Welcome Ramadan to Texas and the Islamic Ummah

The companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to prepare for Ramadan sixth months ahead. SubhanAllah, they were so eager Masha ‘Allah to welcome this long awaited blessed month. A month in which the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

On the first night of the month of Ramadan, the devils are chained, the jinn are restrained, and the gates of Hellfire are closed and none of its gates are opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and none of its gates are closed. A caller announces: O seeker of good, come near! O seeker of evil, stop short! Allah will save them from the Hellfire and that is during every night of Ramadan.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Matters have changed over time and now most people only start welcoming Ramadan in Sha’ban, but nonetheless, this is still very beneficial. Usamah ibn Zaid reported:

“I said, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as you fast during Sha’ban.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

It is a month people neglect between the months of Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the worlds and I like for my deeds to be raised while I am fasting. (An-Nasa’i)

I will explore Ramadan Preparations in my residence state of Texas, USA; which is home to a vast number of dedicated followers to Islam. So, naturally Ramadan preparation is taken very seriously among Muslims in this State.

Friday Khutbas

Throughout the month of Sha’ban, Friday Khutbas in masjids of cities like Allen, Irving, McKinney, Plano, Richardson, Valley Ranch, etc. mainly tackle the theme of Sha’ban and Ramadan mentioning the blessings of Fasting in the former as well as the latter; instilling in the believers the spiritual benefits of this blessed month as Allah tells us in the Holy Quran:

{Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness.} (Quran 2:183)

Pinpointing how Ramadan holds the highest status among months as “Allah’s month” and how we should not let it pass like any other month in the year and if we don’t reap its’ fruits we will indeed be in loss.

Family Lectures

Most Masjids also offer family lectures on Preparing for Ramadan. Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan gave a Welcome Ramadan speech to families at ICI (Islamic Center of Irving). As well as, Shaikh Omar Suleiman who had an A-Z Ramadan conference both onsite at ICI (Islamic Center of Irving) and also live stream where he answered the audience’ questions about Ramadan. Imam Ousmane Drame will give a three day program on Ramadan Preparation including: The character of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Ramadan, Ramadan the month of change, Daily Schedule for a Muslim in Ramadan and the Fruitiest of Ramadan.

Sheikh Yaser Birjas hosted a Ramadan Q&A at (VRIC) Valley Ranch Islamic Center both for men and women, where they were able to ask any questions they had on Ramadan.

IANT (The Islamic Association of North Texas) had a Family Night Ramadan Preparation with Imam Shpendim Nadzaku which was beneficial.

Imam Arsalan Haque has a “Ramadan Series” in Allen Masjid. This is a 4 week series on Ramadan Preparation throughout the month of Shabaan. Firstly, The Merits of Sha’ban, followed by The Fiqh of Fasting, then how to maintain the Spirit of Fasting. Last but not the least, Ustadh Mohammed Faris (Founder of Productive Muslim), will give us a Productive lecture on “How to Eat, Move, Sleep during Ramadan”.

Sisters’ Programs

Muslim Women in Texas also enjoy special sisters’ programs where they have female instructors setting a more relaxed and private atmosphere while at the same time enjoying bonds of sisterhood.

For example, EPIC (East Plano Islamic Center) Masjid provided a “Welcome Ramadan” day by sisters Aminah Chowdhry, Inayet Sahin and Ayesha Hameed where they spoke about Fasting, Praying and Going Green this Ramadan and the process of Change; A month of sharing and caring.

Allen Masjid, as well, had a fruitful open discussion on ‘The Virtues of Ramadan” by sister Aminah Chowdhry. Where she discussed how Ramadan should be a feast of spirituality rather than food as culturally prevalent among many Muslims; and how the word Ramadan hails from the word “Ramad” which means intense heat. Hence, how intense heat purifies minerals converting them to a great form. Hence, Ramadan will burn our sins and bad habits and thus it should be a life changing experience for us transforming us into better people.

Some Programs are also given by male instructors such as Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, who gave a Welcome Ramadan session to sisters at ICI (Islamic Center of Irving) as well as Shaikh Yaser Birjas who gave a session with the same topic to the sisters at VRIC (Valley Ranch Islamic Center).

Ramadan Youth Programs

Muslim Youth need constant empowerment, especially in Ramadan with all the peer pressure they face. Among events for youth: IACC (Islamic Association in Collin County) will have a youth masjid clean up this Saturday getting masjid in good shape for Ramadan, such a great endeavor. Imam Ousmane Drame will give the Youth a Talk on Ramadan at ICI (Islamic Center of Irving) which will be very motivating.

Allen Masjid will provide a program solely for youth ages 14-25 which will aim to educate and empower them. It will include weekly youth gatherings with Imam Arsalan Haque, discussions, lectures, presentations, Ramadan competition and Iftar!

Story Time and Ramadan Camps

Toddlers and Kids get to enjoy a Ramadan boost too. Inspiring The Love of Islam presented a Story Time Ramadan Edition by sister Suad Sultan both at EPIC (East Plano Islamic Center) and IACC (Islamic Association in Collin County); where she inspired the love of Ramadan through storytelling as well as educational and fun activities for the kids.

The Islamic School in McKinney (Montessori School of Excellence) will provide a weekend Ramadan Camp for kids between 5-10 at McKinney Islamic Center on topics like; What is Ramadan? Ramadan Month of Quran, Laylatul Qadr and Eid Ul Fitr.

May Allah make it the most fruitful and spiritual Ramadan for us all ameen!

About Suzana Nabil Saad
Suzana Nabil Saad is the Ask About Islam Editor. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the Faculty of Languages, Ain Shams University, Egypt. She obtained her Master’s Degree of Arts in English Literature from Gothenburg University, Sweden. She currently resides in Colorado, USA with her husband, and two kids. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, ideally followed by nature excursions.