بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Another blessed month of Ramadan is on her way towards showering us with countless graces. Although two months may seem a long time away, it will be very beneficial if we start preparing for it from now.
Don’t we become busy preparing for a wedding ceremony months previously? Then why not for such a month whose every day is many times more precious than a wedding ceremony? We want it to be as perfect, as productive as possible, so that we can derive the maximum benefit from each moment.
Of course, before beginning any kind of physical actions, we need to have a good mental preparation. Let us start mentally preparing to welcome Ramadan from now on in sha Allah.
- Make dua to Allah Subhanahu to give you the honour of witnessing Ramadan.
Ma’ali bin Fudail said, ‘They [the Companions] used to ask Allah the Almighty six months before Ramadhan to grant them long life so that they could reach Ramadhan and they used to ask Allah the Almighty six months after Ramadhan to accept their fasting’.*
- Make a budget for Ramadan shopping.
There are many things you may want to buy in and for Ramadan, and it’s very useful to have an idea of your planning and budget. Things which to keep in mind might include:
- Buying Ramadan gifts for family and friends. The Prophet ﷺ said:
Give gifts and you will love one another. [Al-Adab al-Mufrad]
Ramadan is the best time to strengthen functioning relationships, and to rejoin severed ones. What can be more useful in accomplishing that task than gifts? Start with your closest ones, because we often tend to overlook those who we are around all the time.
- Saving money for a particular sadaqa. For example, you might plan that this Ramadan, you will, by Allah’s will, gift a poor sister you know with a sewing machine, so that she can start a small tailoring business of her own. That will need some prior budget planning and saving.
- Buying the month’s food supply. We don’t want to waste time running around supermarkets and grocery stores in Ramadan. Also, in many places the cost of foodstuffs rise in Ramadan. So it’s best to have your stock filled way before the month starts.
- Start formulating your daily, weekly and the month’s plan of worship. We often tend to neglect this step until a week or so before Ramadan. Actually you may wish to start the process of making your plan early, so that you will have enough time in your hand to tweak and perfect it. You may want to try some of the things you’re planning and see if they really work.
Ramadan is the month of the Quran, and perhaps the best way to engage your time will be to engage with the Quran. Some of the things to include in your plan may be:
- Reciting Quran. If you don’t know how to recite, or are struggling, then it’s a great idea to do a course on this now. You may wish to try out the course Read the Quran in 20 Hours. if you start now, you will easily be able to finish it before Ramadan in sha Allah.
If you are already a good reciter, then it’s time to speed up your recitations, challenge your strengths a bit, and make a regular habit of reciting a Juz or two daily. Remember, what really matters is the quality of your efforts, not the quantity of your accomplishments.
- Memorizing Quran. If we want to memorize a portion of the Quran in Ramadan, we need to start practicing now. That is because memorization is a skill that needs learning and practice. It needs gradual training. So if you want to memorize five ayat every day in Ramadan, start now by memorizing one ayah daily, then gradually stepping up until you reach five by the 1st of Ramadan. It will greatly benefit us if we memorize the meanings of the words we encounter along the way.
* [Taken from productivemuslim.com/ramadan-series-the-ramadan-of-our-pious-predecessors]