Preparing For Ramadan

Preparing For Ramadan, Preparation For Ramadan

Author:  Muhammad Hashim Bastawi

The Holy month Ramadan is going to be upon us soon. Of course, we have great value this month, but do we prepare for it?  Do we remind  our families that they should also prepare in this regard and not act carelessly?

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to gather the Companions in the month of Sha’ban and give a sermon in which he used to tell them the good news of the arrival of Ramadan. In view of the excellence and importance of Ramadan, he should pay attention to its preparation.

It is contained in a hadith, which is narrated by Salman Farsi:

عَنْ سَلْمَانَ قَالَ: خَطَبَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي آخِرِ يَوْمٍ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَقَالَ: «أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ أَظَلَّكُمْ شَهْرٌ عَظِيمٌ، شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ، شَهْرٌ فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ، جَعَلَ اللَّهُ صِيَامَهُ فَرِيضَةً، وَقِيَامَ لَيْلِهِ تَطَوُّعًا، مَنْ تَقَرَّبَ فِيهِ بِخَصْلَةٍ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ، كَانَ كَمَنْ أَدَّى فَرِيضَةً فِيمَا سِوَاهُ، وَمَنْ أَدَّى فِيهِ فَرِيضَةً كَانَ كَمَنْ أَدَّى سَبْعِينَ فَرِيضَةً فِيمَا سِوَاهُ، وَهُوَ شَهْرُ الصَّبْرِ، وَالصَّبْرُ ثَوَابُهُ الْجَنَّةُ، وَشَهْرُ الْمُوَاسَاةِ، وَشَهْرٌ يَزْدَادُ فِيهِ رِزْقُ الْمُؤْمِنِ، مَنْ فَطَّرَ فِيهِ صَائِمًا كَانَ مَغْفِرَةً لِذُنُوبِهِ وَعِتْقَ رَقَبَتِهِ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَكَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَنْتَقِصَ مِنْ أَجْرِهِ شَيْءٌ» ، قَالُوا: لَيْسَ كُلُّنَا نَجِدُ مَا يُفَطِّرُ الصَّائِمَ، فَقَالَ: ” يُعْطِي اللَّهُ هَذَا الثَّوَابَ مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا عَلَى تَمْرَةٍ، أَوْ شَرْبَةِ مَاءٍ، أَوْ مَذْقَةِ لَبَنٍ، وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ أَوَّلُهُ رَحْمَةٌ، وَأَوْسَطُهُ مَغْفِرَةٌ، وَآخِرُهُ عِتْقٌ مِنَ النَّارِ، مَنْ خَفَّفَ عَنْ مَمْلُوكِهِ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ، وَأَعْتَقَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَاسْتَكْثِرُوا فِيهِ مِنْ أَرْبَعِ خِصَالٍ: خَصْلَتَيْنِ تُرْضُونَ بِهِمَا رَبَّكُمْ، وَخَصْلَتَيْنِ لَا غِنًى بِكُمْ عَنْهُمَا، فَأَمَّا الْخَصْلَتَانِ اللَّتَانِ تُرْضُونَ بِهِمَا رَبَّكُمْ: فَشَهَادَةُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ، وَتَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ، وَأَمَّا اللَّتَانِ لَا غِنًى بِكُمْ عَنْهمَا: فَتُسْأَلُونَ اللَّهَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَتَعُوذُونَ بِهِ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَمَنْ أَشْبَعَ فِيهِ صَائِمًا سَقَاهُ اللَّهُ مِنْ حَوْضِي شَرْبَةً لَا يَظْمَأُ حَتَّى يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ “. (صحيح ابن خزيمة: 1887)

Translation: Salman al-Farisi told of God’s messenger saying in a sermon which he delivered to them on the last day of Sha’ban, “A great month, a blessed month, a month containing a night which is better than a thousand months has approached you people. God has appointed the observance of fasting during it as an obligatory duty, and the passing of its night in prayer as a voluntary practice. If someone draws near to God during it with some good act he will be like one who fulfils an obligatory duty in another month, and he who fulfills an obligatory duty in it will be like one who fulfills seventy obligatory duties in another month. It is the month of endurance, and the reward of endurance is paradise. It is the month of sharing with others, and a month in which the believer’s provision is increased. If someone gives one who has been fasting something with which to break his fast it will provide forgiveness of his sins and save him from hell, and he will have a reward equal to his without his reward being diminished in any respect.” Some of them remarked to God’s messenger that they did not all have the means to give one who had been fasting something with which to break his fast, and he replied, “God gives this reward to him who gives one who has been fasting some milk mixed with water, or a date, or a drink of water with which to break his fast, and anyone who gives a full meal to one who has been fasting will be given a drink from any tank by God and will not thirst till he enters paradise. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is freedom from hell. If anyone makes things easy for his slave during it, God will forgive him and free him from hell.”  (Sahih Ibn e Khuzaimah: 1887)

How to Prepare for Ramadan?

