As a Mum-preneur, your day is already full with managing many roles, but at the same time you want the month of Ramadhan to be special.
If you are working for somebody else, maybe in the corporate world, the blessings of Ramadhan can sometimes be difficult to capture because of other people’s agendas. So one of the best things about working for yourself in Ramadhan is that you can completely restructure your day during the blessed month.
In this article, I will share with you tips and tricks for how the Muslim mum-preneur can balance running the house and her business while prioritising her most important role as a slave of Allah (SWT). (Note: You can apply these principles if you are in the more formal working world too.)
My first recommendation is to start your preparations for Ramadhan at least two months in advance. In doing so, you can get some of the things out of the way such as making samosas for iftar, ‘Eid shopping, schedules for homeschooling and plans for how you will restructure your day. A famous scholar once told me that his wife would make all the iftar meals for Ramadhan in advance and freeze them in single portion sizes so that in the month of Ramadhan, she was not wasting (and that is the right word) precious time before Maghrib in the kitchen, standing over a cooker.
By moving certain tasks outside Ramadhan, you free yourself for more time for worship. If Ramadhan has already started, then outsource as much as you can (just like you would do with your business). Buying ready made samosas or getting a cleaner to help with the household chores are also blessings, providing another opportunity for you to say alhamdulillah, because you can say alhamdulillah for the wealth that Allah (SWT) has given to you.
One of the things that you may end up exaggerating in the month of Ramadhan is lack of self-care. I know from personal experience that sometimes mum-preneurs are so busy spending time looking after others and their business that they forget about themselves. This can manifest itself in not eating a proper suhoor or iftar. This is contrary to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who stated, “Have suhoor, as indeed there is a blessing in it.” (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim). Eating a well balanced and nutritious meal at suhoor is one of the most important things you can do – if you miss it, it will affect your entire day .
For those of us whose businesses are based within the Muslim community, Ramadhan can actually be a very busy time for your business. However, I believe its important to get the right balance between the desire to spend time working and spend time worshipping. As a mum-preneur, your day is already full with managing many roles, but at the same time you want the month of Ramadhan to be special. The way to do this is by planning and setting your agenda for the day. Doing this really helps to focus your attention on where you spend your time and energy. Imagine what will happen to your day when you recapture your agenda and are not worrying about someone else’s?
So, how to do this, you may ask. The first thing is to have a brainstorm and list out the priorities for you in Ramadhan. My categories would be (in no particular order): family, work, worship (taraweeh, tahajjud, reading Qur’an, dhikr etc.), rest, chores. Then list all the tasks that come to mind. Now delete the ones that seem extra or you can do without. Once you have done that, circle all the tasks that you can do either before Ramadhan or in the first few days of the month. Get to it! The method above will release a lot of time for you to use on other things. Now that you have time, the question is what will you fill it in with? Dig deep and think of all the things that you have always wanted to do in Ramadhan but have not been able to, and write down the three that make you most excited and energetic. Make a plan to do those in your newly discovered free time.
The next big thing to do for the Muslim mum-preneur is to give notice to customers and clients about when you will not be available for work or consultation. This is really important as it helps to maintain good will when you are away. It’s kind of like booking your annual leave. Create ‘out of office’ type messages for social media and your email. I believe that the prime reason you are an entrepreneur is to enable your practice of Islam to be number one in your life. Imagine how sad it would be if you are in charge, yet you still work all the way through the blessed month and do not take full advantage of the fact that you are in charge of how you spend your day. In the majority of countries, the children will still be at school so you can work in the morning and complete extra worship during the day or take a nap so you are more alert after Maghrib for taraweeh and night worship.
However, with all of this will be the challenge of how to maintain your mental presence at different times throughout the day. Let’s be honest, as mum-preneurs, every now and then we will snap or get annoyed where we wouldn’t normally. This can be enhanced in Ramadhan because you have all the usual things to deal with and you are also tired because you are fasting. The best thing to do in this situation is to take what I call a ‘mindful moment’ where you close your eyes and reconnect with yourself. This works in all situations of stress and is a great habit that can help you in Ramadhan and beyond.
The last and most important thing you can do for your business and life as a Muslim mum-preneur is the giving of sadaqah as well as the appropriate zakah for your business. Many business owners do not realise that zakah is also payable on their business assets. The Prophet (SAW) also said: “A truthful and trustworthy merchant is associated with the prophets.“ (Al-Tirmidhi). I believe that part of responding to this requires paying zakah on your business. If you are not sure how to do this, there are links to resources at the end of this article. I have seen businesses bring more success to themselves when they increase how much they give in charity. If your profit margin is quite low and you are wondering how, then you can also give your services for free or provide work for someone in need. This is another form of sadaqah. Doing these things in Ramadhan brings blessings you cannot imagine when you do it for the right reason, which is to please Allah (SWT) and seek his pleasure.
My parting words to you, my dear sister, are to remember that if you can make some sacrifices and organise yourself this Ramadhan, you are planting the seeds for the success of your business in the future; and with the success of your business you are showing others how they can do it too, especially your own children. Make the most of this blessed month and focus on one day at a time with total presence and purpose, and remember that “Wealth is not due to plenty of money, but wealth is the wealth of the self.” Prophet Muhammad (SAW) (agreed upon).
Saiyyidah Zaidi is a Positive Psychologist and Expert Growth Coach and enables professional Muslims to create the lifestyle of their dreams by manifesting wealth, happiness and total time freedom. Find her at www.saiyyidahzaidi.com www.facebook.com/workingmuslim and to obtain a free guide on zakat for business, go to www.saiyyidah.com/businesszakat