Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
With Ramadhan, subhanaAllaah just around the corner (and it feels like Ramadhan was just yesterday, isn’t it!) literally a handful of days away, it’s essential to make sure that we all prepare for it. From now. Right now. So even if we don’t meet Ramadhan (O Allaah allow us to reach Ramadhan) then perhaps there is still a chance of us attaining the reward contained simply for an intention that is sincere.
The Beauty of Ramadhan
Prophet Yusuf alayhis salaam had 11 brothers, him alayhis salaam being the 12th. Yet, if Yusuf were to stand amidst his brothers and not knowing who Yusuf was you would still be able to immediately identify him, simply because he was blessed by Allaah in receiving half of the worlds beauty subhanAllaah. So it will be easy for him to be identified. In fact, even those who he alayhis salaam was imprisoned with, chose him to interpret dreams not even knowing who he was, but realising immediately that he alayhis salaam was blessed.
“Then it occurred to them, after they had seen the proofs (of his innocence), to imprison him for a time. And there entered with him two young men in the prison. One of them said: “Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine.” The other said: “Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof.” (They said): “Inform us of the interpretation of this. Verily, we think you are one of the Muhsinun (doers of good).” 1
Similar is it the case with Ramadhan. The beauty of Ramadhan can be recognised by anybody even the non-Muslims for that matter. Within this month, thousands flog to the Masaajid, there is a good noticeable change in character, where individuals as a whole are more concerned on what they say, how they treat others and so on.
Ramadhan itself as known, is a time when the doors of the Paradise are wide open and the doors of the Blazing Fire (O Allaah we seek refuge in You from that) are closed subhanAllaah.
“When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” 2
How more desiring can this blessed month made to be?
If we go back to the story of Yusuf alayhis salaam again, when the brothers of Yusuf had realised the ruler that they were speaking to, was in fact their brother (Yusuf) whom they had treated so bad, they immediately showed regret. But how merciful was the response of Yusuf alayhis salaam – “Laa tathreeba alaykumul yawm,” he alayhis salaam replied saying what? He told them, ‘don’t worry.’ SubhanaAllaah.
He said: “This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: Allah will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy! 3
For 11 months, wallaahi the amount of sin that we have piled each and every single one of us. You just need to spend a few minutes in contemplation with yourself and realise the amount of sin that has piled up. That day where I took that glance, that day where I said such and such word, that day when I raised my voice, that day when I delayed my salaah, that day when I neglected the Qur’aan, that day…that day…that day. SubhanaAllaah. Yet when Ramadhan comes, it comes with the hope of forgiveness – ‘you have this much and that much sin, don’t worry I’m Ramadhan ALL of those sins will be forgiven.’ Allaahuakbar. The Prophet Muhammad Salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said to the meaning,
““Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” 4
“Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” 5
That fasting, that taraweeh, that standing that you engage yourself through the nights, subhanaAllaah, just so that perhaps I can stand purified in front of My Lord.
Can You Smell Ramadhan
Ya’qub alayhis salaam, Yusuf’s father, had become blind due to his constant weeping. Upon hearing of this, Yusuf alayhis salaam sent his brothers to take his shirt to put over the face of Ya’qub, by which he will be cured.
“Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, he will become clear-sighted, and bring me all your family.” 6
When the brothers of Yusuf just left Egypt taking Yusuf’s shirt towards their father Ya’qub in Palestine, which was about 2 weeks travel, immediately he (Ya’qub) could smell the scent of his beloved son,Yusuf.
“And when the caravan departed, their father said: “I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf (Joseph), if only you think me not a dotard (a person who has weakness of mind because of old age).” 7
SubhanaAllaah! The Scholars they say the reason as to why this was the case is because Ya’qub was constantly remembering Yusuf. Similarly, a person who is constantly looking forward to Ramadhan can smell the scent of Ramadhan as soon as the first day of the month of Rajab hits – subhanaAllaah ‘Rajab is here, that means, Sha’ban is there and o Ramadhan is here already subhanaAllaah,’ which is why there is also a common du’aa that is recited during Rajab.
“O Allaah bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban. And allow us to reach Ramadhan.”
In terms of it being related from the Prophet, then the Scholars did classify it weak, but the meaning they said is correct.
So is your mind concerned about Ramadhan? If it is, then you should be prepared. And if it isn’t then don’t make the mistake of preparing in Ramadhan. These were only a couple of points relating to Ramadhan, but there is a lot more that can be found out about the blessed month. However, lets just make sure that we are all together working towards the right track. So lets go into some practical ‘thingamajigs’ that we should all be doing leading to Ramadhan…
“…Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety)…” 8
Ramadhan as clearly known, was the month in which the Qur’aan was revealed, during the night of Qadr (O Allaah allow us to find the night of Qadr).
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).” 9
Thus, most definitely this should be one of the core subjects we focus around in terms of personal worship. If you don’t already then make sure that every single day, from today, you are reading atleast one Juz’ of the Qur’aan. Make this your routine now, and through the Month of Ramadhan, take the opportunity to make it part of your daily life. If you miss it, regret it.
Engage in the night prayers. Make sure to work on this. Now, if you’re someone who hasn’t still established the obligatory and the 12 daily sunan – then what are you doing, get serious with yourself!! Get a buddy right now, don’t be embarrassed to ask someone for help – in fact the other person will feel like you’re helping them. Don’t miss these and think with all the extras it’s going to become burdensome because the reward that these deeds can be multiplied by in Ramadhan is another level.
Make sure to pray your Salaah in the Masjid. Atleast your Fajr and your Esha if you’re working or something like that. Try not to miss these two. In Ramadhan you’re most likely going to be praying Esha in the masjid anyway but make sure from now that praying in the Masjid is something that you do already.
Help your Mom out. Now you will probably be out and about, but make sure to ask your Mom in the morning if anything needs to be purchased from the shop. And in Ramadhan always ask her for permission before going somewhere else for Iftar. If you’re at home, help her out so that she doesn’t have to be in the kitchen for 99% of Ramadhan.
Ok this is not before Ramadhan, but please don’t burp in Taraweeh Salaah. Just don’t.
Do you have any other useful points to add. Please add them so we can all benefit together InshaAllaah!