In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
The first day of Ramadan will be on May 16, 2108. Remember, the month of Ramadan is the best season for offering good deeds and gaining the reward. It is the duty of every Muslim to prepare himself for that blessed month. Almighty Allah is giving us another opportunity in our life to witness the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a great time of Allah’s blessings and His mercy. Every Muslim should take full advantage of this time. We should get ready to welcome this month and receive it with happiness.
Following are some ways to welcome this month:
1- Special du`aa’: Pray to Allah that this month reaches you while you are in the best of health and safety so that you can fast and do all your acts of devotion (`ibadat) with ease and enthusiasm. It is reported by Anas ibn Malik that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to say from the beginning of Rajab in his prayers: “O Allah bless us in Rajab, bless us in Sha`ban, and bless us in Ramadan.” (Ahmad) When he used to see Ramadan’s crescent, he used to pray: “O Allah, make this crescent shine on us with safety, faith, security, Islam, and good fortune to do what is beloved and pleasing to our Lord. Our and your Lord is Allah.” (Ad-Darami)
2- Thanks and happiness: When the month comes, then you should be thankful to Allah and show happiness. The Companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them all) used to greet each other at the beginning of Ramadan. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said giving the good news of the month to his Companions, “The month of Ramadan has come to you. It is a blessed month. Allah has made obligatory on you to fast during this month. The gates of heaven are opened this month and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained. This month there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Whosoever is deprived of its blessings is indeed deprived.” (Ahmad)
3- Planning and determination: You should make a good plan for the whole month about how you are going to organize your days and evenings during Ramadan. Plan special schedules for your work so that you can pray on time, read the Qur’an, and take sahur and iftar on time. Have sincere intention and determination to take full advantage of this time. Also, have a full determination and commitment that you will not do any sin or anything wrong during this time. Make sincere repentance and seek the forgiveness of those whom you might have offended. In this way, you can benefit much more from your fasting and prayers.
4- Learn about the rules of fasting: Fiqh of fasting is very important so that you do not do anything that will spoil your fasts. Learn the way of Prophet Muhammad in fasting. That is the best way. Fast is not spoiled only by eating and drinking during the fast, but also by speaking bad words and doing the wrong things. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever does not give up bad words and bad deeds, Allah has no need in that he leaves his food and his drink.” (Al-Bukhari)
5- Charity, generosity, and kindness: The month of Ramadan is the month of kindness, charity, and generosity. Plan to invite your neighbors, co-workers, friends — Muslims and non-Muslims — to have iftar with you. Let your non-Muslim friends and neighbors know about this month and its blessings. Be more generous and help the poor and needy. Plan to give your zakah and sadaqah at this time and help others as much as you can.
Source: excerpted, with slight modifications from a Khutbah by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddqi, President Fiqh Council of North America.