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Ramadan Toolkit

The Family and Youth Institute has prepared this toolkit with practical tips to nourish your spirituality and well-being this Ramadan.

Growing in Ramadan as a Whole Family

The FYI Community Educators Duaa Haggag and Nadeem Siddiqi give tips, pointers, hadith, and homework to help your family prepare for the blessed month!

Personal Development

Ramadan is usually a time when we strive to change our habits, heal from hurt, or set new goals. It is the perfect time to turn our focus inwards and think about what we want to improve about ourselves.

Ramadan Toolkit
  • Find ways to turn your attention inwards and nourish yourself.
  • Try this 30-day challenge for self-improvement during this month.
  • Watch this video to understand the science of behavior change. Greater knowledge will increase the likelihood of success in reaching your goals.
  • If you are planning to break bad habits, this video highlights how bad habits are formed, maintained, and eventually reformed.
  • As you think about good habits to start in Ramadan, bolster your success by setting SMART goals.
  • Use these goal-setting tips to increase the likelihood of success. Be comprehensive in your goal setting.
  • Track your Ramadan goals and your reflections using the Ramadan Legacy app.
  • Consider including goals to improve your marriage, family, or parenting skills.
  • For women, pregnancy, menstrual cycles or young children can sometimes derail from your goals – be compassionate with yourself, understand your reality, and focus on what you CAN do!
  • Reduce your mental load when thinking about your goals for this month.

Structure Your Day

Many schools and workplaces have opened up, so the spare time we have for ourselves may be limited compared to the last two years. Making a schedule can help you ensure that your spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs are being met each day. There will be days when it is hard to follow the schedule, so be gentle with yourself and allow those days to happen.

  • Start your day with a post-Fajr group that recites morning du’a and surahs over the phone.
  • Designate times to recite your favorite dhikr and du’a.
  • Start a gratitude journal and write 3 things you are grateful for each day. Then supplicate and thank Allah for these blessings.
  • Set a time to hear the recitation of the Quran using headphones or playing it while working or driving to work. 
  • Plan to listen to a weekly lecture/talk. Set it up on your TV for the whole family to watch together. Check out this list of organizations that host programs in Ramadan. 
  • Pick a day each week to call a family member, neighbor, or elderly person.
  • If you have children, refer to the Bonding with Family section of the toolkit to create a schedule with them.
Ramadan Toolkit

In addition to your individual growth, Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to reconnect as a family unit. Experiencing the struggle and hard work of ibadah (worship) can strengthen family bonds. Listen to The FYI’s webinars about how to approach Ramadan as a family.

  • Growing in Ramadan as a Family: This webinar discusses practical ways for the whole family to embrace the Ramadan spirit.
  • Catch the Blessings: This webinar discusses how to reframe our thinking about Ramadan in quarantine which may be relevant for families who will have a socially distanced Ramadan this year. Many of the tips are about creating new family traditions, especially for families who spend the majority of Ramadan at home. See the section titled “Worshiping at Home” for more ideas.

For Married Individuals, Use This Time To Strengthen Your Relationship!

Ramadan Toolkit

For Families With Children Or Teens, Create Family Traditions!

As a family, have conversation about the traditions you practiced in Ramadan during the pandemic. Which of those traditions would you like to keep this Ramadan? What other traditions do you want to practice as a family? Here are some ideas:

Make a part of your home a “masjid.”

  • Mimic the masjid feel by ensuring that the adhan can be heard aloud in the house five times a day. Have a designated muadhin (one who calls to prayer).
  • Pray outside or under the stars as a way to connect to nature and the belief that Allah (SWT) is constant no matter the circumstance.
  • Set up masjid decor pieces you can take out to signal “masjid” for the family.
  • Use rugs, nice smells, dim light, and clean, beautiful clothing that all signal salah time.
  • Attach loving gestures and connectedness to dhikr activities. Follow the sunnah by playing games and hugging your children after salah.
Ramadan Toolkit
Ramadan Toolkit

Set Goals With Your Children

  • Talk to them about goals and character development – this helps them develop a growth mindset and builds their resilience.
  • Brainstorm with your children about ways that they want to change. Empower them to make those changes.
  • Help them document their success by writing down their goals in a Ramadan journal and using Ramadan charts.
  • Check out Ramadan advent calendars as creative ways to provide incentives to kids for sticking to their goals.
  • Set up a “good deed every daygoal.

