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6 Easy Steps For Preparing For Ramadan

Are we ready for Ramadan? As we are approaching the blessed month of Ramadan with only a few weeks left, what have we done to prepare ourselves for Ramadan? Throughout the year our hearts have been accumulating stains and rusts; did we purify our hearts yet? My brothers and sisters, it’s not too late…let’s start from now insha’Allah and make a positive change! ? ?
What are some of the things we can do to prepare for Ramadan?

Step 1: Let’s start by reciting the Qur’an!
The best purifier of the heart is reciting the book of Allah. Make it a daily habit of reciting at least one page from the Qur’an. If you are not able to recite the Qur’an, try to listen to it and follow through. The more you can recite per day the better and the easier it will be for you in Ramadan to finish the entire Qur’an once, twice or even thrice.

Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Muslim]

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Step 2: Reflecting over the verses of the Qur’an!
Reciting the Qur’an is a very virtuous act with immense reward.But it is not sufficient to just recite the Qur’an without understanding the meaning of what we are reciting. Let’s take about half an hour per day to go over some of the verses we did not understand by reading the exegesis of it. Allah tells us in the Qur’an [what means]:

“Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?”
{Surah Muhammad 47: Verse 24}

Reflecting over the Qur’an and understanding the meaning of the verses will help us tremendously in Ramadan when we stand behind the imam while he is reciting in Taraweeh, you will feel the sweetness of having khusu’ (tranquility & submissiveness) in prayer insha’Allah! ?

Step 3: Fasting Monday’s and Thursday’s!
Don’t wait until the last minute of Ramadan, start from now and fast Monday’s and Thursday’s or at least the three white days of every month (13, 14, and 15). Fasting will help us be more patient, gain more piety, and have pity for the poor.

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) was keen to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
[Narrated by al-Tirmidhi]

Step 4: Qiyaam-ul-layl!
If we have not been praying qiyaam-ul-layl, let’s start by at least praying two rakats along wit witr.

‘Amr ibn ‘Absah reported that the Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The closest that the Lord is to His slave is in the later part of the night, so if you can be one of those who remember Allah at that time, then do so.
[Tirmidhi and al-Nisaa’i]

It is very well known that al-salaf ul salih enjoyed qiyaam-ul-layl and were very keen on praying it as indicated in many reports. In one report Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir said:“There is nothing left of the joys of this life except three: qiyaam al-layl, meeting one’s brothers in faith, and praying in congregation.”  Ibraaheem ibn Shammaas said: “I used to see Ahmad ibn Hanbal staying up at night to pray when he was a young man.”

Step 5: Forgive and have Mercy with one another!
My brothers and sisters, is this world really worth keeping grudges from one another and breaking up ties? Wouldn’t we want Allah to be Merciful and forgiving towards us?  Let’s make a change by pardoning those who wronged us. Let’s reflect over the qualities of the righteous servants of Allah as stated in the Qur’an:

“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.
Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good; 
And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.
Those – their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow [in Paradise], wherein they will abide eternally; and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers.”
{Surah Ali-Imran: 3: Verse 133-136}

Step 6:  Increase remembrance of Allah and seeking forgiveness!
Remembering Allah on a daily basis will help us focus more on preparing for the Hereafter and not preoccupying ourselves with the temporary illusions and pleasures of this world. Allah tells us [what means]:

“O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”
{Surat Al-Ahzab 33: Verse 41}

“…and remember Allah much that you may be successful”
{Surah Al-Anfal 8: Verse 45}

Let’s follow the sunnah of the prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam as he used to repent to Allah one hundred times each day as indicated in the hadith of Muslim.

In summary
It is important to start preparing for Ramadan ahead of time so to reap the most benefit out of this blessed month. This was the practice of al-Salaf-ul-Salih as they prepared for Ramadan months before it arrived. Let’s make this Ramadan a special Ramadan where all of these ‘ibadaat will be continuously done throughout the year insha’Allah! ?

اللهم بلغنا رمضان
Allahuma balighna Ramadan
O Allah allow us to reach the blessed month of Ramadan!

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