Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat gives us some inspirational advice on how to spend our Ramadhan.
By Shaikh M. Ibrahim Memon
The Holy month of Ramadan is a great opportunity for all believers to reestablish their relationship with Almighty Allah . During this month, Allah opens the doors of guidance, mercy, and forgiveness and showers His blessings on mankind. Blessed are those who avail this opportunity and work hard to obtain the pleasure of Allah .
Following are some points to remember that may help us have a better Ramadan:
Sahoor: Rasulullah said, “Allah sends blessings on those who eat Sahoor (meal before Fajr) and the angels pray for them.” (Ibn Habban) We should never miss Sahoor as it is blessed food and a Sunnah of the Prophet .
Salat Al-Taraweeh: Perform twenty raka’ah of Taraweeh every night.
Salat Al-Tahajud: Other than Taraweeh, perform some raka’ah of Tahajud prayer.
Dua: After Tahajud, spend some time making Dua for yourself, your family, the community, and the whole Muslim Ummah. This is extremely needed and very few do it. Every person in the family should engage in Dua and prayers in the darkness of the night and in isolation. Cry before Allah for forgiveness and for all of your needs.
Also wake up your children and teach them how to make Dua to Allah . Teach them how to cry before Allah , for those who do not cry before Allah will have to cry before people like themselves.
Crying and begging to Allah attracts His Mercy. Rasulullah encouraged his followers to cry when making Dua.
Salah in the Masjid: Try your best to perform every Salah in the Masjid with congregation (jama’ah)
Perform the additional following ibadah:
1. Recite Istighfaar 100 times a day (i.e. Astaghfirallah)
2. Send blessing on Rasulullah 100 times a day
3. Tasbeehaat 100 times a day (i.e. Subhanallah Wal-Hamdulillah wala Illaha Illallah Wallahu Akbar)
4. Recite at least one Juz of the Qur’an every day
Avoid all kinds of sins: Rasulullah said, “Many of those who fast get nothing out of it except hunger” (Nasa’ee) Advising his wife, once Rasulullah said, “O Aishah, refrain from even the minor sins because Allah will question you about them also.” (Ibn Majah)
Do not become angry: Avoid all quarrels, fights, and arguments which may lead you to anger.
Use only Halal food bought by Halal earnings. Avoid all doubtful items.
Reduce the amount of:
Unfortunately, it is very common in many Masajid to sit and chat after iftaar. This time should be used for Nawafil prayers, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, Tasbeeh, and Dua. Masjid is the House of Allah . It must be given its due respect. Disrespecting the house of Allah is disrespect to Allah .
Raising the voice or talking of worldly matters in the Masjid is forbidden. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to maintain the order, silence, respect, and cleanliness in the Masjid.
May Allah bless and guide all of us.
As the blessed month of Ramadhan approaches, we need to prepare for it in such a way that we can gain the maximum benefit of this month. For many, Ramadhan comes and goes. However, very few people actually benefit from this great month. Our teachers advise us to live the whole year as if we are in the month of Ramadhan. This magnanimous achievement can only be attained when the actual month of Ramadhan is spent properly. In order to acquire a droplet of the reality mentioned above, Insha Allah, I hope to mention ten points that were given as form of advice to me and many others.
- Discipline: Most people already know to abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from one’s spouse during the daytime of Ramadhan. However, a level of discipline must be developed to do righteous acts and abstain from those acts which would earn the displeasure of Allah. That was a basic form of discipline that needs to be developed but along with that, one needs to have discipline in following a particular routine or schedule for Ramadhan. This will be the real life changing factor for an individual. They wake up for suhoor but also pray Tahajjud at that time. Recite some Qur’an. They eat. Make dua’ while waiting for Salah. They pray Fajr. Recite Qur’an and make zikr. Rest if they need to.
The idea is to make a schedule and act accordingly the whole month without sacrificing their schedule. This is the desired discipline that is required.One may ask, “Why did he not just put the first point as a ‘making a schedule’?” Well, the answer is very simple. Anyone can come up with a schedule, but it takes real discipline to abide by it.
- Devotional life (‘Ibadah): Ramadhan is the month where Allah allows us to really fulfill the purpose of our being, and the purpose of our creation. Allah created us all to worship Him, and Him alone. Here, I will not mention virtues of various acts or worship because those can be found in the many books on the merits of certain deeds. However, since Ramadhan and Qur’an are closely connected, I will say that much of our devotional life should be focused on the Qur’an.
