Monday, September 25, 2006

A Few Du'as For Ramadhan

Post 6

Following are a few Du'as that one should commit to memory or keep at hand for the month of Ramadhan:

When beginning the fast- Suhur

وَبِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَّوَيْتُ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ

Wa bi-sawmi ghadin nawaytu min shahri Ramadhan

I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan


نَوَيْتُ أنْ أصُوْمَ غَدًا لِلهِ تعَالي مِنْ فَرْضِ رَمَضَانَ هَذَا

Nawaytu an asooma ghadan lillahi ta'aala min fardhi Ramadhana haadha.

I intend to fast tomorrow for the sake of Allah Ta'ala from the obligatory fasts of this Ramadhan.


نَوَيْتُ أنْ أصُوْمَ هَذَا الْيَوْمَ لِلهِ تَعَالي مِنْ فَرْضِ رَمَضَانَ

Nawaytu an asooma hadhal yowma lillahi ta'aala min fardhi Ramadhana

I intend to fast today for the sake of Allah Ta'ala from the obligatory fasts of Ramadhan.


اللهُمَّ أصُوْمُ غَدًا لَكَ فَغْفِرْلِيْ مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَ مَا أخَّرْتُ

Allahumma asoomu ghadan laka, Faghfirli maa qaddamtu wa maa akkhartu

O Allah, I am fasting tomorrow for Your sake, so forgive my past sins and future sins.

When breaking the fast- Iftar

اللَّهُمَّ إنِّى لَكَ صُمْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ [وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ] وَعَلَى رِزْقِكَ اَفْطَرْتُ

Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu [wa 'alayka tawakkaltu] wa 'alaa rizqika aftartu

O Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You [and I put my trust in You] and I break my fast with Your sustenance.


ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَ ابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ، وَ ثَبَتَ الأجْرُ إنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ

dhahabadh dhama-u wabtallatil 'urooqu, wa tha-batal ajru insha Allah

The thrist is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is confirmed, if Allah [Ta'ala] wills.


اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسأَلُكَ بِرَحْمَتِكَ الَّتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَنْ تَغْفِرَ لِي

Allaahumma inni as-aluka birahmatika allati wasi'at kulla shay-in an taghfira li

O Allah, I ask You by Your mercy which envelopes all things, that You forgive me

Du'a to be recited in between every 4 Rak'ats of Taraweeh

سُبْحَانَ ذِيْ الْمُلْكِ وَ الْمَلَكُوْتِ
سُبْحَانَ ذِيْ العِزَّةِ وَ العَظْمَةِ وَ الهَيْبَةِ وَ القُدْرَةِ وَ الكِبْرِيَاءِ وَ الجَبَرُوْتِ
سُبْحَانَ المَلِكِ الحَيِّ الَّذِيْ لا يَنَامُ وَ لا يَمُوْتُ
سُبُّوْحٌ قُدُّوْسٌ رَبُّنَا وَ رَبُّ المَلَائِكَةِ وَ الرُّوْحِ
اللّهُمَّ أجِرْنَا مِنَ النَّارِ
يَا مُجِيْرُ يَا مُجِيْرُ يَا مُجِيْرُ

Subhaana dhil mulki wal malakooti
Subhaana dhil izzat wal azmati wal haybati wal qudrati wal kibriyaa-e wal jhabaroot
Subhanal malikil hayyil ladhi laa yanaamu wa laa yamootu
Suboohun qudoosun Rabbuna wa Rabbul malaaikati war rooh
Allahumma ajirna minan naar
Ya Mujeeru Ya Mujeeru Ya Mujeeru

Glorified is the Owner of the kingdom of the earth and the heavens;
Glorified is the Possessor of Honour and Magnificence and Awe, and Power and Greatness and Omnipotence;
Glorified is the Sovereign, the Living, Who does neither sleep nor die
O all Glorious, All Holy one, Our lord and the Lord of the Angels, And the soul.
O Allah save us from the (hell) fire.
O Saviour, O Saviour, O Saviour

Insha Allah, by reciting these Du'as one will get the rewards that lie in the month of Ramadhan.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ramadhan Mubarak

Alhumdulillah the month of Ramadhan has dawned upon us once again. I wish all the readers of my blog Ramadhan Mubarak. I pray to Allah that He gives us strength in this month to worship Him with our utmost ability and strength. May He give us the knowledge and understanding to complete this month in the manner shown by our Beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم and ordered by Allah Ta’ala.

