“This Ramadhan, I will be better than the last”- This sentiment resonates with many as they anticipate the holy month. However, maintaining motivation and consistency throughout Ramadhan can be a challenge. Despite our best intentions, some may find themselves struggling to stay on track even in the first week.
Yet, it's commendable to set goals for oneself, even if they seem elusive. Like any significant endeavour, proper planning and preparation are essential before embarking on the spiritual journey of Ramadhan.
In this month of Rejab - one of the four sacred months of the Islamic Year - is one of the best times to start preparing for Ramadhan.
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, a renowned Muslim scholar, quoted Abu Bakr Al-Warraq in his book Lataif al-Ma’arif:
“Rajab is a month of cultivation, Syaaban is the month of irrigating the fields, and Ramadan is the month of reaping and harvesting.”
With diligent preparation and sincere effort, achieving a fulfilling Ramadhan experience is indeed possible, by the grace of Allah S.W.T.
Here are some simple steps to prepare for the Month of Mercy:
Get the engine running - Start your sunnahs
Cultivate consistent actions
Choose a specific action, such as reciting the Qur’an, praying Tahajjud (night prayer), or giving charity regularly. Consistency in these deeds, even in small increments, fosters a lasting spiritual habit beyond Ramadhan.
Prioritise your health
A healthy body supports spiritual endeavours. Plan balanced meals to sustain energy throughout the day and incorporate regular exercise, focusing on strength training, to maintain physical well-being during fasting.
Make continuous duas
As narrated in Lataif al-Ma’arif by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, the companions will supplicate for six months to allow them to reach Ramadhan safely. They will then pray for another six months after Ramadhan that may Allah S.W.T. accept from them their acts of worship observed in the month of Ramadhan. We can recite the following doa:
Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Sha’ban wa ballighna Ramadhan
“O Allah make the months of Rejab and Sha’ban blessed for us and let us reach the month of Ramadhan.” (Musnad Ahmad)
Thus in the month of Rejab, let’s engage in heartfelt prayers, seeking Allah's blessings and acceptance throughout the preparation period.
Prepare for Eid
Complete major shopping or household tasks before Ramadhan begins, allowing undivided focus on worship during the holy month. Minimising distractions facilitates a more meaningful Ramadhan experience.
In anticipation of the sacred month of Ramadhan, let us turn to Allah S.W.T. in earnest supplication and preparation. May He ease our journey and grant acceptance to our endeavours.
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