It's already the 11th Sha'ban and with Ramadan a matter of only a couple of weeks or so away it's time to start preparing to welcome this blessed month and consider what I want to achieve this Ramadan.
All over the net I have been reading articles about Ramadan and how to be prepared; Oum Anas and Umm Raiyaan have written some nice pieces on looking forward to Ramadan that have made me think more.
- First and foremost of course, I hope to be able to fast all of Ramadan as quickly as possible; any days I miss due to ha'id I intend to make up immediately during Shawwal and if there is time I also intend to fast the 6 days of Shawwal.
"Whoever observes the Ramadan fast and follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted Dahr (the whole year)." (Bukhari)
- Read the whole Qur'an in English, one juz (thirtieth) per day. M. A. Abdel Haleem's translation will be my copy of choice, chosen for ease of reading, minimal footnotes, absence of exessive explanations in parentheses and the smooth way that the text flows. This translation has great reviews even from non-muslims. I will make this my bedtime reading.
- Aim to read at least half the Qur'an in Arabic. I still struggle with reading in Arabic those parts of the Qur'an which I have not memorised so I am setting myself a more realistic goal. In order to read the whole Qur'an in Arabic during the month of Ramadan I would have to read 6 pages after each daily prayer; I have set myself the task of 3 pages after each daily prayer...
- Pray Taraweeh at home with my older daughters
Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying regarding Ramadan, "Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan)out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 226)
- Be prepared with the cooking, get iftar (meal to break the fast) cooked early in the day and... keep it simple!
- Go on umra towards the end of Ramadan if possible.
The Prophet said, "Perform 'Umra in the month of
Ramadan, (as it is equivalent to Hajj or Hajj with me (in reward)." (Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 29, Number 86)
Insha'Allah we all have a healthy and blessed Ramadan.