As we get closer to the start of another Ramadan, you are probably excited and looking forward to the month of blessing like every Muslim. Everyone has a list of things that they will like to do in Ramadan to earn them rewards, or even things that they will like to give up for the sake of Allah (swt).
Often times, however, we fail to achieve a lot of what we had hoped to, and this is mostly because we wait till Ramadan begins before starting something that we hardly did in other times of the year.
So to maximize our experience in the coming Ramadan and inspire us to achieve all that we hope, we are sharing with you some things you can do pre-Ramadan to prepare yourself for the glorious month.
Make a Dua List
If there is anything that is important for you to before Ramadan, it is to make a dua list. You don’t want to wake up for tahjud on a Ramadan night and be at a loss for what to ask Allah (swt) or to be repeating the same duas that you have been reciting all through the year.
Not that there is anything wrong with repeating prayers, but Ramadan is the month of prayers and dhikr, why limit yourself to a few duas?
Write down everything that you want to ask Allah (swt). When you do this task before the start of Ramadan, you give yourself time to search for more duas that you can include in your list. Remember to include duas for loved ones, friends, your work, Muslims all over the world, etc.
Start a Ramadan Countdown
Mentally or physically, a Ramadan countdown helps us to look forward to the month. It also helps us to prepare for it. Sometimes, we assume that such countdowns are for kids, but imagine that you are going on a long-awaited vacation in a couple of weeks. You will understand the feeling of anticipation and excitement that comes before the trip arrives.
Even if you can’t make a Pinterest-Mom-style countdown calendar, have a counter or calendar on your phone that shows you as the days of Sha’ban decreases so that you are fully aware when Ramadan arrives.
Make a Ramadan Achievement List
What do you want to accomplish during the month of Ramadan? Will you like to read the whole Qur’an, pray every tarawih, or give charity for all of the thirty days? Like every goal that we set for a new year, we should have a list of things that we will like to achieve in the month of Ramadan.
The first time that a lot of Muslims finish reciting the whole Qur’an in less than a month is during the month of Ramadan. And if you make a list in advance, it will be easier for you to plan yourself for the month of Ramadan so that you can achieve everything that you planned to.
Cut back on Social Engagements
The time before Ramadan is a good time to cut back on all the hangouts and socializations so that you can get into the Ramadan mood early. During Ramadan, every minute counts and you want to engage in as much Ibadah as much as possible, so you need to build a habit of using your time very well.
This is not a habit that we can just switch on when Ramadan begins, so before Ramadan, take stock of what you spend your time on and find activities that you can cut back on for Ramadan.
This also applies to social media. We spend so much time on social media sites these days, and if you do not want them to consume your time during Ramadan, you need to slowly reduce the time that you spend on them from now.
Declutter your Mind
Have you ever stood in salah and remembered a random (possibly useless) piece of information that you read about from the internet?
Our minds are now filled with so many information that we can do without, and to be able to focus on what matters during Ramadan, we need to declutter our minds before Ramadan begins.
Remember, the less the random information that you consume, you fewer the random things running through your mind.
Observe more Voluntary Prayers
If we want to find easier to pray the midnight salah (qiyam layl) and tarawih during Ramadan, it is a good idea to start observing more voluntary salah before Ramadan. That is, if you have been observing only the obligatory salah before now.
The midnight prayer is perhaps the salah that a lot of us struggle with the most because we have to either delay our bedtime or wake up earlier than usual.so it is a good idea to start building the habit of observing voluntary salah before Ramadan arrives.
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Organize the Home
As much as we may not want to admit it, we spend a lot of time during Ramadan either preparing meals or entertaining guests. Before the month comes, it is a good idea to organize the things you will need for the house in the month of Ramadan.
Shop for non-perishable food in bulk and also if possible, prepare some meals in advance and freeze.
Even if you are a student or working adult living alone, you can save precious Ramadan minutes by organizing your needs before the start of Ramadan.
Disengage from Bad Habits and Sins
By now, you can get a sense that whatever one wants to do in Ramadan, it is a good idea to start practising before the month arrives. The same goes for every bad habit or sin that we have sworn to stay away from during Ramadan
Many people are not able to quit bad habits cold turkey, so waiting till Ramadan to stay away from what Allah (swt) has forbidden may not be a good idea. Make a sincere intention to slowly move away from these habits before Ramadan and ask Allah (swt) for His help.
May Allah (swt) grant us all the goodness of the month of Ramadan. Aamin.
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