Ramadan is the month of excitement for Muslims. Ramadan is the month of revelation of Quran, the month of reading and reciting the whole Quran, the month of Tahajjud and Qiyam al-layl prayers, Sadaqah, Zakah al-Fitr and Zakah al-Mal. Ramadan is also a month of social activities among Muslims.
No one can go anywhere without preparation, and no one invites a guest without preparing to welcome him / her. Similarly, to welcome Ramadan, the month of fasting, one has to prepare. The following are some tips to help the reader prepare accordingly:
Start reading Quran daily after Salat al-Fajr.
Spend some time listening to recitations from the Quran.
Train yourself to go bed early so that you can wake up far Salat al-Fajr.
Keep yourself in a state of Wudu (Ablution) most of the time.
Evaluate yourself daily before going bed.
Thank Allah for good deeds, and repent to Him for your mistakes and sins.
Start giving Sadaqah daily, no matter how little. Make it a habit like eating and drinking.
Find time to pray extras, such as Tahajjud prayers.
Spend more time reading Islamic books, especially the Quran, Sirah, Hadith, and Fiqh.
Find time to help others with your wisdom, knowledge and other talents.
Try to write articles on Islam for Muslims as well as for non-Muslims.
Associate with Muslim scholars / ulama and other pious people so that you may learn from them.
Train yourself to do good, render free service to others to seek the pleasure of Allah.
What to avoid list during the month of Ramadan
Reduce watching TV, instead spend more time reading the Quran and other Islamic literature.
Avoid looking at unlawful pictures, whether magazines, department store catalogs or otherwise.
Avoid going to theaters; instead go to Masajid, Islamic organizations and make that a daily habit.
Avoid eating too much. Eat only when you are hungry and try not to fill your stomach completely.
If you drink Coffee, Tea or Soda, be sure to reduce consumption.
If you smoke, try to reduce daily usage; otherwise Ramadan will be very difficult for you to observe.
If you like to listen to music, whether the style of western societies or even those from Muslim countries, reduce, even eliminate the time you spent on them; replace them with reciting and listening to recitation from the Quran.
If you enjoy playing cards and board games try your best to avoid them as much as possible and fill your time with something useful.
If you enjoy going with friends to picnics and other social gatherings, try to reduce it before Ramadan; otherwise fasting the month of Ramadan will be more difficult.
If you have friends who do not practice the teaching of Islam, try to avoid socializing with them.
If you travel a lot on business, try to do more local business, so you can be more closer to your family and community.
If you are used to staying up till midnight, try to go to bed earlier, so that you will be able to wake up early for Salat al-Fajr and Tahajjud prayers as well.
To prepare ourselves before the month of Ramadan arrives is far better than waiting till it comes. To prepare ourselves for anything in life is a sign of wisdom and maturity. No one is assured of living one day more; tomorrow may not come. So hurry and benefit from blessings and rewards from Allah.
Remember: “Time is not money or gold; it is life itself and is limited. You must begin to appreciate every moment of your life and always strive to make the best use of it.” – Khurram Murad
A Quick Checklist for the month of Ramadan
Make a resolve to win the maximum favor of Allah by performing extra Voluntary prayers (Nawaafil), making frequent Dua and increased remembrance (Dhikr).
Try to recite some Holy Quran after every Prayer. In fact if you read 3-4 pages after every Prayer you can easily finish the entire Quran in Ramadan!
Study the Tafseer (commentary) every morning.
Invite a person you are not very close with or your relatives to your home for Iftaar, at least once a week (Weekend). You will notice the blessings in your relationships!
Bring life to your family! Everyday, try to conclude the fast with your family and spend some quality time together to understand each other better.
Give gifts on Eid to at least 5 people: 2 to your family members, 2 to your good friends, and 1 to a person whom you love purely for the sake of Allah.
Make commitment to join Islamic study circles to learn more about Islam and improve your own life.
Donate generously to the Masajid, Islamic organizations, and any where people are in need or oppressed. “Because Ramadan, is a month of sharing!”
Share month of Ramadan and its teachings of peace and patience with your neighbours.
Sleep little, eat little! Make sure you do not defeat the purpose of fasting by over-indulging in food and being lazy.