With the arrival of a wedding or special occasion in the family many of us find ourselves busy from months before making all the necessary preparations. We take out time from our busy schedules and even book out weekends for all the shopping around we need to do. In fact so much hard work, time and extensive effort is put behind such preparations that everyone around us feels the excitement of the event even before it actually arrives.
Now think for a moment dear readers how many of us have made such preparations for the very special event that is just around the corner for us all. Yes, the leader of all months, the most blessed of all days, the beautiful month of Ramadhan is soon to dawn upon us but the question is what have we prepared for its arrival?
Below is a list of simple tips and guidelines on how we can maximise the reward the blessed month of Ramadhan offers us by preparing well in advance!
- To begin with our 5 daily salaah are and should be more important to us than anything else in the world. More important than our cooking, more important than our daily chores and more important than our occupations. Therefore from now we should make an intention that when the time of salaah sets in we should hold everything else and begin to prepare for salaah. If we create this habit from now it will help build our spirituality so that by the time the month of Ramadhan dawns upon us and we are required to pray a greater amount of rakaats (i.e tarawee salaah) we will be fully motivated and spiritually charged!
- Nabi (salallahu alaihi wasalam) would eagerly wait for this month to arrive, to such an extent that several months in advance he would pray:
“Oh Allah grant us barakah in the month of Rajab and Shabaan (so we are fully ready) and allow us to reach Ramadhan.” (Ahmad & Nasai)
Therefore we should recite this dua daily, as much as we possibly can!
- We should try and make all our Ramadhan specials inc. samosas, pastries etc well in advance so that no time is spent in the blessed month in preparing such things. It would be a very good idea to even get all the Eid shopping done before Ramadhan!
It is worth mentioning here that although Ramadhan is a month where we ought to minimise our eating through fasting, this is the only month for which we seem to prepare food months in advance! There is nothing wrong with making preparations but we must always strike a balance and be moderate because if we lose the balance then in the very month that we were meant to abstain from food shaytaan will make that very food our priority of the month!
- Of course one of the most important preparation tips is to begin with the daily recital of the Holy Quran. Yes, Ramadhan is the month of the Holy Quran, and much of our time in this blessed month should be dedicated to its recital. However many a times we find ourselves guilty of not reading enough in the blessed month. This can truly be avoided if we start our daily Quran recital from now. In fact it is quite necessary that as Muslims we are reciting a portion of the Quran on a daily basis. Start off with 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then the next day 15, until once you’ve reached 20-30 minutes you could keep it to that- but we must be punctual with it!
Oh people of the Quran do not let one day pass without reciting a portion of the Blessed Quran otherwise what kind of a Muslim can we call ourselves! Just like we must eat daily in order to take in the necessary nutrients without the Quran in our lives we will find ourselves spiritually dehydrated. So, no matter who we are, we may sin in abundance, we may feel we are weak in Imaan but in the end we are all Ummatul Quran- the Ummah of the blessed Quran therefore let us use this beautiful book of ours to reach the blessed month of Ramadhan spiritually well and healthy!
- Next is the shunning of sin! Ramadhan is like a sale period, if you enter the sales season without any money or savings you will not be able to benefit from the huge discounts the shops are offering. In the same way if we enter the blessed month without any preparations we will not benefit from its arrival! Therefore prepare from now with the intention of leaving sin! Some of us may have an anger problem, others may be addicted to music, television, social networking- whatever it is that we are involved in start leaving these sins, make firm intentions never to go near them again otherwise we will find ourselves entering and leaving the month of Ramadhan with empty trolleys- devoid of all good!
Dear readers, Allah is throwing a life line to us- He is giving us the blessed month of Ramadhan, another ray of hope and so let us prepare for its arrival well in advance.
- Finally remember that in Ramadhan shaytaan is very clever. Now we all know that Shaytaan gets tied up and chained for the whole month. So why is that we find ourselves still sinning in this blessed month? One of the reasons is that Shaytaan holds us back before Ramadhan stopping us from making any preparations so that when the Holy month does arrive and he gets locked up we are not spiritually ready to fully benefit from Ramadhan. Take the example of a criminal who is locked up for one month! Before he goes in to jail he will make all the preparations and tell his companions to carry on with the job till he gets out. This is exactly what shaytaan does, he winds us up before the blessed month, he makes us lie, steal, get angry so that in the month of Ramadhan we do the worst of things without realising what a blessed month we are in. Until when he’s finally out he finds us in exactly the same spiritual state that we were in when he left us. And we find ourselves with no change even after the coming of the most blessed of all months!
This is why they say– “He who prepares for Ramadhan is fighting shaytaan and he who doesn’t prepare is falling into his trap!
Therefore, in a nut shell remember to give priority to your salaah, start making your food preps from now! Fix a time daily for your Quran recital, make a strong intention to leave sin and pluck up the courage to stay far from it. Start reminding others in the household of the Mubarak months coming, set time for daily taleem, perhaps you can begin reading from the chapter of Fadhail-e Ramadhan on a daily basis, read plenty of good literature that will spiritually charge you for the arrival of the blessed month and lastly read repeatedly the dua of Nabi (salallahu alaihi wasalam) with regards to the blessed month!
Written by: Sister Arifa (UK) for Idealwoman.org