Fasting & Ramadan

Preparing for the Month of Mercy

Spanish Version

251580651_7751c95930_bA lot of us yearn to prepare for Ramadan, but we have no idea how to start. Below are a few tips to insha’Allah (Allah willing) help prepare our minds and hearts for this upcoming Month of Mercy.

Make the Intention

Simple to do, with a powerful impact. Maybe you want to prepare for Ramadan, but between school, work, family, and your other activities, you just have no idea how to fit in ‘prepare for Ramadan’ time. Instead of separating ‘prepare for Ramadan’ from your daily activities, make your daily activities a MEANS of preparation for Ramadan.

For example, perhaps your mom asked you to pick up your brother from school on the day you finally had time to read a few extra pages of Qur’an. Instead of feeling upset as if you have lost a great opportunity to prepare for Ramadan, make the intention that you are picking up your brother to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) and prepare for Ramadan by obeying your mother, helping your family members, building ties of kinship…and the list continues.

The point is that preparing for Ramadan does not have to be some magnificent, enormous, extra-special thing that needs to be done at a certain time of the day. Many of your daily actions can be turned into Ramadan preparation actions with a sincere intention insha’Allah.

Do these Easy-to-Reap-Reward Actions

1.  Ask Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters. “Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing women, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.” [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

2.  It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah radi allahu `anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) said “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ [peace be upon him] said: ‘Whoever says subhan Allah wa bi hamdih (praise and glory be to Allah) 100 times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam on the sea.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

3.  If a person says, “Subhan Allah (glory be to Allah),” 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away. [Muslim 2073]

4.  Remember Allah (swt) when you go shopping. “Whoever enters a market and says: “Laa ilaha illallah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yumeetu wa huwa hayyun laa yamoot, bi yadihil khair, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shayin qadeer.” [There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, alone without partner, to Him belongs dominion and praise; He causes life and death and He is the Living and does not die; in His Hand is all the good, and He is over all things competent] Allah will write for them a million good deeds and erase a million bad deeds and raise him a million levels.” [at-Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

Up Your Worship

To help condition your heart for this blessed month, intensify your worship before Ramadan begins. Just a small, consistent amount is enough. The Prophet ﷺ told us: “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

For example, say I always pray 2 rak`at (units )of sunnah (compulsory prayer) after ishaa’ (the night prayer) from this day until Ramadan begins—and even through Ramadan, let me make the intention that I will now pray 2 extra rak`at of sunnah after ishaa’. And every time I pray these extra 2 rak`at, which are more than what I normally pray, let me remember that I am doing these with the intention of asking Allah (swt) to help me be prepared to strive and exert my utmost effort during Ramadan.

Make a Du`a’ (prayer) List Today

This is THE MONTH to ask for EVERYTHING, both related to this life and the Next. Let us not wait until the last 10 nights to make special du`a’, and then once `Eid passes realize that we completely forgot about fifty other things we needed to make du`a’ for. Let’s start making our lists now, and add to it as more things come our way. Insha’Allah this should help us remember to make constant du`a’ in this month where dua`a’ is accepted, and help our hearts pour out to the One Who can make those du`a’ happen, subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Write out Your Objectives for Ramadan

Praying all of your fard (obligatory) prayers? Praying all of your sunnahs? Reading the entire Qur’an? Giving $1 in charity a day? Making itikaaf (a time for reflection and prayer in seclusion) in the masjid? Leaving one serious sin that you’ve been trying to get away from for some time now? Sincerely turning back to Allah (swt)? Write out a list, put it somewhere you will see it, and make du`a’ for your success in fulfilling your objectives.

Make a Plan!

Look at your objectives and try to plan out how to realize them in this month. For example, perhaps you are really struggling to pray your sunnah prayers. In this month, realize the enormity of the ajr (reward) of praying the sunnah prayers. Think that perhaps these sunnah will be the deeds that will be heavy on your scale of good deeds when you are intensely in need of them—on Yawm al-Qiyamah, the Day of Judgment. Therefore, fight to keep doing them all throughout Ramadan. If you can’t pray your 2 rak`at after dhuhr (the afternoon prayer) right away, make sure to do them as soon as you get the chance.

Your plan might look something like this:

Objective: Pray all of my fardh prayers.

Method: Envision myself on the Day of Judgment seeing the weight of praying my sunnah consistently during this month. Make sure to pray sunnah immediately after salah (prayer). If I cannot, do it as soon as the opportunity arises—don’t let myself put it off!

Another example is that of finishing the Qur’an:

Objective: Finish the entire Qur’an in this month.

Method: Read 4 pages of the Qur’an after every salah. 5 prayers X 4 pages = 20 pages. 20 pages= about 1 juz. 1 juz X 30= the entire Qur’an.

So many Muslims have passed away since last month. So many people have not made it to Ramadan this year. Last year was their very last Ramadan. Will you make it to this Ramadan? Will this be your last Ramadan?

Aim to strive this Ramadan. With a very small amount of effort, such as just making a small intention or adding a few extra acts of worship, we pray that Allah (swt) will help our hearts soften and honor us with making it easy to turn to Him and open up to Him.

