The month of Barakah is here and you can feel it in the air. The auntie’s fridges are now open ready for the samosas to be fried for Iftar.
But wait !!! Not all of us are as excited for Ramadhan
“I’ve got exams throughout the whole of Ramadhaan!”, “I don’t think I’ll manage to fast this year”, “I’m so stressed, I don’t even want to THINK about Ramadhaan.”
Whoa, easy there. Take a chill pill, I got you covered.
This is your Ramadhaan Survival guide:Exam Blues
- Breathe easy, live easy
Too often in life, we do too much for everyone and everything else besides ourselves. It’s OK to take a moment to relax, in fact it’s extremely necessary. Hard work is in its place, but you’re not helping anyone if you’re so stressed on exam day that you’re completely blank. Take a moment to breathe and wind down, it’s for your own good.
- Manage your time before it manages YOU
“There’s not enough hours in the day”, “I just don’t have the time”, “Where has the time gone?”
There’s 24 hours in the day, same as always and time has gone nowhere, but if you think it’ll wait for you, you’re sorely mistaken. Sit yourself down and seriously decide how you’d like your time to be spent. Break down every hour of your life if you have to. Make your time work to your advantage.
- Every moment counts
Use every small, free moment to make Ibadat. Use the moments when waiting for your paper to make Durood; read a page of Qur’an before and after you study; instead of salivating over Mum’s food before Iftaar, make dua. Use EVERY little moment, it all counts.
- Check your intention
You can make a mundane action like frying samosas an act of Ibadat simply by making the correct intention. Instead of moaning, intend that when they’re eaten they’ll give people strength to perform Ibadat. Intend to sleep to replenish your body and wake up for Tahajjud. Intend that every moment you spend studying will In Shaa Allah be used someday for the work of Deen. You use so many words in the day, let at least 10 of them be good intentions. Let’s not forget those good intentions still receive rewards even if we don’t manage to carry out the action. Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA) said, “The best deeds are to fulfil the obligations of Allah, to be mindful of the prohibitions of Allah, and to have an honest intention before Allah Almighty.” (Source: Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam 38)
- Positive mind, positive life
Nothing, I repeat NOTHING can mess you up if you don’t allow it to. Sure, the prospect of exams and Ramadhan combined is more than a little daunting, but it’s going to happen whether we like it or not. So, we can either cry ourselves a river or… we can make lemonade! Ramadhan is the best month of the whole year to learn and be productive, let’s make the most of it.
- Small actions become big rewards
Every good action is increased a manifold in Ramadhan. That means even small good deeds count for big rewards. Give some money in Sadaqah, follow the Sunnats of eating or just smile. There’s no better time to make good habits. Even if your time is being used for studying and exams, you can still use the time you’re not (because it is human nature to take a break) to do small acts of goodness. Nabi (SAW) said, “Know that the most beloved deed to Allah is that which is performed regularly even if it is small.” (Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 43, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 785)
- Eat healthy today so you don’t die of cholesterol tomorrow
Samosas, pies, crumb chicken, falafel, kofta, mmm. You know what that spells?
Deep-fried, rolled in ghee, oily sneaky death bombs. Ok, dramatic, but really, Ramadhan is the best and worst month for your poor tummy. On the one hand, you’re fasting and detoxing the whole day then the first thing you eat at Iftaar is a lovely something that’s toxic to your tummy. I know, I know, when else will mum make savouries during the year? It sucks but minds and brain power are directly linked to the food you eat. Eat well and you’ll study better. Breakfast a.k.a Suhur/Sehri is the most important meal of the day ESPECIALLY when you’re studying and need that extra energy boost. Have a good filling meal at Suhur/Sehri and a healthy wholesome meal at Iftaar and you’ll not only feel, but see the difference.
- Catch a few Zzzz
A full 5-hour sleep (at the minimum) does wonders for you. Get to bed as soon as your Taraweeh or Fajr is complete (If you can depending on where you live) and you’ll find yourself waking up with ease. A small known fact: The best time to study is Fajr time. If you’re coming home straight after the exams, take a small nap and make intention for the Sunnat of Qaylullah (another big reward for a small intention). It’s a real energy-boost. If you’re not, there’s even more reason to go to bed early. Take care of yourself now and your body will thank you later.
- Meditate so you don’t need to medicate
Muslims have the best possible form of meditation, i.e. Salaah. In Salaah you stretch, you free your mind and you’re obligated to let go of any stress you have and place your sole focus on Allah (SWT). Sure, Taraweeh is really long and to get up for Tahajjud is hard, but good things don’t come easy, i.e. great reward comes with a little bit of sacrifice.
Yes, its exams, you’re busy and it’s just… too… much. You know what though? That’s never going to change. Today its exams, tomorrow it’s your job, maybe in a few years’ time, it’ll be your kids… It never ends. So what do you do? Prioritise. You have exams maybe 2 times a year and Ramadhan only once. We’ve got to decide if we want to make the best of this Dunya or the best of our Akhirah. Trust me, if you put Akhirah first, Dunya will come all on its own. Abu Amina Elias Zaid ibn Thabit(RA) reported:
Nabi(SAW) said, “Whoever makes the world his most important matter, Allah will confound his affairs and make poverty appear before his eyes and he will not get anything from the world except what has been decreed for him. Whoever makes the Hereafter his most important matter, Allah will settle his affairs and make him content in his heart and the world will come to him although he does not want it.” (Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 4105)
May Allah(SWT) make it easy for of us students during this stressful time and may He grant us beneficial knowledge so we can become the flag bearers of His Deen In Shaa Allah,
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