Preparation refers to the prior phase of an incoming event. When the event is significant, preparation is done to be with more care and accuracy. To derive the maximum benefits from the forth coming event and to make it a grand success, preparation is to be done before a long time. A symposium or a cultural programme or national day celebrations are observed only after proper preparations. Our beloved Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (SAW) always waited for the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan. If He (SAW) used to wait for some event or if He (SAW) used to do preparation for some major forthcoming event, it was for the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan. So doing preparation for the month of Ramadan is a forgotten Sunnah (practice) of our beloved Prophet (SAW). The need is to revive this Sunnah (practice), so that we can derive maximum benefits from the holy month of Ramadan.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to make a dua prior to two months for a safe journey upto coming Ramadan:
‘’Allahuma barik lana fi rajaba wa shaban wa balligna Ramadan’’
(O Allah! Make the months of Rajab and Shaban a blessing for us and let us reach the holy month of Ramadan safely).
Not doing preparation for the arrival of holy month of Ramadan is tantamount to not being serious for the blessings of the almighty Allah. Preparing our minds for the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan will make us able to plan our time properly during the Ramadan. Every second of the Ramadan is precious for us. Witnessing the holy month of Ramadan in our life is a reward from Allah. It is a chance to make humble prayers before Allah.
It is a time when the reward for the worship is increased almost 70 times. It is a time when repentance is highly accepted. It is a time when one can easily earn a good reward to enter the paradise. Scholars refer it, as, the spring season of good deeds. It is indeed the hotspot of good deeds! We have a little time to prepare for the Ramadan. Welcoming Ramadan doesn’t mean to hold rallies, it doesn’t mean to wave the flags, and it doesn’t even mean to hold debates. Rather it means to prepare ourselves for the Ramadan in such a way so as to derive maximum benefits from it. It means to make proper planning before the arrival of Ramadan. The preparation can be done by following ways.
Pre – Ramadan preparation: We all are busy with our routine work. We work to earn our livelihood. That is our duty and we must not compromise with it. But we can plan our work in such a way that we can increase our work speed before the Ramadan and finish many major works before the arrival of Ramadan. This shall be done, keeping in view the holy month of Ramadan. It has two evident benefits:
1. Feel fresh: During fasting heavy and more work will create problems for us. One looks tired due to heavy work load during fasting. So in order to look fresh and energetic, we must reduce our workload during the holy month of Ramadan. This can be done only when we have finished our major (major) works prior to Ramadan;
2. Adequate time for worship: Since Ramadan is the month of worship, so we can get adequate time for worship if we have finished our major works prior to Ramadan. We can do more tilawah, zikrullah, istigfaar, pray nawafil and so on only if we have adequate time. To get adequate time, we have to spend adequate time in advance for preparation of Ramadan.
This can be done making all arrangements for the Ramadan in advance. Cannot we do all major the shopping for Ramadan in advance? Cannot we skip all the additional events during Ramadan and reach home early? Cannot we visit all the relatives in advance and save this time during Ramadan? Cannot we complete all the meetings with friends in advance? Yes we can do I if we are determined about it. In Kashmir, we witness huge rush at picnic spots prior to Ramadan, cannot we utilize this time to visit relatives and friends?
Preparation during Ramadan: In case we did not get adequate time to prepare for Ramadan in advance. We can do it in the first week of Ramadan or if that is not possible, then we can minimise our work load with the intention to complete it after Ramadan. We have all options open to derive the maximum benefits from the Ramadan if we wish to. We can save our time and exert it in the worship at home. Let’s skip the time we usually spend in debates with friends. Let’s save the time we usually spend in market. Let’s save the time we usually spend with mobile phones.
May almighty Allah give us strength to spend our time properly in the month of Ramadan May almighty Allah accept our fasting and make us free from sins. May Allah wash our hearts from ego, selfishness, jealousy, arrogance and all other sins. Aameen!
—The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org