In the blink of an eye, it’s already Rajab, which means we are less than two months away from Ramadan 2022. It is in this month that we start planting our seeds and strive to nurture our taqwa (God-fearing) to prepare ourselves for the holy month.
To quote Imam Abu Bakr al-Warraq al-Balkhi, the uncle of Imam Tirmidhi, “The month of Rajab is the month of planting (your seeds), Sha’ban is the month of irrigating and watering (them), and Ramadan is the month of harvesting the crop.”
So how can we make use of Rajab to prepare ourselves for Ramadan 2022? Here are 9 tips that you can follow!
1) Start by making a good intention to prepare yourself for Ramadan 2022
In Islam, our intentions determine the weight of our deeds. A deed may be rendered worthless without good intentions and the smallest deeds can become huge with the right intentions. The reward for a sincere deed is limitless, and it multiplies according to the greatness of the intention and the mercy of Allah.
Umar ibn al-Khattab narrated that he heard the Prophet ﷺ said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” [Bukhari]
So make an intention to prepare yourself mentally and physically for Ramadan 2022. May you find barakah (blessing) along the journey.
Related: Ramadan: The Month of Mercy
2) Seek forgiveness from Allah so you can start Ramadan 2022 with a purified heart
Anas ibn Malik reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “All of the children of Adam are sinners, and the best sinners are those who repent.” [Tirmidhi]
As human beings, we can’t run away from making mistakes and sinning. It’s part of our human nature. But Islam teaches us to always seek Allah’s forgiveness no matter how big is our sin. It’s because Allah is al-Ghafir, the Most Forgiving and Most Merciful. He forgives all sins.
Allah says in the Quran, “O servants of Mine who have acted recklessly against their own selves, do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Surely, Allah will forgive all sins. Surely, He is the One who is the Most-Forgiving, the Very-Merciful.” [Surah az-Zumar: 53]
Use this month to ask Allah to forgive you, so you can start Ramadan 2022 with a purified heart.
3) Forgive others so that Allah may forgive you
Just as we would love Allah to forgive us, we must also strive to forgive others. To forgive is to be a better Muslim and in forgiving you gain immense rewards from Allah.
“And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward lies with Allah.” [Surah ash-Shuraa: 40]
This Rajab, try to forgive those who have wronged you so you can ring in Ramadan 2022 with a heart free from grudges and ill feelings.
4) Make self-reflection
Self-reflection is key to spiritual awakening. Umar ibn al-Khattab said, “Take stock of yourselves before you are brought to account; weigh yourselves before you are weighed, for that will make the Reckoning easier for you tomorrow, if you take stock of yourselves today and prepare yourselves for the great presentation on the Day when you will be brought to Judgement, and not a secret of yours will be hidden.” [Imam Ahmad in az-Zuhd]
This Rajab, spend some time alone to reflect on how you can improve your relationship with Allah and become a better Muslim in general.
You may start by reflecting on your daily acts of worship such as prayers. Ask yourself questions like, do you pray regularly, do you pray on time, do you strive to pray in congregation. You can then devise practical ways to be consistent in achieving them.
5) Set realistic goals
One way of doing this is to reflect on how you fared last Ramadan. Take a moment to think about what you did well last Ramadan and look into areas for improvement.
- Did you manage to wake up for sahur every day?
- Did you make it a point to wake up earlier so that you can perform tahajjud and other voluntary prayers?
- Did you make it a habit to read Quran daily?
- Did you manage to complete reading (khatam) the whole Quran?
- Did you break your fast on time with sunnah food?
- Did you pray tarawih every day? And if so, how many rakaah?
- Did you offer charity regularly throughout the month?
These prompts may help you in setting realistic goals for the upcoming Ramadan 2022. Focus on what you are capable of doing without overburdening yourself. The goal is to be consistent (istiqamah) with it and ideally to continue practising some of the good habits beyond Ramadan.
6) Get your engine running by fasting on Mondays and Thursdays
According to Aishah, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, “The Prophet used to try to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.” [Tirmidhi]. This is because, “Deeds are presented on Monday and Thursday, and I love that my deeds be presented while I am fasting.” [Tirmidhi]
From the hadith, we learn that it is sunnah to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. If you are not used to it, you can start making it a habit this month. It will help in preparing your body and soul for the fasting month of Ramadan.
Related: Ramadan Fasting
7) Get into the habit of reading the Quran daily
The Quran is the words of Allah. It is the basis of the teaching of Islam. Not only reading the Quran brings one closer to Allah and its readers will be rewarded enormously but it also offers an abundance of other benefits.
Abu Umamah narrated that he heard the Prophet ﷺ said, “Read the Quran, for it will come as an intercessor (shafa’ah) for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]
If you haven’t already, try reading Quran daily so that it will soon become a habit and you would not have much trouble maintaining it during Ramadan.
Related: Ramadan & Completing the Quran
8) Wake up for night prayers
Waking up for night prayers is not exclusively for the month of Ramadan but it’s definitely a rewarding act not to miss during the holy month.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “The most excellent prayer after that which is obligatory is the (voluntary) late night prayer.” [Muslim]
It will certainly be helpful to practise it early and it’s even more beautiful if one could make it a daily lifetime practise in an effort to draw oneself closer to our Creator.
The beauty of offering night prayers is that, “Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says: I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him? He continues like this till the day breaks.” [Muslim]
9) Give more to charity
Giving sadaqah helps us achieve taqwa. It is taqwa or the fear of Allah that propels Muslims to obey Allah’s commands and keeps us from doing evils and what is forbidden.
“You will never achieve taqwa until you donate some of what you cherish. And whatever you give is certainly well known to Allah.” [Surah Aal Imran: 92]
Related: 7 Benefits of Giving Sadaqah
Give more to charity and help those in need around the globe today via GlobalSadaqah. May we be among those who enter Jannah through Baab as-Sadaqah (the door of sadaqah).
Ring in Ramadan 2022 with good habits
May Allah let us reach the month of Ramadan 2022.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي رَجَب، وَشَعْبَانَ، وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ
Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Sha’ban wa ballighna Ramadan
“O Allah make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us and let us reach the month of Ramadan.”
Note: This is not a dua authentically attributed to the Messenger of Allah, but because of the meaning, scholars recommended it as a general dua to be made.