It did it again. It’s snuck up on us and it’s almost here. Ramadan, that is. Rajab begins in roughly a week and a half. Shaban follows. And then before you know it, it’s Ramadan!
I’ve often heard that the sahaba would prepare for Ramadan six months ahead of time (although I don’t know the source, anyone?) While we’re a little bit past the 6 month mark, don’t let the opportunity to ready yourself for the most noble and generous of months pass slip away!
So what can you do? Here are some thoughts:
- Read Qur’an! If you don’t already read some every day, start with 5 minutes, then add a minute with each passing week. If you already do (alhamdulilah), add more time with the Book of Allah (swt).
- Pray! If your salat aren’t in order, get them there! Recite longer surahs, and add sunna and nafila salats, so that you are ready to tackle taraweh when it arrives.
- Fast! If you have days that you missed last Ramadan and have not yet made up, no time like the present to start. The days are getting longer and hotter (at least up here in the northern hemisphere). If you can fast now (and on the longest day of the year, around June 21), inshaAllah fasting in August won’t seem all that bad.
- Watch what you eat! Don’t take the Squeakster’s advice. There’s no need to bulk up ahead of Ramadan. In fact, now would be an excellent time to implement this advice from the Prophet (saws), “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).
- Fiqh fiqh fiqh! Brush up on the fiqh of fasting, so you aren’t running to the books to find out if you accidentally broke your fast. Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Fiqh of Fasting in Details (all 4 madhabs), Fiqh-us-Sunnah (general).
- Repent! This is something we should be doing every day anyways, so why not get in the habit now? Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, and the Prophet (saws) told us that “Whoever observes fast during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari). A key and integral part of forgiveness is the repentance, so check yourself, check your intentions, and check your actions, past and present. If you see sin, seek Allah (swt)’s forgiveness.
- Plan! Ramadan is a mere 29 or 30 days. Every hour, every minute, every second counts. How will you spend your time? In front of the TV? Making extravagant meals for iftar? Cleaning the house for guests? Working overtime at work? If you don’t plan ahead, you may wake up on the morning and eid and realize that you didn’t accomplish anything.
- Make the most of Rajab and Shaban! Lots of awesome things to do and many awesome rewards to reach for in these months. Don’t miss em
- Get excited! Seriously, jump up and down right now and do a little woot woot. Ramadan is coming, you should be psyched!
More ramadan related content will follow in the coming months inshaAllah!
p.s. Please excuse the double picture usage