Ramadan Countdown: 14 days!
“The days of [Ramadan] are the best among the days and the nights are the best among the nights and the hours during Ramadan are the best among the hours.” (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him).
Why is Ramadan such a blessed month, and how does one obtain the blessings of Ramadan? It involves fasting not only from food, but also from anything that would take the mind away from our goals or from Allah. It is both physical, and spiritual, and so it takes a strong mind and body to fast for one month.
Any large undertaking requires preparation. Think of a marathon, or a wedding. Everything we do in life requires preparation. Even Allah who is perfect prepares for things. Truly, “Allah is the best of planners” (Quran 8:30). Several verses in the Quran explain that Allah has prepared gardens (see Quran 3:133, 9:100). “Excellent is the preparer” (Quran 51:48). Even small, everyday tasks require preparation. Allah expects us to prepare for prayer. “When ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces…” (Quran 5:6, Yusuf Ali).
To take on a month of physical and spiritual fasting requires us to prepare. The best way to prepare for Ramadan is to ponder and pray, then sit down to set realistic goals. Write them down and keep them in a place where you can see them throughout the month so that you will remember them. They will help you to get through the difficult hours of fasting during Ramadan, because you will know why you are fasting. What do you need the most at this time in your life? You know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Ask Allah to help you set resolutions. To achieve your goals, make specific plans.
Here are some examples of resolutions that might help you think of your own.
Pray and read the Quran.
If you want to talk to Allah, pray, and if you want Allah to talk to you, read the Quran, because it is the words He has given His people. Set aside time to spend with Him. This is the best way to come closer to Allah and have a clearer mind. If you wanted to develop a stronger relationship with a friend or family member, what would you do? Would you simply think about them? No, you would probably reach out to them, talk to them more often, listen to them, and set aside time to spend with them. If you want to understand the feeling of being close to Allah, show that you care by putting Allah first in however you choose to spend your time.
Set a Schedule
Plan to go to bed early so you can wake up for prayer. Plan where you will pray in the evening, and invite family and friends to join you.
Charity is not just about giving money. Think of the people in your life you want to serve. It can be your family, friends, or strangers. What will you do? Make a list of small acts of kindness to perform. Look at your list often during the month. It will shape your mind to keep your eyes open and you will see more opportunities for service and charity.
What Ramadan resolutions have helped you the most? What are your resolutions for this year? Please share in the comments below so that everyone can benefit.