“Whoever fasted Ramadan with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him.” [1. Bukhari and Muslim]
With the month of Ramadan just around the corner, preparation should start in earnest and we should welcome this blessed month as a mehman (guest). Indeed every second of Ramadan is precious and irretrievable.
When I say preparation, I’m not speaking of what are we going to eat for sehri and iftaar or the tons of household chores before Ramadan. But here, I’m rather speaking of the SPIRITUAL preparation; the reformation and self reflection, where a mu’min needs to ponder over the spirituality and piety, to bring a change within themselves for the better.
“Just as a farmer needs to make an effort to prepare the land for plantation by clearing the shrubs & weeds, then softening the soil & tilling it, planting the seeds & ensuring the proper irrigation & fumigation until the day of harvest, we too need to prepare for the month of fasting by leaving all sin, softening our hearts, increase our acts of worship etc. Without this we would not reap the fruits of this month. ” Mufti Ismael Menk
The month of Ramadan is special and is like no other month. This blessed month has been sent to us by Allah so that we can re-build our connection with Him and draw closer to Him by reaping the many rewards that are in this month. The fact that we’re able to experience another Ramadan upon us this year, is a sign that Allah ta’ala is offering us another opportunity to draw closer to Him and earn His paradise through ‘Ibadaat and other manifolds of good deeds in this blessed month. The Prophet Muhammad has clearly stated:
“Whoever does not give up lying and evil actions, then Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink” [2. Saheeh al-Bukhari]
Below, I’ll lay down some important points for a productive Ramadan, In shaa Allah.
[paranum]Renew your intention and work towards pleasing Allah ta’ala and keep it up even after Ramadan, In shaa Allah.
[paranum]Increase in recitation of the Quran. If possible, complete a minimum of one part daily so as to make one whole complete recital of the Quran during Ramadan.
“The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.” Surah Baqarah: 183
[paranum]Spend more time in ‘Ibadaat and Dhikr instead of wasting time on social networks.
[paranum]Try and perform tahajjud before partaking in suhoor.
It is narrated in one hadith that Rasulullah said:
“(The Prophet) Dawud had set aside a time at night in which he would awaken his household. He would say, ‘O people of my household, awaken and perform Salaah; for certainly this is the time in which Allah Ta’ala accepts Du’as (supplications) except the Duas of a sorcerer and a bandit.” [3. Ahmad & Mishkaat]
“And the servants of The Most Gracious (Allah) are those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord, prostrating and standing (in Qiyaam).” Surah Al-Furqan: 64
[paranum]Sincerity and concentration(khushoo) in salah is important, devote more time to perfect your salah. Do not rush your salah, every posture in your salah has to be done properly. Remember that you’re standing in front of your Rab; King of the Universe.
[paranum]Do lots of Astaghfar- it’s human nature to slip. But humility should lead us to the route of repentance. Being arrogant instead of responding to your mistake with responsibility and humility is poisonous to the extent of darkening the heart. Nevertheless Mercy prevails over His wrath; He’s Al Rahman, Al Raheem. Therefore seize your chance; beg Allah for His forgiveness.
[paranum]Make Du’a – set aside 10-15 minutes before Iftaar,and use this time to make du’as, as this time is known to be a time where our du’as are not rejected. You can also jot down thirty short du’as on a piece of paper and just before breaking the fast every day recite one of them.
[paranum]Stay away from foul languages, lying, gossiping, backbiting, anger. Ubaadah bin Saamit reports:
Rasulullah used to teach us these words (dua) when Ramadan approached:
Allahumma sallimnee Li Ramadaana wa sallim ramadhaana lee wa sallimhu lee mutaqabbala. ( O Allah! Safeguard me for the month of Ramadan[by making me see the month of ramadan healthy and fit], and safeguard the month of Ramadan for me [by making the conditions in it such that I can take maximum benefit from it] and accept it from me.
We never know if we’ll still be here for the next Ramadan. Therefore live this Ramadan as if it’s gonna be your last one.
May Allah accept our fast and help us to achieve the most of this blessed month for His pleasure. (Ameen).
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