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30 Steps to Warm up for Ramadan

 

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This is a month that most people are inattentive to, falls between the months of Rajjab and Ramadan. It is a month where deeds ascend to the lord of the Realms, and I like my deeds to ascend while Fasting. [Reported by Al-Nasa'i and declared Hasan (good)]

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In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, most merciful and Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family, companions and whom followed him.

The Messenger of Allah (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon Him) said: “This is a month that most people are inattentive to, falls between the months of Rajjab and Ramadan. It is a month where deeds ascend to the lord of the Realms, and I like my deeds to ascend while Fasting. [Reported by Al-Nasa’i and declared Hasan (good) by Al-Albani]

 

« ذلك شهر يغفل الناس عنه ، بين رجب ورمضان ، وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين ، فأحب أن يرفع عملي ، وأنا صائم »
رواه النسائي وحسنه الألباني


When observing the lives of those winners and achievers in the different aspects of life, you would notice that they strive to prepare and being ready for their tasks. An excellent student would prepare for his studies before the year begins; a runner warms up before the race and other numerous examples in our daily life.

A notable matter about preparation among people, not all who prepares gain the fruit neither reaches the peak; people vary in their success to prepare. Each according to the effort-exerted success is attained, thinking of the previous, how any would attain any fruits without preparation.

The righteous forefathers used to ask Allah to accept Ramadan from them for six months and the next six months to be able to reach Ramadan. This is how they felt for Ramadan and its days.

By the will of Allah, we aim and prepare with acts of worship that already exists, not innovated, but our objective is to increase these acts.

Allah Glory be to him Almighty said: {And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqûn.} [Surat Al-‘Imran: 133].

 

{وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ}
آل عمران: 133


Transliteration: WasariAAoo ila maghfiratin min rabbikum wajannatin AAarduha alssamawatu waalardu oAAiddat lilmuttaqeena

Allah Almighty said: {and for this let (all) those strive who want to strive (i.e. hasten earnestly to the obedience of Allah).} [Surat Al-Mutafifin: 26]

 

{...وَفِي ذَلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ المُتَنَافِسُونَ}
المطففين: 26


Transliteration: wafee thalika falyatanafasi almutanafisoona

Dear reader, we need a pause, a pause to win Ramadan by the will of The Most Gracious. Don not let its days slip by like any other day; the days of Ramadan are precious if it lapses then it will never come back again. How many people did not reach Ramadan? Others were not destined to reach the upcoming Ramadan. From now on, put down a plan with an objective and a sincere intention to prepare for Ramadan. Hence, if your time comes before reaching Ramadan, you would die with a sincere intention and a righteous deed by the will of Allah.

Now let us experience together some of the preparation plans for Ramadan in the month of Sha’ban. But before that, evoke in your mind the importance and sensitivity of time, do not let any minute in Sha’ban pass without benefiting from the preparation scheme of Ramadan. By the will of Allah if such practice took place the whole year, most of our days will be full of adorned reward.

What would you do if you were to expect an important guest, while your home in a state of mess and needs be cleaned first? Would you start decoration with its unclean state or start cleaning before anything else?

Begin by fixing your obligations, take stances at Allah’s boundaries, and judge yourself for the sins you committed the last eleven months since the past Ramadan. Repent from the past sins of the year before receiving Ramadan. Clear your heart of any doubt or desire, repent from every forbidden glance, or sinful listening, or anything your hand committed and your feet walked to. Remember that Allah feels jealousy, his jealousy is the matters he forbade be offended. Beware of procrastinating repentance, deceived with Allah’s patience and conceal upon you, Allah Almighty respites the unjust until he takes him at a glance, and if he took him, he won’t leave him.

Do not start a deed unless you evoke a sincere intention. Your deed will not be accepted unless it was with a sincere intention in accordance to religious rules. Learn the rules governing fasting and teach it to your family and who you know from your community from now on.

Discipline yourself and ordain it with piety from now, as Ramadan is the school of piety. Allah Almighty said: {O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)} [Surat Al-Baqarah: 183]

 

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ}
البقرة: 183


Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo kutiba AAalaykumu alssiyamu kama kutiba AAala allatheena min qablikum laAAallakum tattaqoona

The Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him said: “Who does not abandon falsehood, ignorance and acting upon it, Allah is no need of him leaving his food and drink (Fast).” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

 

«مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْجَهْلَ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فِي أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ»
رواه البخاري 1903


Start joining your kinship ties and beware of cutting it. The Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said: “Allah created the creatures, when He was done the womb rose then Allah said, “What is it”, it answered saying “This is the grounds of refuge with you from who cuts ties”. He then answered, “Are you not content that I conjoin who joins you, and sever who severs you?” It replied, “Yes oh Lord”. He then said “Then it is yours”. Then Abu Hurairah May Allah be pleased with him recited {Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?} [Surat Muhammad: 22]
 

{فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ}
محمد: 22


Transliteration: Fahal AAasaytum in tawallaytum an tufsidoo fee alardi watuqattiAAoo arhamakum

