If you have a very important exam that you know passing it will change your life to the best, would you prepare for it beforehand?
Ramadan is an excellent training for our spirituality that we should prepare for it in advance. There is a scary hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst. (Ibn Majah)
Can you imagine when the 18 or 19 hours of fasting become fruitless like carrying water in a sieve?
Because you haven’t fixed yourself beforehand. You are still backbiting while fasting, you’re still getting angry, you still have a hard heart.
Fasting is more than abstaining from eating and drinking. If a person doesn’t have taqwa, if he can’t avoid committing sins, if his heart is not clean, it means that his fasting is missing many other parts of it.
This is why the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) make themselves ready well in advance. They would be so aware that they need to spiritually prepare for Ramadan.
May Allah prevent us from being among those people who don’t get anything spiritual from their fasting.
If you haven’t started preparing for Ramadan yet, you still have the chance to do. It’s never too late.