Insha Allah the Ramadhan posts will continue through the month of Ramadhan. First I will post a few essential rulings that will ensure that our fasts are valid and not rendered broken in accordance to the Shari’ah. Thereafter, I will continue in the month of Ramadhan with posts that entail Du’as and supplications that one can use in the month of Ramadhan as well as a post on Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power).

I once again supplicate to Allah that He does not deprive us in this month of His mercy and forgiveness and that He grants us Freedom from the Hell Fire.

Insha Allah I will be remembering all of you in my Du’as and I humbly request that you all remember me in your Du’as also. Finally, please do forgive me for all the discrepancies I may have had and if I have caused any pain to anyone.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Acts of Worship in Ramadhan

Post 5 - Part 2

8. Supplicating to Allah.

الدعاء مخ العبادة

“Supplication is the essence of worship.”

Ramadhan is the month within which one tries to excel in worship. It is a month where a servant, through the medium of worship, draws closer to his beloved, Allah. Though we perform many acts of worship during this month, we should keep in mind that the core and essence of worship lies in supplication. A person who does not supplicate to Allah gives out an image of being haughty, proud and independent; and these qualities are not liked by Allah.

In this month the mercy and blessing of Allah descend upon the earth all those people who are within. Allah calls out within this month to His believers asking whether there is anyone that is supplicating so that he can accept his supplication.

Therefore, one should make an utmost effort to supplicate as much as possible in this month and ask Allah for forgiveness, steadfastness, a place in Jannah, freedom from hellfire and all whatever needs a person has.

Insha Allah, specific Du’as will be posted during the month of Ramadhan which one may use to supplicate.

9. Dhikr & Remembrance of Allah.

مثل الذي يذكر ربه و الذي لا يذكر مثل الحي و الميت

“The example of one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not is like the living and the dead”

The month of Ramadhan is a month where man excels in the remembrance of Allah; the level of worship increases in this month and therefore the remembrance of presence of Allah is felt more. The more we remember our Lord the more He remembers us and the more Allah remembers us the more likely we are to receive His mercy and forgiveness.

Therefore, in the month of Ramadhan we should increase the Dhikr and remembrance of Allah by trying to recite as much Tasbeeh (glorification) of Allah as possible. If there is one thing that a person will regret and have remorse for in Paradise it will be that time which was not spent in the remembrance of his Lord.

10. Sunnah & Nafl I'tikaaf.

‏النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏كان ‏ ‏يعتكف ‏ ‏في العشر الأواخر من رمضان

“The Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم used to retire in the mosque for devotion (I'tikaaf) in the last ten days of Ramadan”

I’tikaaf is the name given to the retreat inside a mosque that one practices in the month of Ramdhan. When one retreats and secludes himself to worship Allah in the month of Ramadhan he is in actual fact offering his entirety to his Lord and trying to achieve a maximum level of worship and closeness to Allah.

There are two forms of I’tikaaf:

The first type of I’tikaaf Sunnah which is performed during the last ten days of Ramadhan and has been mentioned in many Ahadeeth and it holds great merits as it has also been mentioned that that Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) occurs during this time.

The second type is Nafl (optional) and can be performed at any time during the month of Ramadhan for any duration. This method is also meritorious and commendable; however it does not hold the same reward as the Sunnah I’tikaaf.

A person should try and perform the Sunnah I’tikaaf during the month of Ramadhan. If this is not possible due to commitments or other reasons then everyone should perform Nafl I’tikaaf for as much time as he can. A person can make the intention of Nafl I’tikaaf every time he enters the mosque, even if it is for prayer. This way he will receive the reward of I’tikaaf as long as he remains within the mosque boundaries and upholds the requirements of I’tikaaf.

11. Sehri / Suhur.

‏تسحروا فإن في السحور بركة

“Take Suhur (meal before dawn); for in Suhur there is a blessing.”

Suhur or Sehri is the meal that is taken by the person intending to fast before dawn and in the last portion of the night. Suhur is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم and we have also been encouraged to make Suhur as it contains blessings and is a medium for Allah’s mercy.

During Ramadhan, one should avoid missing Suhur without a valid excuse. Even though may not feel hungry it is advised that one performs this Sunnah and reaps the rewards, blessings and mercy of Allah contained within.

12. Iftaar

‏ ‏إذا أقبل الليل وأدبر النهار وغابت الشمس فقد أفطر الصائم

“When the night approaches and the day retreats and the sun sinks down, then the observer of the Fast should break his fast”

It is Sunnah to make Iftaar [break one’s fast] immediately after sunset. One should not delay the Iftaar as this is undesired and disliked.

