What is the true spirit of Ramadan? How should people commence their preparations for Ramadan? Some businesses prepare themselves by stocking up for the bumper sales as people do their “Ramadan shopping” or “‘Eid shopping.” Housewives begin stocking their freezers in advance with the “Ramadan savories.”
When Ramadan arrives, in some quarters people will “welcome” this blessed month with some program of recitation of the Holy Quran, talks, discussion etc. Nevertheless, though stocking one’s business or freezer is totally permissible, it really has no link with the true preparation for Ramadan.
Ramadan is a month of devoting oneself to the worship of Allah more than at any other time. It is a time of charging the batteries of imaan to a peak. It is a time to develop the noble qualities of patience and kindness towards one’s fellow beings.
Ramadan is a gift to cherish, a treasure to value and an absolute boon and blessing to the Ummah of Rasulullah (ﷺ). Thus the preparation for Ramadan must be in that line which will enable one to derive the maximum benefit from this month.
Planning for a Successful Ramadan
In order to prepare for Ramadan, one should make a proper planning as to how one will spend this month. There will be those fortunate ones who will manage to free themselves from all worldly activities and devote the entire month of Ramadan for Deen. Such people should be extremely grateful to Allah for this favor and hence they should make the best use of every moment.
Many others will not have the same opportunity. Nevertheless, they too can use every moment fruitfully. Firstly, one should look at one’s daily program and determine which worldly activities could be totally given up in this month. Such aspects must be completely avoided. If something can be postponed until after Ramadan, it should certainly be postponed.
Then decide what can be scaled down. For example, one may decide to reopen the business half an hour later in the afternoon and take some rest at that time so that one will be fresh for Taraweeh Salaah at night. Perhaps one may decide to close up an hour earlier at the end of the day in order to devote that time to the recitation of the Holy Quran.
This will not affect one’s sustenance. That is fixed. In no ayah of the Quran or in any hadith has it been mentioned that one will only be granted sustenance if one works from “eight to five.” Rather, if one works from “nine to four” in order to devote the rest of the time for Deen, Allah will grant one much more barakah in that time.
Besides this, while one is busy in one’s daily activities, one could also at the same time be engaged in zikr of the kalimah and in istighfaar. The bottom line is that one should prepare for Ramadan by planning one’s time in advance.
What Should Employers Do
Muslim employers should attempt to make some concessions for their Muslim staff in this month and encourage them to use that time for Deen. To whatever extent possible, their workloads should also be decreased.
Importance of Refraining from All Kind of Sins
The above pertains to postponing or scaling down worldly activity which is permissible so that one could devote more time to Deen.
Generally, most people do engage in much ibaadah in this month. Besides the five daily salaah which is obviously compulsory, many also engage in nafl salaah, recitation of the Holy Quran, remembrance of Allah, charity, etc.
All these are indeed wonderful and should be increased as much as possible. However, more important than this is… absolutely refraining from all sin at every single moment.
Often in order to “pass time”, people engage in idle chatter even in the month of Ramadan. This chatter more often than not involves one in backbiting — a sin that has been described as worse than adultery in the hadeeth.
What type of fast is this, that a person refrains from lawful relations with his wife during the time of fasting, but engages in an act which is worse than zina? He refrains from eating the halal flesh of permissible animals, but “eats” the Haram flesh of his fellow brother!
How We Ruin the Blessings
Likewise, many people piously comment: “In Ramadan, I only watch the news.” Can one ever avoid the zina of the eyes and ears when watching anything on the television? What is earned by fasting, is ruined in the news. Know what you can and can’t do during Ramadan.
The month of Ramadan is also not for wasting on sports grounds, whether playing or spectating. Similarly, it is not a month to “pass time” touring or going for aimless “drives.” By means of these things, we end up ruining the blessings of this great month.
Abundant Virtues of Ramadan
The preparation for Ramadan must commence days before it starts. One has to approach Ramadan with the correct concept of this gift of Allah in mind and with the true perspective of this treasure in one’s heart. For this, one must become fully acquainted with the extensive guidance that Rasulullah (ﷺ) has given us in this regard.
For this purpose, one should commence reading the “Virtues of Ramadan” by Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (may Allah forgive him) immediately. Choose an appropriate time when the entire family can sit together and have this read out to them daily for ten minutes or so. Do not regard this as insignificant. Go ahead… try it out… and notice the
To read it to one’s family is extremely important so that they too could become prepared for Ramadan. Then perhaps the true spirit of Ramadan will be kindled in the entire family.
Perhaps it will then be a Ramadan that will be a turning point in our lives. After Ramadan has gone, the punctuality upon salaah, recitation of the Holy Quran, etc., and most importantly the refraining from sin will still be a part of our lives.
May Allah grant us the ability to use every single moment fruitfully in this month of Ramadan.
This is a selected article of Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyas Patel from a book that was originally published by Madrasah Taleemuddeen. We are publishing it as per their permission with little language improvement. May Allah grant us the ability to be benefited from this article. Ameen.