Ramadan 2023, the most eagerly awaited month of the year, is just a few weeks away. After the month of Ramadan begins, we start preparing for Eid about a month in advance. We plan everything from shopping to decorations, but do we make any preparations in advance for the most glorious month of the year, Ramadan?
Shouldn’t we acknowledge the mistakes and sins we have committed throughout the year, and prepare for Ramadan to seek forgiveness from Allah? Instead of only focusing on Eid preparations, shouldn’t we plan in advance and act accordingly, by preparing ourselves for the opportunities that Ramadan brings us, such as reciting the holy Quran, performing i’tikaf, and donating to charity? By doing so, we can make the best use of this blessed month and maximize its benefits.
This blog is intended to remind you of some important preparations to make before the start of Ramadan. It is our hope that by sharing this information, you and your loved ones will be better informed about the importance of preparing for this blessed month.
Table of Contents
When is Ramadan 2023? What is the date of Ramadan 2023?
The month of Ramadan for the year 1444 Hijri or 2023 in the Gregorian calendar is expected to begin on Friday, March 23, 2023, although this is an approximate date. The actual start date will depend on the sighting of the moon, which in turn depends on the lunar months of Rajab, Shaban, and Ramadan. It is likely that fasting will begin on March 24, 2023, but this could vary by 2-3 days earlier or later depending on the actual sighting of the moon.
Importance of Fasting During Ramadan
The goal and objective of Ramadan is to attain closeness to Allah through fasting, as mentioned in the Qur’an: “O believers! Fasting is enjoined upon you, as it was enjoined upon those before you, so that you may attain piety” (Qur’an 2:183)
Fasting during Ramadan involves moderating one’s food and physical needs, and living in the way prescribed by Allah. This creates a spiritual awareness in individuals, leading them to be freed from pride, malice, and self-centeredness, and becoming beloved servants of Allah. In recognition of this, fasting individuals are promised the peace of this world, welfare in the hereafter, and a certificate of liberation. This is reflected in the following hadith: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven”.(Sahih Bukhari)
Fasting became obligatory in the second year of Hijri, as stated in various hadiths. One such hadith highlights the significance of fasting in Ramadan, stating: “When the first night of Ramadan comes, the gates of heaven are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up. These gates remain open throughout the month, and none of them are ever closed”. (Sahih Bukhari)
This highlights the great rewards and blessings that are available to believers who observe fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
There are different classes of Muslims when it comes to the preparation for Ramadan, with some taking it very seriously while others are indifferent about it. However, as Muslims, it is important for everyone to prepare for Ramadan properly and engage in its worship. This is because the rewards of worship during this month are multiplied by 70 times compared to other months.
Quran and Hadith on Ramadan
Allah Almighty states in the Qur’an, “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it” (Qur’an 2:185). This emphasizes the importance of Ramadan and the obligation to fast during this month, and encourages all believers to take its preparation and worship seriously.
The Qur’an and Hadith describe many virtues and importance of the month of Ramadan, and it is important for believers to make adequate preparations in order to fully benefit from this sacred month. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to prepare himself for Ramadan from the beginning of the month of Rajab, and also advised his companions to do the same.
How to prepare for Ramadan 2023?
From the scholars we can learn about various ways to prepare for Ramadan. We can follow them. We can also increase the amount of other good deeds and prepare for Ramadan by abstaining from sinful deeds. Below are some common preparations, in point form.Write again correctly
Mentally Prepare for Ramadan
It is recommended to fast in the month of Sha’ban as a preparation for the month of Ramadan. In a hadith narrated by Hazrat Ayesha (R.A.), she said, “I have not seen the Prophet (S.A.W.) fast in any month other than the month of Ramadan with such importance and I have not seen him fast in any other month except the month of Sha’ban.” (Bukhari: 1868; Muslim: 1156)
Fasting in the month of Sha’ban helps to prepare the mind and body for the more rigorous fast of Ramadan, as well as encouraging spiritual reflection and self-discipline. By fasting in Sha’ban, believers can enter into Ramadan with a greater sense of readiness and motivation to fully engage in its worship and receive its many blessings.
Pray more and more
A Muslim should pray more and more to Allah, asking for His guidance to attain the month of Ramadan, to remain steadfast on the path of Islam, and to maintain good health to obey and act according to His commandments.
It is narrated in a hadith that when the month of Rajab arrived, the Prophet (PBUH) used to pray to Allah, saying, “O Allah, bless us in the months of Rajab and Sha’ban and allow us to reach the month of Ramadan.” (Bayhaqi, Shuabul Iman 375)
Rejoicing at the arrival of Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is one of the blessings of Allah to the Muslim Ummah. In this month, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed. Ramadan is the month of the Quran, as the Holy Quran was revealed in this month. Therefore, Muslims should feel happiness and joy at the arrival of this month.
Reciting the Holy Quran
Reciting the Quran more and more is important during the month of Ramadan. In preparation for reading more of the Quran during this month, it is recommended to make it a habit to recite the Quran from now on, especially during the month of Sha’ban which is known as the month of “Qari”.
Practicing Nafal prayers
In addition to performing Fardh, Wajib, and Sunnah prayers, one should also try to perform Nafal prayers regularly, as the reward of Nafal prayers in this month is equivalent to that of obligatory prayers in other months. Additionally, one should actively participate in the congregational prayers in the mosque.
Moreover, “Zikir AJkar” should be done relatively more in this month; while walking, going back and forth, one should always remember Allah in the manner prescribed by Shari’ah. After every prayer and recitation of the Qur’an, prayers and blessings should be offered in the court of Allah, and one should present one’s sufferings and desires to Almighty Allah.
Each and every time is important for the Muslim Ummah. So we dont need to waste this valuable time without doing the good deeds.
Preparing to perform Tarawih and Tahajjud prayers
One should be mindful that performing Tarawih prayer is a blessed act every day and one should strive to regularly or occasionally perform Tahajjud prayer before eating Sahri. Fasting is also an opportunity to turn away from the slavery of the self and to follow the slavery of Allah; thus, one must control their instincts.
May Allah bless us, so that we may spend the month of Ramadan in accordance with His plan, thereby realizing the full rights of this month and achieving the true virtue of fasting.