May Allah (swt) make us of the successful in Ramadan, and make it easy for us to turn to Him completely and perpetually. Ameen.

About the author

Maryam Amirebrahimi

Maryam Amirebrahimi

Maryam Amirebrahimi received her master’s in Education from UCLA, where her research focused on the effects of mentorship rooted in Critical Race Theory for urban high school students of color. She holds a bachelor’s in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University, where she served as the President of the Muslim Student Association for two consecutive years. Currently, she is pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies through Al Azhar University’s distance learning program. Maryam spent a year studying the Arabic language and Qur’an in Cairo, Egypt, and has memorized the Qur’an. She has been presented the Student of the Year award by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and holds a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Maryam frequently travels to work with different communities to address a variety of social issues and writes about topics related to social realities, women’s studies and spiritual connections on


  • As Salamu Alaikum,
    I was interested in being a part of this wonderful website and would like more information on volunteering my efforts as a writer. Inshallah, you will be able to contact me with more information.

  • good stuff

    May Allah aid us to excel this month and we ask him to accept us into his pious servants by his mercy and generosity!

    1- Du’a- Imam Suhaib Webb.
    [time: less than 10min]

    2- Ramadan 101- Imam Suhaib Webb.
    Download off the right side of the screen
    [time: about 1 hour]

    one of the most important points [if not the most important] this article did not mention:

    The importance of reviving the connection with the Qur’an…. Tasting its sweetness, longing to listen to it, loving to read it, desiring to implement it.

    One thought is to listen to one of your favorite reciters and bask in the reality of knowing how INTENSE Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is… how His Words are on another level, subhanahu wa ta’ala.

    For example- listening to Afasy’s recitation of surah al Anaam- and knowing and reading the meaning alongside it- is [insha’Allah] enough to make any person’s heart flip out in wonderment of the deepness of ALLAH ‘Azza wa Jal.

    You can listen to his [and other’s] recitation here:

    Perhaps you can all give ideas on how we can best prepare our hearts to be ready to listen to its recitation throughout Ramadan, insha’Allah.

    How can we aim to have our hearts shed tears from the first night? [seriously, I really need advice]

  • Masha’Allah, what a beneficial post! I was planning on writing a post on the exact same subject for MuslimMatters, but masha’Allah you’ve done it better than I could have… barakAllahu feeki! 🙂

  • Mariam that was very inspiring. Jazakallahukhairun. Another thing about preparing for ramadan is think about giving something up that you do or really like. For example if you always listen to music in your car or anywhere. Put your cds and ipods away for the month. Then it is real challenging and you think more about God. Or if you are more into t.v. Cut down the hours you watch or fast from it all together. Then after Ramadan you realize how much you don’t really need to watch or listen to music. But then gradually after Ramadan you start to get back into the old habit again. I’ve heard many scholars in the past say you should give something up you like during ramadan. this is just a reminder.

  • Alslam alikom wrahmatu ALAH , may ALAH grantyou paradise sis , very inspiring , i just wantto add ( intention : multiple intention ) grant yourself more intentions during the day, as you can intend byyour fasting to sell yourslef to ALAH ,and that by your fasting you ask ALAH to forgive your sins and keep u safe from hellfire,by your fasting you intend to exersise and strengthen your soul to be stronger after ramadan ,to reach the night of (alqadr- the night that is more in its benefiots than 84 years of worship or as said in verses : better than 1000 months ,.
    so u can ask ALAH for more intentions not only one..may ALAH accept from all of us ameen ..jzakialah kahiran

  • Salaams,

    I’m really interested in writing for your blog. Please email me if you need more writes and/or information.

