How should we prepare for Ramadan ?
The companions of the Prophet used to pray to Allah six months before Ramadan in anticipation that they would live until Ramadan and that then they would pray for five months afterwards in the hope that God would accept it from them. This shows the significance of this beautiful month of mercy.
How can you make the most of Ramadan ?
- Repent to Allah – This month is all about forgiveness. It was narrated from Abu Salamah that Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and seeking reward his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari, Al-iman,37). So be in constant state of actively asking Allah to forgive you.
- Read lots of Quran – The Quran was revealed in this blessed month, so take an opportunity this Ramadan to build a real connection with Allah’s book. Make reading the Quran part of your daily routine, and aim to continue this habit even after Ramadan. Along with regularly reciting the Quran, it is as important to try and understand it. The great way to do it is by selecting 1-2 Surahs of the Quran and try to memorise these surahs’, read their translations and tafseer. This way you will develop a real relationship with the word of Allah, it will also help you increase your concentration in prayer because you will understand what you are reciting and eventually you can implement it.
- Give Charity – Ramadan is great way to experience what the poor go through \ (not having any food or drink). So naturally it should encourage us to give more Sadqah (charity). You can aim to make small donations throughout Ramadan, it can even be your lunch money that you would normally spend when you are not fasting. Give whatever you can, regardless of the amount as God judges us on our intentions. As Adi bin Hatim (MAPH) reported: I heard the Prophet (SAWS) saying: “Protect yourself from (Hell) Fire, by giving of half of a date (in charity)”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
- Salah– If you don’t pray your 5 daily prayers everyday then take an opportunity this Ramadan to make salah part of your life, and if you already do then this is the chance to do extra good deeds by praying your non obligatory prayers (Sunnah).
- Avoid backbiting – Ramadan is time to bring that change, work on your flaws and work towards improving yourself. Do not make this Ramadan about just abstaining yourself from food and drink. Abstain from engage in backbiting, instead of wasting your good deeds, keep your tongue busy by remembering God instead.
Why should we make the most of Ramadan ?
Imagine if a bank manager said to you here is access to our vault which is full of cash, gold and diamonds. He then gives you two hours to take whatever you can from it with no questions asked, what would you do?
The reality is that we would probably disconnect ourselves from the world for those two hours and work extra hard to get as much as we can from the vault. Similarly it in the month of Ramadan that God opens up his vault of rewards and heaven for the believers. This is more valuable than the world and all that is contained within it. So similarly how we are more than willing to capitalise on worldly goods, we should strive hard (if not harder) to attain spiritual goods while we still can.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.”
Source: Sahih al-Bukhari 1800, Sahih Muslim 1079