Ramadan is a month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness that only comes once a year. Every good deed we do is multiplied many times giving us abundant rewards for the good things we do. We would be foolish not to take advantage of this great opportunity, but many of us live such a busy life that leaves us almost no time for ourselves, let alone our Creator. Most of us literally run around all day long and then find at the end of the day, there are still a hundred more things to do tomorrow.
How can we manage our time better this Ramadan to do all the things we need to do and still get all the rewards we possibly can?
Let us take an example of an average busy day. Faatimah is a thirty-two-year-old married mother of three, ages 9, 7 and 5. She is a full-time homemaker. Let us walk through a day in the life of Faatimah.
Suhoor: Faatimah and her husband Ahmad wake up a half an hour before Fajr and prepare Suhoor. The pitter-patter of their feet and the soft sound of their voices awaken their eldest child, who sleepily joins them. When Suhoor is ready, they awaken their second child, who also joins them. They eat until their time is almost up. They each drink a last cup of water and prepare to pray the Fajr prayer. After they finish the prayer, they glorify Allah with Tasbeeh, read a few pages of Quran and go to bed.
Faatimah and her husband let their children know how pleased they are with them by giving each a hug and a kiss.
Morning: Faatimah helps the kids get ready for school as Ahmad gets ready for work. As they are all working, they are listening to a Quranic recitation. Ahmad drops the kids off to school on his way to work. Faatimah starts her chores while listening to a lecture on cassette.
11:00 a.m Faatimah is just about done with her housework and has begun to prepare dinner. She looks over her notes for today's bi-weekly study circle, or gathering. Each sister arrives by noon. Today is Faatimah's turn to lead the discussion of the assigned chapter. They finish off the discussion by assigning the next chapter. They offer the Thuhr prayer and hurry home for their kids. Faatimah finishes up dinner and also departs to pick up her kids from school.
3:30 p.m On their way home from school, she asks about their day. She notices that all-day kindergarten really tires her youngest child. When they get home, she asks them all to perform Thuhr prayer. They then do their homework while she puts the finishing touches on dinner. After she is finished, she sits on the table with them and takes care of bills and other paperwork as she goes over their homework. When they are all done they offer 'Asr prayer and the kids listen as Faatimah explains to them what she learned in today's lecture. Her kids like this because this makes them feel especial enough to discuss what the grown-ups were discussing.
Iftaar: Ahmad comes home around Iftaar time. They each break their fast with a few dates and a cup of milk. They offer Maghrib prayer together then they all have Iftaar. An argument starts to erupt between the two eldest kids. Ahmad immediately jumps in to remind them that they should be more thoughtful to each other, especially in Ramadan. They finish up dinner and Ahmad reads two pages of Quran aloud while everyone sits and listens. When he is finished, each child recites a short Surah that they were asked to memorize. Then they all help Faatimah clean up and head off to the mosque. They arrive an hour early so as to hear the lecture given before the ‘Ishaa prayer. The kids attend the children's program with their peers. After Taraaweeh prayer, Ahmad and Faatimah socialize with their friends and go home.
This was a general idea explaining how one can manage his/her day. We will be accounted for every moment we spend here on earth, so we should make the most of it.