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It’s Coming: Preparing For Ramadan


Ramadan is right around the corner, and time is flying. Are we prepared to reap the benefits of this beautiful month? If not, how do we prepare?

Spiritual, peaceful, hot, tiring, spring rolls, samosas (basically anything fried) are words which we associate Ramadan with BUT what is the actual purpose of Ramadan?

In Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 183 Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“O those who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you so that you be God-fearing.”

What is fasting?

Literally, ‘sawm’ (fasting) means to abstain.

In the terminology of Islamic law, sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking and marital relations; with the condition that one abstains continuously from dawn to sunset, and that there is an intention to fast. Therefore, should one eat or drink anything even a minute before sunset, the fast will not be valid. Similarly, if one abstained from all these things throughout the day but made no Intention to fast, there will be no fast here too. (Ma’riful Qur’an)

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other pillars include Shahada, Salah, Hajj and Zakat.

Why are they called pillars and what is their importance? Imagine a tall building – vast, grand and made from glass. There are strong pillars holding up the fragile roof carefully so that this building won’t collapse. Now, imagine one of the pillars are weak and it snaps, will the roof still be secure? No, it will collapse. Likewise, we have to build our pillars strong enough to hold our faith together. Now here we are with Ramadan right around the corner. Our time to make this pillar of our religion as strong as we can.

Reconnect, redirect and contentment are only some of the reasons we need Ramadan. For 11 months we focus on ourselves and forget about our Creator. We become so lost in our lives with studying and work that we forget our purpose. So, this month is a chance for us to reconnect and give our souls a chance to feed and become content with the mercy of Allah.

Merits of the Month of Ramadan

(Taken from Ma’riful Qur’an)

One of the merits of the month of Ramadan is that Allah chose this month to reveal Scriptures. Thus, the Qur’an was also revealed in this blessed month.

According to a narration from the blessed companion Wathila ibn Aqsa’ appearing in the Musnad of Ahmad, Nabi ﷺ said that Abrahamic Scriptures were revealed on the first of Ramadan, the Torah on the sixth, the Evangile on the thirteenth and the Qur’an on the twenty fourth of Ramadan.

According to another narration from the blessed Companion Sayyidna Jabir radiallahu ‘anhu, it appears that Zabur (the Book of Psalms) were revealed on the twelfth of Ramadan and the Evangile on the eighteenth. (Ibn Kathir)

Preparing for Ramadan – The purpose of Ramadan

(Adapted from a talk by Mufti Kamaluddin Ahmed)

Allah Ta’ala says in Surah Baqarah, Ayah 183:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“O those who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you so that you be God-fearing.”

Here we learn that the purpose of fasting in the month of Ramadan for the sake of Allah is that we can finally obtain taqwa once and for all.

Ideally, every single year we should be more prepared for Ramadan – we have a whole year to better ourselves, to learn more. We have a whole year to give up a bad habit or adopt a new habit. So, ideally, every year, we are better prepared for Ramadan. Thus, every year in the month of Ramadan itself, we take more and benefit more.

However, for most of us, that is not the case. We feel like we are even worse prepared for Ramadan than we were last year, or we are in the same position as we were last year.

Out of mercy, Allah Ta’ala gave us Ramadan, and He gifts us with this EVERY year.

In the above ayah, Allah says لَعَلَّكُمْ (La’allakum) where لَعَلَّ (La’alla) means hope. Allah hopes that this year we will finally become from amongst the righteous, of the God-fearing.

In this world when someone messes up once, twice, three times, repeatedly over and over again, the nicest amongst us continue to give chances but we don’t have the same hope every time.

However, Allah is as hopeful EVERY single time EVERY single year that we will become better and reap the mercy hidden in Ramadan; that we will once and for all give up our laziness and neglect.

Every Ramadan is a new opportunity. When we break our fast, we should make Du’a and say:

‘Oh Allah, I am presenting this fast to You. You have hope I will gain taqwa from this fast. I have no hope in myself, but I have hope in Your hope for me. Oh Allah, make me from amongst those who have taqwa.’

Reminding, why is fasting prescribed for us? So that hopefully we may adopt Taqwa once and for all. But what is taqwa?

Taqwa is to prefer the ruh (soul) and qalb (heart) over our nafs (ourselves, our desires) and our aql (our intellect).

It is to desire what Allah desires for us and to dislike what Allah dislikes.

Ramadan is not one last chance for us to adopt taqwa and to become better; it is one more chance.

So how do we prepare for Ramadan? Put simply, we must want taqwa. If we are ready to leave and abandon everything for taqwa, if we’re thirsty for taqwa, if we are ready to leave all of our bad habits and sins and embrace the lifestyle and choices that Allah has chosen for us, then we are ready for Ramadan.

However, if we’re not willing to change, and we think of Ramadan as a one-month break, then we are not prepared for Ramadan. That is not taqwa – that is cheating. We are only fooling ourselves.

This won’t be easy at first but, by being determined and driven to become closer and build a better relationship with Allah and our faith, we can accomplish this task –  we must not give up and have hope. If we don’t have hope in ourselves, we must have hope in our Allah’s hope in us.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

أمة المؤمن

أمة المؤمن

I LOVE science and I’m passionate about recycling and helping to keep the world a cleaner, better place.
(you should too or else you’re killing innocent animals who feed from the earth)
Unlike most people, I’m an early bird!
Dream vehicle: A horse! (who’s isn’t?)
Dream house: A mountain house!
Advice that I hold onto: Everything happens for a reason

What about you?