Why Wait? Guest Post by Mujahid Abdul Aleem

June 16, 2014

This lovely article has been contributed by my friend Mujahid Abdul Aleem in recognition of the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Arabic transliterations have been left as is to preserve the original article. For anyone reading who is not Muslim, new Muslim or anyone else with questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

1959883_621913967874169_1999078160_nWe are more than half way through with the month of Sha’ban! (Hopefully, you took advantage of Mid-Shaban) This is around the time people will start going to halaqas about the importance of Ramadan and making intentions to perform different acts of worship during the blessed month, i.e. fasting, praying tarawih, reading a juz a day, etc… Ma sha Allah that is great, but I have some questions… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? Why can’t you start doing these things now? Why wait till Ramadan to maximize your worship? We are already in a blessed month! In sha Allah, I will list a few acts of worship to establish before Ramadan arrives. By getting an early start, you will develop your spiritual muscles before Ramadan comes, finding it easier to sustain these spiritual exercises during the holy month.

1. Fasting: The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said concerning Sha’ban, “It is a month that people neglect, between Rajab and Ramaḍān. It is a month in which actions are raised to the Lord of the Worlds and I love for my actions to be raised while I am fasting.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Nasa’i) Fasting is a divine secret between you and your Lord. It involves sincere sacrifice. This is also the main act of worship in Ramadan. Sha’ban is the perfect month to start fasting. The Prophet, peace be upon him, was known to fast most of Sha’ban. Even though we are past the half way mark, there is still time to fast, at the very least Mondays and Thursdays. Fasting in Sha’ban is also good practice for fasting in the long, hot days that are approaching.

2. Prayer: During the nights of Ramadan, the Muslims gather for supererogatory prayers known as Salatul Tarawih. Some people pray eight rakats of Tarawih, others pray twenty rakats. What usually happens is that we are so pumped to pray Tarawih every single night. Then halfway through Ramadan, we get burnt out. Why? Because we aren’t used to the spiritual exercise of praying late into the night. Therefore, start praying tahajjud on a nightly basis. It doesn’t matter how many rakats of tahajjud you pray, the point is to develop consistency. The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even though it were little.”

3. Reading Qur’an: Start reading that juz a day, today! Remember, develop that consistency early on and Allah loves the consistency of worship. This hadith should give you an incentive into reading the Quran daily, “Whoever recites the Quran has approached prophethood except that he does not receive revelation. The companion of the Quran ought to refrain from acting hastily with a hasty person or ignorantly with an ignorant person while the Words of Allah are his heart. (Reported by Al-Hakim)

4. Dhikr and Salawat: Allah says “and the dhikr(remembrance) of Allah is greater…” (Surah 29:45). Performing dhikr is a great means in purifying the heart and soul. Performing salawat (sending prayers on the Prophet) is another way to rack up blessings and increase love for the Prophet, peace be upon him. In fact the Prophet, peace be upon him, called Sha’ban his month. The scholars of Islam have said the reason the Prophet made this statement because this particular verse was revealed in Sha’ban, “Truly Allah and His angels send prayers upon the Prophet. O you who believe, send prayers and peace upon him in abundance!” (Surah 33:56) As a matter of fact, sending prayers on the Prophet is the only thing in the Quran that Allah says He does something, and then commands His servants to do the same. Develop a habit of performing dhikr and salawat throughout the month, particularly after each prayer.

In sha Allah, these small tips will make result in you having a much more fulfilling Ramadan. I conclude with a dua from the Beloved, peace be upon him, “O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha`bān and enable us to reach Ramaḍān!” (Related by Ahmad)
-Mujahid Abdul Aleem

1959334_10152303679947348_3304039483502071180_nMujahid Abdul-Aleem converted to Islam at the age of 17 in 2007. His interests engaging the youth concerning contemporary issues as well as reading and movies for leisure. He is currently an MA student at the Claremont School of Theology, majoring in Islamic Theology and Leadership. He intends to become a Federal Prison Chaplain and University Professor of Islamic Studies. Follow him on Facebook and hear his lectures on Soundcloud

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