Pre Ramadan Preparations

“O you who believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious).”
(Qur’an al-Baqarah 2:183)

Ramadan is approaching. Some of us consider it an opportunity for weight loss. Some of us crave for delicious food. Sadly, very few seek this month for forgiveness and blessings in true sense. The countdown towards the month of blessings has begun. In the upcoming days the Muslim Ummah all over the globe would be observing fast. Preparation for Ramadan Kareem needs to start. But, what should be the goal of our preparations?

The goal of every Muslim is to seek Taqwa, to become righteous! According to Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, Taqwa is classified as practicing that Allah has instructed whether it is obligatory or recommended, and avoiding all that Allah has forbidden, whether it is Haraam or Makrooh.
 

Tactics to Prepare

The ultimate goal of our Ramadan preparations; to be among the righteous, for now and forever! The fact is that no can change drastically overnight. The Ramadan moon sighted and Muslims transforms into a Muttaqi. Practically, this is not possible.

In order to be among the righteous, we have to start taking practical major steps now. For the moment, we can think about preparing ourselves for Ramadan and then, let this goal become a part of our lives too Insha’Allah. Sadly, we have delayed our responsibilities as a Muslim for a long time and have ultimately become “Ramadan Muslims”. Sad Indeed! So, how can we rectify ourselves and achieve the goal of becoming muttaqoon? Let’s find out:


Regularize your Prayers

How many of us are saying their prayers 5 times a day? Hardly few! Most of us fail to wake up for Fajar prayers. Ramadan is that time of the year when almost everyone can say their Fajar prayers after Sehri. It is essential to start saying prayers a month before the arrival of the Holy Month. Salaat is an essential pillar of Islam and can regulate your routine according to the Islamic teachings. Start saying your prayers with congregation in the month of Sha’ban to become habitual.


 

Fasting in the First Half of Sha’ban

According to Hazrat ‘A’ishah RAaa: “Prophet Muhammad SAW 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 Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’ban.”

Fasting in the first half of Sha’ban is actually an internal timer, which sends a 30 day advance notification to your mind and body to observe spirituality. 15th of Sha’ban has religious significance as the “Night of Freedom from Hell Fire”. Fasting and praying for 15th Sha’ban can make you eligible for Divine mercy. This leads to follow the footsteps of Prophet SAW and obeying the command of Allah Almighty. This will ultimately leads to multiply your rewards.


 

Reciting Holy Quran before Ramadan

“The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it." (Surah al-Baqarah 2:185)

The significance of Ramadan Kareem is linked to the revelation of Holy Quran. Reciting Holy Quran in Ramadan with its meanings is essential. Reciting and understanding the Holy Quran properly is a lengthy process for which one month is not sufficient. In order to better understand the Quranic teachings, it is recommended to start reciting Holy Quran before the commencement of Ramadan. We should try to set practical targets for per day recitation. Dedicate respective Surahs and Ayat for each day to recite, understand, and implement.


Praying Superogatory prayers

In the Holy month of Ramadan, Muslims should conduct voluntary prayer apart from the obligatory prayers in normal times. One can imagine the enormous rewards that are available in Ramadan for every voluntary prayer.

According to Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):
“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)

Praying Nafil prayers before the commencement of Ramadan is a Sunnah. This helps you to develop a habit of voluntary praying that can continue in the month of Ramadan. We can increase the superogatory prayers in Ramadan and gain maximum reward only if we are in a habit during normal times.


Sincere Regret on Sins

Look at yourself in mirror deep into your soul. You know what kind of prohibited activities you are involved in- big or small. Learn to self control and train yourself from now to get rid of them, one at a time. Start punishing yourself for repeating it and thank Allah SWT every time you refrain from it. Allah Almighty forgives those who feel guilty for their sins in the true sense. Be a responsible Muslim, it’s time to learn self-control.


Gaining Self Control

A Muslim can never be a Momin until his hands and tongue are not safe from harming others. Ramadan gives us a lesson to control. This includes both controlling desires as well as controlling the tongue.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) emphasized on the significance of self control. Prophet (PBUH) was asked once,
“Which Muslim is best?” He responded, “One who the other Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.” (Tirmidhi, #2504)

This Hadith indicates that the best among Muslims is the one who possess self control. Muslims should be aware of their words and actions. Before the commencement of Ramadan, it is important for Muslims to protect their tongue from lying, insulting or hurting language, back biting, and false speech including many other things prohibited by Holy Quran and Sunnah. Changing bad habits is not possible over night, it is a slow process and do take lot of time to evolve. Practicing before Ramadan is the best time.

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
“Allah does not need the fast of one who does not abandon false speech or acting according to his false speech.” (Sahih Bukhari).

Control your tongue now before your fast go in vain!
 


Making Sincere Dua

Allah Almighty blesses those who seek forgiveness from the righteous mind and heart. One should not underestimate the power of Dua’. There can be a possibility that your duas are not accepted by Almighty on a particular time, this means that Allah has planned something better for you. Nothing is possible without the Will, Mercy, and Help of Allah SWT. A true Muslim should purify his mind and heart and seek guidance from Allah. Ask HIM to help you. We are the creature and slaves of Almighty Allah. Submit to HIM with humbleness and seek forgiveness and mercy.


In a nut shell

The purpose of Ramadan for Muslims is to seek Taqwa and practice Islam in the true sense. It is a life time opportunity for all to seek forgiveness and repent on the sins till date. Allah Almighty has blessed Muslims with Ramadan that can help them to rectify their mistakes and try to improve as a human being.

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مزہبی کالم نگاری میں لکھنے اور تبصرہ کرنے والے احباب سے گزارش ہے کہ دوسرے مسالک کا احترام کرتے ہوئے تنقیدی الفاظ اور تبصروں سے گریز فرمائیں - شکریہ