I started writing Ramadan Dairies as a personal journaling project in 2010. Allah SWT blessed it with so much success that it grew into a blog - FAITHFULLY YOURS (now SISTERLY YOURS). I used to have a Sisterly Yours Facebook Page then that scored 6,000+ Likes and was listed among the ‘Top 100 Muslim Women Fan Pages’ according to a 2011 survey by the American Muslim Mom website. And then, I made the mistake of deleting that Page due to time management issues. That Page is back on Facebook now, and is taking baby steps to achieving its formal glory, insha'Allah. Facebook is more commercial now so the Page enjoys limited visibility unless dedicated readers visit it like a website.
Give Sisterly Yours a Like:
This story; however, is a tale of some serious, dedicated, heartfelt diary-writing for the sake of pleasing Allah SWT.
RAMADAN DIARIES: THE BEGINNING
In 2010, I embarked on a journey that I call the Muslim Dream. I was a two-year-old newbie Hijabi - transforming 'from a Rockstar Muslim to a practicing Muslim' - on my way to becoming an ideal woman of strong faith and character. The Muslim Dream was centered around a spiritual and physical struggle of becoming that ideal Muslim woman. Ramadan crossed my path and I took it as a starting point, I was going to begin with repentance. The theme of the Ramadan Diaries 2010; therefore, was me seeking forgiveness from Allah, the Most Merciful. I shared with the blogosphere my struggle to overcome guilt of past days lived in a less than 100% Muslim lifestyle.
RAMADAN DIARIES 2016: THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
2016 is my year of realigning my spiritual compass. In the past 6 years there have been distractions that weakened the powerful force of my struggle. I did not deviate from the right path, I just got overwhelmed by practical life, taking on new responsibilities, and adapting to new roles of a homemaker, a stay-at-home working sister-mom, a and a caregiver.
TWO TYPES OF DIARIES
There are two types of diaries:
- Personal diary:
- Goal-oriented diary:
They both help you discover yourself but if you combine the two types you get a beautiful hybrid that is a chronological autobiography of your personal struggle. Recognizing and talking about your feelings and emotions helps you understand yourself. Your diary is an extended version of you. And, of course, you can always turn back the pages to read about your past events and emotions.
A RAMADAN DIARY
So when we speak of maintaining a Ramadan diary, we are talking about a 30 day log at the very minimum which keeps a record of physical, psychological, and spiritual state. It helps in setting up goals and the strategies to achieve them, manage time, and reflect on what we experience at the end of the day.
CHOOSING YOUR RAMADAN DIARY
It is entirely your own decision whether you wish to write in a classic leather-bound journal, a notebook, or type it out on your PC / laptop. It is again your choice whether you wish to keep it personal or publish it like I chose to do with my online Ramadan diary blog. If you choose to remain secretive you will not have to worry about confidentiality issues, criticism, and judgment by the readers. Your confidential expression will help you with emotional management without the feeling of being watched. However, going public will help you connect with productive communities and individuals with a similar Ramadan cause. You will have to sort through constructive and destructive criticism, though. If written for an audience, along with the personal development motive, a Ramadan diary could benefit the Muslim community at large.
RAMADAN DIARY INDEX
A diary written without much thought becomes more of a daily ranting blurb, however, a properly planned Ramadan diary will become a guidebook for your friends and family to benefit from. So, begin with a rough outline of your aims and objectives.
I always add specialty features:
- Ramadan Goals: to stay on track and know what my Ramadan mission is
- Ramadan Bucket List: creative and spiritual tasks
- Daily Dua'a: incorporating one name of Allah SWT daily
- Excerpt from my published Ramadan articles of the past.
- Ramadan Ryhmes: a Ramadan poem
- Suhoor and Iftaar adventures: celebrating family time and sense of community
- Qiyam ul Layl stories: searching for Laylatul Qadr - activities
- Begin by setting up Ramadan Goals and making a Ramadan Bucket List so you know your target areas. Remember, it should be a good mix of spiritual and creative activities.
The main idea of a daily Ramadan diary is to speak about your day of fasting so it proves to be a reflection for you, an idea of what’s missing so you could incorporate that in your Ramadan routine.
BE CREATIVE AND PASS ON THE RAMADAN LEGACY
Your Ramadan diary, if written dedicatedly, could become an ideal gift for readers. If you’ve kept it personal, you can always choose to give it to your children or a special family member to benefit from your Ramadan tales. This way your Ramadan legacy can be well preserved. Many people get their diaries published and make the bestseller lists. Of course, they edit the details according to their preferences, but each individual’s Ramadan story is a heroic tale of how they have earned a special place in this world and the next by Allah’s Will.
I also feel that you might want to have a thorough recall of your previous Ramadan before you start the next to check how much you have evolved spiritually, and you can always take a trip down the memory lane by reading through your Ramadan diary.
Happy writing, Insha'Allah!