Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- The Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) used to implore Allah to bless them with the opportunity to witness Ramadan six months ahead of it. This may reflect the intense desire of the Companions to gain the multiple rewards in this blessed month.
2- As Muslims, we have to enhance our spiritual state to start this month with open hearts ready to receive the light of iman.
3- The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to say these words when the month of Shaban drew to a close, “O Muslims! A noble and generous month has come to you. A month in which a night is better than one thousand months, and this month is the month of charity, patience, and mercy. In this month the gates of Paradise become wide open and the gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are chained.” (An-Nasa’i)
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
You have raised an important question. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us through his own practical example that we must prepare to welcome the great guest of Ramadan by performing extra fasts and devotions in Shaban. It can be compared to warming up before a rigorous exercise regimen.
So the best way to prepare for Ramadan is as follows:
2- Perform extra devotions in Shaban.
3- Prepare yourself mentally and spiritually to benefit optimally from the rich spiritual harvest of Ramadan.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.