The righteous predecessors were very attentive to the worship to Almighty Allah, including paying great attention to the holy month of Ramadan.
So it is known that many of them used to pray to Allah during 6 months after the end of Ramadan to accept their fasting, and then in 6 months they would ask Allah to allow to see the next Ramadan, so that they have another opportunity to make this great worship, which is the fasting in this holy month.
In other words, we can see how the pious predecessors of this Ummah (community of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh) were prepared to meet the Ramadan.
So Abu Bakr al-Balkhi, may Allah bless him with mercy, said:
"Rajab is the month to sow the seeds; Shaban is the month to irrigate the crop; and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest".
And he also said:
"Rajab is like the wind; Shaban is like the water-laden clouds; and Ramadan is like the rain".
- Here a question arose: how do we need to prepare for Ramadan?
The answer is: while preparing for the Holy Ramadan, bear in mind the following:
1. Sincere repentance
Repentance is demanded to be performed continuously, at any time. But it would be better for you with the approach of the blessed month to hurry up with repentance for all the sins you committed against Allah, and also against His creations.
So with the advent of the Blessed Ramadan, you could proceed to the commission of worship with pure and quiet heart. Almighty Allah says in the Quran:
"And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed".
Al-Agharr ibn Yasar al-Muzani, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
"O people! Turn in repentance towards Allah and ask His forgiveness. I turn towards Him a hundred times a day".
2. Dua (supplication)
It is reported from some of the righteous predecessors that they used to ask Allah for the six months to extend their lives to see Ramadan in good health. Then, they used to ask Allah for five months after Ramadan to accept their good deeds committed in it. Therefore, you, by following their example, pray Allah that He gives you an opportunity to celebrate Ramadan in good health and with a strong faith, and ask Him for the help in worshiping Him, and for acceptance of good deeds.
3. Joy in light of the coming of the Holy month of Ramadan
The approach of this blessed month is a great boon for every believer after all, because this month is a period of blessing. It is a month when the gates of Paradise are open and the gates of Hell are closed. It is a month when the Holy Quran was sent down.
"Say, In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy - in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate".
4. Replenishment of the left obligatory fastings
It is reported from Abu Salama, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said:
"I heard Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, as saying: "Sometimes I missed some days of Ramadan, but could not fast instead of them except in the month of Shaban"."
Ibn Hajar, may Allah bless him with mercy, said:
"It can be drawn from the desire of Aisha to make up the missed days of Ramadan in the month of Shaban that any missed fasts to make up have to be made up before the next Ramadan comes".
5. Acquisition of knowledge related to the dignity of the month of Ramadan, and with certain provisions of the fast.
6. The coming completion of all deeds that can distract you from worship in the month of Ramadan.
7. Explanation to the household, relatives and friends of the basic provisions of the fast. Motivation to "little ones" to participate in the fast, so that they could become accustomed to the basic kinds of worship in Islam from their childhood.
8. Fasting in the month of Shaban, in order to prepare for the month of Ramadan.
It is reported in an authentic hadith from Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said:
"Sometimes the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, fasted so much that he even thought he did not break his fast in that month, and sometimes he broke his fast so much that we would say he did not fast. I did not see the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) fast in the whole month except Ramadan. I never saw him fast in any month more than he did in Shaban".
It is also reported from Osama Bin Zeid, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said:
"O Messenger of Allah! I did not see you fasting in any month as you do in the month of Shaban".
The Prophet said:
"People neglect this month which is between Rajab and Ramadan, in this month the deeds of the people are presented to Allah; so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting".
This hadith explains the wisdom of fasting in the month of Shaban, namely the fact that deeds or actions are presented to Allah. Also, some scholars have pointed out other wisdom of the fasting in the month of Shaban, which lies in the fact that this fasting is like a sunna-prayer committed before the obligatory farz-prayer. Thus, a man prepares himself, a sort of warm-up before the fulfillment of the obligatory form of worship.
9. Reading the Quran
Salamah Ibn Suhayl, may Allah be pleased with him, used to say:
"The month of Shaban is the month of reciters of the Quran".
When Shaban came, Amr Ibn Qays al-Malai, may Allah be pleased with him, used to close his store and devote his time to reading the Quran.
Now, having said all this, let's look at our situation, and answer ourselves, being honest, how we prepare for this blessed month, and how we are going to meet it?
We ask Almighty Allah for help and assistance in preparing for the fasting, and for a worthy meeting of the Holy month of Ramadan!
Prepared according to materials of Islamic internet media outlets
Publication time: 25 July 2010, 17:17