Abu Bakr al-Balkhi, may Allah bless him with mercy, said: “Rajab is the month to sow the seeds; Shaban is the month to irrigate the crop; and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest”.
In this article we will read about :
- Virtue of Ramadan.
- Purify your Intentions and reflect.
- Purify your Intentions and reflect
- Reflection on last Ramadan.
- Make your priority List
- Remove Distractions
- Learn the Fiqh of fasting.
- A heartfelt dua.
Note you can download entire article as pdf : Here
Ramadan is the month in which Quran was revealed.
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…
In this month is the night of “Laylatul Qadr ”
Do you know what Laylatul Qadr is ?
Allah speaks about it in Quran:
Allah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?
The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshiping Allah in that night is better than worshiping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).
Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees,
(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”
“We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]”
Allah has blessed Ramadan with Laylat ul -Qadr. Explaining the great status of this blessed night, Surat al-Qadr was revealed, and there are many ahadeeth which also speak of that, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.”(Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.)
And Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1910; Muslim, 760.
In this Month Allah forgives away our sins
Allah has made fasting Ramadan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins, as was proven in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhari, 2014; Muslim, 760) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” And al-Bukhari (2008) and Muslim (174) also narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to pray qiyam at night in Ramadan. Al-Nawawi said that what is meant by praying qiyam in Ramadan is to pray Taraweeh, i.e., one achieves what is meant by qiyam by praying Tarawih
In this month the gates of Heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed.
In this month, Allah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils, as is stated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhari, 1898; Muslim, 1079), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates o Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”
In this Month prayers are answered.
Every night Allah has people whom He redeems from the Fire. Imam Ahmad (5/256) narrated from the hadeeth of Abu Umamah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “At every breaking of the fast, Allah has people whom He redeems.” Al-Mundhiri said: there is nothing wrong with its isnad; and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 987.
Al-Bazzaar (Kashf 962) narrated that Abu Sa’eed said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has people whom He redeems every day and night – i.e., in Ramadan – and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.”
Fasting in Ramadan expiates sin of a whole year
Fasting Ramadan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadan, so long as one avoids major sins. It was proven in Saheeh Muslim (233) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.”
Fasting one month of Ramadan is equal to fasting 10 months.
Fasting in Ramadan is equivalent to fasting ten months, as is indicated by the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (1164) narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansari: “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.” Ahmad (21906) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.”
Praying Qiyam in Ramadan is like spending whole night in Prayer.
Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadan with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1370) and others from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Salaat al-Taraaweeh, p. 15
‘Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj.
Al-Bukhaari (1782) and Muslim (1256) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to a woman among the Ansar, “What kept you from doing Hajj with us?” She said, “We only had two camels that we used for bringing water.” So her husband and son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other for them to use for bringing water.” He said, “When Ramadan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj.” According to a report narrated by Muslim, “… is equivalent to doing Hajj with me.”
Things to do Today: Take a Pen and write down your reflection on last Ramadan. Write about the things that went wrong or the things you want to improve in this Ramadan. For Example:
1) I want to read more Quran
2) I want to Increase the amount of Dhikr
In a nutshell write about the spiritual goal that you intend to achieve this Ramadan. If you have a Ramadan Planner you can use it to compare your Ramadan each year. If you don’t have one you can write it down in a piece of Paper or in any diary that you normally use to plan your day.
You can even buy a Ramadan Journal at $5 (instant download).You can use it year after year to compare your Ramadan achievements. But it is just optional. The purpose is just to start planning and comparing and getting better each day.
And next, Purify your intention:
Some Niyah which you can include a nd you can add many more………..
I want to attract the mercy of my Allah through Fasting
Ramadan is the month of mercy and blessing. I don’t want to remain deprived.
I want to make this Ramadan better than the last.
There is lots of pleasure in obedience to Allah
Allah loves people who fast and expiate their sins.
In Ramadan is Laylatul Qadr which has so much blessings.