Help Them Feel The Ramadan Spirit

  • Start a gratitude challenge to encourage kids to consistently reflect on what they’re thankful for.
  • Increase the visibility of Islamic materials around the home, like placing Islamically relevant children’s books and magazines out on display.
  • Decorate together. Listen to Ramadan nasheed (Islamic songs) or play the Quran to help get everyone in the Ramadan spirit as you decorate the house.
  • Involve them in meal planning and cooking, iftar organizing, and general house preparations for Ramadan.
Ramadan Toolkit

Have family Quran competitions with prizes to keep everyone motivated:

  • Who read the most minutes/day
  • Who completed reading the most amount of the Quran
  • Who spent the most time in reading the meaning of the Quran
  • Who shared the most number of personal reflections on the Quran
  • Who has the most beautiful recitation of the Quran
  • Engage in charity together. Giving charity is an important aspect of Ramadan, both as a teaching tool and as a way to bond together.
  • Get them in the habit of giving money intentionally–how much are they willing to share of what Allah (SWT) has gifted them? Help them create a budget for donations, research and evaluate a charity’s impact and effectiveness, and let them choose where the donations go.
Ramadan Toolkit

Make Use Of Free Time

Help your children fill their spare time with meaningful activities. Here are some ideas:

Use non-religious activities as a teaching opportunity — help children make a positive intention for engaging in them so that their time, even in Ramadan, is spent earning reward and getting close to Allah (SWT).

Even though many mosques have opened up, some of us may not attend large gatherings out of concern for our health or the health of family members. For others, going to the mosque may not be possible because of a restricting work schedule, having young children, or simply not living close enough to a mosque.

For those of us worshiping from home, how can we motivate ourselves to feel the spiritual high of Ramadan? By bringing the Ramadan “feel” to your home. Create a Ramadan home environment that appeals to all of your senses. Many of us do this already if we have children, but if we cannot be at the masjid this Ramadan, it’s important that we do this for ourselves, too. Create a spiritual atmosphere within your home by trying some of the following:

Home Masjid

Ramadan Toolkit

Make a physical space in your home where you will pray, read Quran, make du’a, and/or reflect. Have a Quranthikr beads, du’a cards/journal/book, and prayer rug easily available for use.

  • Mimic the masjid feel by ensuring that the adhan can be heard aloud in the house five times of the day.
  • If you cannot attend prayer at the mosque, try to pray at the time of congregation according to your local masjid’s congregation schedule. Lead your family in prayer at these specific times.
  • Choose a designated salah and consider having a daily family halaqa. This could entail listening to a short reminder by a speaker, or reading and reflecting on verses from the Quran or hadith.
  • After salah, make a family du’a that verbalizes how much you miss the masjid, ask Allah to keep your heart attached to the masjid, and allow you to return sooner rather than later (For individuals with children, this serves to help model your love and value for the masjid, which we hope they will internalize).

Know that the masjid misses you as much as you miss it. It misses your Quran recitation, your sadaqah, and your presence. For more on this topic, check out this webinar by our very own FYI Community Educator, Duaa Haggag, about how to keep the masjid alive in our hearts during this month.


Attending Jumu’ah can be difficult for mothers with young children or elderly family members. If you cannot be in the masjid on Friday, create a special routine for Jum’uah at home.

  • Have a post-Jum’uah halaqa or listen to one of the many online lectures to maintain the connection.
  • Pray outside if possible to feel connected to Allah’s creation.
  • While you may not be able to physically go to the masjid for Jum’uah, you CAN complete the other sunnahs that the Prophet (S) practiced.
  • If you’re not used to reading all of Surah Kahf on Fridays, start off by reading a few pages or read it together with family and friends (each person reading a section to the group).
  • After Jum’uah is a time when many of us meet up and catch up with our family and friends. Host an in-person or virtual post-Jum’uah meetup with your family and friends so you can catch up with them.

Remind yourself of the blessing and rewards Jum’uah brings–even if you cannot be with the community.