Reciting at least the entire Qur’an once in this month. Understanding it from erudite scholarship of our community or from accepted commentaries and Tafaaseer. I am not asking that a person recites the entire Qur’an and completes one entire commentary of it in one month. Perhaps it may be feasible to recite the entire Qur’an and start off a regimen of a Tafseer and try to finish it on an annual basis.
- Identifying with the Ummah: It is important that we feel our fast, i.e. feel hunger and thirst. Apart from that, we can use this to our benefit by making other people’s fast count for us as well. This means that if we feed or give to drink something to someone who fasts, we can get the reward of their fast as well.
Another aspect of identifying with the Ummah is to be grateful for whatever Allah has given us and realize that a little of that we need to give to others so that they may have a decent Ramadhan and wonderful ‘Eid. See what the Ummah is going through and see how we can actively participate to help the Ummah in any way possible.
- Contact with the Qur’an: Ramadhan is the month wherein the Qur’an was revealed. This is the month of the Qur’an. It is extremely essential to establish a relationship with the Qur’an. Without going into much detail, I will just mention something practical with regards to the Qur’an and Ramadhan.
For the average person, i.e. one who is not scholar or is not a Hafiz, they should read at least one juz per day so that they finish at a minimum one entire Qur’an for the month of Ramadhan. If one can do more, than Alhamdulillah, no one is stopping anyone. The next thing is to understand the Qur’an. So take the first volume of Ma’ariful Qur’an (for example) and read one section of the Arabic part (if one can) and then read the translation, then read the commentary. Do this every day without fail. Obviously the whole commentary will not be completed in one month, but at least a schedule to read a portion regularly will be developed and hopefully within a year it could be completed.
Also, one should try to memorize those chapters/surahs which are read often like Mulk, Kahf, Ya Seen, Waqi’ah, and Sajdah. Also memorize Surahs from the last juz at least and more if possible.
- Mujahadah: Ramadhan is a month of sacrifice and struggle. It is a month where Allah wants our time, our health, our wealth, and our whole being. We literally live the whole year for everything and anything. It is just one month…can we not live one month solely for our Creator?! So what if we have to sacrifice our sleep, and random other luxuries that we can do without anyway. As the saying goes, “No pain, no gain.” The amount of sacrifice and struggle we put into this month, Allah will reward us in this world and the next accordingly.
Give yourself to Allah, and see what Allah has in store for you.
- Dua’: The essence of worship is supplication to Allah. This whole month, Allah is willing and readily open to accept all that we ask of Him. It is only to our own loss and detriment that we lack in begging Allah for the things we need. Prioritize your supplications. Ask firstly for yourself, then your family, community, then the Ummah at large. Within that, prioritize and ask for things pertaining to the hereafter, then ask for things pertaining to this world. Just remember one thing when it comes to dua’, the point of dua’ is not that we need something or we need protection or refuge from some other thing, the point is that Allah told us to supplicate to Him, and that is why one should make dua’ abundantly. There are certain things Allah loves to do, and one of them is to answer the supplications of His servants who call unto Him.
One final aspect regarding dua’ is crying or pretending to cry. Tears are something foreign to Allah and therefore He has immense value for tears. The whole year we become filthy and impure spiritually by sinning, Ramadhan is the month where we purify our spirits by bathing our spirits in our tears.
- Good Company: Ramadhan is a month to maximize on good deeds and keep bad deeds at zero. Being in the company of the righteous will allow one to attain this goal. I will keep this point short. The minimum benefit one gets by being in good company is that one will not sin which in turn will cause one to become the greatest worshiper based off the hadith of Tirmidhi wherein Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) took Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu)’s hand and said, “O Abu Hurayrah, abstain from all prohibitions and you will become the best worshiper.”
The maximum benefit is that being with the people of Allah, Insha Allah; a person may just Attain Allah. What can be greater?!
- Gratitude: The secret to an increase in anything is to be thankful for it. To make sure that we see this month the next year, appreciate it this year. Be thankful for all that we have in every aspect, even the basic things we neglect and take for granted. We have Iman, we have Islam. Alhamdulillah, we are the best Ummah. We have been given the best book, i.e. the Qur’an. The best way to appreciate a bounty is to use it for its purpose.
Allah has blessed with infinite blessing and bounties. Ramadhan is one of those bounties, so to fully appreciate Ramadhan, we must spend it the way Allah would like us to spend it and attain out goal which is Taqwa.
