It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?
The once-in-a-year race towards righteousness is back again!
This race will lead you through training for self growth and development, self-reflection, self-purification and self-discipline.
The winners will emerge with high levels of taqwa – consciousness of Allah (SWT); Iman (deep faith); and special entry into jannah (paradise).
The time is drawing close.
Let’s race for jannah.
Here are 11 hacks to help you get ready for Ramadan. Start preparing today, so you can welcome Ramadan the right way.
Pre-Ramadan Personal Checklist
1. Refresh Your Knowledge
Ramadan is a special season. It is the most blessed month of the year. Due to its special nature, we have to go into it having the correct knowledge.
What better time than now to stat refreshing your knowledge about Ramadan?
Learn about its significance, what the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions used to do and what Allah (SWT) mentions in the Quran about Ramadan.
Read books of seerah and hadith books like Riyadh as-Salihin.
2. Practice Fasting on Monday and Thursday
Don’t wait until day 1 of Ramadan to experience fasting after many months.
Practice fasting in Sha’ban to prepare you mentally and physically for what is to come.
3. Clean up!
Do some serious cleaning right now. Clean up and organize your fridge, kitchen, bedroom and even entire apartment. It will keep you focused on fasting when the time comes.
You will not find yourself without worrying about any important cleaning you need to get done while the important race is on.
4. Write Down Your Top Goals
What do you want to achieve in Ramadan and beyond?
Write down your top goals and direct your mind and actions towards it from now. Begin your fasting month with a WHY.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do lots of extra good deeds in Ramadan. He would pray more than usual, give more charity, pray the late night (tarawih) prayers and seek the night of power.
Which do of these deeds will you invest your fasting days and night in, to help you achieve your top goals?
5. Create Quality Quran Time
Ramadan is the month of Quran.
The Quran was sent down in this special month. So it is the perfect season for reciting, reflecting and putting into heart and practice the words we read. It is the best time to bring the Quran close to your heart, but it is good to get started now.
Create daily time for building this special relationship even if its 10 minutes after Fajr prayers. Strive to improve and strengthen this relationship daily and onwards into Ramadan.
6. Be Minimalistic
Fasting hinges on self discipline and restraint in many ways.
To make this even easier, try to be minimalistic about what you eat, where you go to, what you say, who you interact with and what you spend.
Remember the top goals you have written down, and plan your life in such a way that you can fully focus on them. Cut down distractions and interactions that are not beneficial.
And get minimal in as many ways as possible.
7. Get a Buddy
Identify that ONE person who can support you and keep you accountable on your Ramadan goals. Seek Allah’s guidance and ensure due diligence in choosing someone with a high moral standard.
Choose him/ her, agree on how you can partner to help each other and commit to being each other’s Ramadan buddy.
Strive to make it a mutually beneficial relationship in which the Pleasure of Allah (SWT) is priority, as you both race towards jannah heart-to-heart.
8. Create Awareness
Tell your Muslim and non Muslim friends about Ramadan.
Share posts, lectures, books and flyers with authentic information so they can get a sense of how much a BIG deal it is. Use lunch time, travel time and other opportunities to talk about Ramadan and its significance.
Try to answer questions in an open and friendly manner. And research those answers you do not know and get back to them. You cannot imagine the lack of awareness those around you have about Islam and its important pillars such as fasting.
It is your duty to create awareness and enlightenment in a confident manner.
9. Set a Challenge for Self Improvement
Sign and commit to a self improvement challenge in Ramadan.
Just pick an area or two for improvement and stick to it throughout the fasting month.
It could be specific to helping improve your personality, spirituality or relationships. You know where there’s gap in your life, so try to fill it up wisely through this month long training.
10. Countdown to Day One
Use a wall calendar or a digital one to tick off daily as you countdown to the special training month.
This will prepare you mentally and keep you in strong anticipation for the sighting of the new moon.
You won’t be left feeling lost and confused when you hear Ramadan is in two or three days time.
11. Purify Intention
Allah (SWT) only accepts and rewards deeds which are done sincerely for His sake.
So purify your intention to fast for His pleasure in Ramadan – not for show off or because your Muslim family/ friends are doing so – and you will rewarded in full measure. And strive to carry out your deeds according to the sunnah so that it becomes a form of worship.
Welcome Ramadan with a pure, sincere intention. And go for G.O.L.D, as you prepare to enter this special personal race.
Always have your checklist close to keep you focused.
In what other ways can you start preparing yourself to win GOLD this Ramadan?