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The Best Way to Start Ramadan: Seven Tips

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Photo: Omar MK

Ramadān Reinforcement: Part I | Part II

One question I get asked a lot is “What is the best way to start Ramadān?”

I thought about this for sometime, and here is my answer:

“The best way to start Ramadān is the way you ended it last year.”

Meaning: you should start Ramadān with the same passion, focus and commitment that you completed the last ten days of last year’s Ramadān. (If you didn’t end it well last year, stay tuned for another short reminder soon: “How to fix a broken Ramadān?”)

Do These Seven and Go to Heaven, Insha’allah (God willing)!

I know it sounds easy. But give it a try! Try having the same passion you had last year in the following areas today and see where it takes you tomorrow:

1. When you stand to pray, muster the passion you had a year ago as Ramadān came to a close. The concentration and taste of it should be in your heart, your body should be calm and your soul submerged in the light of prayer. The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever prays and his/her soul does not disturb him/her during prayer, his/her sins are forgiven.”

2. When you make du`a’ (supplication), let it all out, give it to Allāh subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) now, feeling impoverished to him like you did last year at the end of Ramadān. The Prophet  said, “The supplications of a fasting person are accepted.”

3. Let the tears flow now. Dry lands can’t grow much and neither can dry hearts. A teacher once told me, “Tears come from fertile hearts like springs come from fertile soil.”

Sit alone with Allah (swt) and cry to Him, seek Him, beg Him and flee to Him. “You will find him forgiving, merciful.”

4. When you remember Allah (swt), do so with the same focus you did last year. Know that “Remember Me and I will remember you” is happening every time His blessed names flow from your heart and speech, and that wherever you remember Him (work, home, mosque, school, alone or in a group), He mentions you in front of the angels, says your name and they seek blessings and forgiveness for you, as is mentioned in the Qur’an, “Forgive those who believe, follow your path and save them from Hell.”

5. Taste the sweetness of the Hereafter, knowing the bitter taste of this life. Recall how your heart felt the last 10 days; there was nothing more valuable to you then drawing nearer to Him and farther from excess here. Muster that passion now. Become a stranger in this life or a traveler because this is not your permeant abode!

In the Qur’an, Allah (swt) addresses Adam and his wife saying, “You two get out of here (Paradise).” In other places He says, “You (all) get out of here.”

My teacher said, “‘You (all)’ is all of us, Adam and his progeny. We were evicted from our real home and soon, God willing we will return to it if we lived good lives for Allah. This world is not it. Paradise awaits.”

6. Guard your time now like you did last year. Ibn al-Qayyim said, “I know people more cautious with their time than bankers are with money.”

7. Guard your tongue and your character now like you did the last ten days a year ago! Recall the statement of our Prophet  regarding a person who fails to look after the outer aspects of fasting,  “Allah will say, ‘I have no need that you left your food and drink.'”

Gain Infinite Openings

If you start this now, this struggle, God promises you openings and growth. He says, “Those who struggle in our way, we will guide them to infinite ways.”

High Intensity Taqarrub

What you are doing when you take on Ramadān like this is intense taqarrub (seeking nearness to Allah, distance from sins and Satan).

The Prophet  said that Allah (swt) said, “A person does not come to me a hands length, except I come to him/her an arm’s length. If he/she comes to me walking, I run to him/her.”

If you take this bull by the horns and start this month off with the same passion from a year ago, you are the person mentioned in the hadith (narration) above, insha’allah.

Illuminated Endings are Rooted in Illuminated Beginnings

Remember! How you start now tells a lot about last year and this year. Push yourself, asking God to dilate your heart and soul, filling it with guidance and light.

Sheikh al-Islām, Ahmed Zarūq radi allahu `anhu (may God have mercy on him) said:

من كانت بالله بدايته, كانت إليه نهايته

“Who’s beginning was with Allah, then his ending is to Allah.”

I Need Your Help

Finally, I really need you to like the Ella Collins Institute page. It is an institution that we are putting our blood and sweat into and we need your help by spreading the word and inviting us to your hood to teach. ECI not only seeks to teach, but to partner with local organizations like Carefugees and Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) to create powerful programing that combines education, activism and spirituality, three cores held by the woman our institution is named after.

Wishing you a blessed Ramadān,
Suhaib Webb

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship.

Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010 and his website, www.SuhaibWebb.com, was voted the best “Blog of the Year” by the 2009 Brass Crescent awards.

Suhaib Webb has lectured extensively around the world including in the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, North Africa and North America. Upon returning from his studies in Egypt, Webb lived in the Bay Area, California, where he worked with the Muslim American Society from Fall 2010 to Winter 2011. He currently serves as the Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center (ISBCC).

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