Rajab is here and Ramadan is just around the corner! Do you want to make the most out of this opportunity? Then get ready and plan! Prepare your hearts for the imaan recharging journey in the month of Ramadan. Our pious predecessors used to start preparing for Ramadan days before it arrived.
Rajab is one of the four sacred months. Although there is no particular act of worship prescribed in the Sunnah for the month of Rajab, the salaf used to increase in their ibadah and recitation of Quran.
Abu Bakr Al-Balkhi said: “The month of Rajab is the month for planting, the month of Shaban is the month of irrigating the crops and the month of Ramadan is the month of harvesting the crops.”
Below are some pointers for Ramadan preparation:
1. Dua: Start making dua for good physical health and a healthy imaan to carry out good deeds in the month of Ramadan. Ask Allah to allow you to see Ramadan, give you the ability to do good deeds and accept it from you. Moreover, make a list of duas you are going to ask during the month of Ramadan, at the time of Aftar and on the night of Qadr.
2. Islamic Knowledge: Decide and collect all the Islamic lectures and books that you aim to listen to and read during Ramadan.
3. Quran: Ramadan and Quran are two inseparable friends. Increase your time with the Quran from now and plan your relationship with the Quran in Ramadan; how much recitation you will do each day, which tafseer you’re going to read and how much time you will spend on recitation and contemplation.
4. Gain Knowledge about Ramadan: Read books about Ramadan; the virtues of this month and the rulings of fasting. This way we can avoid making mistakes and spend the month in the manner most loved by Allah.
5. A productive Taraweeh: In these two months try and read the summary of each Surah/Juzz in the Quran so that you get the gist of what you’ll be hearing in the Taraweeh.
6. Activities for Children: Plan the special activities you’ll be doing with kids and what you’ll be teaching them. For example, reading the tafseer of particular Surahs, doing some charity work, or activities about the phases of the moon etc. Many Ramadan activity books are available on the Internet for free.
7. Laylatul Qadr: Plan how you’ll be spending the last ten nights. What azkar will you do? What duas will you make? What type of ibadah will you perform? How will you engage your whole family to make this night productive?
8. Making up obligatory fasts:
It was narrated that Abu Salamah said:”I heard Aishah R.A say: “I would owe fasts from the previous Ramadan and I would not be able to make them up except in Shaban.”” (Bukhari & Muslim).
Scholars comment that from her keenness to make up her fasts before Ramadan it may be understood that it is better not to delay making them up until another Ramadan begins.
9. Fasting in Shaban: Train yourself for fasting by practicing for a few days in Shaban. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to fast a lot in Shaban.
It is reported that Aisha (R.A) said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) complete a month of fasting except Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Sha’baan.”(Bukhari & Muslim)
It was narrated that Usaamah ibn Zayd said: “I said: “O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), 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 Ramadan, but it is a month in which peoples’ deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds and I would like my deeds to be taken up when I am fasting.”” (Sunan an Nisai -Authenticated as Hasan by Albani).
Original Post: Islamic Online University Blog