Imagine a valley full of gold and you are told to take from it as much as you can. Which of the three types of people are you?
- The type that will just not care and move on thus taking nothing, or
- The type that will fill up their pockets and leave, or
- The type that will bring trucks after trucks taking truckloads until it’s over.
It’s clear, without a doubt that all of us will be of the third type. However, the month of Ramadan is greater than a valley full of gold but yet you will find the majority of the people simply not interested and will leave empty handed. In this article, we will discuss how we can maximize our productivity and gain humongous rewards this coming Ramadan.
Clearing the Past
It’s important that we enter the month of Ramadan with a clean slate. Take this opportunity before Ramadan to seek forgiveness and repent to Allah for all the sins you’ve committed. Seeking forgiveness and repentance are great and obligatory actions to do at all times, and since this blessed month of Ramadan is upon us, it is even more important to hasten to repent from sins between you and Allah, and between you and other people by giving them their rights. So that when the blessed month begins you may busy yourself with acts of worship with a clean heart and peace of mind. Allah says:
“And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [Qur’an 24:31]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Oh people, repent to Allah for I repent to Him one hundred times daily.” [Muslim 2702]
Fulfill any obligatory fasts that you’ve missed and do extra fasting in Sha’baan before the start of Ramadan. Sha’baan is the month in which our deeds are lifted to Allah, so would you not want your deeds lifted to Allah whilst you’re fasting?
It was narrated that Usamah ibn Zayd said:
“I said: Oh Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any month as you fast in Sha’baan? He said: “That is a month that people neglect between Rajab and Ramadaan, but it is a month in which people’s deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds and I would like my deeds to be taken up when I am fasting.” (Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (2357)
Preparing for the Start
Set for yourself sincere and powerful intentions. Know that without a sincere intention your action is wasted down the drain. So make sure you get this right. Constantly review, renew and rectify your intentions for any action you want to commit.
Seek knowledge about Ramadan, whether that is attending courses, lectures or reading books about Ramadan. This will help you to learn more about Ramadan and realizing the underlying purpose behind why we fast. Also, you will get exposed to what the righteous predecessors and knowledgeable people did to prepare for Ramadan and during it.
Start organizing yourself mentally, spiritually and physically for your day to day commitments during Ramadan prior to it, so that when it comes you are in complete control of your affairs and not shocked.
Begin to make a list of things you want to accomplish this Ramadan. Keep this list to yourself; remember you are doing it purely for Allah and not to please the creation of Allah. As you accomplish each item, you can tick it off and ask Allah to accept it from you.
Here is a list of recommended actions to do during Ramadan:
1. Have a daily portion of the Qur’an.
For every letter that you recite Allah will give you 10 good deeds and in Ramadan everything is multiplied.
Salamah Ibn Suhayl (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say:
“The month of Sha’baan is the month of reciters of the Quran.”
When Sha’baan came, Amr Ibn Qays al-Malai (may Allah be pleased with him) used to close his store and devote his time to reading the Quran.
Imam Malik Ibn ‘Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), when Ramadan arrived he fled from reviewing Hadith and sitting with people of knowledge so that he could recite the Qur’an.
Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Indeed the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, easily and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites it with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” (Muslim)
2. Pray the nightly prayers.
Simply wake up 20 minutes before the adhan of Fajr and stand in front of Allah. Read up about the merits of the night prayer. This will motivate you and make you more determined to perform it. Just before you go to sleep, ask Allah to help you wake up for Tahajjud. Go to bed early. Nap during the day, if at all possible. Avoid overeating in the evening.
3. Make lots of Supplications
Ask Allah to allow you to live, benefit and truly experience Ramadan. Accustom yourself with the authentic invocations and supplications the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us. It sums up many things in clear speech and in a few words, designed for success.
4. Give lots of Sadaqah (charity).
Give charity on a daily basis in sha’baan, so you may get used to charity in Ramadan and so you can be from amongst those whom are mentioned in the Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace of be upon him) said:
“There isn’t a morning in which the believers rise except that there are two angels who descend. So one of them says, “Oh Allah, compensate the giver of charity”, and the other says, “Oh Allah, diminish the wealth of the stingy”. (Sahih Al Bukhari)
Put aside a sum of money you want to give in Ramadan. There are plenty of certified organisations that distribute donations correctly to those who are in need and so rest assured. Simply do the background research from now and put aside the money.
5. Attend a Funeral Prayer
When possible, attend a funeral prayer then follow it until burial, doing so entails great reward, and it multiplies in Ramadan.
6. Visit the Sick and Join the Ties of Kinship.
7. Remember Allah Often
Remember Allah at every waking moment. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever performs Fajr prayer in congregation then sits in remembrance of Allah till sunrise then observes two Rak’ahs, he would have a reward equal to a pilgrimage and a ‘Umrah, then the Messenger of Allah said: complete, complete (i.e. a reward of a complete pilgrimage and ‘Umrah).” (Al-Tirmidhi).
And so on and so forth, there are so many good deeds we can do. If you have any ideas, share them below in the comments section.
Finally, it’s important to constantly keep your sincerity in check. You are doing this to please Allah. Allah will reward you greatly and you will soon reap the sweet fruits of your great investment. Constantly ask Allah to purify your heart and to accept it from you.
So this Ramadan, will you be the one who brings fleets of trucks, and takes home truckloads?
May Allah allow us to live this Ramadan and bless us through it. Ameen.