One should indulge himself in seeking Du’a (supplicating) to Allah during the time of Iftaar. To do this, one should try and commit himself to sit down at least ten minutes before the time of Iftaar and supplicate to Allah for all his needs until the Adhan is called. Furthermore, one should make a habit of making Iftaar at the Masjid and not at home.

13. Taraweeh Prayers

شهر جعل الله صيامه فريضة وقيام ليله تطوعًا

“It is a month in which Allah has made fasting compulsory by day. And has made Sunnah the Taraweeh prayer by night”

The nights of Ramadhan are blessed with the recitation of the Qur’an through the prayers of Taraweeh. The scholars class the Taraweeh prayers as Sunnah and that it consists of twenty Rak’ats (cycles) in total.

One should make an effort to attend the Taraweeh prayers in the mosque and ensure that one completes the Qur’an in this manner. If one follows the Taraweeh within one mosque only then Insha Allah he will have heard the entire Qur’an.

14. Nafl (optional) and recommended Salaah.

During this month, one should make an effort to perform optional and recommended prayers. It is a month where even recommended acts receive the rewards of Fardh (obligatory) acts in another month and additional rewards and benefits will be gained from the reading of the optional prayer.

Some prayers that can be performed are:

a) Ishraaq (begins roughly 15 minutes after Dawn – Consists of 2 – 4 Rak’ats)

b) Duha / Chast (offered after sunrise until midday – Consists of 2 – 12 Rak’ats)

c) Awabeen (After Maghrib Salaah – Consists of 6 - 20 Rak’ats)

d) Tahajjud (offered in the last portion of the night before dawn – Consists of 2 - 12 Rak’ats)

e) Tahiyyatul Masjid / Tahiyyatul Wudhu (when entering the Masjid / after performing Wudhu – Consists of 2 Rak’ats)

f) Salaat-us Tasbeeh (anytime – Recommended once daily or at least once in a lifetime – Consists of 4 Rak’ats)

g) Salaat-ut Tawbah (anytime – Performed with the intention of seeking forgiveness from Allah – Consists of 2 Rak’ats)

h) Salaat-us Shukr (anytime – Performed with the intention of thanking Allah)

i) General Nafl (optional) prayers can be performed also.

14. Praying the Qur'an.

‏وكان ‏ ‏جبريل ‏ ‏يلقاه في كل ليلة من شهر رمضان فيدارسه القرآن

“And Jibreel عليه السلام would meet him every night in the month of Ramadhan and rehearse with him صلي الله عليه و سلم the Holy Qur’an”

The Holy Qur’an has an immense connection with the month of Ramadhan; it was in this month that the Qur’an was revealed and it was in this month the angel Jibreel عليه السلام would come to rehearse the Qur’an with our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم.

In this month one should make an effort to recite the Qur’an daily as much as possible. In actual fact, one should reduce his other forms of optional worship to accommodate the recitation of the Qur’an if he has limited time. It is also vital to recite the Qur’an correctly and accurately without making mistakes or reading too fast.

If one is able to then he should complete the Qur’an by recitation in this month and make an effort to hear the entire Qur’an in the Taraweeh prayers.

15. Excellence of Durood / Salaah Alan Nabi.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet (Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم). O you who believe! (Ask Allah to) send blessings upon him (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and (ask Allah to) send salutations upon him (صلي الله عليه و سلم).

The act of sending blessings on the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم is an act that carries endless rewards and merits whilst its benefits are infinite and cannot be encompassed. A person who sends blessings on the Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم is blessed ten times in return and it is through sending constant blessings on the Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم will one receive his intercession and favours on the Day of Judgment.

One should never fall short on sending blessings upon the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم during any month of the year. However, it is vital that this act of worship is increased in the month of Ramadhan so that one can reap the benefits contained within its recitation as well as seek the mercy of Allah and His Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم in both worlds.

َ اللهُمَّ صَلِّيْ وَسَلِّمْ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ كُلَّمَا ذَكَرَهُ الذَّاكِرُوْنَ , و صَلِّيْ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّم كُلَّمَا غَفَلَ عَنْ ذِكْرِهِ الْغَافِلُوْنَ َ

“O Allah, send blessings and salutations upon our Beloved Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم the amount of every person that remembers (sends salutation upon) him; and send blessing and salutations upon him صلي الله عليه و سلم the amount of every person who is ignorant of remembering (sending blessings upon) him صلي الله عليه و سلم.”

Friday, September 15, 2006

Acts of Worship in Ramadhan

Post 5 - Part 1

In the last post I mentioned the minimum level of worship one should carry out in the month of Ramadhan and points that people should always keep in mind during this month. In this post a few acts will be mentioned that, although not complete, can be used as a guideline and indication towards the acts which can be performed in this month. As there are many acts of worship that can be performed, and only a short period before the beginning of this blessed month, I shall be posting the acts of worships on a daily basis, Insha Allah.

