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Bayan, 97 minutes
15th February, 2024

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How to Prepare for Ramadhan?

Nabi ﷺ preferred Sha'ban because it is close to Ramadan. There are many blessings during this month and the rewards are extra during this month. We should prepare for Ramadan from now. we should not be negligent during this month because there are blessings in every moment of this moment. Every action is included in worship during Ramadan.

Allah's blessings arrive due to one's preparation. The real preparing begins from Rajab otherwise Ramadan will become wasted. These are very important months and Shaytan also attacks a person during these months and makes him inclined towards wrongdoing so we should ensure that we spend these days correctly.

We will not attain Ramadan if we haven't prepared for it, just like a person who fails to prepare for his exam before sitting it. You will not be successful in such a manner. Only if you have spent these two months preparing, you'll attain Ramadan.

What is the preparation for us to attain Ramadan?

For every worship, Allah ta'ala grants a preparation. For example, we prepare for prayers through performing wudu. When you prepare for prayer correctly, Allah ta'ala allows you to taste the sweetness of that worship.

When we purify our inner selves, we are able to understand the reality and the essence of the Quran. The more we purify ourselves and recite, the more it will benefit us. The one who is impure, is cursed by the Quran although he may believe that he is earning reward.

The preparation for Ramadan is to become pure. The purer you are, the more you will receive from this month and our purification should begin eight weeks prior to Ramadan. This is how desperately in need we are to prepare for this month.

One sin causes darkness and destruction within a person. This is because every sin connects a person to Hellfire. When a person's connection with Hellfire is made strong, then evil within him leads him to Hellfire. When a person does good deeds, he is connected to Paradise. The more he performs good actions, the more his relationship with Ramadan is strengthened.

We are immersed by many sins and this is not the way to enter Ramadan. We require purity to enter this blessed month, although Shaytan encourages us to sin prior to Ramadan. He makes us engage in futile talk and makes us deviated and distracted.

Generally, we chase after where we see benefit of the world because we have certainty in that. On the other hand, Shaytan demotes a person's certainty in dhikr and makes him weak. We shouldn't allow Shaytan to attack our certainty and instil doubts within us towards the dhikr gathering.

The pious predecessors say that whether you feel like it or not, whether you are weak, whether you have wudu or not, you should never abandon the gatherings of dhikr.

Allah ta'ala tests a person in different ways and through different challenges. We shouldn’t complain about our situation and interfere with Allah ta'ala's decision. If we follow the deen according to our own desires, we will not progress. The best way to combat these negative whispers of Shaytan is to accept the situation Allah ta'ala has placed you in. The great Prophets عليهم السلام faced great challenges for many years but didn't complain to Allah ta'ala because they had true certainty in Him. This is a great teaching for us. We should know that Allah ta'ala appreciates our perseverance and our sacrifices for His sake. He recognises us working hard in this world and our belief in Him being solid, although we have not seen Him, nor Paradise.

Similarly, we benefit from the Quran only when we have certainty and conviction in it. Those who have true conviction in Ramadan, will prepare for Ramadan in advance. They will change themselves in Rajab and Sha'ban. To develop this condition and emotion within us, we visit the Awliyah Allah.

The love of the world contaminates these good emotions and destroys them. It makes us deluded and due to this, we fail to acquire the taste of deen whilst chasing the world. This is why we must visit the Awliyah Allah so that they can reform us.

We must make effort to develop belief and conviction. If we don't make effort, we wont acquire the taste of deen. We won't experience the enjoyment just like the person who eats only to fill his stomach and not to also enjoy the taste of the food. On the other hand, the one whose taste of deen has been developed, becomes inclined towards worship.

There are limits set by Shariah for those who believe, in order for them to protected and also assisted in their progress. Those who transgress the boundaries, do not have faith. The boundaries haven't been put in place out of strictness, rather, they are to elevate you and make you progress. Those who complain and consider the boundaries difficult, are hypocrites. In reality, Allah ta'ala loves the believers and does not place them in to difficulty.

Similarly, the Sheikh places boundaries to reform the student so, we shouldn't complain, otherwise we are hypocrites and have not truly come seeking progression. In reality, every footstep of the Sheikh is for the rectification and guidance of the student. The student who considers it difficult, is a pure hypocrite whom Allah ta'ala makes apparent. We should obey and try to make an effort.

To live within the boundaries of Shariah is for our own betterment. Those who follow the path of Imaan and the principles of his Sheikh without complaining, are solid upon this path.

Whenever we sin, our organs curse us. The effect of the sin is such that in the Hereafter, our organs that we used to commit sins, will testify against us on the day of Qiyamah.

Shaytan challenged Allah ta'ala and promised to deviate us. In parallel, Allah ta'ala promises that He will continue to forgive His servants until they die for as long as they keep seeking His forgiveness.

In the time of the Prophet ﷺ, a man came to him ashamed over his sins. Nabi ﷺ requested him to recite istighfar three times and thereafter told him that he has now become pure. The Sufiyyah comment on this occasion and say that this repentance is similar to when a student takes bay’ah from a Sheikh. His sins are forgiven in such a way and this is the method of repentance today.

Repentance is so powerful that the evidence of one's sin is wiped from the earth and the effects of Shaytan are removed through it. The condition is that after repentance, a person must rectify himself. The real student connects himself to the teacher and obeys his instructions. This is the real journey and true progression after repentance.

The first condition of repentance is that you have a desire to improve and you have remorse. You wish to be safe from Hellfire. This is when a person seeks widely for a teacher to have his sins eradicated just like a thirsty person runs around seeking water to quench his thirst. Desire and sincerity are crucial because without it, a person will not act upon instructions.

The second condition is to have remorse over your sins and to seek forgiveness from others you have wronged. This applies to everyone, young and old. There's no one who is not in need of seeking forgiveness. We shouldn’t be ashamed to seek repentance at the hands of a Sheikh. Feeling ashamed to submit to a teacher knowing that Allah ta'ala has defined this path, is considered pride.

The third condition is to eliminate that sin and the forth, is to promise not to repeat it again.

When you make these four commitments and you take the hand of the Sheikh for repentance, then all the creatures in the heavens and the earth pray for you and you become pure. Thereafter, if one rectifies himself and focuses upon his improvement under the guidance of his teacher, Allah ta'ala forgives him and surrounds him with His mercy. This is the importance of cleansing our inner selves and this is the preparation for Ramadan. The real message of Ramadan is to enter it pure and clean. After repentance, your worship during Ramadan causes your levels to become elevated and you will receive a high level in Paradise.

We should Present ourselves to a Wali Allah and connect our self to him. We shouldn’t waste our time before Ramadan. We should repent and spend our time in preparing for Ramadan with good deeds. We should continue our work and responsibilities during Ramadan, however, we should utilise Ramadan to make a connection with Allah ta'ala and maintain this connection. We shouldn’t waste our time in futile things.

The most valuable thing for the saalikeen in Ramadan, is the company of Sheikh as the Sheikh is the focal point for Allah ta'ala's mercy. They are the means of a person's forgiveness. Whoever is attached to his Sheikh, he will attain blessings. Allah ta'ala made dhikr common so that we can combat Shaytan easily as the corruption and evil has become widespread today.

We should take the opportunity to repent now because if we waste our time today, we may not be given the opportunity to repent. We need to purify our inner selves so that the darkness and sins are eliminated. Whoever purifies himself now, will enjoy Ramadan. He will receive no negative effects in Ramadan as he is prepared.

May Allah ta'ala allow us to implement. Ameen
20th Feb, 2024