What does this Ramadan statement mean for me?

Ramadan Lantern on desert sand dunes

Abu Bakr b. al-Warraq al-Balkhi said: “Rajab is the month to sow the seeds; Sha’ban is the month to irrigate the crop; and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest.”

We come across this every year and we happily forward this to our contacts, share it on our social media and happily display it on our WhatsApp profile pic.  It all sounds deep and fancy, but what does it mean for me and how do I apply this practically to my Rajab, my Sha’ban and my Ramadan.

From the above statement, we understand that the key to Ramadan is firstly in Rajab and then in Sha’ban. And the treasure you unlock is found in Ramadan.

Just like you can’t get up and run a marathon one day with no prior training, this is the same with Ramadan.  You cannot just walk into Ramadan and expect to physically, mentally and spiritually be fit for it.  It needs planning, preparation and training.

It’s a complete misconception when we say that I will start executing my goals and plans in Ramadan as that is contradictory to Abu Bakr b. al-Warraq al-Balkhi’s statement.  Ramadan is to reap the harvest not to start planting.

You may be thinking it’s a bit late for this as we are reaching the end of Rajab, but it isn’t there are still enough days, enough hours, enough minutes and enough seconds to make a start.

Here are some simple practical steps to start taking today to reap the harvest in your Ramadan.

Rajab – setting the ground and planting the seeds

  • Set your goals for Ramadan
  • Set goals as a family
  • Start searching what changes you want to make in yourself
  • If you listen to music – now is the time to start cutting down
  • List the apps, social media to delete which will be your distractions in Ramadan
  • Reflect on your Ramadan last year and see what is your next level that you want to achieve this year; it can definitely not be the same as last year as each year we strive for better
  • Re-kindle your relationship with the Quran – check your Quran, is it an easy read for you? Do you need a new one? Do you have a good English translation of the Quran, do you need to download a Quran app. Remember Ramadan is the month of Quran
  • Begin now to start buying/ordering/borrowing/downloading any books of knowledge, dua books, Quran and any other resources that you will need
  • Try fasting


Sha’ban – ground is ready, seeds are sowed, now is the time to water them, care for them

  • Start establishing a routine of reading some Quran
  • List Duas you are short on and start memorising them now
  • Now is the time to begin letting go of sin and coming back to Allah
  • Mother’s – sit and start talking to your children about Ramadan, the change that is about to come into our lives – get their spirits going
  • Mother’s – start practicing Quran and Duas with your children and go through their Salah with them, after all we all can make mistakes in Salah and carry on not knowing otherwise
  • Begin making timetables now, individual timetable and family timetables


Ramadan – now the harvest is ready, pick your fruits, the more you sowed the more you will have.

Now all the training, the prep is completed and you are ready to reap the rewards.

Imagine you did not start in Rajab:

  • You would not have been organised
  • You would not have had all the resources ready to read, recite and learn (Quran, Books, apps, downloads)
  • You would not have known the Duas that you now know
  • You would not have a plan
  • You would go crashing into to Ramadan and exhaust yourself mentally, physically and spiritually and the memory of Ramadan would just be about the delicious samosas and falooda and how hot Ramadan was.
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