In this month Quran was revealed and I want to honor this month.
With my Ramadan fast I shall fulfill Allah’s command.
And you can add many more………..
My Spiritual goal for this Ramadan
1)Start by Writing down your Priorities-Things you need to Complete before Ramadan and things you need to do after Ramadan leaving more free time for Ramadan.
2) Schedule your tasks for Ramadan so that you have more time in Ramadan
For Example, Suppose You are a Home Maker-
1)Intention: Yes, the first thing we should always start with is the Intention. Make Cooking and Meal Preparation an Act of Worship. So whether you spend a little or a lot of time in the kitchen this Ramadan, don’t miss out on the opportunity by purifying you intention and making your efforts for the sake of pleasing Allah.
2) Create a basic meal plan for the month ahead of time, so you’re not trying to figure out what to make each night while in a fasting haze.
2) Work Smart -The internet is a wealth of resources on beautiful meals that can be made in just 30 minutes. Seriously!
3) Consider Frozen Meals-Double or triple up on recipes and freeze them in daily portions. This will cut down massively on preparation time for each meal. Of course, If you do not have a Power issue in your country and Your Fridge do not get switched off Often
Now that We are nearing Ramadan, we have to organize our books, our dua list, our room, our kids room etc and we can also make a shopping list for Ramadan and Eid beforehand so that we do not have to rush at the last hours.
Here is how I planned my Ramadan few years back, It is almost all the same every year.
1. For Me the number one thing I want to get for myself is the Books that I intend to read in Ramadan. Some books I can recommend for a good reading are the biographies of the four rightly guided Caliphs. Check some book recommendation for Ramadan here.
2.We need to Plan to complete reading Quran- So here is a Quran reading chart which you can follow in sha Allah.
3.And here are some short dhikr and duas which you can read In sha Allah.
4.I always recommend getting Some Islamic stuff to keep the kids engaged. The Quran Challenge game is one good game You can check more games and activities for kids here or you can browse the internet for some good DIY activities that you can do with your kids in Ramadan.
5. I am planning to use “Quran for School Children” for my daughter. This is a very easy translation of Quran in English meant for School students.(review here)
If you have kids, you can Print out some Islamic worksheets for kids . A Ramadan Colouring book will be fine as well or You can check our Instant printable. Below is a page from our 100 page Asma ul Husna coloring book.
- The most important food of Iftar. Here is a post where you can learn about the shelf life of different kinds of dates .
- Miswak is something that is one of my must have things for Ramadan.(read benefits of Miswak)
- :the Alcohol free Perfumes. Again, there is a guide I wrote few days back on choosing the best Attar according to your taste
- It is time to do it now.You won’t like to spend the precious days of Ramadan in market.
- adorable Islamic wall stickers .
- ideas to decorate the home. This is an example image:
During Ramadan and Eid, the shopping list becomes a bit long. Always remember to buy things you need while also making sure to not go into the extravagance zone.
Scholars say that you need to put effort in getting closer to Allah swt. You have to leave things that does not benefit, that consumes your time, that makes you addicted. In simple terms to beat laziness, you have to develop the love -the strong desire to Win against Shaitan,
Remove any materials or equipment that can distract us from the remembrance of Allah and replace them with anything which can drag us closer to Allah.
You know better what distracts you the most. So, It is time that you start working on it NOW!
Before Ramadan starts, it is beneficial to revise the Fiqh of fasting so that we are Prepared before Ramadan.
We can also hold a Family halaqa in our home and educate other family members.
Here I discuss some Fiqh of Ramadan Fast very briefly. This is taken from book- Ascent of Felicity and my Own class notes on Fiqh of Fasting.
Actions of one who is fasting are divided into four categories:
- Those that require a makeup as well as expiation, (Qada and Kaffara)
- Those that require a makeup without expiation, (Only Qada)
- Those that require nothing [and are not disliked],
- Those that require nothing yet are disliked.
