Readying the Ruh for Ramadan

By Hina Khan-Mukhtar

The Ramadan moon is only a few nights away from being sighted, insha’Allah, and I am in the midst of last-minute preparations. The bulk of my worldly to-do list has been completed and I am finally beginning to feel at ease.

The children were fascinated this past month to see all of the tasks that were being undertaken in the name of “preparing for Ramadan”. I finally got around to calling my trusted carpet cleaning company so that they could take care of the stains that have accumulated over the past year. A window washing company sent out four employees to come scrub the windows inside and out, upstairs and down, so that the sunlight could sparkle through grime-free glass. My husband and I spent an afternoon, paintbrushes and touch-up paint in hand, inspecting the walls and floorboards for scuff marks and scratches that magically disappeared with a flick of the wrist.

The boys gave up a few hours of their carefree summer days to assist me in organizing closets and cupboards and cabinets. The hearts felt lighter as bags of clutter were taken out to the garage and bins for donations were set up. I am pleased to see that the flowers we planted a few weeks ago are now in full bloom outside my family room window. We are currently preparing to deliver cookies to neighbors and friends. Our next step is to assemble the family’s favorite egg rolls for the freezer in anticipation of upcoming iftars.

When the days of fasting begin, house and garden will no longer be my focus, insha’Allah. Aside from the necessary meals, the kitchen will take a back seat on my list of priorities. I hope to immerse myself in prayer and remembrance. I don’t want anything to distract me from the loftiness of the upcoming month, however, so I am trying to “set myself up for success” now. A scholar once advised that we should treat Ramadan like an “honored guest” and prepare for its arrival with proper planning so that we can benefit from its blessed presence once it is with us.

It is my sincere wish that when my children grow up to one day run their own households, insha’Allah, they will see Ramadan as a time not only for cleansing the body, the soul, and the mind…but for cleansing the long-forgotten recesses of the home as well. With the world around us in tidy order, the spirit feels better prepared to turn in complete focus on the worship of our Lord. May He grant us all success in our endeavors to please Him and allow us to live simple, clean lives that free up our time to do what is most important — remember Him. Aameen.