Preparation for the blessed month of Ramadhan

The blessed month of Ramadhan will be ushered in a few weeks wherein it is expected that we boost our acts of worship in return for maximum reward from Allah the Most Exalted. But the question is how prepared are we?

The preparation for the next Ramadhan ordinarily should start from the end of the preceding Ramadhan, whereby we ensure that we continue with the high level of dedication and spiritual uprightness practised in the month of Ramadhan. Now we have just one month to the commencement of Ramadhan we can still catch up and start the preparation now.

To initiate the preparation, the month of Shaaban is a very good time if we had not started. ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadhan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Shaaban.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Sha’ban.‘ He said, ‘That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadhan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.'” (Narrated by al-Nasa’i).

The time is now! The month of Shaaban is between 2nd of July to 30th of July, 2011. Let us engage in a number of spiritually rewarding acts such as fasting, sadaqah, recitation of the Quran, encouraging what is good and forbid what is evil.

Finally, the 13th, 14th and 15th of Shaaban will be on 14 -16th of July, 2011. If we fast on these days we shall be rewarded with fasting for the whole of Shaaban. Also we should try our best to accomplish the Monday and Thursday fast in this month.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

Ramadhan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [At-Tabarani]

As the month of Ramadhan will soon greet us, we pray that Allah grant us the strength to act upon the following:

  • Make a resolve to win the maximum favour of Allah: perform extra voluntary prayers (Nawaafil), make frequent Du’a and increase remembrance (Dhikr).
  • Try to recite some Quran after every Prayer. In fact if you read 3-4 pages after every Prayer you can easily finish the entire Quran in! Study the Quranic Tafsir (commentary) every morning.
  • Invite a person you are not very close with to your home for Iftar, at least once a week. You will notice the blessings in your relationships!
  • Bring life to your family! Everyday, try to conclude the fast with your family and spend some quality time together to understand each other better.
  • Give gifts on ‘Eid to at least 5 people: 2 to your family members, 2 to your good friends, and 1 to a person whom you love purely for the sake of Allah.
  • Commit to an Islamic study circles to enhance your Islamic knowledge and practice. Plan to complete reading a book on Prophet Muhammad‘s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) life in these 30 days.
  • Donate generously to the masajid, Islamic organizations, and any where people are in need. “This is a month of sharing!”
  • Initiate a project to promote or revive a ‘forgotten’ social cause in the Muslim and non-Muslim community: fight against racism, AIDS, drugs, cancer, smoking…etc.
  • Did you know, our society, which constitutes only 20% of world’s population, actually consumes 80% of world’s resources! Volunteer at food bank or Anti-Poverty campaign, while fasting!
  • Seek the rare and oft-neglected rewards of ‘the night better than a 1000 months’, Laylatul-Qadr.
  • Weep in private for the forgiveness of your sins: It is the month of forgiveness and Allah’s Mercy! It’s never too late.
  • Learn to control your tongue and lower your gaze. Remember the Prophet’s warning that lying, backbiting, and a lustful gaze all violate the fast! Abandon foul language forever.
  • Encourage others to enjoin and love goodness, and to abandon everything evil. Play the role of a Da’i (one who invites to Allah) with passion and sympathy.
  • Experience the joy of Tahajjud prayers late at night and devote yourself purely and fully to Allah in the I’tikaf retreat during the last 10 days of Ramadhan.

May ALLAH count us among those that will witness this Ramadhan and beyond. Amin.

Compiled from: “Ramadhan: A Time for Revival or Survival?” – Young Muslims Publication

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