|How Can We Prepare for Ramadaan?|
| We should avoid everything that could undermine our commitment to the Shahaadatayn. This means keeping away from bid’ah (innovations) and things that have been introduced into the religion. We should follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions and adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the way of the Rightly-Guided Khulafa’ who came after him. We should love the Sunnah and love those who adhere to it and defend it, in whatever country they are and whatever colour or nationality they are.|
After that we should take stock of ourselves and recognize our shortcomings in doing acts of worship such as praying in congregation, remembering Allaah (dhikr), paying attention to the rights of neighbours, relatives and the Muslims, spreading the greeting of salaam, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, urging one another to follow the truth and be patient and steadfast in doing so, being patient in avoiding evil actions and in doing good deeds, and accepting the decree of Allaah with patience.
Then we should take stock of ourselves and our sins and our following whims and desires. We should stop ourselves from persisting in that, whether the sin is great or small, whether it is a sin of the eye, by looking at that which Allaah has forbidden; or by listening to music; or by walking to things of which Allaah does not approve; or by using one's hands to srike in a manner with which Allaah is not pleased; or by consuming things that Allaah has forbidden such as riba (usury) and bribes, or any other means of consuming people’s wealth unlawfully.
We should never forget that Allaah stretches forth His hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who sinned at night, and He stretches forth His hand at night to accept the repentance of those who sinned during the day. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).
Those who spend (in Allaah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allaah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the good?doers).
And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allaah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.
For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allaah’s Orders)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:133-136]
“Say: “O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft?Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Zumar 39:53]
“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allaah’s forgiveness, he will find Allaah Oft?Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Nisa’ 4:110]
By taking stock, repenting and seeking forgiveness, this is how we should welcome Ramadaan.
“The smart person is the one who takes stock of himself/herself and strives to do that which will benefit him/her after death, and the helpless one is the one who follows his/her own whims and desires and engages in wishful thinking, (assuming that Allaah will forgive him/her regardless of what he/she does and that he/she does not need to strive to good deeds).”