In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, The Most Merciful.The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. (Q2vrs185)
It’s always natural when you are expecting a honourable guest in your home, to go the extra mile to give a befitting welcome to your guest. Apart from the ecstasy of joy, feeling honoured also that you are fit and worthy to host a distinguished guest; you prepare adequately for your esteemed guest. How are you preparing for the virtuous and exceedingly rewarding holy month of Ramadan? Your preparation should first come from the premise of shukur! How many of those who witnessed the last Ramadan are here today to welcome it? Some of them are now in their graves without opportunity to add more to what they had done or redo what they had done wrongly. Some are alive but far from the state of health to recognise the coming of the blessed month, let alone to fast or carry out any act of ibadah. We are not better than them, we are only fortunate to receive more of the divine grace. Therefore, let us show gratitude by enthusiastically welcoming the holy month again, even much more than we had done last year.
Endeavour to complete all purchases including groceries that will enhance smooth Ramadan in your home. Your family must be happy during Ramadan, and one of the ways of achieving that is to meet their requirements for a smooth Ramadan.
Plan your time adequately to carry out the various acts of ibadah in the month. Consider the Tarawih schedules, the tilawah of the Quran, the Qiyamu-layl, your Sahur and other rewarding acts during the month. Even from your work schedule, you can map out time for the last ten days of the month. In that way, you would have made adequate arrangement for your absence at work during the period. If you don’t set out goals, certainly, you cannot measure yourself.
In achieving all these, it means trading off some things to give way for these acts of worship. You also have to contend with several distractions. These come often to take us away from the remembrance of Allah but you just have to be focused and determined to achieve a lot during this 29 or 30-day period.
Also, set some money aside for charity. This is a month in which charity is more rewarding. In fact the essence of fasting is to gain taqwa and you cannot also gain taqwa if you don’t feel for those who are poor. Making adequate provision for the poor and other fellow Muslims is also one ibadah we must do during Ramadan.
You can also from the start prepare for the last ten nights of the month. There is one night (Laylatul-Qadr) amongst these ten that are greater than 1000 months of continuous worship – or in other words, more than 83years. Laylatul-Qadr is an immense blessing that comes only once a year. In seeking the night, it is better to avoid distractions and embark on itikaf. Even if one is not going on Itikaf, it is appropriate to engage in supplication all through the last ten nights of the month in order to get the special night of power.
Again, from now, it will serve you well to regulate your sleep, see your doctor for possible health advice in the month, and above all pray for a very rewarding Ramadan activities.