It is officially exam period! My last article suggested that you set yourself lots of deen related goals for Ramadan, but how can we balance all of this with exam revision? I’m a university student myself so I know the struggles of this insanely busy student life.Therefore, I’m going to share some of the steps that I take to ensure the best of both worlds.
1. Maximise Jannah Points
Night time is such a spiritual time, especially during Ramadan. Therefore, try to leave nights (Iftar to suhoor) for ibaadah,to maximise on Jannah points. Obviously if you have an exam the next day, then be smart and sleep accordingly.
Pray tahajjud, make lots of du’aa and sleep straight after Fajr to get a good 6 hours of sleep; and try not to sleep past noon. It’s okay to take naps when you need them, just make sure they don’t exceed 20 minutes in order to avoid that after-nap grogginess; and DO NOT revise on your bed. To avoid post Iftar sleepiness, don’t stuff yourself to your eyeballs in one sitting, just eat smaller amounts throughout the night.
3. Make a Daily Plan
In the morning, take 15 minutes to write a realistic to-do list and thoroughly plan each hour of your day around salah to maximum barakah. You’ll have around 8-9 hours, minus 2 hours for breaks, salah, Qur’an etc. That still gives you a solid 6-7 hours for revision, so assign your hours wisely.
4. Day Time Ibadah
During Ramadan, rewards for every act of worship will be multiplied, we cannot waste this opportunity. So, keep dhikr on your tongue throughout the day; and after each salah take a few minutes to do something to benefit your akhirah; read a few pages of Quran, memorise a verse, learn a du’aa, donate £2 to charity etc.
5. Power up Intentions
Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t devote yourself to ibaadah. If you set out to study with the right intentions, you will be rewarded. Below are some intention ideas to think about when revising, but you can think of your own ones too.
a. That you will do well on your exams to please your parents and make them happy.
b. Your career prospects will improve which will give you the means to earn a halal income and support family.
c. A good career will allow you to give more charity.
d. Doing well in your exams will allow you to work in a field that helps other people.
6. Think About Digestion
It’s important to be comfortable both inside and out during the day, to ensure minimal stress during revision. So, make sure to eat lots of fibrous fruit and veg (berries, beans, broccoli etc). Of course, you can’t avoid all of mum’s delicious food, just remember to also include the right foods too.
7. Prevent Headaches
Every student’s nightmare. The key is to hydrate your cells properly. Chugging a gallon of water in one go is not really a good idea. Instead, sip throughout the night and eat high-water content fruit (e.g. watermelon) for proper hydration. Keep oxygen pumping to your brain by revising in an aired space and taking a few steps between revision.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Put your hand on the part of the body that hurts and say Bismillaah (in the name of Allah) three times. And say seven times: A’oodhuBillaahiwaqudratihi min sharri ma ajidwauhaadhir (I seek refuge in Allah and His power from the evil of what I feel and worry about).” [Muslim, 2202].
8. Have High-Energy Brain Foods
Eat complex carbohydrates like potatoes, rice,bananas etc. These are slow energy releasing, perfect for those long fasting days; you’ll need the glucose for your brain and muscles. Dates are amazing for energy; Sunnah foods are Sunnah for a reason. Good fatty foods like nuts, avocados and salmon are great brain foods too.
9. Make Du’a and Have Tawakkul
Finally, have tawakkul (trust and reliance in Allah) and make lots of sincere du’aa. There is no better time for this than during the holy month where the fasting person’s du’aas are accepted (it is also a form of worship). Try your best and trust Allah, you will be just fine InShaaAllah.
رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Rabbi zidnee ‘ilma
“O my Lord, increase me in knowledge!” [Quran 20:114]
May Allah make this a beneficial Ramadan, and may He grant us success in this world and the next.
By Zakiyra Bint Tayeb