[Reported by Al-Bukhari]

 

«خلق الله الخلق، فلما فرغ منه قامت الرحم، فقال: مه، قالت: هذا مقام العائذ بك من القطيعة ، فقال: ألا ترضين أن أصل من وصلك، وأقطع من قطعك؟، قالت: بلى يا رب، قال: فذلك لك. ثم قال أبو هريرة: {فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ} [سورة محمد: 22]»
رواه البخاري


However, if we know this let us ask, who is the person that joins kinship? The Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, demonstrated by saying: “Whom joins kinship not the one rewarding, but the one who joins it when it is severed.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
 

«ليس الواصل بالمكافئ، ولكن الواصل الذي إذا قطعت رحمه وصلها»
رواه البخاري 5645


Is there better blessing than a clean bosom? Enjoy your day and night in a peace of mind, while others burn of jealousy from others. Be keen on having a clean heart from now, clearing it to be occupied by Ramadan and nothing else. The Messenger of Allah was asked who is the best of people? He answered, “The one with pure heart and truthful tongue”. They said, “The one with truthful tongue we know, but what about the one with pure heart?” He Replied, “He is the pious and pure with no sin nor unjust clear of grudge and envy.” [Reported by Ibn Majah]
 

«قيل لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أي الناس أفضل؟، قال: "كل مخموم القلب صدوق اللسان"، قالوا: "صدوق اللسان نعرفه فما مخموم القلب"، قال: "هو التقي النقي لا إثم فيه ولا بغي ولا غل ولا حسد"»
صحيح ابن ماجه 3416


Many people spend long hours on the internet, wasting many bounties in Ramadan. Where are they from Imam Malik Ibn ‘Anas, when Ramadan arrived he fled from reviewing Hadith and sitting with people of knowledge to sit and recite the Qur’an. Start from now –If you were an internet addict- to lessen the hours you spend surfing the net, and know that Ramadan will not wait for you.

Take the initiation make up the days you missed in the past Ramadan for a religious excuse.

In Ramadan, people rush to make more than a complete recite of the Qur’an. In order, the recitations becomes easy and swift begin from Sha’ban intensifying the time of recitation, so if you are accustomed to one part let it be two or even three, why not complete a full recitation in ten days.

In Ramadan, different kinds of prayers take place, Taraweeh (Supererogatory Prayer associated with ‘Isha’), Qiyam (voluntary night prayer), and other supererogatory prayers. To get used to long periods of standing without any fatigue or exhaustion, dedicate a period for night prayer, let it be an hour and increase it gradually. Also, get used to long bowing and prostrating.

From now on, accustom yourself with long supplicating and memorize some of the Prophet’s, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, authentic invocations. It sums up speech in few words, better, more blessed, and closer to answering by the will of Allah.

Accustom yourself to spending more time in the Masjid after congregational prayer to prepare for I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan by the will of Allah. Even if you could not perform full I’tikaf, you could stay for long hours in the Masjid, which is also considered I’tikaf, it’s not limited to full I’tikaf.

Get used to fasting so you would not feel worn out while fasting the first couple of days in Ramadan by the will of Allah. Fast a day and leave the other, and increase your fasting days during Sha’ban. ‘Aisha May Allah be pleased with her narrated that “The Prophet, Allah’s Prayers and peace upon him, didn’t fast a month as a much as Sha’ban, he was used to fast the whole month of sha’ban. [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

 

«أن عائشة رضي الله عنها حدثته قالت : لم يكن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يصوم شهرا أكثر من شعبان ، فإنه كان يصوم شعبان كله...»
رواه البخاري


Be prepared to feed the poor and needy, breaking the fast of people fasting. Start from now to increase the quantity of food you prepare for dinner, and give out the excess food to the poor in your neighborhood or your building’s Janitor. ‘Ataa’ Narrated on the authority of Zaid Ibn Khalid Al-Juhani said that the Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever provides breakfast for a fasting person, will have reward equal to him without having the reward of the fasting person diminished in any aspect." [Declared as Hasan (good) and authentic by At-Tirmizi]
 

«من فطَّر صائماً،كان له مثلُ أجره، غير أنه لا ينقص من أجر الصائم شيئاً»
قال الترمذي حسن صحيح


Give alms on daily basis in sha’ban, so you get used to charity in Ramadan and being among whom mentioned in the Hadith Narrated by Abu Huraira May Allah be pleased with him. The Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him said: “In every morning a believer rises in two angels descend one of them says, “O Allah compensate the alms giver” and the other says, “O Allah diminish the wealth of the stingy”. [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
 

«ما من يوم يصبح العباد فيه إلا ملكان ينزلان، فيقول أحدهما: اللهم أعط منفقاً خلفاً، ويقول الآخر: اللهم أعط ممسكاً تلفاً»
صححه الألباني


If it was your habit to give charity in other than Ramadan, then increase the quantity you give out in Sha’ban whenever you can. Ibn Abbas May Allah be pleased with them said: “The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel visited him, and Jibreel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur'an to Jibreel, and when Jibreel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare).” [Agreed upon]
 

« كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة »
رواه البخاري 6، ومسلم 2308


If you intend to perform ‘Umrah during Ramadan, walk daily for half an hour in the last ten days of Sha’ban, As ‘Umrah needs strength as it is a bit tiresome, so be prepared.

