The Greatest Month is 4.5 months away so we need to start preparing.
Before we start preparing, we need to know what our goals are.
Firstly, what kind of shape (spiritual, emotional, physical, etc) do we want to be in by the end of Shabaan?
Secondly, what goals do we have for the month of Ramadan itself?
For example, someone might want to memorise Juz Amma (30) and Juz Tabarak (29) by the end of Shabaan. In Ramadan, they might want to memorise Juz Qad Samia (28).
Or a person might want to get up for Fajr on time everyday. In Ramadan, their goal might be to wake up 40 minutes before the adhan of Fajr so that they can do a few rakahs of tahajjud (night prayer) and then eat suhoor (the pre-dawn meal).
So, we could take the following steps:
1) Get a dedicated notebook for this. (Check out last year’s post on keeping a Ramadan journal.)
2) Ask yourself what kind of position you want to have in the hereafter. Please be very ambitious and aim for the top!
3) In order to attain that position in the hereafter, what do you need to do in this dunya (wordly life)? What’s stopping you from doing these things and how can you deal with them?
4) What goals do you need to set this year in order to get that high level of iman in this dunya?
5) How do you see yourself at the first day of Eid? What would you liked to have achieved?
6) In order to have that awesome Eid, what must you have done in Ramadan?
7) In order to have had an awesome Ramadan, what must you have done in the months preceding Ramadan?
8) In order to attain all the above, where do you need to be NOW?
Phew…that was exhausting, wasn’t it?
We do need to think backwards though. It makes things clearer.
So, we need to visualise and then write.
After this, we need to do dua 1) that we reach Ramadan 2) for all the things that we want to attain. (Please read this post on preparing a dua list.)
Ramadan 2011, here we come, insha-Allah.
Erm, “duaing”, you ask? Surely that was a typo, right?
Nope. It’s a term that I invented (unless someone has already beaten me to it, of course).
What is “duaing” exactly?
Umm Muawiyah’s Dictionary of Self-Invented Words lists the definition as follows:
Duaing (pronounced doo-aa-ing): Repeatedly doing dua without bothering to follow through with any action that will result in getting the dua accepted.
N.B. This term does not refer to repeatedly doing dua without taking action in the cases where one is unable to take any action.
A few examples will help you understand further:
Example # 1:
Brother A does constant dua to get a job. Every day, he wakes up expecting the phone to ring with an interview call.
There’s just one problem. He doesn’t do anything except dua. He doesn’t send his CV to different companies, doesn’t sign up with any recruitment agencies, doesn’t ask people he knows for any information, doesn’t read the classifieds, etc.
He just does dua to get a job.
Example # 2:
Sister B does constant dua for her temper to cool down. She has serious issues with anger management. Every day, she wakes up expecting her temper to have miraculously gone away.
Yes, this is a commonly doled out piece of advice.
So, what should you include in this dua list?
Short answer: Absolutely everything.
First, you need to start with the akhira (hereafter). Be ambitious and ask for the best.
Second, you need to write down all the halal dunya (worldly) things that you want. Why? Because Allah is the only one that can grant you these things. Don’t worry about how “little” it is. Just make sure that it is a halal thing and write it down.
[By the way, you’d be surprised at the amount of things that we want that we actually never ask Allah for. Write down the things that you’ve always wanted even if it was a childhood dream.]
Also, ask yourself: “Will this dunya thing help me in the hereafter?” If not, then why do you want it?
Third, remember all the people around you? Especially those that keep asking you to do dua for them? Write them down too. One’s parents come first obviously (but you do dua for them AFTER you’ve done dua for yourself).
Fourth, start asking. Try to observe the manners of dua.
Insha-Allah, I’ll write a short piece later on WHY we actually do dua because unfortunately many people are under the impression that it is their right to have their duas answered. Far from it.