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The countdown to Ramadan … from Rajab

When Rajab began, the Messenger of Allah (blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha‘baan, and let us reach Ramadan”
اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان
[Al-Musnad (2346), at-Tabaraani (3939), al-Bayhaqi (3534) and Abu Nu‘aym in al-Hilyah (6/269)]

Subhan Allah, we are approaching another Ramadan. If Allah (SWT) allows us to see another Ramadan, we should make the most of this month to show our gratitude. Sometimes people can be unprepared to take the maximum benefit available and I set out below what people can and should consider when it comes to the lead-up to Ramadan.

Even though there is uncertainly around what the state of the UK will look like during Ramadan, The Prophet (SAW) used to prepare in advance for this month, so we should take his example to do so as well insha Allah and below are a list of thoughts to consider.

  1. Plan! Like everything in life, its best to come up with a plan as to what you want to do during Ramadan, when it comes to reading Quran, doing Taraweeh whether at home or at masjid and also dinner planning, as families might need to work out what they want to make.
  2. Complete the fasts of the previous Ramadan. This is a very important and sometimes
    overlooked aspect of Ramadan. Arrange it so that you can pace yourself over the course of the next couple of months, so that you don’t burn out especially during the latter part of Ramadan where the fasting time will increase with every day.
  3. Doing voluntary fasts – as Ramadan this year would be doing April/May, if you wanted to, you could do some fasts now to prepare both physically and mentally with doing them during Ramadan. This could be fasting every Monday and Thursday, or just fasting the white days which falls on the 13 th , 14 th and 15 th days of the Islamic month.
  4. Learn! This is the best time now to learn about the Seerah of the Prophet and especially the Quran. As Allah SWT says in the Quran:
    شَهۡرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِىۡٓ اُنۡزِلَ فِيۡهِ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَ بَيِّنٰتٍ مِّنَ الۡهُدٰى وَالۡفُرۡقَانِۚ
    During the month of Ramadan, the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance to the people with Clear Signs of the true guidance and as the Criterion (Surah Baqarah 2:185)So if you have ever intended to know more about the Quran, learn more about the Quran, understand and implement it, now is the time to, especially during Ramadan. The general distractions that happen on a day-to-day basis should not be there and the rewards are enormous
  5. Hold yourself to account. Ramadan is not just about completing the fasts or how many
    Tarawih prayers you can complete, or how much Quran you can read, it is about self-
    reflection and seeing what changes you can make to yourselves. Whether it is correcting yourself or expanding on knowledge, make the intention of bettering yourself now instead of just doing Ramadan.
  6. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
    “Whoever does not leave evil words and deeds while fasting, Allah does not need him to leave food and drink.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1804]
  7. Holidays from work – currently you can estimate when Eid ul Fitr is likely to fall so it is
    recommended that we get our holidays booked in advance as much as possible. This could be during Ramadan or at Eid time. We pray to Allah SWT that lockdown is eased in time so that we can celebrate with our families.

There is plenty to ponder for us regarding the above. I hope the above will be and is beneficial inshaAllah. I finish with a hadith that hope gives you and myself the motivation and drive you need to benefit during this month.

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of paradise are opened, the gates of hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

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