The Month of Fasting, Charity & Prayer
Welcome! As we approach the holiest month of the year, you may wish to prepare your heart for the time that lies ahead. Some of these preparations are outward and some are inward but all support you in facing your Lord during this precious opportunity for healing, transformation, and increased proximity to your Lord.
7 Ways to Prepare for Ramadan, insha’allah
1. Get Inspired! Watch, listen to, and read Sufi teachings on Ramadan.
Watch & Listen
Immersing yourself in the teachings is a great way to orient yourself towards Allah for the coming month. Below we’ve included some videos useful for refreshing your knowledge which offer helpful recommendations.
- Ramadan Q&A with Amany Shalaby
- Nutritional Guidlines While Fasting with Amina Stader-Chan
- More Ramadan Teachings from 2021 & 2022
Preparing for Ramadan Series with Said Bin Yunus:
- 2023 – Preparing for Ramadan, Part 1
- 2023 – Preparing for Ramadan, Part 2
- 2023 – Preparing for Ramadan, Part 3
- 2023 – Preparing for Ramadan, Part 4
- Virtues & Benefits of Ramadan
- Fasting in the Way of Allah
- Giving in the Way of Allah
- Tarawih, Tasbih, ‘Itikaf & Laylat al-Qadr
- Discover the audio library of many of Sidi’s recorded teachings. Listen now
- You can download a booklet of Ramadan-related teachings Sidi gave between 2004 and 2010.
- You can read about fasting (sawm), zakah (annual charity), tarawih prayers, and other spiritual practices.
- Also, Sidi wrote and presented about 40 books. The books published by Sidi Muhammad Press can be purchased at sufimaster.org and some of the transcription books can be purchased here on amazon.com.
2. Begin increasing your du’a and your daily worship.
During Ramadan we all strive to increase our daily worship in the ways that we can. Beginning this process slowly and gradually in the weeks prior to Ramadan can ease the detoxification process that often accompanies a rapid increase in spiritual practice.
3. Do tawba for any separation between you and your Beloved.
Ramadan is a time for all of us to face our Lord from the station of slavehood. As it is written in The Path to Allah, Most High, “There is no station above the station of complete slavehood – the ‘absolute slave’ who has no trace of lordship in him.” Anything you’re carrying in your heart that keeps you from this station is a reason to make sincere tawba. If you’re unsure of what tawba is or if you’d like to immerse yourself in teachings on tawba and Ramadan, download this packet of teachings Sidi gave between 2004 and 2010.
4. Attend local Sufi gatherings and participate in SSC Zoom classes.
Connecting with community is so important for our walking to Allah, Most High. Other people who carry the intention to purify and beautify themselves in the Sufi way can be a support, an inspiration, a mirror, and a wake-up call in a way that no one else can.
Take the time out of your busy schedule to attend local gatherings of beloveds and, if you are in an area where there are no beloveds or if you just want more, join SSC’s Zoom classes before and during Ramadan.
5. Fast to Prepare for Ramadan
There are many ahadith which describe the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as “always” fasting during Sha’ban, the month that immediately precedes Ramadan. Insha’allah, if you have days to make-up from last Ramadan or you simply wish to align yourself with the subtle lights of the month to come, consider fasting as many days as you can in Sha’ban.
6. Consider How You Will Sight the Moon
It is the sunna to make an effort to see the new moon in the sky so that you have personally witnessed it and know that the month has begun. It is related that the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Whenever you sight the new moon (of the month of Ramadan) observe your fast, and when you sight it (the new moon of Shawwal) break it, and if the sky is cloudy for you, then observe your fast for thirty days.” This hadith was related by several individuals and can be read in Sahih Muslim, insha’allah.
SSC’s moon sighting policy states that you can take your moon sighting information from SSC (we follow Jerusalem), you can make the effort to witness the new moon yourself, or you can take the moon sighting information from your local Muslim community. We recommend you follow whichever method feels the most accurate to you and brings ease to your heart, insha’allah.
7. Make a Plan for Your Ramadan
This may be the most important piece of advice for people hoping to increase their worship this Ramadan–make a plan. Ramadan can be a training ground for removing bad character traits and actions that are not beloved to Allah. Take your chance! Make a listo f the character traits or behaviors you’re asking Allah to help you transform, insha’allah.
Then, make a list of the additional worship you hope to work into your routine during Ramadan, insha’allah, to aid in your movement towards greater proximity with Allah, Most High. Write out your daily schedule, put alarms in your phone, do whatever you have to do in order to make your goals more easily achieved.
May Allah help you and bless you and give you proximity to Him. Amin.
Watch Now: Ramadan Q&A
Alhamdulillah, below is a recorded Q&A offered by our beloved sister and teacher Amany Shalaby. Whether you are new to observing Ramadan or a seasoned traveler on the path it can be so helpful to refresh ourselves on the basics.
Watch Now: Nutritional Help While Fasting
Our beloved sister Amina Stader-Chan has given teachings on this topic for several years. Watch her teaching from 2021 below.