If we are ready to welcome Ramadan, we have to consider a few things. First of all, let us motivate ourselves and take practical steps to do good deeds in this holy month. Here are some things we should keep in mind:

1 –  No work is possible without the will of God, so we should pray to God for it with repentance and forgiveness, In repentance, a person turns completely towards his Lord; the distance between man and his Lord is removed, and the attraction towards good deeds increases, which will be evident in other acts of Ramadan as well.

2 – If the fasts of the previous Ramadan are left, they should be completed immediately in the month of Shaban.

It is contained in a hadith, which is narrated by Abu Salama:

عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا، تَقُولُ: «كَانَ يَكُونُ عَلَيَّ الصَّوْمُ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، فَمَا أَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ أَقْضِيَهُ إِلَّا فِي شَعْبَانَ، الشُّغْلُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أَوْ بِرَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ». رواه البخاري في صحيحه (1950) ومسلم في صحيحه (1146) واللفظ لمسلم.

Translation: Abu Salama reported: I heard ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) as saying: I had to complete some of the fasts of Ramadan, but I could not do it but during the month of Sha’ban due to my duties to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) or with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). (Sahih Bukhari: 1950, Sahih Muslim: 1146)

3: The most important act of worship in Ramadan is fasting, so in order to get used to it, you should fast intermittently during the month of Shaban so that you can be fully active and realize that all the fasts of the next month are to be observed. The Prophet ﷺ used to fast a lot in the month of Shaban, but the fasts of the entire month were observed only during Ramadan.

It is contained in a hadith, which is narrated by Hazrat A’isha رضي الله عنها:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا، قَالَتْ: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ” يَصُومُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ: لاَ يُفْطِرُ، وَيُفْطِرُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ: لاَ يَصُومُ، فَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اسْتَكْمَلَ صِيَامَ شَهْرٍ إِلَّا رَمَضَانَ، وَمَا رَأَيْتُهُ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِي شَعْبَانَ”. رواه البخاري في صحيحه (1969) ومسلم في صحيحه (1156)

Translation: ‘A’isha رضي الله عنها said, “God’s messenger used to fast to such an extent that we thought he would never break his fast, and he would go without fasting to such an extent that we thought he would never fast. I never saw God’s messenger fast a complete month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Sha’ban.” In a version she said he used to fast the whole of Sha’ban, i.e. he would fast all but a little of Sha’ban.  (Sahih Bukhari: 1969, Sahih Muslim: 1156)

4 – There is a famous hadith: إنما الأعمال بالنيات that actions are based on intentions. (Sahih Bukhari: 2).  And Abu Huraira reported:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَذَكَرَ أَحَادِيثَ مِنْهَا قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: إِذَا تَحَدَّثَ عَبْدِي بِأَنْ يَعْمَلَ حَسَنَةً، فَأَنَا أَكْتُبُهَا لَهُ حَسَنَةً مَا لَمْ يَعْمَلْ، فَإِذَا عَمِلَهَا، فَأَنَا أَكْتُبُهَا بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا”. رواه مسلم في صحيحه (129)

Translation: That Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), said: When it occurs to my bondsman that he should do a good deed but he actually does not do it, record one good to him, but if he puts it into practice, I make an entry of ten good acts in his favour. (Sahih Muslim: 129)

Abu Huraira reported:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ اللَّهُ: إِذَا أَرَادَ عَبْدِي أَنْ يَعْمَلَ سَيِّئَةً، فَلاَ تَكْتُبُوهَا عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى يَعْمَلَهَا، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا بِمِثْلِهَا، وَإِنْ تَرَكَهَا مِنْ أَجْلِي فَاكْتُبُوهَا لَهُ حَسَنَةً، وَإِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَعْمَلَ حَسَنَةً فَلَمْ يَعْمَلْهَا  فَاكْتُبُوهَا لَهُ حَسَنَةً، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا لَهُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِ مِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ”. رواه البخاري في صحيحه (7501)

Translation: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Allah says, ‘If My slave intends to do a bad deed then (O Angels) do not write it unless he does it; if he does it, then write it as it is, but if he refrains from doing it for My Sake, then write it as a good deed (in his account). (On the other hand) if he intends to do a good deed, but does not do it, then write a good deed (in his account), and if he does it, then write it for him (in his account) as ten good deeds up to seven-hundred times.’  (Sahih Bukhari: 7501)

In view of these hadith, we should correct our intention towards Ramadan and make the intention to do many good deeds. For example, the abundance of recitation of the Qur’an, Repentance from sins, the obligation of prayers, the obligation of supplication, the intention to set things right with people, Keeping some fasts for Sha’ban in order to practice for the next month, Reading Islamic and educational books, Listening to the Islamic speeches related to Ramadan, which are in the form of a PC, mobile phone, etc., so that the feeling of Ramadan remains in the heart and preparation for it can be focused.

