Prepare for Ramadan (part 1) Voluntary Fasts , Reciting Qur’an Shareef & Superogatory (Nafil) prayers


Holy Quran Shareef

Holy Quran Shareef

The blessed & most beautiful month is near and what better time to prepare for it than right now. Some of us deceive ourselves into thinking that when Ramadan comes we will suddenly change and worship Allah night and day but we are only decieving ourselves in thinking like this.

The Sahaaba used to prepare for Ramadan six months in advance. So if we really want to make the best of this Ramadan then we need to prepare for it now!

This may be our last Ramadan for life is so uncertain. Then there is NO doubt that we must make the best of it for the Reward of EVERY good act in the month of Ramadan is multiplied many times over:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887)

If there was a 75% sale on in the shops surely people would go crazy and even cue all night outside in order to be the first in the store to take advantage of this special offer. So in the same way why should we not take advantage of the immense rewards that are available in Ramadan?

The best way we can make the best of this Ramadan and grab the immense rewards that are available is to prepare for it NOW.

The following are 10 ways in which we can prepare for this beautiful month starting from NOW:

1. Voluntary Fasts

What better way of preparing ourselves to fast for 30 consecutive days in Ramadan than to fast the voluntary fasts.

Fasting Monday and Thursday:

Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu anhu reported that the most the Prophet, (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam) would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: “The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other.” He says: “leave them for later”. (Ahmad; Hasan)

Another is to fast the white days (13, 14 & 15th of each Islamic month):

Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari Radi Allahu anhu said: “The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said “O Abu Tharr! If you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]”. (Ahmad, an-Nasaa’i & at-Tirmithi; Sahih)

Therefore we should fast these days in order to prepare for the fasting of Ramadan and even after Ramadan we should continue to do so for fasting will intercede for us on the day of judgement:

Rasulallah (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: “O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: “I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.’ He (Sallallahu `Alaihi Wasallam) said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’” (Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih)

2. Reciting Qur’an

Allah the exalted says:

“The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:185)

Ramadan was the month in which the Qur’an was first revealed so it is the month of the Qur’an. We should devote much of this blessed month reciting the Qur’an.

Az-Zuhri Radi Allahu anhu used to say upon the coming of Ramadan, “It is only about reciting the Qur’an and feeding the poor.”

Abdur-Raziq Radi Allahu anhu said, “When Ramadan came, Sufyan Ath-Thawri would give up all acts of (voluntary) worship and devote himself to the recitation of the Qur’an.”

But for many of us the Qur’an has gathered a lot of dust since the last time we picked it up.

As Ramadan is fast approaching we must blow off the dust and start to build a close relationship with the Qur’an for it will intercede with us on the day of judgement:

“Recite the Holy Qur’an as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement” (Muslim)

The Recitor will be in the company of Angels:

‘Aa’ishah Radi Allahu anha related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Indeed the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” (Al-Bukhaari & Muslim)

There are Ten Rewards for Every Letter Recited from the Quran in normal times but in Ramadan these rewards are multiplied:

“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allaah, he will have a reward, and this reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Laam, Meem’ (a combination of letters frequently mentioned in the Holy Quran) is a letter, rather I am saying that ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Laam’ is a letter and ‘Meem’ is a letter.” (At-Tirmithi)

So what better time for us to get into the habit of reciting the Qur’an than to begin to do so right now. We should recite the Qur’an with its meanings and try to understand and implement it into our daily lives.

We should set ourselves realistic targets for how much we should begin to recite each day for e.g. we will recite 1 or 2 pages a day, half a juz (chapter), or 1 juz etc. We should recite however much we can manage and then build up gradually.

3. Praying Superogatory (Nafil) prayers

In Ramadan every voluntary prayer carries the reward of a Fard prayer in normal times and there is nothing more rewarding than a Fard prayer so one can imagine the immense rewards that are available in Ramadan for every voluntary prayer we pray.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887)

In order for us to take advantage of these immense rewards we should start begin now by praying all of the daily Sunnah and Nafil prayers so by the time Ramadan comes we will already be in the habit of praying all of our Sunnah and Nafils and so we cna increase our voluntary prayers even more so during Ramadan. This would be difficult if we were not in the habit of praying Sunnah and Nafil prayers in normal times.

By increasing our voluntary worship we can gain closeness to Allah as well as the company of Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in Jannah:

Rabi’ah ibn Malik al-Aslami Radi Allahu anha reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Ask (anything).” Rabi’ah said:I ask of you to be your companion in paradise.” The Prophet (Sallallahu ALaihi Wasallam) said:Or anything else?” Rabi’ah Radi Allahu anha said: “That is it.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said to him: “Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., supererogatory prayers).”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: