By Muhammad Hamka
Welcoming the most waited and holiest month of Ramadan is like welcoming the most prestigious moment. Everything should be properly prepared before the days arrive. It was narrated by Aishah that Prophet Muhammad (pbh) had increased his quantity of fasting days during Sya’ban.
The obligation of fasting was sent down in the second day of Sya’ban of the second year of Hijrah. By revelation of verse 183 of Al Baqarah, Ramadan comes once a year, and unfortunately no one guarantees us to feel the Ramadan this year or even next year. Hence, our predecessors used to pray six months before Ramadan arrives in the hope that Allah will grant them Ramadan again, and six months after Ramadan so that Allah might accept their worship and good deeds performed during the fasting month.
The preparation before Ramadan is essentially needed for Muslims as it is like a rehearsal before the real moment comes. Ramadan is not a trial for good and bad deeds. A rehearsal will help Muslims to identify mistakes and beautify the goodness. There are a number of ibadah that are performed during Ramadan, among the most preferred ones, aside from the obligatory performance, are praying at night, reading the Al-Quran and charity giving.
During Ramadan, Muslims perform congregational prayer known as teraweh after isya’. But, the most excellent time to do teraweh is in late night after sleeping. Hence, a rehearsal is needed to strengthen our intention and body physically. In the Quran, Allah mentioned that there is a night in Ramadan which is better than 1000 months. By this reasoning, everyone seeks this night seriously. The gain will only be enjoyed by whomever who prays at night.
Ramadan is also known as the month of the Al-Quran. The first revelation took place during this month. History has showed that Imam Syafi’e completed the recitation of the Quran 60 times during Ramadan, Imam Malik settled off all the activities in Ramadan except learning the Quran. In fact, the Prophet recited the Quran in front of Jibriel during Ramadan.
It is a chance for the Muslims to emulate them to enter paradise. The problem for some is that they might not be accustomed to sit for a long time to recite the Quran or even to be able to recite the Quran well. But they can always try to do it.
Ibnu Abbas reported that the Prophet (pbh) was the most generous man and he became more generous in Ramadan, the month Jibriel came to meet him. During the month of Ramadan, Jibriel met him every night until the end of the month and the Prophet would recite the Quran to Jibriel. When Jibriel met him, he would be more generous than a swift wind bringing rain (Shahih al Bukhari 1803, Shahih Muslim 2308).
The above saying shows that during Ramadan the Prophet became more generous. It could be understood by all human beings due to the reward given in Ramadan which is ten times more than in other months.
Whatever we did during the previous Ramadan could be a measurement for this coming Ramadan. The most important thing for us, as Muslims, is that we have to plan properly what we will do in the upcoming Ramadan. ***