بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The countdown to the blessed month of Ramadhaan begins as we enter Sha’baan, the final month before Ramadhaan itself is upon us!
*Post contributed by Umm Hassan, may Allah reward her and grant her an amazing and accepted Ramadhaan, aameen!*
This year, with the loooooong fasts, there is some understandable anxiety in the run up to Ramadhaan; everything from, ‘how am I gonna make it through a day never mind a month?!’ to ‘will I be able to remember my Lord throughout these days of fasting?’
Some of you will be thinking I’ve got work/study/kids/I’m pregnant/breastfeeding (or maybe even all 5!!) so I think I’ll just have to see how I go. For those of us in any one of these boats or more, we’ve gleaned a great collection of personal accounts of others in your situation and how they survived Ramadhaan. They will make up the first of subsequent posts on the blog in the run-up to the beautiful month, hopefully inspiring and encouraging you. For non-Muslims reading these Ramadhaan posts, we hope that you can get an insight into the lives of Muslims during this amazing month. As any Muslim will tell you, there is nothing quite like Ramadhaan!
I want to dedicate the rest of this post to getting into the right Ramadhaan mindset inshaAllah.
Once we get our heads round the idea that we will give this Ramadhaan a shot, we can shift from the panic of going without food and drink for Allah to a concerted effort in making the most of Ramadhaan. Ramadhaan is the jackpot of the Muslim- no matter what any of us has going on in our lives, we do not want to lose out on the unique opportunities it offers!
Take a moment to reflect on this saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم :
Whoever fasts Ramadhaan with eemaan (for Allah) and ihtisaab (expecting His reward) will be forgiven all his previous sins. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Which of us does not need Allah’s forgiveness for all of our sins? A complete obliteration of every single hurt or harm ever committed against Allah Himself and everyone else. We NEED to fast this month!!
Consider another hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم :
When Ramadhaan begins, a caller calls out ‘O seeker of goodness come forward, and O seeker of evil stay behind.’ (Bukhari, Muslim)
This call is to us. Do we intend to be of those who go forth, or are we of those who stay put? There is no in-between. If we consider ourselves to be believers, we have to be of those who move by firmly intending to do our best this Ramadhaan.
This positive and determined mindset is the first hurdle. Next, you have to train for the race. No feat is completed successfully without preparation. You can’t pass with flying colours by cramming the night before. The striving begins NOW.
Today is the 3rd of Sha’baan, the final month before the blessed month of Ramadhaan. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم would fast most if not all of Sha’baan and this is part of the preparation in awaiting this month. He صلى الله عليه و سلم would advise some people to refrain from fasting at the very end of Sha’baan and others to leave the last half of Sha’baan so that they would be fresh for Ramadhaan. So lets follow this great sunnah and fast as much as we can in the month of Sha’baan as our preparation for the real marathon which is Ramadhaan.
InshaAllah we’ve gone from, ‘how am I gonna survive Ramadhaan?!‘ to ‘lets start fasting now!‘ and it’s not even Ramadhaan yet!
We don’t want to simply survive Ramadhaan, the month in which each fasting person is granted his wish, the month in which Allah’s mercy and blessings envelope us, the month in which one single night is worth a lifetime…. we do not simply want to survive Ramadhaan, but we want to succeed in Ramadhaan!
We have been given a ticket to wake up on ‘Eid day (the celebration following the completion of the month of fasting) free of sin, like the day our mothers gave birth to us. Dont be lazy, snap it up inshaAllah!