Ramadan is one of the best times of the year to earn endless rewards and gain blessings from Allah ﷻ. The rewards for good deeds are multiplied many times over based on your intention and sincerity during this month. Thorough preparation can help you earn all these in this noble month. So, how do you prepare for Ramadan?
The companions of Rasulullah ﷺ and the Salaf (the first three generations of Islam) used to start preparation for Ramadan in Rajab. Rasulullah ﷺ would fast almost the entire month of Sha’ban to get ready for Ramadan.
After reading this blog, you can make a Ramadan preparation checklist to prepare for Ramadan properly. Let’s start!
Why is Ramadan Preparation Important?
Here are several reasons why we should get ready for Ramadan in advance.
1. Maximizing Your Ramadan
Ramadan is a blessed month with endless bounties. It is a month when Allah forgives the sinners and accepts repentance. There is a night in Ramadan named Laylatul Qadr, better than a thousand months.
Allah the Almighty revealed the Al-Quran on this night. Whoever misses the blessings of Ramadan is undoubtedly at a significant loss.
Goals can only be attained with proper preparation. So, we must prepare for the blessed month of Ramadan to reap its benefits to the fullest extent.
2. Following the Footsteps of Salaf
Ramadan preparation is a proven good deed from the Salaf (first three generations of Salaf). So, we should prepare for it, too.
11 Best Ways to Prepare for Ramadan to Maximize Blessings
If you want to maximize your Ramadan and gain Allah’s pleasure in the month, it’s best to make a checklist and follow it step by step. Otherwise, things might get confusing and disoriented within our busy schedules. Here are several key points you should keep in mind for your Ramadan preparation:
1. Make Taubah and Istigfar for Previous Sins
Make a firm determination to start a new life from Ramadan, a life in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. For that, make amends with Allah starting today. Ask for forgiveness from Allah and repent for your past sins before Ramadan so that you can start your account clean when the blessed month arrives.
2. Start Your Preparations from Rajab
Rajab is the month when many scholars in the past would start their preparations for Ramadan.
Abu Bakr al-Warraaq al-Balkhi (RA) said: The month of Rajab is a month for sowing, the month of Sha‘ban is a month for irrigating the crop, and Ramadan is a month for harvesting the crop.
As Dhu’n-Noon al-Masri (RA) said: “Rajab is the month for giving up sins, Sha‘baan is the month for doing acts of obedience, and Ramadan is the month for waiting for gifts and honours.”
So don’t delay your Ramadan preparation any later than the month of Rajab.
3. Make Dua to Allah to Reach Ramadan
Make a lot of dua to Allah to reach Ramadan. The following dua has been mentioned in several books of hadith:
اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ
“O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Shaban and let us reach Ramadan.” [Tabarani al Awsat: 3939]
This Hadith is classified as weak. But there is nothing wrong with a person asking Allah to make him/her reach Ramadan.
4. Learn the Rules and Regulations (Mas’ala) of Ramadan
Gather your knowledge about the Fiqh of Ramadan from an authentic source or a knowledgeable scholar. Things that break your fast and things that don’t, Sunnah of Ramadan, rules of Sadaqatul Fitr, rules of I’tikaf, etc. Learn about them beforehand so that you can be cautious during Ramadan.
5. Collect a Ramadan Planner
Another effective way to keep track of your progress in Ramadan is to use a Ramadan Planner. It keeps everything organised and motivates you to complete your daily target of A’mals (good deeds). So, before Ramadan, collect the planner you want to follow.
6. Reflect on the Mistakes Made in the Last Ramadan
Find out what went wrong in the last Ramadan. Maybe you wanted to finish reciting the entire Quran but couldn’t. Perhaps you couldn’t pray enough on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan in search of Laylatul Qadr. Probably, you intended to do I’tikaf, but something came up, and you couldn’t. Ask yourself the question, what went wrong?
Once you identify the reasons, note it down on your Ramadan preparation checklist under the outline, “Things to avoid this Ramadan”. Try to avoid them again this year. In sha Allah, this Ramadan will be special for you.
7. Keep Voluntary Fasts in the Month of Sha’ban
In preparation for Ramadan, Rasulullah ﷺ would fast almost the entire month of Sha’ban. So, Sha’ban is the perfect time for you to keep a lot of voluntary fasts to prepare yourself for Ramadan fasting.
Usama ibn Zayd (R) said, “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Sha’ban.’ He ﷺ 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.’” [Sahih al-Targhib wa’l-Tarhib]
Also, you can make up for missed fasts (if any) of the previous Ramadan in Sha’ban. Aishah (R) said:
إِنْ كَانَ لَيَكُونُ عَلَىَّ الصِّيَامُ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَمَا أَقْضِيهِ حَتَّى يَجِيءَ شَعْبَانُ
Meaning: “I would own fasts from Ramadan and I would not make them up until Shaban came.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i: 2321]
8. Perform More Voluntary Prayers
Night prayers (Tahajjud/ Qiyam-ul-Layl) have great significance in Islam. Allah says in the Quran:
إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ ٱلَّيْلِ هِىَ أَشَدُّ وَطْـًۭٔا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا
Meaning: “Indeed, worship in the night is more impactful and suitable for recitation.” [Sura Muzzammil: 6]
Ramadan night prayers are even more special. Rasulullah ﷺ said:
مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
Meaning: “Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sunan-an-Nasai : 5030]
So, you should not miss out on this great opportunity. Try to wake up for Tahajjud starting tonight and make it a part of your daily life. Standing for long night prayers will become easier this way.
9. Take Care of Your Health and Physique
As Muslims, we must perform extensive and rigorous acts of worship during Ramadan. Not only do we need to fast the whole day, but we also have to stand up for long hours in Taraweeh and Tahajjud (Qiyam-ul-Layl). On top of that, we need to work as well.
So, it is extremely important to take good care of your health and physical condition beforehand. You can walk or jog early in the morning after Fajr. Work out a particular time in the gym if you can. If you have any health issues, consult with doctors before Ramadan comes.
All of these will build your stamina and help you perform the Ibadahs of Ramadan. You should start these in the month of Rajab.
10. Calculate Your Zakat Beforehand
Like many others, you may give your Zakat in Ramadan. In that case, calculate your Zakat earlier if possible.
You can use our Zakat calculator to easily determine how much money you need to pay in Zakat this Ramadan.
11. Try to Understand the Meaning of the Quran
Ramadan is the month of revelation of the Quran. So, the whole purpose of Ramadan is to get ourselves closer to the book of Allah. If we want to understand what Allah wants us to know, there is no alternative to understanding the word of Allah.
So, start now. Don’t delay. Spend as much time as you can reciting the Quran and reading its translation. With that, you will be able to understand what is being read to you in Taraweeh. Our Quran app may help you greatly in this regard.
Q. When should we start to prepare for Ramadan?
Ans. The best time to start preparing for Ramadan is the month of Rajab. But specifically, try to fast as much as you can in Sha’ban.
To reap the benefits of the blessed month of Ramadan, we should prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. Only then can we attain the mercy and blessing of Allah in Ramadan. May Allah enable us to reach the next Ramadan and worship Him properly.