Ramadan is the most auspicious and blessed month of the Islamic year. During this month, Muslims can reap the maximum amount of benefits and rewards if they spend the entire month praying and worshiping Allah Almighty. It is for this reason that Muslims all over the world await Ramadan with great anticipation. So blessed is this month that the Prophet (PBUH) would often pray,
“Allah bless us in the month of Rajab and Sha’ban and help us to meet and spend Ramadan (in a deserving manner).”
This shows that the importance and significance of Ramadan cannot be compared with any other month of the Islamic year. Therefore, before you embark on the journey to prepare for Ramadan, it is best that you start with having some basic knowledge about the holy month of Ramadan.
The Month of Ramadan and its Purpose
People often talk about the divinity of the month of Ramadan; however, most of them are unaware why Ramadan is so important for Muslims all over the world. Ramadan is the month during which Quran was revealed upon the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The first verses of the Holy Quran were revealed to Muslims during this month. It is for this reason that Quran reading and recitation during this month is considered to be a highly rewarding form of worship.
In the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month and typically lasts around 29 to 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon. It is the month of fasting during which all Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn till dusk.
The basic purpose of this month is to teach Muslims patience and humility. Muslims are ready to give up basic necessities of life from dawn till dusk only for the love of Allah. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on the 1st or the 2nd of August, 2011 depending on the sighting of the moon.
The month of Ramadan requires preparation because it requires complete dedication on part of the Muslim. Some of the important things that you need to prepare for the month of Ramadan are given below.
- Intention to Prepare: One of the most essential elements of preparing for the arrival of Ramadan is to make the intention for preparation. The preparation begins the day you start practicing humility and patience and learn how to control your anger.
- Perform Rewarding Actions: In the spirit of Ramadan, it is best to start preparing for the holy month by performing actions that are rewarding and appreciated by Allah. According to a hadith, “If a person says “SubhanAllah” (glory be to Allah) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away.” Narrated by Muslim 2073
- Increase the Worship: To start preparing for the holy month of Ramadan, it is best if you start increasing your worship. This will allow you to adjust your routine for the arrival of Ramadan.
- Determine Specific Days for Fasting: To adjust your body to fasting, it is best that you start fasting beforehand. You should define specific days for fasting. For example, if you fast every Monday and Thursday, you will be fully prepared for Ramadan without losing your health.
- Read Quran Regularly: For individuals who have not prepared for reading and reciting Quran during Ramadan, Quran recitation while fasting becomes difficult. It is best if you start reading Quran after Fajr prayer on a daily basis just to prepare for the Ramadan spirit.
- Adjust Sleeping Habits: Ramadan teaches a Muslim to adjust the way one leads his life. Therefore, before the arrival of Ramadan, it is ideal if you start adjusting your sleeping habits. You should start off by going to bed early and waking up early. If you are used to this routine, you will not feel sleepy and tired when Ramadan arrives.
- Define Objectives: Ramadan is the ideal month to embark on your journey to fresh objectives. If you are a smoker and want to quit this habit, you should start off with this month. If you want to be an early riser, still Ramadan is the perfect month for you.
In essence, Ramadan is the most blessed and rewarding month. Therefore, all Muslims should try their best to avoid entering the month of Ramadan without any preparation. Regular Quran reading and recitation and offering prayers will help you prepare for the Ramadan spirit.