We are only a few days away from Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims around the world. The Muslim fast, which consists of abstinence from food, drink and marital relations, is from the morning (dawn) to the evening (dusk). Some physical and mental preparation is in order for a successful Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to fast a few days a month throughout the year, so the fasting itself should not be an issue for most people. However, there is a spiritual aspect to Ramadan that we must prepare for to get the most benefit from the month of Ramadan.
The purpose of fasting is to get Taqwa or consciousness of God (hope for His mercy and fear of His wrath). Taqwa is a sought after quality for every believer. Taqwa requires effort on the part of the believer to acquire. Allah says in the Quran about fasting:
ياايهاالذين أمنوا كتب عليكم الصيام كما كتب علي الذين من قبلكم لعلكم تتقون
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –
[Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 183, Al-Quran]
The prescribed way to establish a connection with our Creator and Sustainer Allah is Salah or the prayer. The month of Ramadan is not just the month of fasting but it is also the month of the Quran. Islam is not practiced in isolation. Ramadan is specially a time when the whole community comes together.
To prepare for the blessed month of Ramadan, it is important to bring our focus toward the worship of Allah with the Prayer, increase in the study of the Quran and to reach out to people around us to really get into the spirit of Ramadan inshaaAllah. In summary, just remember these three points:
1-Worship of Allah with prayer more
2-Study of the Quran more
3-Reach out to people around you more
May we reach the blessed month and may this Ramadan be the best Ramadan yet, Ameen.