Lessen your intake of food during Sha’ban, the more food the lazier you become in performing acts of worship in Ramadan. Accustom yourself to less proportions of food from now on or base your meals upon small-diversified quantities. Also, base your diet on vegetables, fruits and Dates to maintain the level of liquids in the body and needed energy.

Neglect staying up at night, try to sleep earlier, and wakeup one hour prior to Fajr prayer or earlier to practice Qiyam and supplication to Allah.

Try to sleep less hours, if your habit is to sleep eight hours make it six or less without exhausting your body, compensate it with the Mid-day nap (before Duhr prayer by two hours).

If you can’t perform ‘Umrah this Ramadan for any reason hindering you, know that if you stay after Fajr Prayer until sunrise then perform two Rak’as you would get the reward of a complete pilgrimage and ‘Umrah. Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever performs Fajr prayer in congregation then sits in remembrance of Allah till sunrise then observes two Rak’as, he would have a reward equal to a pilgrimage and a ‘Umrah, then the Messenger of Allah said: complete, complete (i.e. a reward of a complete pilgrimage and ‘Umrah).” [Al-Albani classified it as Good for the virtues of another Hadith]

 

«من صلى الصبح في جماعة، ثم قعد يذكر الله حتى تطلع الشمس، ثم صلى ركعتين، كانت له كأجر حجة و عمرة، قال: قال رسول الله: "تامة تامة"»
قال الألباني حسن لغيره


Do new acts of worship that you never did before. For example Recite 1000 verses that is equal to Part 29 and 30 in the Qur’an, give a large sum of money as charity. Moreover, you could perform a new act –That really exists in the religion not innovated- you never did before to be inclined to observe great acts of worship in Ramadan.

Try to attend a funeral prayer then follow it until burial, doing so entails great reward, and it multiplies in Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever follows a funeral until he prays on it he is rewarded with a Kirat (Karat). The Companions then asked the Messenger of Allah about the Kirat, He replied “It is equal to ‘Uhud” (A mountain in Madina).” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]

 

«من تبع جنازة حتى يصلى عليها ؛ فإن له قيراطا. فسئل رسول الله عن القيراط؟، قال: مثل أحد»
صححه الألباني


He also, Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever attends a funeral prayer he is rewarded with a Kirat, and if he attends its burial he is rewarded with two Kirats. By Allah whom my soul is in his hands, a single Kirat is larger than mount ‘Uhud.” [Al-Albani classified it as Good for the virtues of another Hadith]
 

«من صلى على جنازة فله قيراط، وإن شهد دفنها فله قيراطان والذي نفس محمد بيده القيراط أعظم من أحد هذا»
قال الألباني صحيح لغيره


Organize your time and follow it. Make a table to evaluate your performance and the accomplished acts of worship you set up for yourself. It is not an innovation in the Religion, but only to monitor your acts and to win paradise, by the will of Allah, which is your main aim.

Withdraw bit-by-bit from meaningless gatherings that wastes your time. Boycott T.V and any distraction, in case it is permissible, if forbidden then its compulsory to abandon it completely and repent with intention of never returning to it.

Ramadan is a very great chance for smokers to avoid this cursed habit. Accustom yourself from now on to leave it and evoke an intention to leave it completely for the sake of Allah and then for the sake of your health. I ask Allah to aid you with this.

From this moment devote your tongue for the remembrance of Allah; do not slack in remembrance of Allah like Astaghfirullah, Subahan Allah and La ilaha Illa Allah. It is an easy worship with heavy and great reward from Allah.

Organize your daily work schedule beginning from Sha’ban so that your distraction from worship decreases in Ramadan. Prioritize your tasks and needs so that you would cover most of it before Ramadan.

Try to revise or memorize some Surahs in Sha’ban so you could recite it in your supererogatory prayers in Ramadan. The happy person who prays and supplicates with verses he knows by heart.

Malls and shops are crowded in Ramadan and all kinds of indecency spreads, so avoid these gatherings by buying your grocery, Eid clothes, and other things in Sha’ban.

Try to let the people you know implement your scheme to prepare for Ramadan. In your house, work and the Masjid, people will feel the greatness of this Graceful month rather than being misled by dissolute people to watch TV and indecent scenes following their desires displaying so called “great performance” which is filth in reality.

Search for children over seven in your family, motivate them to get them used to fasting. Let them begin with a quarter of a day then ascend with them to half and more and reward them, thus when Ramadan begins fasting becomes easy for them.

We leave a space for you to add whatever you see fit for your own arrangements.

I ask Allah to benefit you and me with these few words and to be among the winners in this graceful month and among whom Allah manumits from hellfire.

 

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