- Following the Sunnah: Anything of the beloved is also beloved. That is a principle of love. Allah has proclaimed the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) as His beloved. If we follow the Sunnah and show a resemblance, then we can also gain the focus of Allah. Particularly follow the Sunnah acts which the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) performed in Ramadhan.
If we have to do something, might as well do it the best way possible. The best way for anything to be done is the way of the Sunnah. If by any chance it was some other way, Allah would have had His Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) do it that way then.
- Istiqamah: Imam Junayd Al-Baghdadi (RA) said, “Steadfastness is greater than a thousand miracles.” Please do not tire one’s self out in the initial stages of Ramadhan, rather figure out a routine that works and stick to it regularly. The most beloved of actions to Allah are those that are done consistently even though they may seem minor. We all need to be thankful for the good that we have done and also for the evil we are able to abstain from. We also need to be thankful for whatever level of steadfastness that we have. We want to make Ramadhan last beyond Ramadhan as well. I’ll end with a quote from one of our mashaaikh, Shaykh In’aam-ul-Hasan Kandehlawi (RA) said, “Whoever lives their life as they do in Ramadhan, then death will come to that person just as the moon of ‘Eid comes for the fasting person.”
To conclude, we pray to Allah that He accepts all of our efforts and overlooks and forgives all of our shortcomings. Aameen.
Very good reminder of valuing time!
May Allah give us Barakah in time & the ability to value our most precious asset
Via: Shaykh Abdul Raheem
Ramadan is the month of fasting, standing, generosity, self-evaluation, patience and the Qur’aan. Indeed there are many groups and paths regarding the month of Ramadan. Let’s see which group we belong to.
The first group:
is a group that sees Ramadan as a time of restrictions and preventions; a time of prohibitions from desires and lust. They do not comprehend the benefits of Ramadan. You will find them lazy and tired. They fast with great difficulties while continuing in backbiting, lying and other sins. They see the fast as nothing more than an obstacle in front of their desires.
As for the second group:
it is a group that sees the month of amadan as a month of food and drink. Most of their time is consumed going and coming from the grocery store purchasing food for themselves, families and guests. Ramadan doesn’t increase them except in appetite. We know that consuming lots of foods will cause fatigue and laziness. The worst thing that the sons of Adam can fill is their stomachs. In addition, some from amongst them actually gain weight in Ramadan.
As for the third group:
they know nothing of Ramadan except that it is obligatory. Neither the days nor the nights are spent in worship rather they might not even perform the five daily prayers. They awaken with Allah’s displeasure and sleep with Allah’s displeasure.
As for the fourth group:
it is a group who does not know Allah except and until the month of Ramadan. They attend the Jumu’ah prayer, frequent the Masjid and the women wear the hijaab for the duration of Ramadan. And when the month is over all of those good deeds come to end, that is until the next Ramadan.
As for the fifth group:
this group is a group who can not wait for the arrival of Ramadan. And when it comes they roll up their sleeves even more and they work as hard as they can. This month rejuvenates and strengthens them.
Evaluate yourself. Which group do you belong to?
Source – Al Haadi
This is why I love Ramadhan!
Shukran to the writer
Morale: Don’t rebuke any1 who turns up at mosque in Ramadhan only
Via: Shaykh Abdul Raheem
Love Ramadan for others just as you love it for yourself and rather than rebuking or scolding someone, make sincere du’a for them.
By Khalid Baig
Fasting during Ramadan was ordained during the second year of Hijrah. Why not earlier? In Makkah the economic conditions of the Muslims were bad. They were being persecuted. Often days would go by before they had anything to eat. It is easy to skip meals if you don’t have any. Obviously fasting would have been easier under the circumstances. So why not then?
The answer may be that Ramadan is not only about skipping meals. While fasting is an integral and paramount part of it, Ramadan offers a comprehensive program for our spiritual overhaul. The entire program required the peace and security that was offered by Madinah.
Yes, Ramadan is the most important month of the year. It is the month that the believers await with eagerness. At the beginning of Rajab — two full months before Ramadan — the Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to supplicate thus: “O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’ban, and let us reach Ramadan (in good health).”
During Ramadan the believers get busy seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection from Hellfire. This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. It is the spring season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. “If we combine all the blessings of the other eleven months, they would not add up to the blessings of Ramadan,” said the great scholar and reformer Shaikh Ahmed Farooqi (Mujaddad Alif Thani). It offers every Muslim an opportunity to strengthen his Iman, purify his heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him.
