Saturday, 2 July 2011
Moms! Prepping for Ramadan.
The month of Shaban will be with us tomorrow. Our mother Aisha (RA) tells us that this is the month the Prophet SAW fasted the most, except Ramadan. This is the month we should start all our prepping for Ramadan, defining our goals for family and ourselves for the year ahead. I make my goals for the year in Ramadan; lots of you have asked the reason why. Its simple I know that in the last ten nights there is the night of laylatul Qadar, I have a MASSIVE du’a list and during the last ten days I keep asking Allah. Knowing I have caught every night gives me satisfaction that by the will of Allah I got the special night and all my dua’s will be answered in this world or the hereafter. With that in mind, I am well set for the year ahead knowing I have asked guidance from Allah.
Usamah ibn Zayd said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any month more than in Shaban He Prophet (SAW) replied ‘That is a month concerning which many people are heedless, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is the month in which people’s deeds are taken up to Allah, and I would like my deeds to be taken up whilst I am fasting.’ [Al-Nasa’i]
It is important for us to understand the virtues of fasting knowing it is for the sake of Allah alone, the Prophet(SAW) said: “Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will keep his face seventy years’ distance from Hell,” [al-Nasa’i]
If you want to be productive this Ramadan, revive the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) by fasting this month of Shaban. Due to the long summer days and the little sleep we will be getting, it is very crucial we get our bodies prepared to receive the special guest of Ramadan and not wait to the last minute otherwise we will be unproductive and lethargic in the first few days of Ramadan. The Prophet SAW made the following dua in the month of Rajab for Ramadan – beautiful!
“Oh, Allah bless us in the month of Rajab and bless us in the month of Shaban and let us meet and spend the month of Ramadan in a deserving manner”. This demonstrates the passion of the Prophet (SAW) and the sahabah for Ramadan.
The sahabah spent six months preparing for Ramadan in advance. We should emulate this beautiful method by emulating the Prophetic way of preparing the month before Ramadan knocks on our doors.
We can get the children to start fasting half days and keep extending the time until they make a full day. Get them excited as well by filling the home with a Ramadan atmosphere! We need to make lots of du’a to Allah to make it easy for them.
Now let us look at some other ways we can start preparing for Ramadan.
PrEpPing for Ramadan
Set up a schedule – spend the month of Shaban preparing for a productive Ramadan. What get’s set gets measured; following a schedule will give us the opportunity to know where we are and what more of we need to do to reach our ultimate goal. So Begin with the end in mind: Where do you want to be after Ramadan? This is a pertinent point to bear in mind when setting your goals for the month of Ramadan. A goal could be; to keep praying the 12 rakaahs of Sunnah after the Fard salah without fail and to be in a state of wudu at all times.
Nine Things you can do NOW!
Bonding with the Quran – plan to read a page of the Quran after Fajr and Asr; aim to recite from the Qur’an even if it is just one page. Then start extending the number of pages as you make this a regular habit. Read after Fajr and Asr; do not let anyone disturb you it is a time for you and Allah. The angels change shift between Fajr and Asr, those who saw you reading the Quran would let Allah know.
Listen to the recitation of the Quran in the mornings, to develop the love and active relationship with the Quran. Choose a favourite reciter (Qari) it greatly helps create that special bond between you and the Qur’an.
Read books on Seerah (The life of the Prophet) and Tafsir (Explanation of the Qur’an) – Select certain topics to study for the month and carry on when Ramadan arrives. This is something you can do with the kids too!
Punctuality in Salah – We know that the difference between a believer and a non-believer is the Salah. Start now and make that conviction to Allah that you will always pray on time, encouraging kids and other family members.
Mansions in paradise - The Prophet SAW tells us that if we pray the 12-nawafil prayers: two at Fajr, two before and after Dhur, two before Asr and two after Maghrib and Isha. Allah builds a mansion in Jannah for that individual. What a beautiful reward.
Sadaqah - Give Sadaqah daily, even if it is a smile. Plan a project for you and the kids to work on – this year we will sponsor a needy widow and her children.
Dhkir (remembering Allah) –Plan certain dua’s (prayers) you can do throughout the day, such as
SubuhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allah Akbar, laa ilaaha illaa – moisten the tongue with the remembrance of Allah an act like this keeps us away from vain talk.
Be in a state of wudu – it attracts Rizq (sustenance) from Allah. Strive to be in a state of wudu at all times.
Early to bed Early to rise - Prophet Muhammad SAW retried to bed after praying Isha. In order to wake up for qiyaam ul layl and Fajr. The old adage early to bed early to rise still stands. If we start getting in the habit of going to bed after Isha, we will be in a strong position come Ramadan.
Revive the Sunnah fasts – starts fasting on Mondays and Thursdays – this is a weekly Sunnah of the Prophet SAW.
Switch off the TV and switch on to ALLAH – in the build up to Ramadan switch off from current events for a while, the world will continue when we are gone. Allah will ask what you and I did with our time and not what' is going on in the world.
Disconnect from watching TV and the bollywood and nollywood movies, internet sites, newspapers, favourite magazines etc – replace them with the remembrance and Dhkir of Allah, also forming a special bond with the Quran. We know that “certainly in the remembrance of Allah the soul finds peace”
Finally, we will not be able to grab hold of the blessings of Ramadan if we do not prepare to receive this elusive noble guest; Ramadan gives us the opportunity to save ourselves and family from the hell fire. If we cannot not secure our place in Jannah during the month of Ramadan, then when and where will we?
May Allah help us prepare for the month of Ramadan and most importantly witness it as many people have passed on since the last one? The ultimate goal of Ramadan is to achieve piety and righteousness. Let us not let this excellent opportunity slip us by.
To organise your Ramadan and give it a boost here are some useful tools just click on the links, to start planning the best Ramadan ever.
Ramadan Booster App for iphones
iLoveAllaah Ramadan Tips
Ramadan Resources for Children
SoundVision Ramadan for kids
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