While preparing ourselves for Ramadan, let’s not forget the blessings of the month leading up to it; Sha’baan!

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “[Sha’baan] is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.” [Sunan An-Nasa’i]

Let’s be inspired by four action points to benefit from here and now; it’s not guaranteed we’ll live until Ramadan, or even until your next prayer.

1.The forgotten key to success: Ask for acceptance.

How many times do we do good deeds, with the intention to please Allah, the Most High, we do our best to do it well, yet we forget one of the most important things at the end for our deeds to be accepted? Do you sometimes wonder, how many of my good deeds were actually accepted? We have to think well of Allah, Husnu adh-dhan, but another action is crucial for our deeds to be accepted and it’s so simple that many overlook it.

Action points: Make it a habit from now to ask Him regularly to accept your good deeds. That’s it. You can use below Qur’anic supplication; aim to memorize it and convey it, by Allah’s will.

وَاِذْ يَرْفَعُ اِبْرٰهٖمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَاِسْمٰعِيْلُ٪ط رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا٪ط اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ السَّمِيْعُ الْعَلِيْمُ

And [mention] when Ibrahim was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ismail, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing. [Qur’an 2:127]

Ask Allah, the Most High, to give you Tawfeeq (ability) to do many good deeds in Sha’baan.

2. Ask for sincere supplications.

Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, loves to hear you ask of Him. Not only does praising Him bring you closer to Him – so does your asking of Him. A supplication can be of praise and of asking; and whereas people get put off if you would keep asking them for favours, Allah, the Most High, just loves you more when you ask Him. In return you will be blessed with the greatest of blessings: Qurb (closeness to Allah) and of course with answers to your supplications – in whatever way is best for you.

Instead of being concerned with the response to the supplications, we should mainly care about the ability to make that particular Du’a. Know that when Allah Himself enables you to ask of Him, He wants to give you something.

Action points: Truly be grateful for being able to supplicate. With this in mind, start preparing ‘Your Ultimate Dua List’. A pre-printed list of supplications in English covering dua’s for yourself, all Muslims, family members, friends and the needy can be found here:

Save it on your smart device or print it; after printing the list, add Beautiful Names of Allah on the line provided to start the supplications with those Names matching the content of the supplication. Add your own supplications and make a top five of dream Dua’s you can use daily in Ramadan when you break your fast.
Ask Allah, the Most High, to make your tongue and heart attached to Him in both praise and asking and to be blessed with closeness to Him.

3. Utilise one of the most rewarding phrases of Dhikr.

There’s a highly rewarding instruction from the Qur’an and Ahadeeth of which many don’t realise the enormous gains in this life and the next; hence it doesn’t get utilised enough! Allah, the Most High, Himself instructed you to it, so you can reap the blessings.

Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace. [Qur’an, 33:56]

Action points: Ask Allah, the Most High: O Allah, help us to make this Dhikr part of my daily routine (according to the sunnah: 10x morning/evening). Make multiple intentions while saying:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى نَبِيِّنَا مُحَمَّدٍ – Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘alaa nabiyyinaa Muhammad – to gain all the rewards mentioned in the following hadith. Baraa bin Aazib رضي الله عنه reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said that whoever recites Salawaat and Salaam upon me once, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) will:

(1) Record ten righteous deeds in his favour,

(2) expiate ten of his sins,

(3) elevate his status in the Hereafter by ten ranks

(4) and he will receive the reward equivalent to freeing ten slaves. [At Targheeb wat Tarheeb: 2563]

4. Hit the jackpot of earning good deeds and erasing bad ones.

Can you imagine doing one hundred good deeds in five minutes? Could you gain the reward of freeing ten slaves without moving a limb? If you could have hundred bad deeds erased by one deed, wouldn’t you rush to that deed? That and more can be achieved by one beautiful tradition of the Prophet ﷺ.
The Prophet ﷺ said: Whoever says:

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (Laa ilaaha ill-Allaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulku wa lahu’l-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shayin qadeer) None has the right to be worshiped but Allah alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise and He is Able to do all things- one hundred times in the day, will have a reward equivalent to that of: freeing ten slaves, one hundred Hasanaat (good deeds) will be recorded for him and one hundred Sayyi’aat (bad deeds) will be erased from his record and it will be protection for him from the Shaytan for that day, until evening comes. No one could achieve any better than him except the one who does more than he did. [Al-Bukhari: 3293, Muslim: 2691].

Action points:  Learn how to pronounce this dhikr correctly (https://youtu.be/a4dRdMu9JzU) and ask Allah, the Most High, to enable you to add this habit to your routine and say it one hundred times; this can be spread out of your day in chunks of ten. Use a reminder on the wall or set a few alarms on your smart device so you are reminded throughout the day. Don’t forget to reap the rewards of inspiring and teaching others.

Praying you will benefit,

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Khawlah b. Yahya – United Kingdom

Khawlah b. Yahya founded SISTERS’ PROJECT in 2008, a United Kingdom based women’s support organization, the creative community lead in an art gallery and is a writer for different Islamic organizations and academies. She authored the renown How to Live by the Names of Allah Series, published by the Understand Qur’an Academy, as well as the internationally shared Revive a Sunnah Series. She focuses most of her work on how to translate classic Islamic Knowledge to daily life action. She recently released Personal Lessons from the Qur’an, in which daily life action points are based on Qur’anic Ayaat in a way that’s never seen before. You can purchase the E-book on: understandquran.com/product/personal-lessons-from-the-quran/ 

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