazed to learn that such a thing existed. As we were practically living off the grid then and it was too difficult to get mail, I printed out the planner and stole little chunks of time to pour over it, filling in as much as I could. I’m not going to sugar coat this. My Ramadan did not do a 360 that year. It’s not like I suddenly reaped in every bit of barakah known to be available. I still had a heap of kids to care for and too much of the household responsibility on my shoulders in addition to working. I’ve said that year even with the planner was an emotionally difficult Ramadan for me. Looking back, the sadness and frustration I felt that year may have something to do with it being the first time ever that the magnitude of the month was all neatly compiled in front of me. Apps and articles just do not compare to having a workbook in your hands. It clearly made an impact on me that year.
The next year I was even more determined to do things differently, better for me. I used the planner again. Having a Ramadan planner was game changing for me, I had tangible, hands on tactics to help guide myself through the month. I no longer did Ramadan by the skin of my teeth, on hope and elbow grease. I followed a plan! Of course Allah is the best of planners, and I am still not at the 100% I long for, but it makes such a difference to have an actual written down, tried, adapted, retried, adjusted plan. I now enter Ramadan with much more enthusiasm for the ‘ibadah aspects of it!
This year I had an amazing opportunity to be a part of designing a Ramadan planner. Reyhana Ismail, the fabulously skilled designer I work with at SISTERS Magazine, also designs the lush inserts for Stori Dori journals. Bingo! A collab was born!
‘My Best Ramadan Yet, In Shaa Allah’ is an inspiring, straightforward companion to help you achieve your best Ramadan yet. Our 48-page planner includes: daily planning, motivational prompts, a vision board, focus for Laylat-ul-Qadr, eid prep, lots of space to make dua and other lists, inspiration from the Quran and Hadith, and a section to help with your connection to the Quran for the month. As a prior Ramadan panster, I can testify that organizing your month on paper with your own hands, can reduce your worries, and greatly help maximize your ‘ibadah.
The other things I love about being a part of the ‘My Best Ramadan Yet, In Shaa Allah’, are working with “sisters who are passionate about collaborating with one another through creative enterprises, and ethical social and business practices” (as Nilly says). The planners are all lovingly handmade and a beautiful keepsake for you to reflect on for years to come as you continue to improve your Ramadan practices.
Learn more about the ‘Ramadan Battle Plan’ here.
If you use a planner this year, please tag me on Instagram so I can oh, ah, and masha Allah!