Ramadan is undoubtedly great and blessed, but not everyone who happens to live it is automatically entitled to get the blessings it brings. What is going to be your share from the treasures of Ramadan? Like the fertile soil, you may become soft-hearted and moist-eyed, sow the seed of belief and determination inside yourself, and add to your capabilities. Thus, a seed will grow into a sapling, and a sapling into a tree. The tree will be laden with the fruits of good deeds, and you will reap the fruit — the fruit of eternal bliss. Just like the farmer, as you sow so shall you reap; and the more you toil, the more you shall get. But if you remain hard-hearted, like the farmer who slept when it was time to wake up and work, then the blessings and goodness of Ramadan and Tarawih (night prayers during the holy month) will pass without benefiting you, just like the downpour that does not benefit the rock.
Nothing is gained without Allah's Will. But Allah's Will favours only those who strive hard in the way of Allah. Listen to what Allah says. He says that if you walk to Him a foot, He will walk to you two feet; if you move towards Him walking, He will come to you running [Bayhaqi]. But if you stand still, impervious and oblivious, then Allah's Will cannot be in your favour.
So, be careful lest the whole blessed month of Ramadan passes, with its downpour of blessings and goodness, and you remain empty-handed.
Make a resolve to get your share of Ramadhan's blessings by keeping in view quite a stern warning of the Holy Prophet: "There are many who observe fast, but they get nothing except hunger and thirst. There are many who pray in the night, but they gain nothing except sleepless nights" [Bukhari].
It all depends on you! Get yourself ready to welcome Ramadan most befittingly, and try to make most of it. Before the advent of Ramadan, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tell his Companions about its greatness and exhort that they should spare no efforts to get the maximum benefit from it. This is what I intend to do here, i.e. discover the secret of the greatness of Ramadan, understand the importance of preparations and resolve to welcome it, use the opportunity it provides to get optimum benefit, appreciate the points that merit our attention and focus, recommend ways and means that make the journey to the destination easy and more rewarding, and avoid the path and approach that may frustrate the whole purpose and lead to failure and destruction.
"Making The Most of Ramadan" - Khurram Murad, p. 6