As the blessed month Ramadan is starting from next week. So Muslims should prepare themselves spiritually and physically for this holy month. They should worship Allah and recite Holy Quran in this month. As Allah says in Quran:”O you who believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious)”. (Qur’an al-Baqarah 2:183)
Preparation of Ramadan can be relate with the example of a farmer. Just as a farmer needs to make an attempt to prepare the land for plantation by clearing the shrubs & weeds, then softening the soil & tilling it, planting the seeds & ensuring the proper irrigation & fumigation etc until the day of crop, we too need to prepare for the month of fasting by leaving all sin, softening our hearts, increase our acts of worship etc. Without this we would not assemble the fruits of this month.
All Muslims are waiting and counting the days remaining up to the holy month of Ramadan. For a believer the name of this month “Ramadan” gives the thought of joy, rewards and a feeling of Allah’s mercy. Truly, this is a season that should be awaited for. Anticipations and emotions for this month are not sufficient. This holy month requires action and activity. It is about altering our timetables and schedules; it demands us to train ourselves to attain Taqwa (fear of Allah or devotion to Him) which in turn, is the element to carry us successfully through the ongoing journey towards the hereafter (akhirah).
The reward of every Fardh (compulsory) act is seventy times more in this month then other months while reward of every Nafl (optional) is equal to Fardh in Ramadan. (Ibn Khuzaymah).
But let us ask ourselves have we really prepared for this month? Are we ready to dedicate more time for our spiritual revival ? During the month of Ramadan the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) would stay awake in the nights worshipping Allah, awaken his household and increase in worship. (Bukhari, Muslim). Even though we may have experienced many a Ramadans but every Ramadan must be treated as a once in a lifetime opportunity since we have no idea whether we will live till the next Ramadan. Let us look at a few ahadith concerning this holy period.
Increased Rewards & Forgiveness
What are the rewards of good deeds in the month of Ramadan? It is important to understand the latter aspect in its proper perspective. Tahajjud (Nafl Salah in the last third of the night) is an extremely great ibadah (worship). Great virtues have been narrated for this Salah. However, a lifetime of tahajjud cannot equal one Fardh of Fajr Salah! Yet in the month of Ramadan Almighty Allah grants us the reward of a Fardh action for every Nafl performed.
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said: “The month of Ramadhan comes to you. This is a blessed month” (Kitab-ul-Saum). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has declared this month as the “month of Allah” because one abandons all otherwise “lawful” things in the way of Allah. He has also declared this month as the “Chief of the months.” Worship during this month gains more blessings so one should fast with sincere intentions and worship should be performed to win Allah’s pleasure.
Therefore it is much better we prepare and plan for our deeni activity, much like we do for the dunya ones and inshallah in this manner we can make the most of the blessed month of Ramadan and remain consistent upon the a’maal we adopt.
Anyway, with Ramadan due to start soon I thought it would be good to make a list of things in preparation for Ramadan. Please leave your comments and suggestions as well, via the comments below.
- Increase in recitation of the Quraan. If possible, complete a minimum of 1 part to daily so as to make 1 whole complete recital of the Holy Quran during Ramadan.
- Try and perform 4 rakah (units) of tahajjud before partaking in Suhoor.
- Learn a, or many prophetic duas in Arabic.
- As much as one can keep Allah in your heart by doing Dhikr eg: La ilaaha illallah, Allahu-akbar, Subhan-Allah, Alhumdulillah etc.
- Devoting more sincerity and concentration into our existing daily prayers.
- Try and utilise the month to give up smoking.
- For the more foul mouthed amongst us, try to refrain from swearing the whole month. Friends can help here by lightly hitting or gently reminding his/ her friend each time they swear that they shouldn’t do it. (please note, I take no responsibility for any limbs that may be broken from the above suggestion!