How to get ready for Ramadan
The long awaited month of Ramadan is knocking the door. As the month of Ramadan is a great opportunity for attaining goodness and blessing from Allah, Muslims around the world are looking forward to welcoming the month through fasting, praying, giving charity and reciting the holy Quran. Here are some ways that will help us to receive Ramadan and seize its reward.
Supplication to reach Ramadan
It is mentioned in a Dayeef Hadith that when it was the month of Rajab (the 7th month of lunar calendar) The Messenger of Allah used to make Duwa to Allah so that Allah (SWT) allows him to reach Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah used to supplicate Allah (SWT) saying: "Allahumma barik lana fee Rajaba waSh'ban, wabaligna Ramadan" (O Allah, bless for us Rajab and Sha'ban and grant us the grace to witness Ramadan).
We can make Dua to Allah (SWT) saying: Allahumma Balligna Ramadan (Oh Allah, let us reach the month of Ramadaan). Ubadah Ibn Samit (Ra) said that The Messenger of Allah used to teach us the following Duwa when the blessed month of Ramadan would arrive: "Allahumma Sallimni li Ramadana, wa sallim Ramadana li wa sallimhu li mutaqabbala" (O Allah! preserve me for Ramadan, safeguard Ramadan for me and accept it from me). Another Dua mentioned in Hadith that can make after seeing new moon of Ramadan.
At the sight of the new moon (of Ramadan) our beloved prophet (Pbuh) used to supplicate: "Allahu Akbar, Allaahumma ahillahu 'alaina bil-amni wal-imaani, was-salaamati wal-Islaami, wat-tawfeeqi limaa tuhibbu wa tardhaa, Rabbunaa wa Rabbukallaahu" (Allah is the Most Great. O Allah, bring us the new moon with security and faith, with peace and in Islam, and in harmony with what our Lord loves and what pleases Him. Our Lord and your Lord is Allah.).
Making a plan
Muslims should make a good plan for the whole month to organize their days and nights during Ramadan so that they can take Suhoor (The blessing meal which is consumed at the end of the night immediately before dawn pray) and Iftar (The evening meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast after sunset during Ramadan or outside of Ramadan is called Iftar) on time, perform five times prayers and voluntary prayers and recite the holy Quran. We can make a list of things we would like to achieve in Ramadan like giving charity and making I'tikaf (a time for reflection and prayer in seclusion) in mosque.
Learning the rules of Fasting
A Muslim who doesn't know the provisions of the fast he can't observe fasting properly. So, learning the rules of fasting like things that invalidate the fast, things that don't invalidate the fasts and requirements for fasting to be valid is very important for Muslims. It is very important to know the way of Prophet (pbuh) and his companions in fasting.
Reaching the blessed month of Ramadan is a great blessing forms Allah (SWT) because it is the month which increases the reward and doubles the righteous deeds. It deserves thanks and praise and requires recognition of the generosity and grace of Allah. So, when the month of Ramadan comes and the Muslim who are alive should be thankful to Allah for prolonging his life to reach this holy month. Allah (SWT) says, "Say in the bounty of Allah and in his mercy in that let them rejoice; it is better that what they accumulate." (Sura Younus: Ayat 58).
Preparation for fasting
Muslims should prepare themselves mentally, physically and spiritually for the month, so that they can acquire the maximum blessings and mercy from it. A Muslim should make a list of bad habits and make an intention to eliminate them one by one during Ramadan. It will help him leaving all sins like backbiting, smoking etc. A Facebook junky should reduce it from now and spend the time in reading holy Quran. Everyone should try to go to bed earlier than usual so that he can wake up for Suhoor. An alarm clock can help him wake up to take Suhoor on time.
The writer is a columnist