What is Qada and Kaffara?
Things that break one’s fast are of two kinds. Some make only qaḍā necessary whilst others make both
qaḍā and kaffāra necessary.
· Qaqa: To keep a single fast in place of the one that is broken.
· Kaffāra: A penalty of observing sixty continuous fasts followed by the missed one.
If a person is unable to keep these 60 fasts for some valid reason, e.g., continuous sickness, then one has the option of choosing from one of the following four options:
- Feed sixty poor people to their fill for two meals, or
- Feed one poor person two meals a day for sixty days; or
- Give 60 poor persons 3 ½ Ibs. (approx. l.6 kg of wheat or its value in cash or food grains)
- Give to one poor person not less than 3 ½ Ibs. of wheat, rice or food grains, etc. or its value or cash for sixty days
Those that require a makeup as well as expiation (Qada and Kaffara)
If one eats or drinks something of nutritional value [i.e., something customarily eaten] or something for medicinal purposes; or if one has sexual intercourse in either of the two passages [front or rear]; on purpose, then he must make up the fast as well as perform expiation, which is to free a slave; if he does not have one, he must fast two consecutive months; if he is genuinely unable, then he must feed sixty poor people, half Sa'[ 2.2 kg] of wheat [or give its equivalent monetary value] to each person.
If, however, he does one of the above-namely, if he eats, drinks, or has intercourse-out of forgetfulness, then he neither has to make up the fast nor perform expiation.
Those that require a makeup without expiation(Qada without Kaffara)
- Use of a suppository;
- Something not normally eaten [nor used for medicinal purposes], like dirt, reaching the body cavity;
- Accidentally swallowing water while rinsing the mouth;
- Being forced to break one’s fast;
- Eating [even if intentionally], in the daytime, for a fast in which the person did not make the intention before fajr;
- Ejaculation due to touching or kissing
- Someone pouring water into the body cavity of a sleeping person i.e., the sleeping person must make up the day without expiation];
- Self-induced vomiting ‘ [a mouthful or more].
- Water accidentally passing down the throat whilst gargling, even though conscious of one’s fasting
- To continue eating and drinking after dawn or to break the fast before the sunset sets in, due to a cloudy sky or a faulty watch etc., and then realizing one’s mistake.
- For a woman to begin her menses during the fast.
Those that require nothing and are not disliked-Does not break the fast
- Blood cupping (hijama) or drawing blood, as long as it does not weaken him;
- Using the tooth stick (siwak), even if used at the end of the day [rather, it is a sunna];
- Rinsing the mouth or the nose [without any water proceeding down the throat];
- Placing a wet garment on one’s body [or taking a bath] due to heat.
- Applying of kohl (surma) into the eyes.
- Taking a bath to keep cool.
- Rubbing oil onto the body or hair
Those that require nothing yet are disliked-Disliked Acts
If one tastes some food or chews on it [without swallowing], without a valid excuse; or if one kisses [his spouse] while not feeling secure [from ejaculation or intercourse], it is disliked. If, however, one feels secure from engaging in intercourse or from ejaculation due to the kissing, it is not disliked.
The following actions are recommended (mustababb) for the one fasting:
- To have the pre-dawn meal (sul;ur) [due to the blessing therein, even if only a sip of water];
- To delay it [until shortly before fajr, yet while being certain not to swallow anything after fajr enters];
- To hasten in breaking one’s fast, unless it is a cloudy day [i.e., one must be certain that maghrib has indeed entered].
The following actions during the day necessitate withholding (imsak) from anything that would vitiate the fast, for the remainder of that day [i.e., it is mandatory (wajib) to do so]: i.e He should act like a fasting Person-The first three cases require a makeup, as opposed to the last two.
- If one breaks the fast [whether accidental, on purpose, or under coercion];
- If a traveler arrives to his place of residence, and was not fasting on his journey [since if he were fasting, then he must remain fasting .
