5 Tips to Get Geared Up for Ramadan 2016
The Holy month of Ramadan is just around the corner. Quite a few of us instead of being ready for this auspicious month in true sense of the word, just get influenced with the happenings in their surroundings. Every year whenever the month of Ramadan turns up, we admonish ourselves to forsake the ways of the world but end up failing miserably as our feelings are generally based on a rush of blood, religious zeal and momentary impulse. The month of Ramadan teaches us to be pious individuals with a perpetual desire to increase our taqwa and consciousness towards our Mighty Creator (SWT). But we must strive to ensure that our passion and desire to attain piety and morality is not fleeting; lasting only during the month of Ramadan, rather this adorable month should leave indelible prints on our life in the hereafter. The Companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) used to prepare for the month of Ramadan six months in advance. As a common adage says, it is better late than never, so it is really high time that you get yourselves geared up to reap maximum benefits from this Holy month.
1 – Make Up Your Mind
Firstly, you have to make your innerself realize that this Ramadan is going to be a month of strenuous spiritual effort. For that to happen, you should seek as much knowledge about the Holy month as possible so that you are able to multiply your rewards in this life and the hereafter. Another useful practice in this regard can be formulation of a list of goals that you plan to achieve on daily and monthly basis. These goals can include recitation of the Holy Quran, discussion with non-Muslim friends on iftar etc.
2 – Recite Quran Regularly
You should start to recite and reflect upon sections of the Holy Quran so that you are able to get closer to Allah (SWT) and get a deeper understanding of your faith and responsibilities. If you are not habitual of reciting the Holy Quran daily, then it is high time that you make it your habit now. Decide whether you want to recite half a Juz or an entire Juz daily or as much as you can manage and then build on it from there onwards. Hazrat Aishah (RA) related that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Indeed the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” (Muslim)
3 – Prepare Yourself Physically
To be able to get yourself readied for the whole month of Fasting, it is the right time that you adjust the quantity and quality of your diet. Get rid of your habit of resorting to junk food and try getting used to having lighter meals during the course of the day. Another important thing is to cut down on your levels of caffeine gradually in the days leading up to the Ramadan so that you are able to get through the first few fasts without being troubled by the lack of caffeine. It is also a pretty good idea to research the nutritious value of the food that you plan to eat for Suhoor and Iftar. Your diet should be able to impart you sufficient energy so that on one hand you are able to get your daily chores done efficiently while on the other you are able to increase the time that you spend in worship. Remember overeating can be hazardous!
4 – Follow Sunnah
If we are able to follow Sunnah of our beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH), then everything that we do will be transformed into worship to our Mighty Creator (SWT). We can do this by gradually learning all of the Sunnah’s and dua’s of every aspect of our day such as waking up, leaving and entering the Masjid and house, dressing and undressing etc. If you do not have any missed obligatory prayers to make up, then start performing voluntary Sunnah prayers to get yourselves prepared for the additional prayers during the month of Ramadan. However, if you are not able to perform the obligatory prayers, then it is the perfect time that you start performing them regularly.
5 – Give Charity
As the Holy month draws closer, it is time for you to increase your acts of charity. Charity may be in the form of giving alms to the poor and the needy or spending your time in worthy causes for the welfare of mankind. We all know that giving charity is a way to purify your wealth and it will always be a great experience to enter the month of Ramadan in a state of greater purity. The Prophet (PBUH) also said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
Before we enter Ramadan, we have to prepare ourselves spiritually, physically and psychologically. Insha’Allah as we fast during this holy month, we will be able to attain the next level spiritually and have permanent impact of this beautiful life on our lives here on earth and in the life hereafter.