Fasting in Ramadan is an important event in the Islamic calendar and an integral part of the Muslim faith. It is a responsibility as well as an obligation in Islam.
The Holy month of Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong) as mentioned in the Qur’an. (Qur’an 2:183)
Almighty God says in the Noble Qur’an: “Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness” (Qur’an 2:183)
The Messenger of Almighty God, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Narrated Abu Huraira (God be pleased with him): The Messenger of Almighty God, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said “… whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain God’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
It is very important for all Muslims to be prepared for this great month of Ramadan. It is very essential to mention that all people who are allowed to fast according to conditions given by Islamic law should not miss this chance.
Fasting in the Holy month of Ramadan does not require very restrict conditions. What is important is sincerity and hoping to attain God’s rewards as mentioned in the hadeeth.
Sahl ibn Sa’d reported that the Messenger of Almighty God, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him): “There is a gate to Paradise that is called ar-Rayyan. On the Day of resurrection, it will say: ‘Where are those who fasted?’ When the last [one] has passed through the gate, it will be locked.”
This Hadeeth has emphasized a lot on the importance of Ramadan. It is such that no one can think of losing it.
Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving then times it’s like, up to seven hundred times. Almighty God, the Most High said, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ for the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk.”
As mentioned by Imam Ahmad “Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire.” You can observe the following steps as you prepare for Ramadan:
Seek knowledge about Ramadan
This will help you ensure you will do things correctly and perfectly for Ramadan, it will create a hype as there are many motivational aspects and events in the month to look forward to and finally it is a reward reaper. The more you know about Ramadan the more you can apply, hence multiplying your rewards.
Make a Ramadan plan
Be it reading the entire Quran, ensuring you pray taraweeh every night or inviting families over for iftaar; make a list of things you would like to achieve in the month and then how you plan on achieving these goals. It is important that goals are realistic and it is better that your life doesn’t need to entirely take a different road in this month (i.e. take the month off work or change work hours etc.)
Be aware if Ramadan affects anything that is happening in the month or shortly after. Do you have exams during Ramadan? Or is there a major family wedding after Ramadan by a short time? Moving house? If so, plan for these events from now. Study now so that you are prepared for the exams before the month starts. Be packed and ready to go before Ramadan or plan that you do it after so that it doesn’t take time away from your worship.
The month of Ramadan is about Fasting, Praying, Reading Quran and giving in charity. Start these worships early; don’t expect to just click into it as soon as the first day of Ramadan starts. Start doing extra prayers from now, start revising and regularly reading Quran now, get used to being generous and follow the Sunnah (way of life) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him)
Prepare your mind
Fasting is to refrain from more than just what we consume in our mouth. Start working on your patience; be extra vigilant with your conversations: ensure you are not backbiting, slandering or talking about useless things. Know what bad habits you have and stop them from now.
Know your health status
If you have concerns over your ability to fast for whatever reason, be it diabetes, migraine headache, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure or reflux, now is the time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Check with your doctor if it is safe for you to fast.