- If a woman in menstruation or postnatal bleeding becomes pure;
- If a non-Muslim embraces Islam;
- Or if a child becomes an adult [by puberty or by age].
Exemptiom from Fasting to:
The following people are exempted from fasting in Ramadan-
- A sick person who fears that the illness will worsen;
- A pregnant woman or nursing woman, with the condition for each
- that she have a legitimate fear for the baby or for herself;
- One who is undergoing severe thirst from which he fears death;
- A traveler who is undertaking a journey of more than 48 miles and does not intend staying more than 14 days at his destination. According to the Shāfiʿī school, for a person to be considered a traveler, the distance to be traveled has to be at least 50 miles and the intention must not be to stay at the destination for four days or more. However, it is better for a traveler to fast in Ramadan than make them up later, provided the journey is not a tiresome one.
- A woman in menses or postnatal bleeding. They should make them up later, preferably before the next Ramadan.
Fidya (Expiation) for Not Being Able to Fast
A very old person who does not have the strength to fast or a very sickly or diseased person who has no
hope of recovering after Ramaḍān should pay an expiation for each fast missed in Ramaḍān.
The fidya for a fast is similar to that of a missed farḍ or wājib prayer: 3½ lbs = 1.6 kg of wheat, or 7 lbs =
3.2 kg of barley, or the equivalent of the above in cash or kind.
If the person recovers after Ramaḍān the missed fasts would; have to made up and the expiation paid
would be considered ṣadaqa. A few other rulings should be considered:
· No one is allowed to fast for another (sick or fit) person.
· Children should be encouraged to fast, but should not be forced to complete the fast up to sunset if
they are unable to bear the hunger.
· If a person’s fast breaks due to any reason, he should continue not to eat or drink anything for the
rest of the day. It is wajib to abstain from eating drinking for the rest of the day and act like a fasting person.
· This is the same ruling for a woman whose menstrual periods ends after the morning. She cannot
fast that day, and she cannot eat or drink, but she should remain like a fasting person. However, a
women who starts her menstruation in the middle of the day is allowed to eat or drink.
And Allah knows best.
Usamah bin Zaid RA 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.”‘
In a hadeeth narrated by Aisha RA, she heard the Prophet saying in sajdah-
- I seek your forgiveness O Allah ! for every word, act and thought and every inward and outward action of mine which you dislike.
- of the night, in the company of people or whilst alone, in public or in private, in the knowledge that You were gazing upon me as I committed it. I repent to You, O Forbearing One, O Most Generous, O Most Merciful.
- You, O Lord of the Worlds. To You belongs the dominion and all praise. You are sufficient for us, and You are the best disposer of our affairs. He is the best of those who protect and the best of those who assist. There is no strength nor might except in Allah, the Sublime, the Most Great.
- creation, to His satisfaction, the weight of His throne and the amount of ink of His words.
Ref:(1) full hadith:
Aisha reported: One night in bed, I missed the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, so I looked for him and my hand touched his feet while he was in prostration. They were raised and the Prophet was saying, “O Allah, I seek refuge in your pleasure from your anger and in your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge in you from you. I cannot fully praise you, for you are as you have praised yourself.”
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 486, Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Muslim
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ فَقَدْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيْلَةً مِنَ الْفِرَاشِ فَالْتَمَسْتُهُ فَوَقَعَتْ يَدِي عَلَى بَطْنِ قَدَمَيْهِ وَهُوَ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ وَهُمَا مَنْصُوبَتَانِ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ أَعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَبِمُعَافَاتِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْكَ لاَ أُحْصِي ثَنَاءً عَلَيْكَ أَنْتَ كَمَا أَثْنَيْتَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ
486 صحيح مسلم كتاب الصلاة باب ما يقال في الركوع والسجود
Ref of dua- from compilation of Istighfar by Ḥabīb Ḥasan, the son of Imām al-Ḥaddād.
Note you can download entire article as pdf : Here