“Allah has ordained for you, that you worship none but Him, and to be kind to our parents And if any one or both of them reach old age do not say a word of contempt or repel them but address them with honour, and speak to them with kindness, and lower your wing of humility and pray to Allah – ‘My Lord, bless them as they have cherished me in childhood.” (Surah Isra 17:23-24)
The status of our mothers and fathers are very high in Islam, and it’s the reason why our faith places importance to family. This Ramadan, why not make it extra meaningful and different, by going the extra mile to make the fasting month easier for them? We have come up with some practical ways to let our parents know how much we care, and help lighten their load this Ramadan!
1. Surprise your parents by waking up earlier to prepare sahur for the whole family
One of the easiest, yet meaningful ways to help lighten your load of your parents is to set your alarm earlier and prepare sahur before your parents wake up. Your parents will definitely be grateful for this one! Whipping up dishes in your kitchen is now made easy with technologically advanced appliances such as an all-in-one air fryer. If you don’t have one, there are many other simple, and easy to put together for your family, such as a quick quesadilla, or overnight oats! If your family is a big proponent of a full meal during sahur, you can also help heat up all the meals, such as the dishes and rice, and prepare the table!
Also, check out these 8 sahur recipes that you can pull together in 15 minutes or less!
2. Create a menu plan before Ramadan
To help save your mum a headache of what to cook next for iftar/sahur, you can help your parents create a menu plan before the holy month. We’re sure that for the mothers, preparing dinner for the family can be mentally exhausting as they try their utmost best not to repeat dishes throughout the week. Hence you can try coming up with a menu plan - this can be done either weekly or for the whole month itself. By planning out the meals for the month of Ramadan, you and your parents can save up a lot of hassle at meal times, as well as prevent from overeating! What I found useful is that you can also help your parents prepare your sahur and iftar meals beforehand by freezing meals in food containers. This definitely comes in handy on those days when you are too lazy to whip something up for sahur or iftar. Simply microwave the food when you need to eat it, and it's ready to be eaten in a flash. Bingo!
3. Help buy or cook dishes for iftar
Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” Sahih At-Tirmidhi.
In the month of seeking mercy and forgiveness, providing iftar for someone else is one ideal way to maximise your efforts, and that includes your family! This Ramadan, make it a habit to lighten your parents role by helping to buy or cook dishes for iftar. More often than not, our mothers are the one cooking daily for the family. In one way or another, if you prepare Iftar or help out with the cooking you can help leave more time for ibadah, rather than spending time cleaning and washing the dishes. Step it up and make it a challenge by cooking a healthy menu for the whole family!
On some days when you feel like getting food delivered for Iftar, check out these over 50 halal islandwide deliveries in Singapore!
4. Get the shopping list and do grocery shopping for your parents
During this coronavirus period, it is best to stay at home and only go out for the essentials. Why not let your parents stay home, and help lighten their load by going out to run the errands for them? We've got the perfect grocery checklist you'd need for that! To minimise going out, you could even have your groceries delivered right to your doorstep. These online grocery websites in Klang Valley offer fresh food and groceries so that you can avoid the supermarket queues during this period. Just make sure to get long-lasting grocery items so you won't need to make multiple trips to the supermarket in a week.
P.S. Check out these halal online supermarkets and meat shops in Singapore that deliver as well!
5. Have a household cleaning roster where you and your siblings can take turns to clean the house
When I was living in Australia, my housemates and I had this weekly housework roster where we took turns cleaning specific areas in the house on different days. This can also be applied at home involving your siblings! For example, you could clean the kitchen (we want it to be extra clean when preparing food daily!), while your brother does his part in cleaning the living room, and your sister doing the laundry. This will surely help your parents a great deal and make a big difference!
6. Make extra daily dua for your parents' well-being
Making dua for the well-being of others is a simple yet beautiful way to gain spiritual peace and serenity during Ramadan. So, if you can always strive to make dua for the wonderful people in your life every day, especially your parents❤️.Supplicate to Allah for them saying: “My Lord forgive my parents”, or “My Lord, have mercy on them both as they brought me up when I was small” dua during your daily prayers. You can never repay them for their sacrifices for you, but at least you can show your gratitude through this!
P.S. Here are 5 essential du'a every Muslim needs for protection and well-being.
7. Show special appreciation for your parents for all that they have done
Our mothers and fathers are the two most important people in the world for us. They care about us always yet they have never asked for anything in return. This Ramadan could be a start where you start showing appreciation to your parents for all that they have been doing for you, since young. Little acts out of the ordinary can go a long way, such as setting up prayer garments and prayer mats for prayers, or putting minyak attar (perfume) on their prayer mats. While it could be a little unnatural or strange for some, you could also simply show appreciation by saying “I love and appreciate you”. I’m sure by such small acts, your parents will know you are grateful for them, and will definitely make their day.
8. Set up video chats with other family members not living with your parents
With the current circuit breaker in Singapore, and lockdown in many other countries, unfortunately some families might not be able to spend Ramadan together this year. But in the age of social media and digital technology, we are at least able to stay in touch with one another. For our parents who are not too tech-savvy, we could help set up video chats for them to communicate with other family members living in separate houses or countries, such as during iftar, or after taraweeh prayers. Some popular apps to use include WhatsApp which allows group video calls, Google Hangouts and even Zoom! In these kinds of situations, video calling may be just as effective as seeing loved ones in real life.
As Ramadan is fast approaching, I pray to Allah that all of us are able to do our best to respect our parents, be extra kind to them, and help them in the many ways that we can, so that we may attain the love of Allah. May Allah grant all our parents the best in this world and the next.