Exams + Ramadan + the scorching summer heat… sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it? On one end, you want to truly enjoy the spirit of Ramadan and participate actively in Ibadah, but on the other, the academic stress is enough to drive you nuts. So, how do you find your way out of this tricky situation? Here are some tips and tricks that may help:
- Make a schedule:
Give yourself deadlines by which you want to finish specific topics so your revision is not haphazard. Make sure you have ample time to go over everything thoroughly. Try covering the difficult topics before Ramadan starts, so that during the Holy Month, you just have to brush up on the basic, easier concepts.
- Give yourself at least a month to prepare:
Not letting all the revision pile up until the last minute is the most cliché advice ever, but is also the most effective. While you’re fasting, your energy levels will be low, and you won’t be able to work at your full potential. Make use of your time now, and start preparing at least a month before your exams start, even if it is just an hour or two a day. This way, you will only have to do the bare minimum in Ramadan, and can focus your energy on Ibadah.
- Study after Suhoor:
Studying on an empty stomach is a big challenge, so most students choose to stay up and study all night long, and catch up on their sleep during the day. This goes against the body’s natural sleep cycle, and has an adverse effect on your concentration levels. On top of it, you will probably show up on exam day with a big headache. Instead, sleep after Isha, and study a few hours after Suhoor. You will be full of energy as you have just eaten, and the hours after dawn are also the time your brain works at its optimum according to recent scientific developments. If you feel drowsy during the day, you can always take a short nap then.
- Have a healthy diet:
Although nothing is better than a freshly-made Paratha for Suhoor, or a plate of golden-brown Pakoras for Iftar, avoid these oily and heavy foods. Excess fats make you sluggish and groggy, and affect your focus. Of course, it is not practical to eliminate these from your diet entirely, try having them in a limited quantity. Minimize consumption of sugar, especially in fizzy drinks, as these too can bring on lethargy.
- Dua at Tahajjud:
Think of the last part of the night – the period just before the time for Fajr begins – as the golden opportunity for the acceptance of Dua’s. This is the best time to pray to Allah, as the Dua’s made during this time are rarely ever not accepted. Thus, when you wake up for Suhoor, pray two Raka’at Salah, and then pray to Allah for success in your exams, and Barakah in your time so you can manage your studies and Ibadah efficiently.
Bearing these in mind, aim to strike a balance between your religious obligations as well as your studies. Remember, nowhere does Allah tell us to completely neglect secular education, and focus solely on Ibadah. Islam is a religion of moderation where secular and religious affairs go hand in hand.
All the best to everyone who has their exams coming up soon! May Allah, help you ace them. Ameen.
By: Humna Salman