There is just less than three weeks until we welcome the holiest month of the Islamic calendar – a time in which Muslims seek to move closer to God, and to increase their taqwa (God-consciousness)– The Holy Month of RAMADAN.
The Companions of the Prophet (saw) used to prepare for Ramadan six months in advance. So, if we really want to make the best of this Ramadan, then we need to start preparing for it now.
As we all know, fasting is more than just abstaining from food and drinks but from indecent speech and lustful desires as well. Fasting pushes us to be cognizant of our actions, to be patient and to be moral individuals, thereby increasing our taqwa (God-consciousness).
Here are 5 ways we can improve on different aspects of our life so we can fully benefit from Ramadan, a time when deeds are multiplied and to also help you prepare spiritually, physically and mentally.
Follow the Sunnah and Pray Extra Prayers:
Learn more about the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and follow him by emulating his actions,
“Say, [Oh Muhammad], If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”(Qur’an 3:31)
Also make Dua- We all make mistakes, but Alhamdulilah we can always repent.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “All the children of Adam constantly err, but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.”(Tirmidhi)
This is a time to seek forgiveness for any transgressions, and immerse yourself in good deeds as you celebrate the approach of Ramadan.
This world can only be a better place if we help each other. In return, Allah rewards us in both worlds.
The Messenger (SAW) said, “Allah is in the aid of His servant as long as His aide is in the assistance of others.”(Muslim)
“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He will multiply it for him and he will have a noble reward?”(Qur’an 57:11)
The Prophet also said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.”(Al-Tirmidhi)
Acts of charity are emphasized during Ramadan, which is a time in which good deeds are multiplied. Many Muslims seek to increase their charitable giving at this time.
Complete Previous Fasting;
Make sure you have completed any obligatory fasts that remain outstanding. The best way to prepare fasting for a whole month is to start fasting often, in order to gain control over your actions, stomach and desires.
Fast Mondays and Thursdays:(Hasan)
Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet (pbuh) would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: “The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other.”
Voluntary fasting will help you establish control over your hunger, actions and desires ahead of the fasting month.
The Prophet said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me, and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.”(Bukhari)
Recite and Reflect Upon the Qur’an:
Start now to reflect on portions of the Qur’an to get closer to Allah and understand your responsibilities. Every single time you read the Qur’an, you will uncover more depths of meaning and benefit in this world and the hereafter. Aishah (ra) related that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“Indeed the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.”(Muslim)
Pursue knowledge, and learn all you can of the many virtues of Ramadan. Reflecting on the Qur’an and sunnah will help you move closer to God and understand your duties as a Muslim and most importantly help to shape your soul.
Eat Healthy and Moderately but Healthy:
With less time to eat in Ramadan, we really need to pay attention to what we eat. Now is the best time to research the nutritious value of the food we eat. While we fast, the food we eat before we start our fast or to break our fast needs to provide the optimal energy so we can accomplish our daily tasks and increase our worship. The typical mindset of “eat all you want as you’re going to be fasting soon” is really not your best friend. In fact, that behavior will only increase your appetite and make it a lot more difficult to fast.
Ash-Shafi’i said: “”I have not filled myself in 16 years because filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clean understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worship.”
Why not begin to reduce your meal portions from now, so your body can adjust to less food and calories when you fast. It’s not enough to reduce quantities, you’ll also have to focus on quality. Avoid heavy food, salt AND sugar that trigger unwanted reactions in the body, and can make those cravings harder to fight.
From now on, get used to having three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner –and avoid snacking in between. During Ramadan, you’ll only be able to have two main meals, Suhoor and Iftar. That way, you’ll just have to cut out one meal from you diet and that won’t be so bad.
Follow these tips for a smooth transition so you can get the best out of this years Ramadan.
Ramadan Mubarak in Advance