For Every Important Event ,We need a Preparation.
But How to Prepare for Ramadan ?
As a Student of Deen, I attended various workshops and read many literature on how to make the best of Ramadan. Here I have Prepared my blueprint on what am I going to do to make the best of this Ramadan-Ramadan 2017.
I would like to share the beautiful tips that I learned from my Ustadhas . If You wish to benefit from my research and efforts ,Make sure to Bookmark this page in your browser or if You use Social networking sites, follow us so that you get the recent updates on Tips to make the best out of Ramadan. Hope it benefits you . In Sha Allah.
Why Do You Need to Prepare for Ramadan Early?
Usually we turn our focus towards Ramadan right at the end . When we do not prepare for Ramadan in advance, we find our self rushing . When Ramadan starts ,neither are we used to get up at suhur , nor are we free from the piles of pending works . Then We are also filled with guilt of not making up the fast of Previous Ramadan .If We have piles of work to complete , mental issues which occupy our mind and if we haven’t prepared well in advance ,how will we make the best of Ramadan ?
The Noble Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) has said:
It (Ramadhan) is the month, whose beginning is mercy, its middle, forgiveness and its end, emancipation from the fire(of hell) — Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.: 93, Pg.: 342
- The First 10 days of Ramadan are” Rahamat” .When we are not used to get up early,we may miss our Suhur .When we haven’t eaten our suhur we feel washed out,tired and are unable to concentrate on seeking mercy of Allah swt in the way he has described us in the Quran
- The next 10 days is that of “Maghfirat” :These are the Days when We should seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty and repent from our Sins . For most of us this goes away shopping and in lavish Iftar Parties.
- Then Comes the last 10 days which are the Days of “Nijaat” for seeking Salvation .It is about running to the finish line .And During these days we realise that since we haven’t done enough in the early 20 Days we cannot run and cross the finish line in time.
And thus goes our Ramadan.
There is a hadeeth that “How unfortunate is a person who after the end of Ramadan does not gain any forgiveness of his sins from Allah but ends up piling more sins onto his account.”
The righteous predecessors were very attentive to the worship to Almighty Allah, including paying great attention to the holy month of Ramadan.It is known that many of them used to pray to Allah during 6 months after the end of Ramadan to accept their fasting, and then in 6 months they would ask Allah to allow to see the next Ramadan, so that they have another opportunity to make this great worship, which is the fasting in this holy month.In other words, we can see how the pious predecessors of this Ummah (community of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh) were prepared to meet the Ramadan. Abu Bakr al-Balkhi, may Allah bless him with mercy, said:
“Rajab is the month to sow the seeds; Shaban is the month to irrigate the crop; and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest”.
And he also said:
“Rajab is like the wind; Shaban is like the water-laden clouds; and Ramadan is like the rain”.
Let us Prepare for Ramadan in advance so that when Ramadan comes ,We get into the habit of repenting to Allah,seeking his mercy ,doing dhikr etc so that we can make the best out of Ramadan and continue to do so throughout- everyday of our lives.
Day 30: Purify Your Intentions
‘Innamal a’malu binniyat.
Direct your efforts Solely to gain the Pleasure of Allah swt.
Things to do Today : Take a paper and a Pen and reflect on your last Ramadan. Write down the things you want to improve in this Ramadan.For Example :
1) I want to read more Quran
2) I want to Increase the amount of Dhikr
Focus on the Intention:
Ramadan is the best time when Allah swt can help us to change Completely . We should Pray to Allah that we want to Change -that we want to be a better Ummati,a better Muslim.O Allah! We are helpless.Make us get over our nafs ,help us change .
You will find, insha Allah—the more you renew your intentions, the better each act becomes, and the more blessings you find in them
Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that : “I heard The Prophet, peace be upon him, saying,“Verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended…” (Bukhari; Muslim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “Those who are the closest to Allah are the ones who have their Mubaah (allowed acts like sleep) turned into acts of worship and into a means of approach to Allah, on account of their good intention (Niyyah). They no longer have a Mubaah that is equal on both sides (where doing or abandoning it are the same). All their deeds are leaning to one side, (that is, they always gain a reward).”