Acts that can be Performed.

In the month of Ramadhan there is no amount of worship that be classified as the 'maximum' level of worship. However, there are worships which have been mentioned in the Ahadeeth that are specific for this month and others which are generally rewarding. Following is a selection of a few acts that one can perform during this month to reap the benefits of this month as well as these acts. May Allah give us all the strength to perform worship to the maximum of our ability in this blessed month. Aameen.

Acts of Worship Directly Related to Ramadhan

1. Worshipping on Laylatul Qadr - The Night of Power.

شهر فيه ليلة خير من ألف شهر، شهر جعل الله صيامه فريضة وقيام ليله تطوعً

"A month in which lies a night greater in virtue than a thousand months"

It is within this month of Ramadhan that Laylatul Qadr, Night of Power, is most likely to occur. This night is better and holds more weight than worship of a thousand months (eighty three years and four months). Many scholars have explained on the fact that this night, although not fixed, can be found mostly in the last ten days of Ramadhan and moreover on the 27th night.

The Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has said:

‏تحروا ليلة القدر في العشر الأواخر من رمضان

"Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan"

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Keeping this Hadeeth in mind, every person should make an effort to spend the nights of Ramadhan in worship as much as possible. For it is most likely that this month contains the Night of Power. If one is unable to worship every night in this month then one should not miss the opportunity to perform worship on at least the 27th night.

Insha Allah, a post will be published regarding the Night of Power during the month of Ramadhan.

2. Fardh (obligatory) & Nafl (optional) Acts.

من تقرب فيه بخصلة كان كمن ادي فريضة في ما سواه و من ادي فريضة فيه كان كمن ادي سبعين فريضة فيما سواه،

"Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a Fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a Fardh shall be blessed with the reward of seventy Faraidh in any other time."

In this month Allah is multiplying the rewards for every act we carry out; a person who performs a Nafl (optional) act in this month will be given the reward of a Fardh (obligatory) act performed in any other month; and the person who perform a Fardh act in this month is given the reward of seventy Fardh acts performed in any other month.

Therefore, one should discharge all the Faraidh duties and thereafter make an effort to perform as many Nafl (optional) acts of worship. Thus, ensuring that one has acquired this great 'sale' and 'offer' that Allah Ta'ala is providing during this month.

3. Observing Patience.

وهو شهر الصبر، والصبر ثوابه الجنة

"And it is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Jannah (Paradise)."

This is the month within which a person's patience is tested and put at trial. The nature of man is such that if something occurs against his habit then he will feel uneasy and restless to such an extent that the person can become ill.

Therefore, during this month a person's habits will change significantly; he will leave his food and drink during the day and perform the fast and at night he will reduce his sleeping hours by perform the Taraweeh prayers and waking up for Sehri (morning meal).

This change, along with the extra level of worship and the abstention from sins, will make a person less patient. Therefore, patience will be a great act of worship for which the reward can be no less than Jannah itself.

Furthermore, it should be remembered that there are three levels of patience that one can exercise; the first being the most common, to have patience on a calamity or disliked occurrence that befalls us. However, in addition to this, we also need to exercise patience for the performance of good deeds and the abstention from sinning. When a person finds it difficult to perform a deed then he should be patient and hope for the reward that lies in this patience. Similarly, when one feels a struggle in abstaining from sin then he should be patient and again hope for the reward from Allah.

One should have a firm intention to be patient on all the difficulties he faces, whether is be in the form of sorrow, grief and trials, or merely the difficulties one faces when performing deeds and abstaining from sins.

4. Sympathy and Huqooqul 'Ibaad (rights of fellow beings).

شهر المواساة،

"It is the month of sympathy with one's fellow men."

Within this month great emphasis is placed on direct worship; worship which is directed related to Allah. However, this should not deceive us from the rights that are attached to people. It is vital that we ensure we do not unjustly disregard the rights of others whilst trying to offer optional acts of worship as well as obligatory acts.

It is essential to keep in mind that upholding the rights of others is also Fardh and obligatory. A person who disregards the rights of others will not be forgiven by Allah for that sin and only the person whose rights have been disregarded can forgive is.

Many times we see in the month of Ramadhan that due to the increased level of worshippers in the mosque there is a difficulty in finding parking; in such a case, it would wrong to cause someone inconvenience by parking inconsiderately or even blocking a car. It would in actual fact better to reach the prayers late and have not caused any inconvenience to fellow beings.