“Anyone who fasts during this month with purity of belief and with expectation of a good reward (from his Creator), will have his previous sins forgiven,” said Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. “Anyone who stands in prayers during its nights with purity of belief and expectation of a reward, will have his previous sins forgiven.” As other ahadith tell us, the rewards for good deeds are multiplied manifold during Ramadan.
Along with the possibility of a great reward, there is the risk of a terrible loss. If we let any other month pass by carelessly, we just lost a month. If we do the same during Ramadan, we have lost everything. The person who misses just one day’s fast without a legitimate reason, cannot really make up for it even if he were to fast everyday for the rest of his life. And of the three persons that Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam cursed, one is the unfortunate Muslim who finds Ramadan in good health but does not use the opportunity to seek Allah’s mercy.
One who does not fast is obviously in this category, but so also is the person who fasts and prays but makes no effort to stay away from sins or attain purity of the heart through the numerous opportunities offered by Ramadan. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, warned us: “There are those who get nothing from their fast but hunger and thirst. There are those who get nothing from their nightly prayers but loss of sleep.”
Those who understood this, for them Ramadan was indeed a very special month. In addition to fasting, mandatory Salat, and extra Travih Salat, they spent the whole month in acts of worship like voluntary Salat, Tilawa (recitation of Qur’an), Dhikr etc. After mentioning that this has been the tradition of the pious people of this Ummah throughout the centuries, Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi notes: ” I have seen with my own eyes such ulema and mashaikh who used to finish recitation of the entire Qur’an everyday during Ramadan. They spent almost the entire night in prayers. They used to eat so little that one wondered how they could endure all this. These greats valued every moment of Ramadan and would not waste any of it in any other pursuit…Watching them made one believe the astounding stories of Ibada and devotion of our elders recorded by history.”
This emphasis on these acts of worship may sound strange — even misplaced — to some. It requires some explanation. We know that the term Ibada (worship and obedience) in Islam applies not only to the formal acts of worship and devotion like Salat , Tilawa, and Dhikr, but it also applies to worldly acts when performed in obedience to Shariah and with the intention of pleasing Allah. Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibada when he seeks Halal income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family. However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibada, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibada — worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah. While the second category is important for it extends the idea of Ibada to our entire life, there is also a danger because by their very nature these acts can camouflage other motives. (Is my going to work really Ibada or am I actually in the rat race?). Here the direct Ibada comes to the rescue. Through them we can purify our motives, and re-establish our relationship with Allah.
Islam does not approve of monasticism. It does not ask us to permanently isolate ourselves from this world, since our test is in living here according to the Commands of our Creator. But it does ask us to take periodic breaks from it. The mandatory Salat (five daily prayers) is one example. For a few minutes every so many hours throughout the day, we leave the affairs of this world and appear before Allah to remind ourselves that none but He is worthy of worship and of our unfaltering obedience. Ramadan takes this to the next higher plane, providing intense training for a whole month.
This spirit is captured in I’tikaf, a unique Ibada associated with Ramadan, in which a person gives up all his normal activities and enters a mosque for a specific period. There is great merit in it and every Muslim community is encouraged to provide at least one person who will perform I’tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadan. But even those who cannot spare ten days are encouraged to spend as much time in the mosque as possible.
Through direct Ibada we “charge our batteries”; the indirect ones allow us to use the power so accumulated in driving the vehicle of our life. Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength. How much we benefit from it is up to us.
Source: Al Balagh
Back to Ramadan Menu
Hereunder we suggest a 24-hour programme for the month of Ramadhan. It is an example of spending our time correctly. The programme starts from Maghrib till Maghrib the following day.
Read: “O You who are Great in Bounties, forgive me”, as many times as possible before Iftar.
Make du’a 5 to 10 minutes before Iftar. The du’a of a fasting person is readily accepted at this time.
Make Iftar quickly. Thereafter perform Maghrib (for men with Jamat and for women at home).
After Maghrib perform 6 to 20 Rakats Awwâbîn Namaz.
Read Surah Tabarak after Maghrib. The benefit of it is that it will save us from the punishment of the grave.
Read Surah Waqiyah. The virtue of it is that it will save one from poverty.
Have supper quickly. Our suggestion is that due to the long days, have a rest for 15 – 20 minutes before Esha, so that one may be fresh for Tarawîh and Esha salâh.