Ramadan Toolkit

Quranic Recitation

Ramadan Toolkit

If you long to hear the Quran being recited, set that up in your space.

  • Play your favorite qari’s recitation while you are doing chores
  • Recite out loud
  • Encourage your kids to recite out loud

Taraweeh Prayers

Revive the sunnah!

  • Learn how praying taraweeh at home was how our beloved Rasullulah (S) and Sahaba prayed it.
  • Embrace praying taraweeh at home. Consider it an invitation to spend alone time (khalwa) with Allah (SWT).
  • Pray outside if possible to feel connected to Allah’s creation.

Check out the family bonding section of the toolkit for more about bringing the Ramadan feel to your home.

Ramadan Toolkit

Many of us lost our social support system and faced increased anxiety during the pandemic. Since then, we’ve adapted and found new ways to be in community with others. This Ramadan, try some of these ideas to engage in social ibadah (worship):


Ramadan Toolkit
  • Participate in sighting the moon yourself or with your family. If you have young children, build the excitement with nasheed and crafts, such as making binoculars or observing the phases of the moon.
  • For older children and adults, use this as an opportunity to recite and remember the du’a, or supplications of sighting the moon.
  • Share your picture of the moon with family and friends.

Ramadan/Eid Cards

  • Adults and children can make Ramadan and Eid cards together to mail to family and friends.
  • Remember to include a personal reflection or Ramadan inspiration with friends or families.
Ramadan Toolkit

Check-in With Others

Ramadan Toolkit
  • Do a 30 days with 30 calls challenge – pick a family member or friend to call each day during Ramadan and find out how they are doing.
  • Take the time to listen first and show empathy.
  • Set up virtual or in-person connections to check in on each other, read and reflect on the Quran together, and follow up on each other’s Ramadan goals
  • Reflecting and being grateful for having Muslim family and friends to connect with can improve your mood.

Virtual Iftar

  • If you’re unable to gather in-person with others, coordinate a virtual iftar with family or friends, or plan a youth iftar for your child and their friends.
  • Pack a couple of dates with a traditional iftar snack to share with your family and friends (make sure to follow social distancing regulations).
  • If you are able to, support organizations that are arranging for iftar food packages.
Ramadan Toolkit

Virtual Gatherings

Ramadan Toolkit
  • For those that are missing collective spiritual gatherings, find out if your masjid offers these programs online. Check out this list of organizations that offer online programs.
  • Be sure to find virtual youth halaqas if you have kids. If you can’t find something, make a suggestion for a youth leader or imam to lead a spiritual talk for the community online, host Kahoot!, games, storytimes and so on.
  • Join Shoulder to Shoulder’s Ramadan Table initiative and get to know your interfaith neighbors through this virtual iftar program

Offer Community To Others

  • Many in our Ummah may not have a strong support system or sense of community – new Muslims, single parents, and people struggling with mental illnesses. There are others who may not be able to attend large gatherings. Make them a part of your virtual community!
  • Call or send a message letting them know you are thinking of them
  • Do a drive-by visit to brighten their day…and yours!
  • Drop off some dates or a meal.
  • Virtually invite them to any activities you are doing online such as a halaqa or book club.
Ramadan Toolkit

Coping with illness in the month of Ramadan is not easy – it may be even harder as some of us lose our social support systems and face increased anxiety during this pandemic.

Ramadan Toolkit
  • For someone who struggles with a chronic illness, using coping tips and strategies is key to making the most of Ramadan.
  • If you struggle with an eating disorder, ease your way into Ramadan with these 6 tips.
  • When thinking about medications for mental illness, take these considerations into account when deciding to fast or not.
  • If you are a health professional who works with Muslim patients, check out the following resource for guidance regarding general advice for fasting, modified pharmacotherapy, and other planning strategies as your patients prepare for this month.

Ramadan, for individuals struggling with mental illness, can sometimes feel isolating. Read the following personal narratives and know that you are not alone.

Check out these resources for dealing with anxiety during Ramadan:

Original FYI articles on grief and anxiety around virus-related hospitalization and death:


Dealing with any kind of addiction (substance, gambling, shopping, etc.) during Ramadan can be especially challenging. Addictions are complicated and require extensive support and resources. The FYI is working on an upcoming toolkit about addictions. In the meantime, refer to these resources for an overview if addiction is a struggle for you during Ramadan.