In short, as well as upholding the rights of Allah, it is necessary that a person keeps in mind the rights of fellow beings and does not disregard their rights whilst having the notion in his mind that he is receiving reward for the act he is doing.

5. Work & Worship.

و شهر يزاد في رزق المؤمن فيه

"It is the month wherein a true believer's sustenance is increased."

There are a very few fortunate people who can leave their work for this month and dedicate themselves entirely to worship in this month. However, Islam does not necessitate the leaving of one's job; in fact, Islam would not allow a person to leave working if his family are depending on him for food and income. Therefore, though one does not have to leave work to dedicate himself to worship it is advised that each person makes an effort to decrease the amount of work he is doing and spend a greater portion of his time in worship. It should also be noted that working and earning an honest and Halaal livelihood for one's family is also an act of worship and bears great reward.

However, one should keep in mind that this is the month within which one's sustenance is increased; this is an indication from Allah to the believers to notify them that do not be heedless towards worship by becoming engrossed in business and work; for Allah has increased the sustenance of a believer in this month so that he can freely worship Allah and not have major concern regarding his sustenance.

6. Feeding the Fasting & Feeding the Poor.

من فطر فيه صائما كان مغفرة لذنوبه وعتق رقبته من النار وكان له مثل أجره من غير أن ينقص من أجره شئ ... و من سقي صائما سقاه الله من حوضي شربة لا يضمأ حتي يدخل الجنة

"Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell), and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least... And whoever gave a person who observed fast water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from my fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah."

Abdullah ibn 'Amr رضي الله عنه narrates:

‏أن رجلا سأل النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏أي الإسلام خير قال ‏ ‏تطعم الطعام وتقرأ السلام على من عرفت ومن لم تعرف

"A man asked the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم, what sort of deeds (or qualities) of Islam are good? He صلي الله عليه و سلم replied, to feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know"

Feeding people in any month is classified as one of the greatest acts and qualities of Islam. However, in the month of Ramadhan this deed becomes more valuable and precious. The person who feeds a fasting person, or gives him water to break his fast, will receive the reward of that persons fast without that person's reward being decreased. Furthermore, Allah will make this act a means of that person's sins being forgiven and will safeguard him from the hellfire.

Taking this into consideration one should make an effort to feed the poor. If this is difficult to achieve, then one should take every opportunity to feed the fasting and provide them with the food to break their fast.

7. Lessening the Burden off Others.

من خفف عن مملوكه فيه غفر الله له و اعتقه من النار

"Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bonds-men) in this month Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam"

In this month, employers should make an effort to reduce the strain on their employees; just as anyone in charge should reduce the level of work and burden on those under their charge. It is a month where a person should show care and consideration towards others as much as possible.

One should make the utmost effort not to cause any difficulty to anyone in this month and to try and lessen the burden off as many people as he can. Insha Allah, by easing the matters from other people, Allah will ease our matters both in this world and the hereafter.

May Allah give us all the inclination to perform these acts, those that follow and many more during this blessed month of Ramadhan and thereafter also. Aameen.
Insha Allah, further acts of worship will be posted tomorrow.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Levels of Worship in Ramadhan

Post 4

As mentioned in the previous post, it is vital to prepare for the month of Ramadhan by taking into consideration our habits as well as being prepared both mentally and physically.

Primarily, there are two things that should always be kept in mind when executing any act, for without these two things being present the act will be deemed useless.

1. Correct Intention.

The first thing is to have the correct intention and to ensure that we are doing an act solely for the pleasure of Allah.

In the month of Ramadhan, we have to eradicate the temptation of doing any act for show, to please another or through the fear of someone. It is vital that whatever act we do, we do it for the sake of Allah alone.

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

"Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."
[Saheeh al-Bukhari]

It is clear in this Hadeeth that a person who intends reward whilst having faith is the one who will be fortunate enough to have his previous sins forgiven.

In another Hadeeth it is stated that many people receive nothing from their fast except for thirst, for which one reason is given as them having incorrect intentions.

2. Correct Method.

It is vital that along with the correct intention one adopts the correct method of carrying out an act of worship. Many people have the misunderstanding that their actions will be rewarded regardless of their quality and correctness as far as their intentions are correct. However, this is a great deception from Shaytaan and a trick that he plays to give people false hopes in achieving something when in reality nothing comes from their worship.

We can take an example of that person who intends to travel to London but instead is taking the road that leads to Scotland. No matter how sincere and correct his intentions may be he will not reach his destination. This is because the method, being the correct road here, is incorrect; he wants to travel South but has taken the route the leads North.

