It is said the companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to prepare in advance several months for the arrival of Ramadan so that they may reap the maximum reward of that blessed month. Following in this good tradition, we as Muslims should also start thinking about our Ramadan, especially since it has come so close. Fasting is much than abstaining from eating and drinking for it involves also a person to refrain from indecent behavior including bad speech and much more. Ramadan is a month that pushes us all to become better Muslims which helps increase our consciousness of Allah (SWT) which is known as Taqwah.
This month—Shabaan—is the prime time to start fasting those extra fasts or making up your missed fasts from last Ramadan.
UsamahibnZayd (RA) said: I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah (SAW), 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)
Monday and Thursday Fast:
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the most the Prophet (SAW) would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: “The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other.” (Hasan)
Fast the White Days—13th, 14th and 15th of each Islamic month:
Abu Dharr Al-Ghefari (RA) said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, ‘Oh Abu Dharr! If you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, 14th and 15th (these are called Al-Ayaam Al-Beedh, the White Days).’” (Sahih)
The Prophet(SAW) said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me, and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” (Bukhari)
2. Recite and Reflect Upon the Qur’an:
Aishah (RA) related that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Indeed the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” (Muslim)
3. Follow the Sunnah:
Learn more about the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and follow his sunnah as best you can.
“Say, [Oh Muhammad], If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 3:31)
4. Offer Repentance:
We all make mistakes, but Allah (SWT) has kept the door of Mercy and repentance open for us.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “All the children of Adam constantly err, but the best of those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.” (Tirmidhi)
5. Give Charity:
This world can only be a better place if we help each other. In return, Allah (SWT) rewards us in both worlds.
The Messenger (SAW) said, “Allah is in the aid of His servant as long as His aide is in the assistances of others.” (Muslim)
“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He will multiply it for him and he will have a noble reward?” (Quran 57:11)
The Prophet (SAW) also said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
6. Build Your Character for the better:
Everyone can be a little bit more kind and work on different aspects of their character.
The Prophet (SAW) used to say: “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” (al-Bukhari)
7. Eat Healthy and Moderately:
Ash-Shafi’i said: ”I have not filled myself in 16 years because filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clean understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worship.”
By following these simple steps we can make the most of not only our Ramadan but can also get these things in habit so that we can live a spiritually and physically healthy life in this world and find success in the next one.