Ramadan, one of the most beloved months in the eyes of Allah (SWT), is almost upon us. Ramadan not only opens doors for countless blessings and rewards, but gives each and every believer a chance to establish a deep connection with Allah (SWT) and gain high levels of spirituality. Hence, it is one of the most anticipated months for all Muslims across the globe.

However, in this day and age and with the ragingly busy work schedules, it becomes difficult to take full advantage of the Holy month of Ramadan. Despite many efforts, one ends up contributing more time to work hours or household chores than attending to his/her spiritual needs – turning to Allah (SWT), the Fulfiller of all souls. In order to make the most of your Ramadan this year, despite busy schedules, you will need to gain a certain level of discipline and dedication to your mission of achieving your spiritual goals on top of your day-to-day living tasks. According to the following hadith, every good deed in the month of Ramadan is multiplied:

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Every deed of the son of Adam will be given a ten-fold reward, up to seven hundred. Allah says: ‘Except fasting, for it is for Me, and I shall reward for it, for he gives up his desire and his food for My sake…’ and the fasting person has two joys, one joy when he breaks his fast and another when he meets his Lord. And the smell from his mouth is better before Allah than the fragrance of musk.” (Bukhari, 5927)

Here are a few tips to make this year’s Ramadan the best one you have had so far and reap the maximum benefits of the Holy month:

1• Plan ahead and set goals

Before Ramadan starts, set personal goals for yourself and figure out how you would like to tackle your spiritual duties. For example, set a goal for how many chapters of al Quran you would like to finish during the month or how many times you would like to recite the whole Quran – once you do that, split the task and divide so you have a set number of pages you would have to read on a daily basis to achieve your set goal. You can set goals for dhikr, dua’s, extra prayers etc. Be sure to set realistic goals and to not be overly ambitious.

2• Disable distractions

If you are one of those folks who spend a good chunk of their day browsing and surfing on social media forums, it might be a good idea to temporarily deactivate your accounts or perhaps, disable the applications from your phone so you are not tempted in the first place. This way, you will be able to dedicate that browsing time to something more spiritually productive like dhikr, dua, Quranic recitation etc.

3• Make sure you offer your prayers on time

No matter how busy your schedules are, make sure that you take out 5-10 minutes for each obligatory prayer and offer it on time. Do not delay them. One of the most beloved deeds in the eyes of Allah (SWT) is offering your Salah on time.

4• Engage in Istighfar

Allah (SWT) loves those who engage in constant ‘istighfar’ – constant repentance. So one of the best things you can do this Ramadan is seek Allah’s (SWT) Mercy and repent for your sins for Ramadan is a blessed month whereby gates of communication and mercy from Allah (SWT) are widened.

Narrated by Ibn’ Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not."(Abu Dawud, 20:5)

While you are working at your office or doing your house chores, say “Astaghfirullah” as many times as you can.

5• Engage in Dhikr in between tasks

Dhikr is one of Allah’s (SWT) most favorite forms of worship and it is really easy to incorporate in your busy schedules. Just note down or memorize certain verses of the Quran or other azkaar and perform dhikr in any free time slots you get in between your daily tasks of the day. For example, if you are driving to work or if you are going to the market and you have a 15-20 minute journey in between, use that time to engage in dhikr. You can even utilize your breaks in between work meetings or allocate a few minutes after offering your prayers. In this way, you will be able to maximize all your free slots throughout the day, which would eventually amount to a lot of time being dedicated to dhikr.

Make an extra effort this Ramadan and make the most of this Holy month – it will go a long way!