When you eat, seek Allah’s pleasure by intending to gain energy through the food in order to serve Him better. When you sit down at the internet, seek to gain or deliver beneficial knowledge that would draw you and others closer to Him (SWT). When you send an email, seek to increase your bonds of ukhuwwah (brotherhood) and better the relationship with the other person for the sake of Allah (SWT). When you pray, seek to have the most concentration in order to increase the reward of that prayer, etc. etc. etc.
You will find, insha Allah—the more you renew your intentions, the better each act becomes, and the more blessings you find in them. Even chores will have a sweetness to complete when the remembrance of Allah (SWT) is present in the heart. You will find that just by renewing your intentions constantly, you will also find yourself speaking to Him more and making more dua.
Prepare for Ramadan Day 29 :Clear Your Important Task before Ramadan
If You are following our Posts, You may have read the Previous Post where we talked about the importance of Preparing early for Ramadan. We Continue our Preparation for Ramadan by freeing up our time for Ramadan.
Ramadan comes only once a year.You never know If you are going to live the next year to see more Ramadan. So, It is neessary that you utilise your Present Ramadan that is just 29 days ahead ,In Sha Allah.
Just like when an important Person whom you love very much comes to your house after a year ,you take a break and try to give your maximum time to the guest ,similiarly Ramadan is our most awaited guest . Like you need to apply for a leave much before the day you want a break similiarly you need to Prepare for Ramadan beforehand.
1)Make a 3 Month Plan of your important tasks.
2) Start by Writing down your Priorities-Things you need to Complete before Ramadan and things you need to do after Ramadan leaving more free time for Ramadan.
3) Schedule your tasks for Ramadan so that you have more time in Ramadan
For Example ,Suppose You are a Home Maker-
1)Intention: Yes, The first thing we should always start with is the Intention.Make Cooking and Meal Preparation an Act of Worship.So whether you spend a little or a lot of time in the kitchen this Ramadan, don’t miss out on the ajer opportunity by purifying you intention and making your efforts for the sake of pleasing Allah.
2) Create a basic meal plan for the month ahead of time, so you’re not trying to figure out what to make each night while in a fasting haze.
2) Work Smart -The internet is a wealth of resources on beautiful meals that can be made in just 30 minutes. Seriously!
3) Consider Frozen Meals-Double or triple up on recipes and freeze them in daily portions. This will cut down massively on preparation time for each meal. Of course,If you do not have a Power issue in your country and Your Fridge do not get switched off Often
Preparing for Ramadan Day 28 : Set Your goals
Calculate how much Ibaadah time you will have daily : Ideally, we all want to spend Ramadan performing acts of worship 24/7, but this isn’t realistic and most of us have other obligations that we need to take care of as well. So work out in advance how much time you will have daily for Ibaadah then set goals to get that much Ibaadah done.
The formula is simple: 24 Hours -(Minus )– (Sleep time, Work Time, Family Responsibility) = Ibaadah time.
If for example, you have 3 hours of ibaadah time, you can schedule in an hour of Qur’an reciting, an hour of studying Islam and an hour for dua and Dhikr. You can really get a lot done if you stick with this formula for the entire month.
Morever Let us not just restrict ourself to completion of Quran and Praying tarawih .Let us set our goals in accordance to the majesty of Allah and the power of this month .We can ask for :
- Wilayat (Allah’s Friendship)
- Khusoo inSalah
- Ask Allah swt to Make our Journey from being a sinner to a Winner
Preparing for Ramadan Day 27 : Muhasiba-(Bring yourself to task).
Muhasiba or self-examination means to take account of ones’ actions and thoughts in traveling towards God, to know that God always keeps a record of what one does.
To remove Virus we need to install anti virus. Only You Know the Virus inside You . Yes,It is only You who Know what needs to be fixed in you .You Need to stress on the below points :
- Is Anger a Problem?
- Do I get envious at others ?
- Do I need to more Polite
- Is my Relationship with others fine?
In Order to fix it,You have to specifically analyse your Problem.You have to bring yourself to task.Yes,but first you need to have a niyat that you want to change.Then you have to Identify -analyse and work on it.
Some Tips :
This Way ,Before Ramadan comes, You will be able to make yourself emotionally free and stable before Ramadan comes and thus you will be able to put more effort in Ramadan.
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 26: Nafl and Qada Fasts
Have You made up for the fast of Previous Ramadan ?