5 – Ramadan is characterized by the fact that the Holy Quran was revealed in this holy month, so people recite the Quran more than on normal days. Recitation is an act of worship, which is why it is organized in this holy month. But this process also requires preparation, so we should start our daily continuous recitation in the month of Shaban and make an intention to recite the entire Quran with translation once in Ramadan.

6: Today, Muslims are neglected in the matter of Islam, and they are so engrossed in their work that they don’t have time to prepare for Ramadan. However, a responsible man should spare some time to reach Ramadan and its rules among his family members. If he does not know, he should find out from the scholars and benefit from the sermons of the imams of the mosques.

The daily schedule of the month of Ramadan

Keep in mind that we have to spend more time in worship.
Along with Fard, Nawafal should also be arranged in abundance. Make a daily schedule for this, keeping in mind the following:

1 –  Wake up for Tahajjud. Allah says:

أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ ۗ  (الزمر: 9)

Translation: Can (such people be equal to) the one who worships during the hours of night, prostrating himself and standing, fearing the Hereafter and having hopes in his Lord‘s mercy? (Zumar: 9)

2 – Waking up early in the morning and taking a meal (Sahri)

عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “تَسَحَّرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي السَّحُورِ بركَة”. رواه البخاري في صحيحه (1923) ومسلم في صحيحه (1095)

Translation: Anas reported God’s messenger (ﷺ)  as saying, “Take a meal a little before dawn, for there is a blessing in taking a meal at that time.”  (Sahih Bukhari: 1923, Sahih Muslim: 1095)3

3 – Observance of the Sunnah of Fajr

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: «رَكْعَتَا الْفَجْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا». رواه مسلم في صحيحه (725)

Translation: ‘A’isha reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)  as saying: The two rak’ahs at dawn are better than this world and what it contains.  (Sahih Muslim: (725)

4 – Spend your time in Duas

Especially in the times between Adhan and Iqamah, because the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «الدُّعَاءُ لَا يُرَدُّ بَيْنَ الأَذَانِ  وَالإِقَامَةِ». رواه أبو داود في سننه (521) والترمذي (212)

Translation: Anas reported God’s Messenger (ﷺ)  as saying, “A supplication made between the adhan and the iqama is not rejected.” (Sunan Abu Adud: 521, Sunan Tirmizi: 212)

5- Staying in the mosque for dhikr and reading the Qur’an from dawn until sunrise.

عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ إِذَا صَلَّى الْفَجْرَ جَلَسَ فِي مُصَلاَّهُ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ حَسَنًا‏.‏ رواه مسلم في صحيحه (670)

Translation: On the authority of Jabir b. Samura that when the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) observed the dawn prayer, he sat at the place of worship till the sun had risen enough.  (Sahih Muslim: 670)

In one place, God’s Messenger (ﷺ)  says:

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ صَلَّى الغَدَاةَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ ثُمَّ قَعَدَ يَذْكُرُ اللَّهَ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ، ثُمَّ صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ كَانَتْ لَهُ كَأَجْرِ حَجَّةٍ وَعُمْرَةٍ». رواه الترمذي في سننه (586)

Translation: Anas bin Malik narrated that: the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ)  said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen, then he prays two Rak’ah, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and Umrah.” He said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Complete, complete, complete.'”  (Sunan At Tirmizi: 586)

6 – Read this Dua that: Allah bless in our day:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَ هَذَا الْيَوْمِ فَتْحَهُ وَنَصْرَهُ وَنُورَهُ وَبَرَكَتَهُ وَهُدَاهُ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا فِيهِ وَشَرِّ مَا بَعْدَهُ ‏”‏. رواه أبو داود في سننه (5084)

In Roman: Allahumm inni as’aluka khaira hazal yaum, fathahu, w nasrahu, w noorahu, w barakatuhu, w hudahu. W  a’auzu bika, min sharri ma fihi, w sharri ma ba’dahu.

Translation: O Allah! I ask Thee for the good this day contains, for conquest, victory, light, blessing and guidance during it; and I seek refuge in Thee from the evil it contains and the evil contained in what comes after it.” (Sunan Abu Daud: 5084)

7 – Prepare for Dhuhr prayer and perform Dhuhr; after that, rest a little.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ: ‏ “‏ اسْتَعِينُوا بِطَعَامِ السَّحَرِ عَلَى صِيَامِ النَّهَارِ وَبِالْقَيْلُولَةِ عَلَى قِيَامِ اللَّيْلِ”. رواه ابن ماجه في سننه (1693)

Translation: It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Seek help by eating Suhur for fasting that day, and by taking a brief rest (at midday) for praying at night.”  (Sunan Ibne Majah: 1693)

8 – Almsgiving to the poor and needy

If you are rich and God has blessed you with wealth, spend it on the poor and arrange for them to break the fast. This action is very pleasing to Allah.

We ask Allah Almighty to grant us success in fasting the month of holy Ramadan with sincere intentions and to increase in our worship, charity, and this blessed month.

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