Ramadan Toolkit
Ramadan Toolkit

Try these strategies to get through Ramadan with an addiction:

  • Use Ramadan as a stepping stone for change.
  • Consider the use of herbs.
  • Look into natural therapies.
  • Make dietary changes.

Coping with an addiction and ultimately being sober is no easy task. Try these resources for some support during this process:

Ramadan Toolkit

For recent converts/reverts to Islam, the first few Ramadans as a Muslim can be both exciting and challenging. Here are some tips and resources to help ease your way into Ramadan:

Ramadan Toolkit

For Those Born Into Islam

NOW is the time to offer even greater support to our fellow revert/convert brothers and sisters. Include them in your community (virtual or in person):

  • Call or send a message letting them know you are thinking of them.
  • Do a drive-by visit to brighten their day…and yours!
  • Drop off some dates or food.
  • Virtually invite them to any activities you are doing online such as a halaqa or book club.
Ramadan Toolkit

Staying focused, studying for exams, and being productive can be challenging during Ramadan. Here are some ways to stay on top of things and meet the different needs you may have during Ramadan:

Set Goals For Yourself

Ramadan Toolkit

Reconnect With Your Friends In Purposeful Ways

  • Join or create virtual hangouts to do Ibaadah together.
  • Sign up or create a Ramadan challenge.
  • Share your Ramadan goals and hold each other accountable.
  • Arrange iftar gatherings (virtual or in person).
  • If you can, hangout after taraweeh prayers.
  • Find new ways to volunteer in your local community together. Help distribute food to those who need it or organize a masjid clean-up/decoration night.
Ramadan Toolkit

Study Smart

Ramadan Toolkit

Stay Physically Active

  • Try getting some fresh air by taking a short walk outside (this is a great time to listen to some Quran, too!).
  • Getting a dose of natural sunlight can help set your circadian rhythms and will help you sleep better at night.
  • Physical movement/light exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better, and can boost your immunity.
Ramadan Toolkit

For Schools

It’s important for schools to provide an environment for Muslim students where they feel supported in practicing their religion. Teachers can also do their part in creating a welcoming space for Muslim students during this month. To learn from the story of one school whose staff worked together to accommodate students in Ramadan, check out In consideration of Ramadan. Refer to this list of children’s books about Ramadan and Eid, which can also be integrated into the classroom.

This Ramadan, many people may continue to work from home while others will commute to work. Whichever category you fall into, there are many challenges that employees face during Ramadan; meeting-filled workdays, difficulty concentrating, perhaps driving long distances, and staying up late during the last ten nights. Read on for tips on how you can adapt.

Ramadan Toolkit

**These recommendations are for healthy adults; if you have any medical concerns, please consult your physician.**

Investing time into your health, fitness and food choices can help to maximize your potential in Ramadan! Whether you plan to go to the gym or workout from from home, here are some ways to maintain your fitness routine during Ramadan:

Ramadan Toolkit
  • Creating a 30-day meal and fitness plan can help you stay motivated and focused.

  • These guidelines provide information about the timing, duration, and quality of your workout during Ramadan, as well as specific plans for men and women.
  • Check out these free at-home workout options with Peloton and Daily Burn.
  • For a refresher on the basic nutrients your body needs daily and how to meet these needs during Ramadan, refer to this resource.

Prepared by medical experts and Islamic researchers, this Ramadan Health Guide provides more detailed information about balancing nutrition while also maximizing the benefits of fasting. The guide also contains a section for doctors and medical professionals to provide more informed services to their patients. Many women wrestle with the choice to fast or not during pregnancy or while nursing. As an expecting mother, it is important to assess your health and speak with your physician and religious leader in order to determine what is appropriate for your situation. Refer to this resource for a collection of the legal rulings and resources from all schools of thought and scientific evidence on the effects of fasting during pregnancy, and whilst breastfeeding. Similarly, as a nursing mother, the potential impact of fasting on low milk supply is important to consider, as well as alternative forms of ‘ibaadah (worship) you can engage in if you choose not to fast.


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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).