Women And Time Management In Ramadan

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Fatimah 'Abdur-Ra'uf

Often a person wishes to recur moments of his life that leaked out of his hands without benefiting from. He wishes to fill those moments with goodness, so that they may benefit him in religion or even in the world. Often he wishes to have a chance to get rid of the pressures surrounding his soul, and the chains of money that restrict his thinking and distract him from the great truths of his life.

Ramadan comes as a divine gift for every Muslim on earth to give the people a second chance in life. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "All the deeds of the children of Adam (people) are for them: one good deed equals tenfold to seven hundreds. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it. He abandoned his desires, food, and drink for My Sake. There are two pleasures for the fasting person: one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting. By Allah, the bad odor of a fasting person is better, in the sight of Allah, than the odor of musk." [Reported by Muslim].

Good deeds are doubled in quantity and quality to make up for the lack of yore. However, there is one night in this blessed month that equals the entire lifetime; I mean the Night of Revelation that is equivalent to the worship of more than eighty years.

By fasting, the self goes high, excels, and thinks of great matters leaving out bad conducts. When a person secludes to himself and invokes his Lord, he will be able to overcome the chains of money surrounding him, then his heart will recognize the sweetness of faith. ''Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself, and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allâh).'' [Surat Al Muzzammil: 6]. Ramadan grants a Muslim woman a chance, as it gives a man, to discover herself, but there are disrupting matters which reduce this chance to the minimum, and maybe waste it completely.

Some of these drawbacks are social habits associated with Ramadan. For example, if offering food for those who observe the fast is a generous manner encouraged by Islam, habits turned it into a festival of competitions among houses to serve luxurious banquets which are full of multiple kinds of food, hence women spends their day in the kitchen and say: We are offering food for those who observe the fast. And possibly they miss an obligatory Salah or delay it prior to the end of its time, and some of them miss Salah altogether while they are cooking in the kitchen.

Then the food is served by the Western way, whereupon women stay up all night to clean the mess and the dirty dishes, then they cannot offer Salah and go to sleep. However, some families like to visit one another where men go to perform Tarrawih (voluntary night Salah during Ramadan) and women stay at home practicing the gossip hobby which is not free of backbiting!

As for the last portion of the night just prior to dawn, it is the time of answering invocations, but you find the women standing in the kitchen cooking food, thus the days and nights of Ramadan pass.

When it is the last ten of Ramadan and Muslims wait for the Night of Revelation, you find some women starting a yearly cleaning and sweeping process, waiting for the feast. At night, they do shopping for the needs of the feast to bake cakes and sweets.

What kind of Ramadan that most women experience? And which days they benefit from? What great opportunities they miss!

On the other hand, some women are diligent and know exactly what the meaning of Ramadan is. They wish to benefit from its days, nights, and every moment of it, but they have young kids or live in large families and they have to invite the whole family to breakfast and banquets, they may have important tasks to do outside the house, or they may be knowledge seekers. How do they benefit from Ramadan despite their responsibilities are not easy?

To those women I direct my speech. Of course no person can give a detailed schedule to another person because each one has his own circumstances and life, but there are general guidelines which can be followed, of which are:

• Seek the help of Allah Almighty and persist on invoking Him to bless your time, help you with your duties and responsibilities, and help you fast Ramadan and perform Tarawih. Be sure that Allah (Glory be to Him) estimates day and night, and by His Generosity, He will bless your time and help you with your responsibilities.

• Reduce your food as much as you can. Get a balanced and useful diet, but with small amounts so that you may not feel heavy and sleep less. It was reported in old narrations: Who eats much, drinks much, sleeps much, and lose a lot.

• If you have young kids, be heedful to wake them up early, and do not make them sleep at daytime except the breastfeeding babies. Make them sleep not more than half an hour so that they can sleep early and you benefit from the night time in performing Tarawih and reciting the Qur'an. Know that performing Salah for you at home is better and by your sincerity, you can make it more sincere.

• Train your kids for playing together for sometime and without your supervision. If they are in proper age, send them to centers of teaching the Qur'an to benefit a lot and give you more time for worship.

• Exert your efforts to do your house duties while the kids are awake, so you can benefit from their sleeping time in worship.

• Allocate a special time for kids to explain for them an Ayah or a Hadith.

• Do your yearly cleaning and sweeping process before Ramadan, so you finish it one day or two before Ramadan and you can start Ramadan without being exhausted.

• Take advantage of noon to do all the cooking and leave the final touches to a quarter hours before Maghrib (sunset Salah); so you may benefit from the period of afternoon when the angels of day and night alternate to hear the Qur'an and Dhikr (mentioning Allah).

• Extravagance in food is reprehensible and becomes more reprehensible during Ramadan, so do not fall in this trap, and make yourself and your family an example to follow.

• Offer easy and useful meals to those who observe the fast; one main dish may be enough and remind the people with how the Companions used to eat.

• Serve food according to the Arabic way and not to the Western way. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to eat along with his Companions from one vessel, and he had commandments and guidance in the etiquettes of eating: "O boy! Mention the Name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat of the dish what is nearer to you.'' [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. In addition to following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), you save time in cleaning the vessels, save water, and soap. Thereby, you act according to the maxim of Islam in terms of economy of resources, and benefit from time and effort in worship.

• Try to give some of your tasks to others and do not belittle the efforts of others, even kids can tidy their rooms, gather their toys, and remove dishes from the dinning table.

• When you sit in a gathering with women, take the chance to call to Allah and strengthen faith.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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