How to welcome the month of Ramadan

Dear brothers and sisters, the month of Ramadhan is upon us. This sacred month in which the Prophet (SAWS) used to give glad tidings.

This month has the potential to carry so much weight for us into the next life. The imam mentioned the 185th ayat from Sura Baqara. It is translated to say:

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.

The Prophet SAWS has mentioned the whisperings of Shaytaan that we all suffer from throughout the year and what impact the sacred month of Ramadhan has on this. The imam mentioned the hadith which is translated to say:

When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained

Dear brothers and sisters, we can deduce from this then that the month of Ramadhan is truly a mercy to us. It is a time to rest and revitalise our faith. A time to strengthen our connection with our Lord and to polish up on our faith.

As Ramadhan approaches it is imperative that we begin thinking about how we can benefit from the journey ahead of us. Here are five simple ways that we can plan for the month of Ramadhan:

1)Intention: Make the sincere intention that you want this Ramadan to be a sacred and special Ramadan. Thank Allah SWT that you have reached this month and that you will be given the opportunity to reap the rewards of Ramadan.

2)Make a plan: Plan how you would like to spend each day this Ramadan. Postpone things that can be postponed, and focus on activities that will benefit you, insha’Allah, in the hereafter. Here are some examples: Set a target for how much Qur’an you will recite and make a plan for when you will recite it. Set a target for how many prayers you will pray at the masjid and make a plan for how you will reach this target.

3)Make a du’a list: Make a list of supplications and include the following: a) your needs for this dunya; b) your needs for the hereafter; c) the needs of your family members and friends; d) the names of your friends and family members.

4)Serve: Go beyond just yourself and your own needs during the month of Ramadan. Before Ramadan begins, find an avenue for community service so you can serve others throughout the month.

5)Charity: Figure out how you can spend less on yourself so you can spend more on the needy during Ramadan. Begin calculating your assets, so that when Ramadan begins, you are ready to pay your zakat and sadaqah. It is often the case this month that we hear about all the wonderful projects and initiatives being run all over the world to help the needy. Although it can become overwhelming to hear of all these aid requests, bear in mind that there is no better month to commit to these worthy causes than the month of Ramadan insh’Allah.

Dear brothers and sisters, the month of Ramadan is that month that the soul yearns for all the other months of the year. It is the month that is the equivalent of a car’s service or MOT as it boosts the imam, detoxs the body and strengthens the resolve for another eleven months of the year.

Only Allah SWT know if we will make it so see another Ramadan. We need to treat each one as if it is our final Ramadan and therefore act accordingly. The imam mentioned the following hadith of the Prophet SAWS which is translated to say:

“He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.” Dear brothers and sisters, this is the boost we pray for all year round. There is no better time than Ramadan to race for forgiveness from your Lord. We can do this by making this Ramadan the best in terms of what we achieve during it. By doing this, we can aim to be of the people that benefit most from this month in this life and the next insh’Allah.

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