The month of Ramadan is at the door, with our hearts full of longing and happiness. Here comes the most precious visitor of the year! Preparing for the month and making Dua’a to reach it, is Sunnah, as the Prophet (ﷺ) used to say: Allahomma balighna Ramadan (Oh Allah, allow us to witness the month of Ramadan).
This is the month of worship and ibadat. It is not the month that goes solely around “What will we have for iftar???” nor the month of wasting time in some irrelevant activities! It is the major opportunity of the year to gather Hasanat (good deeds) and get closer to Allah to get higher levels in Jannah. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "When Ramadan begins, the gates of Jannah are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
So Ramadan is our chance to spiritually recharge and improve ourselves morally and physically. It is the month of discipline, the month of the Quran and the month of repentance. To be well prepared for it, you need to be determined to build it up with obedience, increase good deeds, and abandon bad ones.
We bring to you some guidelines to prepare for the month.
Make a sincere Intention – Niyya
Your heart needs to be ready so you can perform your Ibadat in the holy month.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “All actions are judged by their underlying intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” Make your Niyya for fasting before the start of Ramadan.
Your serious intention of reading Quran and performing taa’at will grant you the Ajer anyway. In case you did not witness the month to perform what you intended to do, or you got sick and you had a shortage in your scheduled Ibada, your reward will be preserved; and if you do perform it, you will get the reward multiplied.
Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ) said, "Allah the Exalted and Majestic said: Every act of the son of Adam is for him, except fasting which is exclusively for Me, and I will reward him for it.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Tawbah – Repentance
Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ) said, "Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven” (Bukhari and Muslim).
Seeking honest forgiveness from Allah for any bad deed you ever did, will erase the past of it. Not only this but Allah, the Most merciful, will switch all your sins into good deeds (Hasanat).
Your repentance must be sincere and applies to the required conditions. You need to repent in your heart first by feeling guilty and be determinate to never get back to that sin, make Istighfar (Seek forgiveness from Allah) frequently, return people’s rights and perform good acts & leave the bad actions.
Manage your time - Make a plan
Ramadan is just a few days. So, do not make it an ordinary habit, yet make it a journey of worship. How can you not make time for the one who created time? No matter how busy you are, always make time for Allah, and keep worship (Ibadat) in your priorities list.
Whether you are a stay home mother, or you are a working person, you need to create a schedule to stay focused and meet your goals. Avoid wasting time on things that are unbeneficial like hanging out, playing games, social media, or TV. It is Sunnah to help the household in the work at home, so divide the tasks among all the members, share the Ajer and benefit from more time for other Ibadat.
Create your ‘Worship Zone’
Prepare a small corner in your room for worship, no matter how narrow or small it is. Wash your prayer clothes and place them with the mat and Mushaf (Quran) in this part of the house. Perform your Salah and Make Dua'a from this zone; It is enough that it will witness to you on the Day of Resurrection.
Ramadan is the month of The Quran. Read or recite at least once a day, even if it is few verses only. Develop a link with the holy book that leads you to Jannah. You can read one Juz’ every day to make a full khatmah at the end of the month, and remember every single letter is worth 10 hasanat, and Allah will multiply the Ajer for those who He wants.
Do not only focus on doing the reading, yet work on improving your tajweed, learn the meanings of the verses and try to apply them in your life. You can also take this month as an opportunity to memorize a Surah that is dear to your heart, to get a great reward.
If it is difficult for you to read, you can listen to Quran at least. Trying to read even if you do not do it well, will grant you a multiplied Ajer for making the effort, especially in Ramadan.
Do not miss on your Prayers
Even if some mosques are closed due to Covid-19, make your homes a Masjid. Pray in Jamaa (congregation) and let the angels visit your houses. Fulfill Salah with your family members and enjoy it. Pray on time, and reply immediately once you hear the call to prayer (Athan). You may also this Ramadan work on improving the quality of your Salah, by making more khushou’e (reverence).
Ramadan comes once per year and brings with him the Tarawaeeh Sunnah prayer. You can pray at least 8 Rakat (in pairs: each 2 Rakat together) or reach the maximum number with 20 Rakat after the Ishaa prayer. Perform this Sunnah prayer in Jamaa to multiply your Ajer by 27 times, and Allah will multiply for whoever He wants.
*An additional tip: If you have prayers that you missed before, you are requested to perform them as Kada. They are a debt you owe to Allah, and you need to repeat them in your remaining life. Take this Ramadan as a chance to start redeeming your debt: Pray 2 of each Fard (impose) instead of 1. The Ajer in Ramadan is doubled. *
Thikr and Dua’a (Remembrance of Allah)
Allah said in the Quran, “So remember Me, I will remember you” (Surah Al Baqara, Verse 152). If you remember Allah by obeying him, He will remember you by his forgiveness, and His mercy that covers all His creatures. Reciting Thikr will bring a lot of good to your life and the afterlife, because it is an atonement for your sins, a protection guide for you and a source of building your houses in Jannah.
When it comes to Dua’a, you can make it at any place, any time, in any language, and Allah will be here to hear you. Especially if you are on your menstrual period, you can benefit from your time to make supplication, and get the Ajer and answer.
Zakat and Sadaqah
*A kind reminder to submit your zakat annually due amount*
Charity is not just in money. It could be in the form of food sent to your neighbors, clothes offered to orphans, a visit for the elderly, volunteer work, or any act that can make others happy, even if it was a word or a smile. Be generous in time and money. You will help yourself get higher levels in Jannah.
Prepare Iftar for fasters, so you will be rewarded their same Ajer too. You can also save money in a charity box to spend on the needy during Ramadan. The reward of every good deed is multiplied many times in this month, and spending money as charity is a deed that is very dear to Allah, even if it is in a small amount.
Plan to have a healthy diet
Ramadan is not a month to increase your food consumption, yet it is a chance for your system to adapt to smaller portions in a healthy diet. To break your fast, start with a date and water, like the Prophet (ﷺ)did. Pray the Maghrib prayer, and come back to have your food. Start with simple dishes, like soup and salad, and then the main dish with no major quantities, so that you can be able to perform Salah (Traraweeh) after it.
Do not forget to drink a lot of water, starting from Athan Al Maghrib to Athan Al Fajr.
Do not miss on your Sahur meal, the Prophet (ﷺ) said it has a blessing in it! It will keep you full for the day and give you energy.
Let’s all pray that this Ramadan will be a new start for us, spiritually, morally and physically. Let’s make the Niyya of fasting this year Inshaa’Allah, and have our worship and obedience accepted.