Ramadan has always been such a special experience for my family. Growing up, I watched my mother get our home ready in the weeks leading up to the blessed month. When I got married and moved into my own home, I was excited to carry on the traditions, and start some of my own.
While I love decorating and preparing my home for Ramadan, I try not to lose sight of what is important during this month–worship and dedication. Ramadan represents so much for me: new beginnings, re-discovering my self-discipline and connection with Allah (swt). As I strive to improve my faith, I try to set up my home in a way that helps me, and my little family, on a day-to-day basis.
Tip #1: Up Your Spice Game
Everyone else may do spring cleaning, but my mom taught me Ramadan cleaning. It’s the perfect time to sort through my cupboards and pantry to take note of “inventory.” A shopping list is made, and I try to get what I need before Ramadan starts so that I am not distracted by food shopping later. I have learned how to organize my spices in a way that makes my cooking more efficient, and I must say, I appreciate the time it saves me!
Two of my favorite Muslim organization bloggers are Before & After (@beforeandafter_org), and Amira of Dusk2IllDawn (@dusk2illdawn) on Instagram.
Tip #2: Frame Iftar Dua
This tip is actually a two-in-one. Making a corner in your kitchen or dining room where your family breaks their fast every day has been life-changing for me. It means that we all gather in one spot, make dua together and no one is asking, “Mom, where can I find the milk?” (In the fridge, where it always is).
Printing out the dua for breaking your fast and framing it is a great way to encourage your kids, and anyone who hasn’t memorized the dua to repeat it. I printed one and framed it years ago, and have used it every year since. It is my favorite part of our iftar corner. You can find many beautiful designs on Etsy, including the one pictured above that I like, which can be purchased, here.
Tip #3: Keep Iftar and Imsak Timings Visible
Although I have a Fajr clock that both displays and makes adhan throughout the day, I have invested in decorating a shadowbox that I wipe down and update with iftar timings, every day. I love the way it looks, and if your kids can read time, it comes in handy! You may not have to answer “How much longer?” over 50 times a day! I’ve seen people use letter boards, shadowboxes, or just picture frames. Whatever you choose to display it on, you will find it very useful! This Ramadan Iftar Printout is super cute and affordable. All you have to do is print it out, insert it in a photo frame, and then use a white board marker to fill in the iftar time–hassle free, and so helpful!
Tip #4: Set Up a Prayer/ Quran Corner
Some people have enough spaces in their homes to have a permanent corner for prayer or a musallah. If, like me, and you do not, I recommend finding some space for prayer and reading Quran during Ramadan. It’s a beautiful way to inspire the feeling of spirituality and encourage everyone in your household to participate. Sometimes, all we really need is the right setting to get in the swing of things. Personally, I recommend replacing your TV corner with a Ramadan corner to encourage yourself to give up this worldly distraction for more devotion. Add lanterns, beautiful rugs, a bowl of tasbih beads, a book of duas and, of course, a few Qurans. I also add a portable speaker and play Quran throughout the day. You can also use your TV to watch different Islamic lectures on YouTube. There are so many available with the current climate!
This beautiful Ramadan prayer corner was created by Yusra, @the_inspired_muslim_mama on Instagram. Follow her for home decor inspiration!
Tip #5: Make Ramadan Resources Available
For younger children, include Ramadan themed/inspired toys and puzzles to help them engage in the spirit of Ramadan, even if they are not old enough to fast. I always bring out my son’s Ramadan books to the forefront and keep them where he can see them. I love the idea of him associating certain elements of Ramadan with this time of year early on. We love this moon phase puzzle.
There are also a lot of resources you can print off of the internet to keep your younger ones engaged. Freshtah Yassen has a free printable package on her website. Check it out here.
For older children, keep some Ramadan material around the house for them. It may help prompt conversation or questions. Print a “frequently asked questions” paper and hang it on the fridge. It may help answer questions they are too shy to ask. Have dua books and simplified Quran tafsir books within their reach. My favorite dua book is this one.
The Yaqeen Institute has a great conversation series that you can also use as prompts at the dinner table or during the day as well.
Tip #6: Have a Workout Corner
Most of us have already found ways to workout at home, given that gyms have been closed for a while now. During Ramadan, many people workout after iftar and taraweeh, which feels too late to go to the gym. During this time, I have always found a way to convert a small corner of our garage to workout. All you need is a mat, some dumbbells and resistance bands. There are many great workout videos online, but our favorite is Amanah Fitness by Amina Khan.
As you prepare for Ramadan, remember that everyone’s Ramadan experience is different. Do not force yourself to keep up with those around you. Strive for the best relationship with Allah (swt) you can have, and recognize that this will look different for everybody. Do not lose sight of what this month is all about! Inshallah you will have a blessed and productive Ramadan!