Ramadan is the most blessed time of the year for Muslims around the globe. They wait and pray to reach Ramadan all year long. The months leading to Ramadan are a great time to prepare for Ramadan, especially the month of Shaban.
Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I said:
‘Oh Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Shabaan.’ He said, ‘That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.’”
(Narrated by al-Nasaai)
While you can get into the spirit of Ramadan in the month of Shabaan by indulging in the key practices of the Ramadan schedule. You can fast voluntarily, recite Quran daily, and perform Salah regularly during the month of Shabaan. These acts of active worship are essential, but they also become conscious of performing passive worship, such as guarding your tongue, abstaining from foul practices in daily matters, and more. To help you make the most of this Ramadan, we have the following tips for preparation in advance. The earlier you adopt these habits, the more smooth will be your transition into Ramadan.
First and foremost, if your energy levels are well maintained, you can stay active throughout the Holy month of Ramadan and beyond. A balanced diet is essential for your body to reap the health benefits of fasting. Allah says:
“Eat and drink but do not be excessive for God does not love those who are excessive.”
Also, The best example for Muslims to follow in any aspect of life is the character of our beloved Prophet SAW. And taking Suhur is following his sunnah. It offers health benefits as well. As narrated by Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Take Suhur as there is a blessing in it."
Sahih al-Bukhari 1923: Book 30, Hadith 32
Practicing mindfulness throughout your daily activities in Ramadan can help you get into the spirit of Ramadan. You’ll feel the spirit of Ramadan even better with a focus on zikr and a sense of reflection on the blessings of Allah upon you. Mindfulness will help you in your daily matters, whether interacting with a colleague, being patient in public, or controlling your anger when wronged.
This self-control and holding yourself to morality will instill the spirit of patience, obedience, and repentance from Allah.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice in anger. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: “I am fasting!”
During the blessed month of Ramadan, a number of platforms offer online programs and Ramadan series. These are great ways to motivate yourself, engage in good deeds, and gain knowledge of the deen.
Beware of how much time you spend watching online lectures. Although these programs offer benefits, they can leave you in passive worship. At the same time, you could have been engaged in active worship, like reading the Quran, doing zikr, offering prayers, etc.
Ramadan is the best time to connect with the book of Allah. Not only it adds to your rewards, but it also strengthens your faith. Although reciting Quran has its reward, take the time to study the various chapters and verses from the Quran. Reflect upon the divine words and try to develop a deep understanding of the message of Allah for its people.
Connecting with Quran has a transformative impact on our lives as well. When you are aware of what is expected of you by your Lord, you are more able to make decisions that will be rewarding in the Akhirah. It’ll inspire you to straighten your affairs with others and be a role model for those around you.
It's likely for anyone to aim high and set goals that they may not be able to follow through with consistently. Therefore, setting manageable goals and tracking your progress is paramount for a successful month of fasting. Add accountability with the help of a friend, spouse, or family member. They can keep pushing you when you feel tired and busy and vice versa.
Take the initiative to establish structure during Ramadan and take it into the rest of the year. Prioritize your prayers and time spent in acts of worship. Use this blessed time to challenge yourself and change bad habits into good ones. Get out of your comfort zone to overcome your unhealthy habits. Seek forgiveness for your sins and be hopeful for the mercy of Allah. Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
(Sahih Bukhari: 1899)
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