In this world, it seems that most people fall to their desires of seeking money instead of seeking the pleasure of their lord. These desires fuel their lives without any higher purpose or “raison d’etre” until their own self is consumed with greed to the point that the heart becomes unmoving and cemented in selfishness. However, one can persevere by allowing the light of divinity break through. Ramadan is fast approaching, what have we prepared for it?

Ramadan, the month where one feels closest to God through fasting and extra worship. Ideally, one should start preparing for the Holy Month when the last one ended. Since this might not be realistic for everyone, one needs to at least start getting ready for Ramadan in the month prior; Sha’ban. The virtues of the Month of Sha’ban are plenty and the Prophet Peace and blessings be upon him used to increase in worship during it. The proof is mentioned in Suann An-Nasa’i narrated by Usamah bin Zaid who said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Shaban.’ He said: ‘That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.” If we are not fasting during this month, we need to be steadfast in increasing our good deeds.

Indeed, every good deed is a charity, but there are ranks among them as well. Giving from what a person holds dear from his wealth is more of a challenge for people and as a result, is more rewarding. There are too many virtues and benefits to giving charity that we cannot mention all of them in such a short article. The book of Allah is the best of sources and I would like to mention the meanings in the second chapter of the Qur’an (Al-Baqara): “Those who spend their wealth in God’s cause are like grains of corn that produce seven ears, each bearing a hundred grains. God gives multiple increase to whoever He wishes: He is limitless and all knowing.” No amount given is lost since God holds the rewards for all that you give as the Messenger mentioned in Sahih Muslim: “Charity does not decrease wealth” and there is no better cause to give that for the sake of God as mentioned in the verse above. This noble deed is known by the all-knowing and can be rewarded endlessly by the one who is limitless.

The human has been created weak, and it can be difficult for us to fast most of the month prior to Ramadan. We instead consider other good deeds that we hope are elevated to the lord of the worlds because of the holiness of the month of Sha’ban. Charity is a plentifully rewarded deed and should be given within Sha’ban. With the right intention, giving for the sake of God can cleanse the diseased heart, purifying it from greed and selfishness. This only increases positive contributors of society and most importantly, the one who gives benefits most from this selfless act.