Prepare for Esha before the Esha Azan and proceed for Esha and Tarawih Salat. Return home immediately after Tarawih or after any Deeni programme in the Masjid. Do not waste time talking and discussing political and business issues.
On returning home, read Surah Sajdah. Thereafter spend a few minutes with the family and try to sleep as early as possible allowing one to arise at 3.00 a.m. for Tahajjud salâh.
Read Tasbeeh-e-Fatimi before sleeping.
Perform at least 4,8, or 12 rakâts Tahajjud salah, thereafter read the first kalima 100 times and then make du’a before partaking of Sehri.
Immediately after Sehri proceed to the Masjid for Fajr Salâh. After Fajr recite the Quran till Ishraq time.
Perform 2 or 4 Rakats Ishraq. The benefit is that your daily work will become easy and you will attain the reward of an accepted Haj. After Ishraq rest before going to work. People who are self employed should take advantage of this rest and also give their employees this opportunity.
At work or at one’s business, one should keep one’s tongue moist with Zikr eg. Kalimah Tayyibah, Istighfar and Durood Shareef. Those who are bay’t to a Sheikh should complete their prescribed Zikr.
Try to be early for Zohar Namaz so that one could read the Qur,an immediately after one has read the 4 Sunnat-e-Muakkadah before the Jamat Namaz. If possible try to read Qur’an after Zohar Namaz as well, depending on how long one’s lunch break is.
After completing Asar Namaz, read Durood Shareef at least 100 times and Istighfar 100 times. Thereafter spend the balance of the time reciting Qur’an till Iftar time, not forgetting the du’a before Iftar.
Published by Villa Liza Madrasah, Actonville, BENONI
Back to Ramadan Menu
Idea Nine: Ramadan Muslims, Convert! It is true that on the first day of Ramadan, the number of Muslims in the local Masjid multiplies considerably. And, it is a sad moment on the first day after Ramadan that the Masjid attendance drops significantly. This idea is Operation No More Ramadan Muslims. We want people all year long!
Ibn Abbas I’tikaaf: A man came to Ibn Abbas while he was doing I’tikaaf in the masjid and asked him for his assistance. So, Ibn Abbas stood to leave and people around him warned him, ‘but you are in I’tikaaf’. He replied, “To assist my brother in fulfilling his need is more beloved to me than to perform I’tikaaf for 2 months in the Masjid of Rasul Allah – sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Try this: Make a ‘compassion crew’ that reaches out specifically to Ramadan Muslims. Extra special attention is showered on them and roles of responsibility are delegated to them so that they can participate more in the Masjid. Invite them to special Iftars where they are the center of attention. With this extra attention and responsibility, bi idhnillaah, every month will be Ramadan for them and the masjids will be full all year.
Idea Ten: Home Halaqah Muslim families often keep their worship for the Masjid, but why not make Muslim family time at home. It could work like this: After Taraweeh or Asr, the family gathers together for 15 minutes. There are many things you could do in your Halaqah, the main thing is that you set time aside for it. For example, each family member may recite a few verses of Qur’an. Or, one of the kids can read a story of the Sahaabah so that all family members can be reminded. Or, each family member can speak about the blessings of Allah upon them and what they have in their lives for which they are thankful. Just 15 minutes for the home Halaqah. For the entire family, bi idhnillah, it will be a spring of Eman.
The past saw Muslims that spent their nights of Ramadan awake praying to Allah. It saw days where people, for the sake of Allah, went thirsty. They knew that this season may never return on them and they heard Allah’s words “Ayyaman Ma’doodaat”– a limited number of days. Don’t let the sand of Ramadan slip away.
I hope this post came of benefit, dont let the month of Ramadan fly by, do as much ibadah as possible this could be your last Ramadhan…
Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
Regardless which timetable or country you follow for moon sighting, don’t begin Ramadhan with backbiting & ill thoughts of others.
Don’t stand around masajid gossiping about timetables & Saudi Arabia. It will not benefit anybody & only waste your valuable time.
If we can learn to detach ourselves from our phones this Ramadhan, it will be a great achievement & a major spiritual breakthrough.
Make a habit in Ramadan to sit in gatherings of a scholar in your area. Carry it on after Ramadan. Constant reminders are refreshers of Iman.
Some spend 1st couple of days in constant Ibadah in Ramadhan & then experience burnout. Exert yourself in moderation with breaks & rests.
Allocate some Qur’an time, Dhikr time, reading time, dua time, family time, rest time in your Ramadhan schedules.