With just a couple of weeks to go until Ramadan, it is vital that we actively work on mentally, spiritually and physically preparing for the blessed month. Ramadan is the time of year which is associated with righteousness and high imaan, but we cannot expect a miraculous boost of imaan as soon as Ramadan arrives. Rather we must take small steps to build up that imaan before Ramadan, so that we are ready to utilise the holy month in the best way possible.
Here are 7 tips to help you do just that Inshaa Allah.
1. Repent sincerely & continuously
Don’t wait till Ramadan to repent. Repent now and ask Allah to forgive your sins so that you go into Ramadan with no sins!
Continuously say ‘Astaghfirullah’ whilst you’re walking, cooking, falling asleep etc. Make it a habit until it rolls off your tongue!
2. Refrain from those little everyday unnoticeable sins
Ramadan is a chance to leave those bad habits which we are so used to doing that we sometimes don’t even notice. Make a list of all the bad habits you need to leave before Ramadan and start working on them beforehand. When Ramadan comes, inshaAllah you will find it easy to leave those bad habits.
3. Replace bad habits with good habits
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” [At-Tirmidhi].
Good deeds wipe out bad deeds. Start with the small things such as reviving small sunnahs in your life – reading all the masnoon du’as. Begin praying the Sunnah and Nawafil prayers if you don’t already do so, give a small amount of charity often. Hopefully doing more good deeds will help you leave bad habits.
4. Make lots of sincere du’aa
Never underestimate the power of du’a. When you raise your hands to Allah, you are having a one-to-one personal and emotional conversation with your Lord. What an incredible opportunity SubhanAllah!
Ask Allah to give you the ability to change for the better and allow you to use Ramadan in the best way possible so that you become nearer to Him.
5. Seek knowledge. Act on it. Share it.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.” [Muslim].
Seek knowledge about fasting before Ramadan so you ensure you are doing your fasts properly. Find out which things invalidate your fast and other things related to it. You will be rewarded for every second you spend in acquiring knowledge.
6. Schedule Qur’an into your day and try to understand some of it
“This is a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [Qur’an 38:29]
Make the Qur’an a part of your daily life even if it’s reciting just a few verses and also try to read the translation of what you are reading. Perhaps also listen to the explanation of the verses by a reliable scholar so you gain a deeper understanding. Even if you know a surah by heart, make it a habit to perform wudhu and read from a physical mushaf. Train your mind to have that spiritual connection at least a few minutes a day to begin with, then increase.
7. Make a list of goals you would like to achieve during Ramadan
This is really important, make a plan, set goals! It could be anything such as learning new du’as or surahs or trying to recite a certain number of pages of the Qur’an each day during Ramadan. Make a day-by-day plan and try to set yourself realistic and achievable targets.
You know what they say, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.
Let us earn all those extra ‘Jannah points all month InshaAllah! May we live to experience the blessed month Ramadan, one where our imaan and knowledge grows. Ameen ya Rabb.
By Zakiyra bint Tayeb