Mindfulness is a hot trend in 2019. It means taking the time to slow down and focus on where you are and what you’re doing. Being fully present. Centering yourself and focusing on what is important. Sometimes it includes meditation (focused thoughts) or yoga (a discipline combining meditation with postures and stretches).
Mindfulness is what Islamic religious practices have taught for 1,440 years—only focused on the goal of worship.
In particular, Ramadan teaches participants to enhance our mindfulness of everything we do all day, down to each bite of food or sip of water that goes into our mouths. We watch our behavior carefully and focus more deeply on our worship. We leave the month more aware—more mindful—and it carries us far into the next year.
In the fast pace of current times, though, it’s a challenge to slow down and withdraw a little from the chaos of daily life and refocus ourselves. Some American Muslim families find it helpful to infuse their homes with a bit of Ramadan spirit.
There are ideas galore online for ideas for Ramadan decorating—everything from lanterns to lights to wall decorations. It’s even hit the mainstream: Ramadan-themed décor is now available from commercial party stores. All of these decorations can make the month more fun and exciting, especially for children who revel in the festive sights.
But some of our favorite ideas at Guidance are those meant to bring peace, tranquility and mindfulness into our homes for family members of all ages.
One approach is to set aside a prayer corner where the family likes to gather to worship. Remove distractions, and gather items you’ll want—like Qurans and prayer beads—on a table within reach. If you use prayer rugs, set them out or roll them and store them in a basket. Lanterns with candles (or electric candles) can provide a softer light, supporting the shift into a calm and reflective state of mind.
Some families even go all out to make their prayer corner look like a mosque, especially for children. Crafty families have been known to set up a cardboard wall decorated to look like a masjid to separate of their prayer corner, or even cut out a mini-mosque from a large cardboard box so children can go inside and read or rest.
Ramadan decorating shouldn’t be keeping up with our neighbors or following trends, and it should never overshadow the real meaning behind the month. But with a proper focus, it can be one of many tools to enhance a family’s Ramadan experience. So if you’re one of those who enjoy it, we wish you happy decorating!