Nabi SAW used to fast a lot before Ramadhan. When you fast few days before Ramadan,Your body get used to it and waking up for suhur becomes easy .You go into the mode of fasting physically and mentally and it definately is a boost to your health and your Imaan .
So from today ,Make up your Missed (Qaza fast) of last Ramadhan ,if you have any .When you are completed with qadha fasts,do Nafl fasts.Or simply try to Fast the Monday’s and the thursday’s.
Related Read : Health Benefits of fast
Preparing for Ramadan ,Day 25 :Overcome your Laziness
Have You made the intention to make up your Qada Fast and start Nafl fast . Do you feel Lazy to go make Wudu and Pick up the Quran ? Well, We all do sometimes . I have come up with a beautiful trick to beat my nafs and defeat the Shaytan by abandoning things that pull me away from the Dhikr of Allah swt .
Yes , Scholars say that you need to put effort in getting closer to Allah swt. You have to leave things that does not benefit ,that consumes your time ,that makes you addicted . In simple terms to beat laziness, you have to develop the love -the strong desire to Win against Shaitan .
You may like to read how life can be considered as a Football match between us and Shaitan . A Beautiful comparison by Mufti Menk . Start listening to beautiful reminders from reputed Scholars and see how it changes you all of a Sudden.
So, Get up and Get Going …..
Preparing for Ramadan Day 24- Increase Your Recitation of Quran
It Doesn’t matter if You know to Read Quran or not .There are lots of Online Programs which helps you to learn to recite Quran and also helps you to improve your recitation .I am using this Programme to improve my recitation and learn its translation.Hope You too benefit from it .
Different People have different capabilities of Reciting Quran. Try to Push yourself towards the recitation of Quran. If you feel you don’t have time it is your nafs not shaitan. You can always make time for Quran even if you are busy.Let me tell you how? You can use the travel time to your office for listening the Quran. You can listen to Quran in the Break time ,while doing work that doesn’t require concentration etc.Every body knows where their nafs is getting better of them.Try to weaken your nafs and hit the nafs at that particular point .For example, If you like to listen music You need to shut off the Music .Try it atleast for a month and you will see the change Yourself. In Sha Allah.
Preparing for Ramadan Day 23 : Check your Progress
So,It is one week since we are Preparing for Ramadan. Let us take a review break . Only You know your Plans and your potentials . By now , You must have made a list of the things you want to improve in yourself .You may have started the recitation of Quran and may have started the nafl fasts. Let me ask you how was your nafl fast ?Did you sleep all day ? 🙂 This year Ramadan is going to be special because it falls in the summer months . And let me tell you why it will be special .
There is a hadeeth : hadith Qudsi where Prophet Muhammad , peace be upon him, tells us that Allah (SWT) said,
“And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him.
And My servant continues to draw near to me with nawaafil (extra good) deeds until I Love him.
When I Love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.” (Bukhari)
So the more struggle we do to get the pleasure of Allah swt ,the more Allah swt will love us In sha Allah.
When you start with your fasts you may feel that it is a bit tough but eventually it gets easier . There is a beautiful Dua which we should read regularily:
“Allahumma inni aoothubika minal hammi wal hazni, wal ajzi wal kasali, wal bukhli, wal Jubni, wa dala’id-dayni wa ghalabatir-rijal”
(‘O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men’).
Preparing for Ramadan Day 22 :Motivate Yourself
Let me first thank you for your wonderful comments Jazak Allah Khair for your feedback . Your comments really motivate me to keep writing.
Ok,Have You heard the lecture “ Similiarity between life and Football Match ” How do you like the comparison ? I really found the lecture very motivating and I try to counter the goals of Shaitan with good works like reading extra Quran etc.If You haven’t yet heard the lecture yet . Please listen to it before proceed to new series.
The Series of Lecture , We would like to listen this week is “The Stories of Prophets” by Mufti Ismael Menk. It may take about 15 days to complete listening to all of them .Some of you may cover it in a week. Trust Me , listening about the Prophets gives a boost in Imaan and energize you for more.
