How Do We Prepare to Receive Ramadan?

How Do We Prepare to Receive Ramadan?
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Question:

Assalaamu ‘Alaykum.
Ramadan is approaching, how do we receive it? What are the due preparations in order to receive this month properly, so that we taste the joy of spirituality and pleasure of worship from the beginning of the month until the end?
May Allah reward you.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Ever-Merciful
Dear brother,
Assalaamu ‘Alaykum,
At the end of Ramadan, the righteous predecessors used to ask Allah to accept their deeds in Ramadan for the next six months. Then, they used to ask Allah for another six months to enable them to witness the next Ramadan through His grace. They realized the virtue and effect of fasting and thus they used to observe voluntary fasting intensively.
Imaam An-Nawawi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him and other noble righteous predecessors used to observe fasting often. One of them said, "How evil are people who know Allah only during Ramadan!" Such people actually worship Ramadan but did not worship Allah. Allah The Almighty must be obeyed during Ramadan, Sha‘baan as well as in all the other months and days. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).} [Quran 15: 99]
If some people make preparations for the month of Ramadan with different types of food and drink as well as evil and obscene programs, you should make preparations to receive Ramadan with sincere repentance and keenness to take yourself to account and strive in this regard.
When you start fasting, you should fast like one who is about to die and thinks that he will not witness another Ramadan. You should know that the believer dies while he is driven by two good deeds, one which he did and thus he would receive its reward and virtue and one which he delayed and thus he would regret delaying it.
Know that the righteous predecessors used to perfume Ramadan with the fragrance of reciting the Quran. They truly followed the example of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) with whom Jibreel (Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, used to review and study the Quran during this month.
While a Muslim is required to obey Allah at all times, he has to multiply his efforts during the seasons of virtue, of which Ramadan is one of the most important. There is no doubt that intense fasting and worship during Sha‘baan is the best thing with which you prepare for Ramadan.
It is clear to you that preparation starts with the right intention from this moment. So, when Allah The Almighty grants us the favor of witnessing Ramadan, we should turn our intentions to acts of worship and obedience. In case we die before Ramadan, our intentions will benefit us more than our deeds. A Muslim will continue to prosper as long as he does good deeds and intends to do goodness.
Finally, I advise you to fear Allah.
Your question pleased me very much because it denotes keenness to do goodness. This is an invitation for all of us to do our best in doing righteous deeds from now on.
We ask Allah to guide us, grant us the favor of witnessing Ramadan and help us to fast perfectly and observe the voluntary night prayers.
Allah is The Bestower of success.

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