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Human Relief Foundation


Five ways to prepare for Ramadan

"Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.”

As the holy month of Ramadan draws near, all of us are busy working, getting on with our daily routines forgetting the importance of preparation.

It’s vital that Muslims prepare, the same way you would for an interview, or an event. By doing this you are attaining blessings from the very beginning till the end, instead of losing focus and the importance of fasting. 

Fasting is not just about the prohibition of food and drink, it is much more than that. It is a spiritual journey for yourself and the ability to keep away from desires. The strength of your imaan (faith) is tested and you are increasing your closeness with God. To help with the arrangements, you should start to prepare at the beginning of Sha’ban.  Here are a few ways you can prepare:

1. Fast in Sha’ban

Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Shaban.’ He said, ‘That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.’” (Narrated by al-Nasaai)

The best way to prepare for fasting, is to fast in the month of Sha’ban like our Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) who would fast heavily during this month. It is also prime time to make up your missed fasts from last Ramadan.

Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and on the white days, (13,1 &,15) is also from the Sunnah and will gain you extra reward.

2. Maintain a nutritious diet

Abstaining from food and drink for nearly 2/3 of the day is a mental and physical challenge. Therefore, maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is essential. 

Foods like grains, fresh fruits, dates, milk, yoghurt, eggs and nuts should be included in one’s diets before and during Ramadan.

It is also important to remember, although lavish feasts are quite common, it is recommended to eat moderately like the time of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), with no extravagance or waste.

Recommended Ramadan dishes: Oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts, bread with a boiled egg and a piece of fruit, and a bowl of vegetable soup, a piece of whole-grain toast, and a glass of low-fat milk.

3. Recite the Qur’an regularly with meaning

What makes Ramadan special? Not the fasting. Rather, in it was revealed the Qur’an. The fasting is what we do to recognise this great blessing. Our bodies are 2 parts – the body and the soul. We all understand and appreciate the food of our body but what’s the food of our soul – the Word of Allah(SWT), the Qur’an.

The Qur’an has underlying meanings and stories which teaches us the way of life and gives us a deeper understanding on how Islam started. You can start to reflect on portions of the Qur’an to bring you closer to God and you will uncover more depths of meaning in this world and the afterlife. By doing this now, you are already on step ahead and will be ready for the blessed month.

Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) related that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Indeed the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” (Muslim)

4. Make a checklist

You have to write down your goals or checklist instead of mentally relying on yourself to fulfil the things you want to do this Ramadan. It could be finishing the full Qur’an, random acts of kindness or giving extra charity to gain reward. By doing this you are subconsciously storing these in your mind. Then hang where you can see this every day to remind you of your goals. 

5. Follow the Sunnah and pray extra Dua'

Can anyone miss out on the rewards available in Ramadan? Sadly, with Ramadan there are losers who the Prophet(SAW) described for us:

“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst”. (Ibn Majah, hasan, Book 7, Hadith 53)

We all make mistakes, but that’s why Allah has allowed us to repent. Make this year, your best Ramadan yet by starting early to gain reward and following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. Whoever stands in prayer on the Night of Decree due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1802]

Instead of spending hours watching Netflix, and pointless shows, spend this time to gain extra knowledge like reading Islamic books or praying extra nafl (voluntary prayer) in the weeks leading up to Ramadan. By doing this, you are putting yourself into a daily routine and by the time the month of Ramadan comes, you will find it natural and the blessings are immense. 

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