بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Alhamdulillah the truly blessed month of *Ramadhaan* is fast approaching.
How are *YOU* preparing for the month?
Start with this list of questions and virtues to help make this the *BEST* Ramadhaan of your life and one in which you achieve piety and the forgiveness of Allah.
Firstly, make the *sincere intention* that you will attempt to make this the *BEST* Ramadhaan of your life and strive to earn the Pleasure & Forgiveness of Allah.
_"Actions are according to intentions... " [Bukhari & Muslim]_
*1. Set yourself GOALS and targets for what you want to achieve in the month.*
i),*Complete* the recitation of the *Qur‘ân* at least once.
_“Recite the Quran, for it comes on the Day of Resurrection as an intercessor to its holder.“ [Muslim]_
ii) Pray *all prayers* in congregation in order to *multiply your reward*.
_“Prayer in congregation (for men) is twenty-five times better than the prayer of one of you on his own.” According to another report: “twenty-seven times better.” [Bukhari & Muslim]_
iii) *Preserve* your fast by avoiding any _haram_ acts such as *backbiting*, *listening to music* etc. And *not lowering your gaze*
_“Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it and ignorant conduct, Allaah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” [Bukhari]_
iv) Don't *waste time* with that which is *not beneficial* such as watching TV. Ramadhaan is an amazing opportunity to earn the forgiveness of Allah so keep yourself busy in that which Pleases Him.
_“Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds” [Al Qur‘ân. 11:114]_
_“O people, you should do whatever good deeds you can, for Allaah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of good deeds to Allaah is that in which a person persists, even if it is little..." [Bukhari & Muslim]_
v) Don't *miss* any *Taraweeh* prayers in the masjid.
_“Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari & Muslim]_
vi) Make every effort to catch _Laylatul-Qadr_ (The night of Decree)
_“Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” [Bukhari & Muslim]_
*2. HOW are you going to achieve these goals? Make a plan*.
i) Read one Juzz each morning after Salat-ul-Fajr or 4 pages after each Salat *(20 pages a day = 1 Juzz!)*
ii) Get a timetable or set *reminders* for the salat time *on your phone* so you get to the masjid on time.
iii) Acts such as *backbiting*, *listening to music* etc. And * not lowering your gaze* are impermissible both inside and *outside* Ramadhaan. Make the *sincere intention*, *effort* and most importantly *ask Allah* to help you *stop* these acts now to prevent falling into them in Ramadhaan.
iv) Make a *timetable* and pencil in the times which you can work on achieving your goals. Have a few mins spare? *Read some Qur‘ân* from your phone or *listen to a talk* on YouTube.
Remember *rest* is also important so don't burn yourself out. Everything in moderation.
Prepare foods and ingredients and freeze them in packs in order to have them ready and *minimise time spent cooking*.
v) make the *intention* with a group of friends that you will *not miss* any *taraweeh* prayers this Ramadhaan. Encourage and *motivate each other* to attend to gain the Pleasure of Allah.
_"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it.” [Saheeh Muslim]_
vi) You can work out now when the last 10 days of Ramadhaan will be +/- 2 days. Make *plans* to take time off work if you are able to or ease your daily duties so you can *stay up during these 10 nights* and try to achieve the *worship of 1000 months in one night!* (That's 83 years of worship!)
_The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). [Al Qur‘ân. 97:3]_
*3. How are you going to avoid losing the buzz after the first few days and becoming lazy?*
*Start slowly and set yourself, manageable targets*. For example, start by reciting a few pages of the Qur‘ân before Ramadhaan begins to *get yourself into a routine*.
*Please share so others can benefit and have a productive and accepted Ramadhaan.