Some more articles you may like to Read are :
- Miracles of Prophet Muhammad SAW
- Asiyah ,the Wife of Pharoah-the Women of Paradise
- Short Biography of Prophet Muhmmad
- Tips to Increase Barakah in Our Life
- A Powerful Story of Astaghfar-Imam Ahmed and the Baker
Preparing for Ramadan Day 21 : Increase the amount of Dhikr
The place of Dua is so honourable to Allah that the Prophet (Sallallahu AlaIhi Wasallim) said:
“Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than Du`a.” (Sahih al-Jami` no.5268).
It is the most excellent of worship:
He also said:
“The most excellent worship is Du’a.” (Sahih Al-Jami` no. 1133)
So let us get into the habit of making sincere Dua’s from deep within our hearts and let us not be heedless when supplicating to Allah. What better time than now for us to get into the habit of making more intense and sincere Dua’s. So by the time Ramadan arrives we would have already got into the habit of making the long, sincere and intense Dua’s which will readily be accepted during this blessed month especially whilst we are fasting and in the latter part of the nights during Tahajjud.
Allah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.
When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates: And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa 4:110)
Allah loves repentance and loves those who turn to him in repentance:
Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance, and He loves those who keep themselves in purity. (Qur’an 2:222)
Therefore we should get into the habit now of repenting to Allah so that in Ramadan we will make the best of repenting to Allah and continue to do so throughout everyday of our lives.
Do you know that we have a Dhikr community in our Website which has a list of useful dhikr and you can mark the dua you read and thus accumulate points which helps you analyse the dhikr you made .
It can be useful if you use it with proper intention . Check it Out .
Preparing for Ramadan Day 20 : Make a Reading List
Scholars say ,”How unfortunate is a person who after the end of Ramadan does not gain any forgiveness of his sins from Allah but ends up piling more sins onto his account.”During Ramadan our aim should be to involve our self more and more in the matter concerning the deen.
Would you like to take a look at my reading list ? This –
Well , I am just kidding. I am not going to go through all of it in a month . This is a year long commitment. You can call them as my favourite books. Well ,You may read any book that increase you in your level of imaan but it is preferable to complete One Quran during this month .So as much possible try to read the Quran. You may like to download some free books I uploaded to the post-“Islamic books to read this Ramadan “
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 19 – Calculate your Zakat
Allah says in Quran,
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 18 – Make your Shopping list
Now that We are nearing Ramadan, We can make a shopping list for Ramadan and Eid . If it is your first Ramadan ,I can understand your excitement.I have many friends who are revert and who will be observing their first Ramadan this year . Let me help you with a shopping list:
- For Me the number one thing I want to get for myself is the Books that I intend to read in Ramadan. I have already recieved them as you can see in this post.
- Some Islamic stuff to keep my kids engaged . The Quran Challenge game is one of my best buy this year. In sha Allah will write its review some day.
- I ordered this Book , “Quran for School Children ” for my kids and for myself and I really love it
- Need to Print out some Islamic worksheets for my kids . A Ramadan Colouring book will be fine aswell
- Buy Dates . The most important food of Iftar. Here is a post where you can learn about the shelf life of different kinds of dates .
- Buy Attar :the Alcohol free Perfumes .Again, there is a guide I wrote few days back on choosing the best Attar according to your taste
- Need to shop for New dresses ,Shoes and acessories for myself and the whole family
- Yup,the Grocery list needs to be prepared early but not going to buy them until Ramadan arrives
- What else , Some gifts for your loved ones and friends
- Some People like to Decorate their masjids and home . I found Some really adorable Islamic wall stickers perfect for anytime.
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 17 -Re Focus
Have you made up your Qaza fasts or tried to keep Nafl fast ? If Yes, Masha Allah! If No, try to keep a nafl fast for a Day and see how you spend that day . Probably write it down . The result may surprise you. Sometimes, It happens that we think we are good enough but actually the results come out totally different . To be true,the first Nafl fast I kept was very tiring. I slept after the exhausted ! Like I had no energy at all.The Subsequent days got better . Not many days are left for Ramadan.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887)
Fasting gives a boost to Imaan and helpd develop Spirituality. If You are not yet feeling Motivated and Productive,try to fast. Atleast for a Day.
