Ramadan is here .. Who will strive hard for Paradise?


Ramadan is a renewed opportunity that Allah gives to His worshippers in order to deepen their relationship with Him, and join others competing in worship and racing to please Allah. This is how our pious predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them, have dealt with Ramadan, for which they used to prepared themselves a head of time and Allah Almighty to allow them to reach this blessed month, which has attained great status in their hearts.

This article discusses briefly how to welcome Ramadan, and which acts to perform:

1. Sincere intention

As part of preparing yourself to Ramadan, it is very important to have a sincere intention to make the most of it. This is through increasing acts of worship and abandoning bad deeds for the sake of seeking the pleasure of Allah Almighty.

The reason is that when it is intended sincerely, Allah Almighty rewards for that even if it couldn’t be performed in case of death. On the authority of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, from what he has related from Allah, glorified and exalted be He:

“Verily Allah Almighty has written down the good deeds and the evil deeds; whosoever intended to perform a good deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed.”  [Agreed upon].

2. Sincere repentance

One should repent sincerely from every sin committed at any time, especially in Ramadan, being a season for repentance and worship. So, whoever refrains from that won’t be able to worship and get closer to Him.

A man asked Al-Hasan Al-Basri: Why I can’t get up for the night prayer? To which he replied: ”Your sins are restricting you.”

Al-Fudayl ibn Ayaad also said: “If you can’t pray during the night, or fast during the day, know that you are indeed deprived and restricted, chained by your sins.”

That is why it is necessary to repent sincerely, which includes returning taken possessions to their owners, invoking the Almighty, the All-Forgiving for help and forgiveness more and more, seeking acceptance of repentance before Ramadan, and emancipation from the Hellfire by the end of Ramadan.

3. Make the most of your time

Life is nothing but time, which is a great means of attaining the pleasure of Allah Almighty. This is through making the most of time doing good deeds.

Ibn Al-Jawzi said: Every person should be aware of the importance and value of time. So that they waste none and benefit from every moment [of their life] to draw nearer to Allah.”

Every moment is blessed and precious in Ramadan; therefore, one should take care of every moment, considering Allah’s description of Ramadan as “a number of days,” i.e., it is limited and will soon end, as the case of virtuous seasons, during which only those who have prepared themselves prior to its arrival gain the blessings of such seasons.

Realizing that Ramadan is short, makes doing acts of worship easy, and results in filling the heart with peace and joy of getting closer to Him.

4. Eat less

Ramadan has special merit, including training oneself on eating less, resting the stomach, and doing good deeds. Overeating makes the heart hardened like a rock, which results in making it difficult to worship and pray. So, in order to feel the joy and peace while praying, one should not eat much food, which helps softening the heart, brings about concentration, humbleness, weakness of desires, and anger.

Muhammad Ibn Al-Wasi said: “Whoever eats little will understand and make others understand and will be decent and humble. Overeating keeps people from much of what they want [to accomplish].”

Salamah Ibn Saeed said: “People used to be reprimanded for what they fill their stomach with as they would be reprimanded for their committed sins.”

A man burped in the presence of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to whom he said: “Withhold your burps from us! For the most hungry of you on the Day of Resurrection will be those who most ate their fill in this world.” [Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi].

5. Train yourself to worship more

  • Fasting: The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to fast almost all of Sha’ban, so as to fast easier and do more acts of worship in Ramadan.
  • Night prayer: Getting used to prayer at night is important before and after Ramadan, especially for those calling to Islam and imams. This is because night prayer has the virtue of opening closed hearts, descending of blessings and mercy, and seeking knowledge, as in the case of our pious predecessors. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to stand in prayer at night for long, according to the hadith narrated by Hudhayfah.
  • Reading a lot of the Qur’an: Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an. Gabriel used to meet the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them, every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him, according to the hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas. Therefore, the predecessors and imams used to give special attention to reciting the Qur’an during Ramadan.

6. Taking things seriously

This is confirmed in the Quran and Sunnah as follows:

  • “Compete with one another for forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers. This is the favour of Allah. He grants it to whoever He wills. And Allah is the Lord of infinite bounty.” [Al-Hadid:21].
  • “And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful [of Allah].” [Al-Imran:133].
  • When the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them said: “Those in solitude have raced ahead,” his companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who are those in solitude?” To which he replied: They are men and women who remember Allah often.”

This was the practice of our predecessors who used to compete in doing good deeds, according to what has been reported: “No wonder that, if a man in the East has heard that another one in the West is dearer to Allah than him, he would die out of grief.”

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