    Ramadan Mubarak,

  • A few days before Ramadan, I began to ask my self, what is the ultimate solution to all my problems? I began to ask my self, what is the use of my computer games. What is the use of fun in this life, when there is already fun made in the afterlife for us. I began to ask my self, what is the purpose of life. I started to listen to anwar -awlaki ’s hereafter, and life after death lectures. I started realizing that death can come anytime. When anwar awlaki started describing what would happen to the mu’minin, whom would be in the grave, seeing 2 windows, heaven and hell, and his “good deeds” would be saying, this is where you would be (pointing at hell) if you hadnt stop all those music, movies, and disbelief. And when i heard of that, I was asking my self, what if I was like that. What if I worshiped god and nothing else, and get jannah, when i die. Then i listen to the part when he was saying, that to the nonbeliever, there will be a smelling horror guy in the grave showing a window of jennah saying that he would be in there if he submitted to god. I ask my self, would i rather go out with my desires of fun in this life receiving torments here, torments in grave, in day of judgment, and in hell!!!? Or should i return to my lord and serve, and die, and live in peace, and receive jannah. 2 days before Ramadan, I started planning my rest of the life, WITHOUT realizing the existence of Ramadan! I was planning to dump all my video games, leave all my bad habits, plan to wear my kufi to school every day, planning to listen to all the lectures i recently downloaded, and then i started reading the quran by translation. Then i came up to a part talking about shaytan. And then i remembered What anwar al-awlaki was saying about the fact how shayton can come and shuv you to the wrong path easily, steps by steps. I was beginning to fear that shayton will ruin my life. Then i read some more quran, and then in surat al-sajda, I came across a verse , saying that If I fear that shayton will come and hurt me and make me do wrong, etc, Then fear allah, and seek refure from your lord. I was so astonished. So i did exactly as I was said to do. I ask allah, to help me, keep me away from shayton. And then i Started begging allah, to alteast give me a day without shayton. And then it suddenly came to me in enlightment, that after tomorrow would be ramadahn. I told my self, all praise be to allah, He has given me a whole month rather then a day without Shaythan! I was so happy! I was so exited for Ramadan. I couldnt wait till the month arrived. During the next 2 days i occupied my self, in an al-magrib class. and then ramadan had finaly arrived. I prayed taraweeh. And then it came to me that all my life I wasted time. It came to me, that I dont have much time to play games, etc. How can we waste so much pressies time when the day of judgment is arriving! It came to me, This ramadan might be my last! Who knows ever know if this ramadan is there last. This ramadan is a month of repentence. And then I realised that all my life was not a waste, I did something that really payed off now. I made dua’. Every single day of my life, I would in english ask allah, to forive me, help, and giude me. I always felt like Allah was never listening to me. But now i realised, that Allah was. All my life allah planned for me. And my dua’s builded up. I began to feel happy. I felt my heart feeling like it had recived something. It was ramadan. Allah has provided me a blessed month. I won’t waste this month i said to my self.

    Ramadan. The best day of my life just happened yesterday, when i realised what month it was. I hope all of the rest of my brothers and sisters will take the best opportunity. This is a special month. This month is not for some old objectives or some new years to do list, but this month is for change. Im not talking about Obama’s logo, imtalking about your life. Im talking about ramadan! This blessed month only comes once a month. This month is are golden oppurtunity to repent t oallah. It is are oppurtunity to do as many good deeds.

    HERE ARE MY GOALS during Ramadan:
    1. Change
    2. Read, memorise, and understand the Quran.
    3. Drop, all the video games, all movies, all the things SHAYTHON left behind for me.
    4. Make it a habit ( number 2 and 3)
    5. Create love for Moahmmed (S)
    6. Attend all 20 rak’at Tharaweeh.

    Goals after ramadhaan:
    1. NO DIFFERENCE! except fight Shaytan
    2. Replace taraweeh, with a 1-2 hour nonstop full thahajud. (and by god, nobodys gunna stop me saying my sleep is better then submiting to my lord) Mohammed (S) did it for five hour at night with an army to lead the next day!

    MOST OF ALL: Submit to my lord, and fullfill my duty of his command.

    I Bear witness, that there is absolutly NO GOD, BUT GOD and that Muhammed (S) is his last and final messanger


  • Jazak Allah khair for the wonderful advices. May Allah SWT have mercy on us and make us be among the righteous and pious, Ameen

  • Jazakallah, that was a good one. Keep it up inshallah many shall benefit from it and inshallah you shall get sawab e zariya.

  • This is really a very good artical for evryone. i hope that many people will read this and get some inspiration from it. May Allah bless us all.

  • Jazakallah khair
    for thuis wonderful article.
    I never knew most of this.
    thanks again, it will help me,

  • Assalamu Alaikum,
    These are really good tips. Jazakallahu Khaira. One thing we all notice is that we all start our objective of completing the Qur’an with much vigor in the beginning of the month. But then slowly our motivation drops.

    Alhamdulillah, here is a very useful competition to keep us engaged with the recitation of the Quran throughout the month and to meet our objective.

    <a href="; title="Ramadan Qur'an Reading Contest 2010" is absolutely free to join and anyone from anywhere in the world can participate. Over 180 participants have already registered. Register soon!

    "… Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! …" (Surah Al Ma'idah : Verse 48)

  • AS a new female muslim,I have been quite anxious about RAMADAN and how to prepare your advise has been most helpful to myself and my children. THANK YOU

  • I Made A List And I’m Sticking By It And Its Really Helping Out I Mean I’m Trying To Read Qur’an Twice A Day So Yeah I’m Getting By, But This Website Is Very Useful Especially To Young People
    Thank You

  • Asalaamu Alaikum. This will be my first Ramadan Insh’Allah. And I am hoping that Allah will make me strong enough to be right when the times come and this site i enjoyed. Thank you very much. Subhan Allah wa bi hamdih. Subhan Allah

  • Jazak Allah Khair for this helpful article. The comments left here are also very touching and inspire me to a be a sincere Muslim. Allahumma balaghna Ramadhan. Ameen

  • jazakAllah khayr Maryam jan!
    This was a very motivating piece.
    May Allah ta’ala bless you with all good in both this world and the Hereafter ameen.

  • Jazaki Allahu Khayran Maryam for the important reminders. May Allah guide us during this month of mercy and allow us to be among His servants and make us in the company of those who are loved by Him. Ameen!

Leave a Comment