Therefore, along with intention, it is vital that the method we adopt is also correct. These rulings should be applied in all the acts we carry out, be it during Ramadhan or out of this blessed month.

Any act which is contrary to the order of Allah and the teachings of our Beloved صلي الله عليه و سلم will be classed as incorrect and will be against the method we should be adopting.

During the Month of Ramadhan

It is vital that in the month of Ramadhan we are of those whom Allah has forgiven and not of those whom Allah has cursed as well as Jibra'eel عليه السلام and our Beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم. This is one of the main objectives of this month.

The Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has informed us:

ان جبرئيل عرض لي فقال بعد من ادرك رمضان فلم يغفر له قلت آمين

"Jibreel came to me and said, Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and does not have his sins forgiven and so enters the Fire, then may Allah distance him, say Aameen, so I said Ameen"
[Mustadrak al-Haakim]

The aim for this month is therefore to be of those who acquire Allah's forgiveness and to be saved from becoming from those people who acquire this month yet become more distant from Allah due to negligence.

Minimum level of worship that should be performed.

In order to acquire the forgiveness of Allah in this month we need to be certain that certain things are kept in mind when acts are being discussed.

The most vital and important act of worship, without argument or compromise, is abstention from sins. Enough emphasis cannot be made regarding this act and negligence from this will render the rewards of one's fast useless.

قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فِي أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ

"Whoever does not give up telling lies and evil actions, then Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink."
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

كم من صائم ليس له من صيامه الا الظمأ، و كم من قائم ليس له من قيامه الا السهر

"Abu Huraira related that Rasulullah said: Many people who fast get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst, and many people who pray at night get nothing from it except wakefulness."

These above two Ahadeeth mention the importance of abstaining from sins and keeping one's fast free from all defects and corruption. A person who fasts yet does not uphold the rights of that fast is like one who has fasted and only acquired hunger and thirst from his fast. Such a person does not receive any benefits from that fast except that the obligation of fasting is lifted from him; as far as rewards and benefits are concerned, he receives none.

Allah's forgiveness has to be achieved, and the minimum requirement in this month to achieve this forgiveness is to respect the month of Ramadhan and the fast that one keeps. This can only be done if one has the correct intention for the fast he is keeping whilst adopting the method shown to us by the Shari'ah and thereafter abstaining from sins during this fast as well as throughout the entire month.

This, as mentioned, is the minimum requirement for each individual in this month. Although one should not aim to achieve only the minimum it may be that this is enough for a person to acquire the forgiveness of Allah. It is entirely the decision of Allah to forgive whom He wishes; if abstaining from sins is a great achievement for an individual and an immensely difficult task then this may be sufficient.

Nevertheless, one should excuse himself in front of Allah for having achieved the minimum and not carrying out further acts of worship during this month. One should intend that through abstaining from sins during this month He is hoping for the forgiveness of Allah and the bounties that lie within this month. Finally, one should, if possible, supplicate to Allah as often and as much as possible if he is unable to execute any other acts of worship.

Additional Things to Keep in mind.

The month of Ramadhan is the month of worship; it is the month within which a believer strives to remain engages in direct worship rather than indirect worship (as mentioned in the previous post). In this month no amount of worship can be classed as the 'maximum' and therefore a believer should strive to worship in this month to the peak of his ability and adequacy.

However, it is paramount to keep a few things in mind so that one's efforts are not rendered unworthy of acceptance.

1. Abstention from Sins.

Abstention from sins is essential and should be primarily kept in mind. A person who commits a sin in normal circumstances eradicates the rewards of worships he has carried out; but a person who sins in the month of Ramadhan not only removes the rewards he has accumulated but also becomes subject to having his fast rendered as just thirst and hunger and one from which no benefit is derived.

The example of such a person, who carries out acts of worship but does not abstain from sins, is like that person who carries water in a bucket containing a whole. It is apparent that eventually all the water (being his deeds) will have seeped out and nothing will remain.

2. Steadfastness on Essential and Obligatory Acts.

Although this seems obvious and basic, it has been seen that many people will make an extreme effort to perform something which is Nafl (recommended) while totally disregarding that which is Fardh/Wajib (obligatory). We see this example in the lives of many Muslims where people will run to the mosques to sit in the speeches and talks that take place on 'big nights' such as the 15th of Sha'baan etc but are misguided and neglectful of the five daily prayers.

