With less than three weeks remaining till the blessed month of Ramadhan, now is the time to start preparing. Did you know that the companions of the Prophet ﷺ began preparing up to six months before Ramadhan?
Fasting may be the primary objective of Ramadhan, yet there’s so much more to the month than just that. That is why preparing from now is a surefire way of being completely ready to maximise the rewards you reap in the blessed month.
If you have ever found Ramadhan difficult, it’s probably because there was little to no preparation involved. Don’t leave it till Ramadhan – start now to ensure that you have a spiritual month like no other.
Here are five ways you can start preparing now:
Count Down The Days
We promise that this one is fun! If you have kids, they can also get involved. What better way to welcome the month of Ramadhan than by counting down the days? What’s great about this is that it adds excitement and anticipation to the mix and constantly reminds you that Ramadhan is around the corner. As a result, you’ll naturally feel inclined to do things like keeping voluntary fasts, reciting the Qur’an and attending the mosque for prayers.
Keep Those Voluntary Fasts
That nicely brings me to my second point which is to keep those voluntary (nafl) fasts. This one is a no-brainer. As Ramadhan is less than a month away, take the opportunity to prepare for its arrival by fasting. Fast on special days such as Mondays and Thursdays or the 13th, 14th and 15th which are known as the white days. Avoid fasting in the latter half of the month, but take full advantage of keeping as many as you can throughout the first fifteen days of Sha’ban. After all, this was one of the greatest acts of worship the Prophet ﷺ observed throughout this blessed month.
Take Advantage of Laylatul Bara’ah
Also known as Shab-e-Barat, this night is a unique and golden chance to prepare for Ramadhan. The 15th night of Sha’ban is undoubtedly special, with many hadith and reports existing to prove that. Firstly, this is the night in which Allah forgives many of His servants in one go and Allah’s divine mercy meets the people of the earth. In one narration, the Prophet ﷺ said, “This is the night of the half of Sha’ban. Allah Almighty looks upon His slaves on this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but keeps those who have malice (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they relieve themselves from malice).” [Bayhaqi]
Start Reciting The Qur’an
It doesn’t matter if it’s a verse a day, start preparing for Ramadhan by reciting a portion of the Qur’an every day. Doing so will allow you to transition into the blessed month better and you’ll also find it easier to stay on top of your daily recitation sessions once Ramadhan starts. With Ramadhan being the month of the Qur’an – as well as the month in which the entire Qur’an was revealed – bonding with the Qur’an will create excitement as we head into Ramadhan.
Check Your Diet
Start reviewing your food intake, portion sizes and also what choices you’re making on a daily basis. Start introducing healthier options if you haven’t already and be sure to make a habit of drinking plenty of water. Cut down on junk food and fizzy drinks and start replacing all this with fruits, veggies, lean protein, and foods that release energy slowly. Bananas, oats and lentils are great options not only before Ramadhan but also during Ramadhan.