Ramadan is not far away and it is vital that we actively work on mentally, spiritually and physically preparing for the blessed month. Ramadan is the time of year which is associated with righteousness and high imaan, but we cannot expect a miraculous boost of imaan as soon as Ramadan arrives. Rather we must take small steps to build up that imaan before Ramadan, so that we are ready to utilise the holy month in the best way possible.
A lot of us usually live life and have our faith dependent on an upcoming major event i.e. “I’m going to start reading a page of Quran a day as soon as Ramadan starts; I’m going to start praying Qiyam every night when I come back from hajj; or, I’m going to stop smoking when my child is born.” And because of this way of thinking we usually end up with an anticlimax; we don’t end up giving up smoking, we don’t end up praying Qiyam and we start reading Quran but then get back to our normal old self after a few days or weeks.
This is because these ‘statements’ or ‘feelings’ are based on impulse and not a real thought out plan. We usually don’t prepare for Ramadan or hajj or have a plan for our faith to stay at the increase; we just go with the flow and expect it all to happen. Well, it doesn’t!
Wouldn’t you love to enter the month of Ramadan on a real high and have the effects of this beautiful month be a permanent impact on your life thereafter? How can this be done? Below are the 11 steps for a Legacy of a Ramadan.
Create a Ramadan Count Down
Counting down for Ramadan (whether it is done mentally or by keeping physical signs around the home or office) will help create hype and buzz in your mind and amongst the people around you. When you and others are counting down to the same event, it becomes part of regular conversation and excitement spreads.
Seek knowledge about Ramadan
This will help you ensure you will do things correctly and perfectly for Ramadan, it will create a hype as there are many motivational aspects and events in the month to look forward to and finally it is a reward reaper. The more you know about Ramadan the more you can apply, hence multiplying your rewards.
Repent sincerely & continuously
Don’t wait till Ramadan to repent. Repent now and ask Allah to forgive your sins so that you go into Ramadan with no sins!
Continuously say ‘Astaghfirullah’ whilst you’re walking, cooking, falling asleep etc. Make it a habit until it rolls off your tongue!
Make a Ramadan plan
Be it reading the entire Quran, ensuring you pray taraweeh every night or inviting families over for iftaar; make a list of things you would like to achieve in the month and then how you plan on achieving these goals. It is important that goals are realistic and it is better that your life doesn’t need to entirely take a different road in this month (i.e. take the month off work or change work hours etc.) so that you may continue to do these deeds after Ramadan. Knowing what you want to achieve in the month will help you stay focused. Ensure you plan your day every night before you sleep when Ramadan starts (try to continue this even after Ramadan).
We all know that Ramadan is about Fasting, Praying, Reading Quran and giving in charity. Start these worships early; don’t expect to just click into it as soon as the first day of Ramadan starts. Start doing extra prayers from now, start revising and regularly reading Quran now, get used to being generous and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and fast during Sha’baan.
Refrain from those little everyday unnoticeable sins
Ramadan is a chance to leave those bad habits which we are so used to doing that we sometimes don’t even notice. Make a list of all the bad habits you need to leave before Ramadan and start working on them beforehand. When Ramadan comes, inshaAllah you will find it easy to leave those bad habits.
Replace bad habits with good habits
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” [At-Tirmidhi].
Good deeds wipe out bad deeds. Start with the small things such as reviving small sunnahs in your life – reading all the masnoon du’as. Begin praying the Sunnah and Nawafil prayers if you don’t already do so, give a small amount of charity often. Hopefully doing more good deeds will help you leave bad habits.
Make lots of sincere du’aa
Never underestimate the power of du’a. When you raise your hands to Allah, you are having a one-to-one personal and emotional conversation with your Lord. What an incredible opportunity SubhanAllah!
Ask Allah to give you the ability to change for the better and allow you to use Ramadan in the best way possible so that you become nearer to Him.
Schedule Qur’an into your day and try to understand some of it
“This is a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [Qur’an 38:29]
READ MORE: Importance of Helping Others in Islam
Make the Qur’an a part of your daily life even if it’s reciting just a few verses and also try to read the translation of what you are reading. Perhaps also listen to the explanation of the verses by a reliable scholar so you gain a deeper understanding. Even if you know a surah by heart, make it a habit to perform wudhu and read from a physical mushaf. Train your mind to have that spiritual connection at least a few minutes a day to begin with, then increase.
Make a list of goals you would like to achieve during Ramadan
This is really important, make a plan, set goals! It could be anything such as learning new du’as or surahs or trying to recite a certain number of pages of the Qur’an each day during Ramadan. Make a day-by-day plan and try to set yourself realistic and achievable targets.
You know what they say, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.
Plan your life around your worship
For instance; instead of working through your prayer or setting up meeting etc., at prayer times, plan that you have a break at prayer time. Don’t take your phone with you to the place you pray and forget the world as you stand between the hands of the almighty Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).
Let us earn all those extra ‘Jannah points all month InshaAllah! May we live to experience the blessed month Ramadan, one where our imaan and knowledge grows. Ameen ya Rabb.
How about you? What are you doing to prepare for Ramadan? Let us know in the comments section!