It is essential that this habit does not follow us into Ramadhan and does not come back to us after the departure of this greatest month. In Ramadhan it is vital that we should stay from sins; and leaving a Fardh/Wajib act is also a sin. Therefore, more important than any act of worship is that act of worship which has been made incumbent and necessary upon us.

3. Correct Intention.

Although this may seem as repetition, it is essential that a person has his intentions rectified and correct. The Nafs (self) of a person is such that it craves for attention and status. Therefore, in this month, when we are performing acts of worship we will at times be subjected to the desire of 'showing' people how 'pious' we are; or we will without realising at times perfect our acts for onlookers. This is a trick of Shaytaan and the Nafs, they don't prevent us from doing an act of worship but instead will deem our worship valueless.

Acts Which Can Be Performed.

Insha Allah in the next post I will mention a lists of 'Ibaadat (acts of worship) that one can perform during the month of Ramadhan.

May Allah give us all the inclination to prepare for this month and to reap benefits from it once it arrives. Aameen.

اللهم بارك لنا في رجب وشعبان وبلغنا رمضان

"O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha'ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadhan".

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The month of Ramadhan is fast approaching and before we even realise it, it will have dawned upon us.

Generally, we have two types of acts; one that needs no preparation and another that needs preparation. For the acts that don’t need preparation, we can confidently say that greater benefit can be derived from those acts if preparation was made; and acts for which preparation is necessary a loss will be usually be endured if preparation is not made, and benefit will not be derived.

For example, for cooking we can say that preparation is not essential; but if someone makes the necessary preparations and even marinates the food in advance we can say that the taste will be better and the task easier. Similarly, for someone embarking on a journey it is essential that he makes necessary arrangements, such as clothing, hotels, money etc. If these preparations are not made then it is quite clear that a great calamity will befall the person.

Similarly, to derive maximum benefit from the month of Ramadhan it is necessary that one makes preparation for it in advance. This month needs no introduction; it is an immensely valuable and blessed month and thus wasting a single moment of its precious time would lead to a loss that one may not be able to recover. It is therefore vital that we begin to prepare for this month of Ramadhan in order to derive maximum benefit from it.

In order to achieve the entire blessings of this month it is crucial that one understands its purpose and what is to be achieved from this month. The objective of this month is to reform and guide us in such a manner that the blessings and guidance continue in the eleven months to come. But in order to achieve this objective, it is essential that we make use of every second of this month, for in reality, we are preparing to better ourselves in a span of one month and we anticipate it to last us for the remaining eleven months.

In a lengthy Hadeeth, the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم mentions that the month of Ramadhan is the month of Sabr (patience), and the reward of this Sabr is Jannah (Paradise).

و هو شهر الصبر، والصبر ثوابه الجنة

"And it (Ramadhan) is the month of Sabr (Patience). And Sabr, its reward is Jannah (Paradise)"

Our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم has mentioned that the month of Ramadhan is the month of patience. However, we have been taught to be patient regardless of the month. So what then could the meaning of this sentence be?

The meaning of this portion of the Hadeeth is that the month of Ramadhan is a month in which extreme patience is required. It is a month in which the patience of a man will be tested time and again, for the change of lifestyle always reduces a man's level of patience and thus making him more impatient than he would be in other months.

Similarly, the month of Ramadhan is a month of worship and prayer, we have the extra night prayer of Taraweeh in the month of Ramadhan and we are encouraged to recite the blessed Qur'an at least once in this month. Additionally, we are encouraged to spend more time in worship than we normally do. This continuous pattern of worship is something that the soul and body are not used to due to normally being engrossed in the materialistic world and therefore patience is also required in carrying out these acts of worship in this month.

As a result, it is vital that each and every person concentrates on his level of patience in this holy month so that through this patience he is able to refrain from committing sins and at the same time he can concentrate and exercise patience on fulfilling those acts of worship that he would not normally do.

The Hadeeth further states the reward for exercising patience in this month is "Jannah" (Paradise) and therefore we can see how vital this act of patience is. We, our entire lives, have strived to acquire this Jannah, and here the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم is telling us that if we exercise patience in this month we will be rewarded with Jannah.

Therefore, in reality we are attempting to acquire the reward of Jannah itself in the span of one month. As the month of Ramadhan is blessed and holds a great status, one should not think this act is impossible nor should one think that he is not capable of achieving this reward.

However, in order to be successful in the month of Ramadhan we have to prepare for it and ensure that we do not miss even one vital moment of this month; it is necessary that we begin to exercise patience from today and that we develop it to such a level by the beginning of Ramadhan that we do not need to exhaust our effort in this act whilst leaving the other rewarding acts in this month.

