Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Three months to go.

Ramadan starts in 92 days (roughly). That's pretty much three months. Maybe you will notice that the start of Ramadan is when the voting on motivation ends on this blog. Things need to be done before then.

These days are officially over.

My pre-Ramadan goals are coming right up.

Ramadan is the month of fasting. That's true, but it's so much more. It's an awesome time to push yourself to do more than you ever thought you could (outside of going without food or water for 15+ hours in July this year). It's a beautiful month of seeing friends, community events, early morning reflections before dawn even breaks, and praying behind some of the most amazing reciters of Quran in the world.

I am bent on making this the best Ramadan yet. To make sure that happens, I am starting my preparations now. Here are my goals:

  1. Learn 5 new surahs (chapters of Quran). This should be easy. I always say I will do it but it never happens. This year is different.
  2. Practice reading Quran every single day. If I am going to learn 5 surahs I should do this anyway but I want to just list it here so it gets done. Even if it's 5 minutes before bed, I want to try to not miss a day.
  3. Fast every Monday and Thursday that I am able. Period.
I can do this. I know it. And I know I will be more geared-up for Ramadan as a result. Do you have any goals to accomplish either before Ramadan or any other upcoming occasion? I would love to hear them. We can encourage each other, dear readers!

Just so you don't think I didn't do my 20 minutes today, I did listen to over 2 hours of the introduction to the Seerah of the Prophet ﷺ (from now on, when you see this symbol, know that it says in tiny Arabic "Salli Allahu alayhi wa sallam" or "May Allah honor him and grant him peace"). I don't like to abbreviate this because I believe our Prophet ﷺ deserves more than that but typing it each time can cause disruptions for the reader so I will use the stacked Arabic writing to make things easier to read. 

The 2-hour intro to the entire Seerah podcast by Abdul Nasir Jangda was necessary because it goes over the reasons for studying the Seerah (life of the Prophet ﷺ) in great detail. My favorite reason is that people these days (especially the youth and the reverts) tend to think of Muhammad ﷺ as a kind of Super Man that they can't relate to. However he was very much a human being with many of the same (and worse) problems, obstacles, and other trappings of our daily life. The instructor also talks at length about the sources he's used for the series which is helpful for me so I can refer back to those. I can't wait to get into the meat of these lectures! 


I did about 10 minutes on the elliptical again and then more stretches with the resistance band. I don't know what it is, but the elliptical hasn't been getting easier for me the way it used to when I would use it regularly. Maybe I am just too old now? I sure do miss the fancy-pants ellipticals at the YMCA—they were like BUTTER. Mine's a little creaky and I have to tighten the bolts all the time but hey, it's at home!

Health Tip of the Day: Try to incorporate 10 of the 30 Healthiest Foods according to Real Simple magazine into your regular diet. A lot of people don't realize the health benefits of some of these foods despite all the "superfood" hype. Not everyone watches Oprah, okay Oprah? The web version of this article is kind of a downer but you can click through the foods pretty quickly. If you can get your hands on this issue from February of 2011, please do check it out. The photo spreads for the article are beautiful in and of themselves.

The cover's no competition for the inside. 


  1. Yay!

    I've been memorizing Surah Ar-Rahman for an embarrassingly long time if you want to join me. You could catch up to me like immediately.

    I loved that Real Simple issue.

    Oprah shmoprah.

    I still feel like I miss a lot of Ramadan due to my non-fasting issue. There are so many blessings I feel I miss.

  2. You can do it! I'm totally embarrassed to admit that I haven't learned one surah since last Ramadan. I have learned one line of one surah in the last maybe 3 months. Argh. I should set some pre-Ramadan goals too but it's easier not to set them because then I can't fail at them. That's been my mode of operation lately - don't set any goals and don't do anything. Sigh.

  3. Toni, this sounds like a good old-fashioned rut to me. You can get out of it!

    It may be that you take the idea of goals too seriously. The pressure of having to meet them drives you from beginning anything. It happens to everyone at some point or another. Me, I need the goal to get me going and maybe unfortunately, I don't feel that bad if I don't do it but we're all different in how we approach these things.

    I know—maybe you could teach your kids a short surah before classes end. You could print out the script really big and glue it on a giant piece of paper and color/glitter-bomb it! Then you will learn it too. It could never be a failure even if you and one other kid get even an ayah from the project.

    May Allah make it easier for us!