Alhamdulillah, we will greet Ramadan in about 2 weeks’ time inshaAllah! Allahumma baarik lana fi Shaaban wa balighnaa Ramadan!
While most of us have started to prepare for Ramadan since Rajab, for the rest of us, don’t worry. It is not too late!
1) Plan our Ramadan schedule
Time is our capital in this life and we can still salvage what we have left and plan what we want to achieve in these last 2 weeks and during Ramadan itself. Take half an hour out of your weekend this week and sit down to plan your Ramadan. You know your schedules best and your energy levels etc. If you are a mother who has to prepare iftar meals, or a working man or a student, everyone can benefit from a little bit of planning.
For example, you can start to plan how much of the Qur’an you can read and when you can slot them in your day. You can plan where to have iftar so that you can manage your travelling time to get to the mosque for tarawih prayers etc. Even if your planning is not detailed, having a rough idea psychologically prepares you for the most anticipated month of Ramadan!
2) Wear white
Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) states that the Messenger of Allah, (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘To meet Allah (The Exalted) the best clothing for the mosque and in the grave is white.’
It is sunnah to wear white and symbolically, wearing white reminds you to go back to fitrah, to goodness and innocence and that you commit to returning to that state in Ramadan.
It also holds a special significance this year as some members of the Singaporean Muslim community has organised a #wearwhite campaign to counter ideologies that they deem harmful to the Muslims. You can find out more at www.wearwhite.sg.
3) Pray your sunnah prayers
Let’s face it – tarawih is tough. If you’re not used to praying the nawafil prayers, praying an extra 8 or 20 rakaat will seem too much or too tiring. Get slowly accustomed to praying more by increasing your nawafil prayers and increasing your anticipation and excitement for Ramadan. InshaAllah when Ramadan comes, you can overcome your fatigue and mental obstacles to finally and truly worship for Allah.
4) Make much du’a
Du’a is so simple. It’s basically ‘talking’ to Allah. And yet, sometimes we get caught up in our busy lives that making du’a also becomes mechanical and we read off the du’as that we’ve memorised without reflecting on what we’re actually asking for. We ‘forget’ Who we’re speaking to.
Make the du’a-process meaningful again by taking time out to really ‘speak’ to Allah about your problems, complaints, blessings and gratitude. Ramadan is also a blessed month where prayers are answered so perhaps writing down your most heartfelt prayers and asking for them this Ramadan might help those who needs help in articulating or achieving that connection with your creator.
There are many ways to prepare for Ramadan and in different aspects such as spirituality, habits, physical preparation and more. Think about your past Ramadans and what your greatest struggles were and do a personal debriefing to see where and how you can improve.
May Allah help us in being better servants and to lengthen our lives so that we may reach Ramadan this year inshaAllah!