In short, we need to realise the urgency and the shortage of time that we have and what we are trying to achieve in the period of one month.
In order to prepare for this month we should start practicing during this month so that we are trained and ready for the month of Ramadhan.

Following are just few points that one should keep in mind and start practising from this day. However, individuals will be more aware of their weaknesses and should concentrate on those weaknesses before the dawning of Ramadhan. For example, if someone is in the habit if swearing / losing his patience etc then he should make an effort on these matters.

'Ilm (Knowledge)

The Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has said, "The seeking of knowledge is Fardh (obligatory) upon every Believer"

The meaning of this Hadeeth is that we are obliged to seek the knowledge that we need in order to execute the commands of our religion, and therefore it is vital that each and every person, during this period between Ramadhan, that we seek the necessary knowledge regarding the Masaa'ils of Ramadhan, i.e. the Fiqh (rulings) regarding the fast and other matters regarding this month.

Insha Allah these will be covered in the following posts.


It should be remembered that what we practice is what we will take into the month of Ramdhan. It cannot be denied that the blessed month of Ramadhan will indeed encourage a person to worship Allah Ta'ala in greater amounts than in the other months, but it should be also noted that our habits will continue with us through the month of Ramadhan. Therefore, one should pay extra attention towards their daily habits and try to minimise the habits of sinning and increase the habit of the Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah and worshipping Him.

It is during this month that we should exercise a greater level of patience and gratitude. We should increase the level of perseverance and determination in gaining His pleasure so that when the month of Ramadhan dawns upon us we are in the habit of devoting ourselves to His service.


It is during the month of Ramadhan that Allah Ta'ala chains the Shaytaan and aids us in controlling our Nafs (Self Desire). It is therefore during this time that we can concentrate on our desires and try to control them and bring them in accordance to the pleasure of Allah.

Allaamah Busairi رحمه الله says in his Qasida-e-Burdah (Poem of the Scarf) that "Your self (desires) is like a child..." The meaning of this is that a child will desire to do something but like the self desire it will give up if its desire is procrastinated and prolonged.

Therefore, from now on, we should make an intention that whenever we have a desire to commit a sinful act, we will delay that act until our desire retreats and it is thus that we can bring our self desire under control in time for the auspicious month of Ramadhan.

Direct Worship and In-direct worship

Islam, though classed as a religion, in reality, is a lifestyle for a believer. Keeping this in mind, Allah Ta'ala has made each of our daily activities something from which we can gain reward. Therefore, Allah Ta'ala has instructed us to worship Him throughout the year; eleven months which is dominated by indirect worship and one month which is dominated by direct worship.

Therefore, it is necessary that we pay extra attention towards this month as it is the only month in which we are asked to increase the level of direct worship.

Huqooqul 'Ibaad

It should be remembered that when we disobey Allah it is at His discretion to forgive us, but if we cause any discomfort or difficulty to one of His servants then Allah has informed us that He shall not forgive us until that person does not forgive us and He has commanded us to seek forgiveness from that person.

The month of Ramadhan is a month in which the direct worship an individual believer does increases significantly. It is therefore a time where each person will be in a greater contact with other Muslim brothers. Hence, we should take extra care in ensuring that this does not result in us being involved in sins whilst not even realising it.

It is seen that in Ramadhan people make a greater effort to go to the Masjid to offer their Salaah. Alhumdulillah, this is a great act of worship and may Allah reward us all for making the extra effort. However, how many of us take other people into consideration? We bring our cars, block other people's vehicles and remain in the Masjid to offer our Nawaafils (optional acts). Yet, we fail to realise that we have caused another person difficulty and therefore all our prayers are washed away.

Keeping a Log

Although not necessary, it is advised that a person keep a personal log on everything he does from today till until after Ramadhan.

The method that can be used is that a book be kept, on one side all the positive points can be noted and on the other side all the negative points should be noted. If this log is started in Sha'baan and continued even after Ramadhan, then one will be able to see what deeds he has been doing and what sins have also been committed. It will also allow us to see whether during the month of Ramadhan our deeds increased and our sins decreased. Thereafter, Insha Allah, we can concentrate on our actions and achieve the purpose of Ramadhan, to change for the better.

The scholars have mentioned that the sign of acceptance of acts is to see the change in a person after the act; the sign of acceptance for one’s Salaah is to see if he offers the following Salaah; the acceptance of one’s Ramadhan, in the same way, will be determined whether the deeds of a person increase after Ramadhan and his sins decrease.

May Allah Ta'ala make out efforts for this month successful and may He grant us the rewards that He has promised His pious servants. Aameen.