Assalaamu 3Alaykum wa Ramatullaah
Ramadaan is just round the corner. Its never to late to start preparing for it. A good reminder and beneficial tips to get ourselves prepared & enjoy Ramadaan at its fullest.
Preparing For Ramadaan
3Ayesha (radhi-Allaahu 3anha) said: “I have never seen Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu 3alayhi wa ssallam fast in month of the year more than he did in Sha3baan. He used to fast all of Sha3baan.” and in another narration. “He used to fast almost all of it, except a little.” [saheeh Muslim]
The scholars’ advice is to fast a lot in sha3baan, and increase acts of worship in the same way, by getting up at night for Tahajjud, more Qur’aan, more Dhikr and to make it a month of 3Ibaadah, to prepare ourselves for Ramadaan.
Sweetness of any 3Ibaadah does not come straight away. It requires a lot of patience and striving. We have to start early to taste the sweetness of 3Ibaadah in Ramadaan.
One of the salaf said: “I strove hard to do Qiyaam al-layl (supererogatory prayers offered at night) for twenty years, and I enjoyed it for the next twenty years.”
Before running a marathon one has to do some preparation. In the same way, we need to do some Preparatory/ Warm Up exercises.
We have to renew our Tawbah (repentance) and practice perfecting it. Tawbah is a lifetime affair. We have to clean our hearts from all the dirt, junk and rust of the sins before we decorate & fill them with the beautiful, powerful acts of worship in Ramadaan.
We have to make Tawbah from:
- Sins of the tongue (backbiting, lies, slander, speaking to people in an insulting way, making fun of others).
- Sins of the heart (show-off, self admiration, arrogance, envy, hatred)
- Lack of modesty (in dressing, mannerism, way of speaking with the Non-Mahrams)
- Tawbah from pleasing others while its displeasing to Allaah
- Tawbah from all the time wasted (in shopping, telephone, long chat, browsing net).
Clean up your heart, forgive others and forget, hoping for Allaah’s forgiveness.
When making Tawbah, remember that there is no sin too great/huge that Allaah does not forgive. Be confident that Allaah will forgive your sins.
Increase your level of motivation by increasing 3Ibaadah (act of worship) during Sha3baan.
- Pray/increase the nawafil (supererogatory) prayers.
- Pray Duhaa (If you are already praying, increase the raka3h)
- Tahajjud (night prayer)
- Fast (Monday & Thursday / make up your missed fast)
- Morning and Evening Adhkaar (these are protection/shield against Jinn &Shayateen. Do not leave them ever)
- Make a lot of Du3aa’ (at last 3rd part of night, accepted times, last hour of Friday)
- Read Qur’aan after Fajr.
We need to train our senses (tongue/ears/eye-sight). These are the avenues/ways to the heart. We have to train them to get them used to the act of worship and to refrain from sins.
We have to train ourselves/our nafs to hate the sins. Naturally our fitrah (inborn natural state) hates sins, but we have become so accustomed to sins that we have become numb to them. Prophet sallAllaahu 3alayhi wa ssallam said:”Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong).” (Narrated by Muslim, 49).
All this is part of cleaning the inside/heart/soul for Ramadaan to take effect & to feel the real sweetness of 3Ibaadah.
Train your self to humiliate/break yourself apart before Allaah. Understand that you are in desperate need of Allaah.
Human beings transgress when they feel self sufficient. Teenagers rebel against parents when they feel they no longer need them. Ask Allaah to keep us steadfast upon His Path, we are in desperate need of Allaah to survive in our Dunya and Deen. If Allaah doesn’t keep us steadfast on his way, we can never last!
We are in need of Allaah to fulfill any act of worship. We have to realize ourselves how badly we are in need of Allaah for everything.
Magnify the (شعائر) symbols of Allaah.
Salaah (prayer), Hajj, Fasting, Masaajid, these are all the symbols of Allaah. We should magnify and elevate the symbols of Allaah. We should not take these acts of worship routinely and lightly. We have to give them their right & take them as something huge/heavy and serious.
Having Ghaflah (heedlessness) is very dangerous to our religion. We must awake ourselves.
Ramadaan is a big symbol of Allaah. It comes once a Year. The doors of Jannah are open, doors of Jahannam are closed, Allaah is boasting to His angels about people, it has “laylatul-Qadr”.
One way to help to magnify the symbols is to get ourselves used to reflecting on acts of worship before we do them. e.g., when you are starting the salaah, reflect and think:
“I am about to pray, I am going to meet Allah, put Jannah (Paradise) to your right and the Naar (Hellfire) to your left, think what if I am on the Siraat (Path over Hellfire on day of Judgement) now?”
The nafs will start talking and reminding you of this and that, say be quiet I am the only one talking now and I am talking to Allaah.
Keep struggling and fighting to have Khushoo (humility and attentiveness) in Salaah and Allaah will grant it.Summarized from Ramadaan course “Reaping the fruits of Ramadaan” . (Notes taken by students)