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PREPARING FOR RAMADAN

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The blessed & most beautiful month is near and what better time to prepare for it than right now. Some of us deceive ourselves into thinking that when Ramadan comes we will suddenly change and worship Allah night and day but we are only deceiving ourselves in thinking like this.

The Sahaaba 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 prepare for it now!

This may be our last Ramadan for life is so uncertain. Then there is NO doubt that we must make the best of it for the Reward of EVERY good act in the month of Ramadan is multiplied many times over:

“Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.”

If there was a 75% sale on in the shops surely people would go crazy and even form que all night outside in order to be the first in the store to take advantage of this special offer. So in the same way why should we not take advantage of the immense rewards that are available in Ramadan?

The best way we can make the best of this Ramadan and grab the immense rewards that are available is to prepare for it NOW.

VOLUNTARY FASTS:

What better way of preparing ourselves to fast for 30 consecutive days in Ramadan than to fast the voluntary fasts.

Abu Hurairah (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reported that the most the Prophet, (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) 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.” He Says ”leave them for later”.
[Ahmad, Hassan]

Abu Ther Al Ghiffari (RadiyAllahu Anhu) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

“O Abu Tharr! If you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]“.
[Ahmad / An-Nasaa’i / At-Tirmidhi; Sahih]

Therefore we should fast these days in order to prepare for the fasting of Ramadan and even after Ramadan we should continue to do so for fasting will intercede for us on the day of judgement:

“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: “O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.” And Qur’an will say: “I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.” He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: ”And they will (be allowed to) intercede.”‘
[Ahmad/At-Tabaraani/Haakim; Sahih]

RECITING QUR’AN:

Allah, the Exalted, Says;
“The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it.”
(Qur’an: Al Baqarah 2:185)

Ramadan was the month in which the Qur’an was first revealed so it is the month of the Qur’an. We should devote much of this blessed month reciting the Qur’an.

But for many of us the Qur’an has gathered a lot of dust since the last time we picked it up.

As Ramadan is fast approaching we must blow off the dust and start to build a close relationship with the Qur’an for it will intercede with us on the day of judgement:

“Recite the Holy Qur’an as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement”
[Muslim]

PRAYING SUPEROGATORY (NAFIL) PRAYERS:

In Ramadan every voluntary prayer carries the reward of a Fard prayer in normal times and there is nothing more rewarding than a Fard prayer so one can imagine the immense rewards that are available in Ramadan for every voluntary prayer we pray.

The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.”
[Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah: no.1887]

In order for us to take advantage of these immense rewards we should start begin now by praying all of the daily Sunnah and Nafil prayers so by the time Ramadan comes we will already be in the habit of praying all of our Sunnah and Nafils and so we can increase our voluntary prayers even more so during Ramadan. This would be difficult if we were not in the habit of praying Sunnah and Nafil prayers in normal times.

MAKING DUA:

Many of us do not spend as much time as we should do in Dua. Even if we do we rush our dua and our hearts and minds are not present whilst supplicating to Allah.

Many of us rush our Dua’s and our hearts are often not present whilst we are supplicating to Allah. Therefore we lose out on much of the benefits and blessings of Dua. We must give more attention to our Dua’s and try to concentrate more and be more sincere in our Dua’s imagining Allah watching us supplicate to him. We should humble ourselves making ourselves low and not worthy in front of Allah. We should try to cry if we can and have FULL hope that Allah will accept our Dua’s if not in this world then in the hereafter.

Allah Almighty says in yhe Qur’an:

“When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me.”

SINCERE REPENTANCE:

Ramadan is the month where we can gain mercy and forgiveness from Allah for all of our sins past and present.

We should know that Allah is most merciful and most forgiving and loves to forgive:

Allah Says:
“O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.

When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates: And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful.”
(Surat An-Nisaa 4:110)

Allah loves repentance and loves those who turn to him in repentance:

“Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance, and He loves those who keep themselves in purity.:
(Qur’an 2:222)

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