• 15 July

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How to Prepare for the Arrival of Ramadan

Ramadan is a very important part of a Muslim’s life. As the fourth pillar of Islam, fasting is a way to obey Allah (SWT) and express one’s belief in the injunctions of the faith. Due to its immense virtue, the believers need to ensure they are well-prepared to welcome the holy month. The righteous Muslims of the past used to make prior preparations for Ramadan. An eminent scholar is reported to have said:

“Whoever does not plant and sow in Rajab and does not irrigate in Sha’ban, how can he reap in Ramadan?” [Abu Bakr al-Balkhi]

Sincere Intention and Repentance

Before Ramadan begins, it is important to form a pure intention of fasting and striving in worship. Similarly, it is essential to seek the forgiveness of Allah (SWT) and settle any dispute with relatives to achieve cleanliness of the heart. To offer repentance is a noble Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), as mentioned in the following hadith:

“O people, repent to Allah, for I repent to Him one hundred times each day.” [Muslim 2702]

Seeking Ramadan in Dua

Dua or supplication is an integral part of how to prepare for Ramadan. Scholars and early-generation Muslims used to start praying to witness Ramadan a few months in advance. Their Ramadan preparation used to start six months before the arrival of the holy month. It is stated that they would pray for six months to reach Ramadan and the next few months for the acceptance of their deeds in the blessed month. One supplication reported in this regard is as follows.

“O Allah, keep me safe until Ramadan, keep Ramadan safe for me, and accept it from me.”

Fasting in the Month of Sha’ban

Fasting some days of Sha’ban is a great way of preparing for Ramadan. It helps adjust the human body to the routine of fasting in a more gradual and natural manner. The Prophet (SAW) used to fast most of Sha’ban according to many reports in hadith. In one of the narrations from Aishah R.A., she said:

“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.” [Bukhari 1833]

The Prophet (SAW) highlighted Sha’ban’s virtue by calling it a neglected month and by setting an example of fasting frequently. The believers are encouraged to benefit from his wisdom and guidance by following in his noble footsteps. In addition to that, fasting in Sha’ban gives a chance to make up for missed fasts from previous Ramadan. It also provides a training ground for a month-long fasting period.

Develop Good Habits

How do you prepare for Ramadan in practical terms? After discussing the spiritual aspect of preparation, this post aims to share some practical tips below.

It is a good idea to get rid of bad habits that might incur sin and spoil the beauty of Ramadan. These might include watching immoral shows on TV or other wasteful pastimes. It is advisable to plan your free time wisely and start acting upon it in Sha’ban. For instance, you can fill the empty space by including dhikr in your routine.

Ramadan provides the ideal atmosphere to build good character. The practice of good deeds in the holy month can stay with you for the rest of the year. Speaking kindly at Iftar time and smiling more often could be simple but worthwhile goals to achieve during Ramadan.

Weekly Meal Planner

A weekly meal planner for Iftar and Suhoor will save you the time spent worrying about what to cook. Think carefully about what you should include in your planner to avoid missing out on necessary nutrition. It is important to have healthy meals on your planner alongside treats. You can involve the whole family in the process and make better choices according to the likes, dislikes and dietary needs of all family members.

Health professionals advise consuming nutritious meals and drinks before and after Ramadan starts. This will equip your body with sufficient nutrients and help against issues like dehydration. Another tip to start fasting successfully is to reduce your caffeine intake gradually. Cutting down on tea or coffee in the month of Sha’ban will minimise withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.

Ramadan Preparation Checklist

The time before Ramadan can be used to develop a clear plan of desired activities and goals. You can make a checklist that includes all that you want to achieve in Ramadan by practising in Sha’ban. Ramadan checklist can include a dua list, recitation tracker, number of missed fasts, Ramadan decorations and Eid essentials.

It is beneficial to learn the recommended dua for Ramadan or include these in your notes. Record the number of parts you want to read or memorise from the Quran and start reading more in Sha’ban to help you become fluent. To avoid distractions during Ramadan, complete your shopping for clothing, decorations, and Eid gifts beforehand. This will allow you the necessary time and peace of mind to focus on your worship during the fasting days. Prepare in advance, have a fruitful and blessed time, and don’t forget to make your Ramadan donation!