Step 6 and 7 towards preparing for Ramadhan
6) Salaah before Fasting!
The last thing you want this Ramadhan is to struggle with praying all the 5 obligatory prayers on time while fasting.
It just doesn’t make sense does it?
Salah is the Second Pillar of Islam after Tauheed (First). Fasting (Sawm) comes way after that.
عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: سَمِعْت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم يَقُولُ: ” بُنِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ: شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ، وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ”. [رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ] ، [وَمُسْلِمٌ].
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the salaah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadhan.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
We all know that Tauheed is the foremost command of Allah, without which every other action falls apart and means absolutely nothing. And after Tauheed there is nothing more important than Salaah, not even fasting in Ramadhan. By no means are we downplaying the importance of the fast of Ramadhan, but we just need to put things into perspective, right?
So if your Fajr or Asr salaah or any other for that matter is getting missed day after day and you are fasting regularly, than you need to ask yourself some difficult questions. Again we saying that it doesn’t mean at all that you stop fasting until you become regular in your prayers.
You should start with a sincere intention to fix your prayers (ideally while preparing for Ramadan), and work on both (prayer and fasting) together. After all, it’s not like there’s a choice between the two. BOTH of them are obligatory upon all Muslims.
7) Set achievable goals for yourself
Plan well while you are in the stage of preparing for Ramadhan and set do-able targets for yourself.
For example, don’t plan on finishing the entire Tafseer of the Holy Quraan if you don’t even read an ayah a day pre-Ramadhan. That way you will only burn yourself out midway of Ramadhan or be depressed if you can’t reach your really high-set target.
A more achievable plan would be to complete the recitation of the entire Quran once during Ramadhan and read tafseer of a short surah a day.
Keep in mind the Prophetic teaching, that it is better to do a little but with consistency.
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم سُئِلَ أَىُّ الْعَمَلِ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ أَدْوَمُهُ وَإِنْ قَلَّ
‘A’isha (RA) is reported to have said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about the act most pleasing to Allah. He replied: That which is done continuously, even if it is small. (Sahih Muslim).