We are now in the month of Rajab. In two months, Ramadan will be here.
Whilst it may seem like beginning Ramadan preparations in Rajab is too early, the reality is it will soon be on our doorstep, and we will be wondering where the time went.
Imam Abu Bakr al-Warraq al-Balkhi, the uncle of Imam Tirmidhi [rh], stated;
“Rajab is a month of cultivation, Sha’ban is the month of irrigating the fields, and Ramadan is the month of reaping and harvesting.”
Making minor adjustments to your routine and preparing as best as possible for Ramadan will make the weeks leading up to it much easier to digest.
Here are some practical changes you can implement below.
What do you want to gain from this Ramadan? Is it spiritual growth – or utilising Ramadan to gain control of your health? Identify what you want and make a step-by-step plan for how you plan on reaching these goals.
Begin reading the Quran
Instead of picking up the Quran in Ramadan, why not start now? This will give you a better opportunity to study it deeply, make notes and contemplate on the words of Allah swt.
“Read the Quran, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.” (Muslim)
If there are fasts you haven’t made up, it is the perfect time to do them before Ramadan.
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 Shabaan.’ 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)
Plan your schedule
Juggling work, childcare, and other non-negotiable things in Ramadan can make it harder when our routines are disrupted. However, it is possible to juggle everything.
Time spent eating can be used on other endeavours during the day. In order to reduce the disruption, sit down and make a brief plan for the month.
Begin cutting back
To get more easily accustomed to Ramadan, try intermittent fasting throughout the day.
“Eat and drink but avoid excess” (Quran, 20:81).
Ramadan is all about cleansing ourselves, restriction and not giving in to our desires. In order to prepare for Ramadan, it’s important we begin winding down our consumption.
Repent and make duaa
The Prophet ﷺ said: “All the children of Adam constantly err, but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.” (Tirmidhi)
Practise kindness and gratitude
Whilst this is something we should practise all year round, it’s easy to get caught up in the annoyances of modern life.
Try being patient and exhibiting more patience, kindness and gratitude to those around you.
Abdullah bin Zubair (RA) narrates that “Whoever removes the hardship of a believer in the month of Rajab, Allah Almighty will grant him a huge rank in Paradise.’