May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.
I was reading an article about Ramadhan, and I selected some advice from Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari for us to prepare…
Firstly, if you have not done so, prepare for the blessed month of Ramadhan from now. It is useful to start managing your time more wisely, possibly making a checklist of things you want to achieve by the end of the day (e.g. memorise a hadith, dhikr, tahajjud) as well as a not-to-do list (backbiting, arguing, smoking, etc). Rather than spending at least half of Ramadhan trying to cut down on bad habits and getting into the habit of doing good things, start doing it now so that you can do it with more ease throughout the blessed month.
Ramadhan is a month of Taqwa (being mindful that we will have to answer for all that we say and do in this life) Although praying Salah, giving Zakah and fasting are important during the month, I personally believe the most important thing is to try to avoid sinning. Arguing, swearing, slandering and obscenity only distracts us from worshipping. So in order for us to do dhikr more often we must stop leading ourselves in situations where we cannot even utter the names of Allah, feeling peace and tranquillity within ourselves.
Also, we must be more careful of guarding ourselves from the sins of the tongue! Backbiting and swearing should be at the top of our lists to try and avoid… Preparing to stop doing it from now will make it so much easier for us during Ramadhan and In sha Allah after Ramadhan too if we continue to have the mindset we have during the month. The more good we speak of, the purer our hearts will be, the more we speak bad, the more our hearts will blacken. It is a reminder from the Prophet PBUH himself that if we are not going to say something beneficial and good then we might as well not say anything at all. It is hard at times, especially when people annoy or anger us, even when it comes to gossiping. But think about it, what do we gain from doing all that? Not Allah’s pleasure, nor does it satisfy our souls. When you feel angered, when you feel like shouting at someone try to think of something peaceful, or start doing dhikr, and I promise you, you will feel much better than venting your anger out at someone.
Try reciting Quran more often than you usually do, set yourself personal targets – two ayahs a day, a page a day, a juz a day, whatever suits you best. Focus more on the quality of your recitation with tajweed not the quantity, with reflection and understanding. For me, reading Quran is one thing that immediately makes me feel more confident in everything I do and it helps me prepare for my exams with more ease too.
Also, remember, Ramadhan is a month of mercy for all. We need to show mercy towards others as well, but it doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and with the support of friends and family and the guidance of Allah SWT we can actively prepare for the month which we all are looking forward to.
May you be accompanied by safety.