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 16 – Schedule a Family Halaqa
Ramadan is the perfect time for the family to bond and grow in Imaan together. The devils are locked up and everybody is more spiritual. This spirituality needs to be nurtured so that we can benefit from it after Ramadan. One way to do this is to establish a family Halaqa (study circle). Read a chapter of an Islamic book (or listen to a lecture) then discuss its contents with each other. Start it before Ramadan or plan it in the month of Ramadan and try to Continue this even after Ramadan. Helps a lot!
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 15 -Remove Distractions
Remove any materials or equipment that can distract us from the remembrance of Allah and replace them with anything which can drag us closer to Allah .
You know better what distracts you the most .So, It is time that you start working on it NOW!
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 14 – Concentrate on Perfecting Salah
We all need to continuously strive to perfect our Salah and Pray with Khushoo . We need to learn what are we reciting in our Salah .We need to master not only the Arabic Duas but their meaning as well. So, For few days let us try to Perfect our Salah.
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 13 -Memorize Short Surahs from Quran
Let us Start to Memorize chapters or verses from Qur’an with the meaning, so that we can recite them during Qiyamul-layl and other prayers.
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 12 – Be in Good Company
Keep good company: The company you keep determines what kind of a person you are and the activities you indulge in. If your companions don’t care about Allah swt and emaan (faith), you will soon forget about it too. Search and pray for good companions and keep yourself in their perfumed company. Prophet Muhammad saw said: “Man follows his friend’s religion; you should be careful whom you take as a friend”.
Preparing for Ramadan :Day 11 -Learn About the Fiqh of Fast
You need to know what breaks the fast .You need to make a niyah of fast before Suhoor (that which is eaten before Fajr Salah ) .You need to know that you have to stop eating once the fajr adhan is called and you should make haste in breaking the fast as soon the Maghrib adhan is called . Breaking the fast without a genuine need is a big sin. And it is not enough to fast for another day for 1 broken fast.You need to fast for 60 consecutive days and If you are not capable to do so because of physical incapability then you need to feed 60 poor People (all meals of the day ). There are many legal rulings regarding this matter.And these legal rulings are called “Fiqh” .Sometimes these legal ruling differ in different Madhabs. If You are new to Islam ,let me tell you about the 4 madhab. They are Hanafi, Hambali, Shafei and Maliki .All the 4 madhabs are a legal tradition of thousands of years and all are correct in their opinion . It is recommended not to mix and match between the madhabs but to follow the madhab which is practiced in your locality .So that if in case you need a legal ruling ,you can refer it to the imam and mufti of your area. Don’t worry there is only 30 % difference in different madhabs and 70 % of it is same . The difference is only because of the difference in the principle of derivation of fiqh from different hadeeth .
For a New Muslim ,
I will recommend this book –Minhaj al Muslim . It covers almost everything that you need to know about Islam. If You cannot afford to buy this book ,I am uploading this small pdf which derieves the fiqh of fasting from this book .Hope you find it useful.
When just 10 days are left
When just 10 days are left, it is advised to focus in these 3 things :
2) controlling tongue
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i, on of the teachers of Imam Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on them both, mentioned: “The people ruined before you were done in by three characteristics: too much talking, too much eating, and too much sleeping.”
26/05/2017 : Ramadan Moon Sighted in Saudi Arab-Ramadan Mubarak!
It has been narrated that when the Holy Prophet (a.s) would see the new moon of Ramadhan, he would turn his face to the kiblah direction and say the following:
اللّهُمّ أَهِلّهُ عَلَيْنَا بِالأَمْنِ وَالإيمَانِ
O Allah: (please do) cause this crescent to carry with it for us security and faith
And safety and Islam
وَالعَافِيَةِ المُجَلّلَةِ وَدِفَاعِ الأَسْقَامِ
And encompassing good health and repulsion of ailments,
وَالعَوْنِ عَلَى الصّلاةِ وَالصّيَامِ وَالقِيَامِ
And assistance on praying, observing fasting, and doing acts of worship,
And on reciting the Quran.
اللّهُمّ سَلّمْنَا لِشَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ،
O Allah: (please do) keep us sound for the month of Ramadan
And accept our deeds during it,وَسَلّمْنَا فِيهِ
And save us during it,
حَتَّى يَنْقَضِيَ عَنَّا شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ
Until the month of Rama¤¡n will not elapse
وَقَدْ عَفَوْتَ عَنَّا وَغَفَرْتَ لَنَا وَرَحِمْتَنَا.
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