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Steps to Preparing For Ramadan​


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5 Point Plan: Preparing For Ramadan

In a few days time, we will enter Rajab followed by Sha'ban and then Ramadan.

"O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha'ban blessed for us, and let us witness the month of Ramadan."

Rajab itself is a blessed month being from the Al-Ash'hur Al-Hurum (Sacred months), where the rewards of virtuous deeds are increased.

It is therefore perfect to start our preparation for Ramadan

 

1) Fast some extra days during these 2 months. 

For Example the Sunnah fast of Mondays & Thursdays.

 

2) Increase and renew our Tawbah (repentance) and practice perfecting it.

 

3) Increase our Ibadah (acts of worship) 

For example, 2 extra Raka'at of Nafl Salah, 2 extra pages of the Qur'an daily, practice 1 more daily Dua'a.

 

4) Train our Tongue, Ears & Eyesight

Get them used to the act of worship and to refrain from sins.

 

5) Gradually reduce the time we spend on Social Media and The Television.

For example remove yourself from 2/3 unnecessary groups and stop watching few unnecessary television shows.

kitaabun.com

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8 Simple Steps to Help You Prepare
for Ramadan
 
Have you ever wondered why it is difficult to concentrate in your prayer? Or why your faith throughout the year is not on a high like it is during Ramadan or through Hajj? Maybe it is because we usually jump straight from a phone conversation into Takbeer or because we just go with the flow in Ramadan and are influenced by the environment around us and not our own ‘real’ feelings.
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 anti-climax; 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 8 steps for a Legacy of a Ramadan.
 
Step 1 – 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 a 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.
 
Step 2 – 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.
 
Step 3 – Make a Ramadan plan
Be it reading the entire Quran or ensuring you pray Taraweeh every night; 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).
 
Step 4 – Know your life
Be aware if Ramadan affects anything that is happening in the month or shortly after. Do you have exams during Ramadan? Or is there a major family wedding after Ramadan within a short time? Moving house? If so, plan for these events from now. Study now so that you are prepared for the exams before the month starts. If moving house, Be packed and ready to go before Ramadan or plan that you do it after so that it doesn’t take time away from your worship. The last thing you want to do is spend Ramadan at the shopping centres. Buy any Eid presents and prepare for any wedding before the month starts.
 
Step 5 – Prepare spiritually
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 (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and fast during Sha’baan.
 
Step 6 – Prepare your mind
Fasting is to refrain from more than just what we consume in our mouth. Start working on your patience, be extra vigilant with your conversations: ensure you are not backbiting, slandering or talking about useless things.
 
Step 7 – Say ‘good riddance’ to bad habits
Know what bad habits you have and stop them from now, don’t wait until Ramadan begins. If you sleep late, start sleeping early, if you are a Facebook junky start cutting down, have a coffee craze, slow it down etc. It might sound much easier said than done, but once you’ve committed yourself, purified your intentions – make sincere Dua for guidance. Insha’Allah, these bad habits will be easier to do away with than you ever expected.
 
Step 8 – Plan your life around your worship
For instance, instead of working through your prayer or setting up meetings 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 at. Rather, forget the world around you as you stand before the Lord of the worlds.
 
May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the ability to reap maximum benefit from this beautiful month, and not be from those who are deprived from seizing this glorious opportunity. Ameen.

 

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians

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Ibn Masood (r.a) was asked, "How would you welcome the month of Ramadhaa?" He replied, "None of us (Sahaba) had the audacity to start the month of Ramadhaan whilst there was a grain of jealousy in his heart." (Lataaif al-Ma'arif)

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      اَللّٰهُمَّ سَلّمْنِيْ لِرَمَضانَ وَسَلّمْ رَمَضانَ لِيْ وَسَلّمْه لِي مُتَقَبَّلا
       
       
      (رواه الطبراني في الدعاء والديلمي ، وسنده حسن- كنز العمال 8/584)
       
       
      Allahumma sallimni li Ramadhana, wa sallim Ramadhana li, wa sallimhu li mutaqabbala.
       
      Translation: O Allah! preserve me for Ramadan, safeguard Ramadan for me and accept it from me.
       
       
      (Kitabu Du’a of Imam Tabarani, Hadith: 912, also see: Hayatus Sahabah, vol.3 pg.182 and Kanzul ‘Ummal, Vol.8 pg.584)
       
       
      Explanation
       
      “Preserve me for Ramadan” means: O Allah! allow me to remain healthy and able so I may benefit from Ramadan. It shouldn’t be that when Ramadan arrives, I am caught up in some unfortunate condition that hinders our Fast, ‘ibadah etc.
       
       
      “Safeguard Ramadan for me” means: In addition to being able, O Allah! grant me the tawfeeq (ability) to maximise my benefit from this auspicious occasion. Many able people witness this month but fail to actually benefit from it. These people are truly unfortunate! May Allah save us.
       
       
      “and accept it from me” means: O Allah! after inspiring me to be devoted throughout the month, don’t let it go to waste by not accepting it.
       
       
      Status of this narration
       
       
      The chain of narrators for this hadith is weak. (Footnotes of Shaykh ‘Awwamah on Musnad ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez, pg.280)
       
       
      However it is positively supported by the practice of the salaf (pious predecessors) with slight variations in the wording and is therefore suitable for practice.
       
       
      Habit of the Salaf
       
       
      1. Imam Tabarani (rahimahullah) reports that the famous Tabi’i: Makhool (rahimahullah) would recite this du’a at the beginning of Ramadan. (Kitabu Du’a li Tabarani hadith:913)
       
       
      2. He also reports from ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn Abi Rawwad (Demise: 159 A.H.) that “the muslims would recite” a similar du’a (with additions to the above wording) upon the arrival of Ramadan. (ibid, hadith:914)
       
       
      3. Imam Muhammad ibn Nasar Al-Marwazi has recorded in his Qiyamul Layl that it was the habit of the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum) and the Tabi’un (rahimahumullah) to recite this du’a when Ramadan arrived. (Mukhtasar Qiyamul Layl, pg.98)
       
       
      4. Hafiz Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) has quoted the reliable Tabi’i; Yahya Ibn Abi Katheer (rahimahullah) to have said:
       
       
      “It was their habit (the Sahabah and Tabi’un) to make this du’a…” (Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.280)
       
       
      It is probably in light of these substantiations that Imam Suyuti (rahimahullah) has declared the narration as hasan, i.e. soundly authentic. (Kanzul ‘Ummal, vol.8 pg.584)
       
       
      When to recite this?
       
       
      Besides the last reference, all of the above have mentioned this du’a to be recited when Ramadan arrives or commences. In the version of Yahya ibn Abi Katheer (rahimahullah) the words used are:
       
       
      اللهم سلمني إلى رمضان
       
       
      O Allah keep me safe till Ramadan
       
       
      This supports the habit of reciting this supplication (with these words) before the arrival of the month itself.
       
       
      May Allah Ta’ala guides us all to  implement this sunnah and teach it to others. Amin.
       
       

       
       
      Source: Al-Miftah
       
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