Acts and Benefits during Ramadan
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
Praise be to God the Creator of the world, the One Who exists without beginning, without end, without location , without a “how” and Who does not depend on time. Nothing resembles Him in anyway and He hears and sees everything without organs. Whatever you imagine, God is different from that. May the elevation in degree and preservation of his community of what he fears for it, be granted to our master Muhammad Al-‘Amin, the Honest One, who called for following Islam, the religion of truth, the religion of all the Prophets: of the First, Adam, to the last Muhammad.
Ramaḍān has returned… the month of the Qur'ân… the month of repentance… the month when we renounce worldly pleasures and hold ourselves in check… the month when the soul is at peace… the month of Qur'ân recitation, of nightly worship and many good deeds. So rush to fill your days and yourselves with obedience to Allâh for whoever does not fill his spare time with what he seeks to benefit himself, his free time will occupy him with what he does not seek. In the morning start with,
« بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِي لا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَىْءٌ في الأَرْضِ ولا في السَّماءِ وهُوَ السَّمِيعُ العَلِيم »
(Bismi l-Lâhi l-ladhî lâ yaDurru ma`a s-mi`î chay’un fi l’arD wa lâ fi s-samâ’i wa huwa s-Sami`u l-`Alîm)
This means: « In the name of Allâh, the One with Whose Name nothing on Earth or in the sky can harm, and He is the One Who hears and knows. »
Say it three times in the morning and the evening, for it is reported from our beloved Muhammad, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, that nothing will harm whomever says it three times.
Rush to go and pray fajr in jama`ah - in congregation. It is narrated that the Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:
« مَنْ صَلَّى العِشاءَ في جَماعَةٍ فَكَأَنَّما قامَ نِصْفَ اللَّيْلِ ومَنْ صَلّى الصُّبْحَ في جَماعَةٍ فَكَأَنَّما صَلّى اللَّيْلَ كُلَّه »
(Man Salla `ichâ’ fî jamâ`ah faka’annamâ qâma niSfa l-layli wa man Salla S-SubHa fî jamâ`ah faka’annamâ Salla l-layla kullah)
This means: « For whomever prays `isha' in congregation it is as if he had prayed half of the night and for whomever prays subh in congregation it is as if he had prayed the whole night », as narrated by Muslim.
Be one of those who join morning Qur'ân circles, for RamaDan is the month of the Qur'ân. Attend the sessions of obligatory knowledge held by trustworthy people, for it is mentioned in the Sunan of Ibn Majah that the Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said to 'Abu Dharr:
« يا أَبَا ذَرٍّ لأَنْ تَغْدُوَ فَتَتَعَلَّمَ ءايَةً مِنْ كِتابِ اللهِ خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنْ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ مِائَةَ رَكْعَةٍ ولأَنْ تَغْدُوَ فَتَتَعَلَّمَ بابًا مِنَ العِلْمِ خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنْ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ أَلْفَ رَكْعَة »
This means: « O 'Abu Dharr! For you to leave in the morning to learn one verse of the Book of Allâh is better than to perform one hundred rak`ahs and for you to leave in the morning to learn one chapter of knowledge is better than performing one thousand rak`ahs. » That is to say nafl rak`ahs, recommended ones. Do not miss this great good, particularly in this month of great virtue.
After that, if you return to your worldly business do not forget to do this work with a correct intention so you may be rewarded for it. Fear Allâh with regards to your work: do not lie, do not cheat and model yourself on what the best of creation said:
« الصِّيامُ جُنَّةٌ فَإِذا صامَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلا يَرْفُثْ ولا يَجْهَلْ وإِنِ امْرُؤٌ قاتَلَهُ أَوْ شاتَمَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي صائِمٌ إِنِّي صائِم »
(As-Siyâmu junnah, fa’idhâ Sâma ‘aHadukoum falâ yarfuth wa lâ yajhal wa ‘ini mrou’un qâtalahû ‘aw châtamahû falyaqul : ‘innî Sâ’im, ‘innî Sâ’im)
This means : « Fasting is a shield. When one of you fasts, let him not use rude words or behave in an ignorant way. If a man wants to fight him or insult him, let him say ‘I am fasting, I am fasting! » This was narrated by Malik in Al-Muwatta'.
These are the good manners the Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, ordered us to practice, so keep showing good manners for during Ramaḍān the gates of the gardens of paradise are opened, the gates of hellfire are closed and senior devils are chained. Beware of insulting Muslims or swearing at them using fasting as an excuse. Fear Allâh! Time runs pleasantly when obeying Allâh; Allâh will make it easier for you to bear the pain of hunger and thirst and hours will go smoothly past. When you hear the call for the `asr prayer, be keen to take someone with you to this good gathering so that your reward will be increased and you be generously paid…go with your neighbor…with your friend; let you and your child go to the mosque and pray `asr, then let your heart and your ears enjoy listening to a lesson from the mouths of people who received religious knowledge from trustworthy people. This way you can learn how to obey Allâh and take from the place that will be destroyed what will prepare the abode of everlastingness.
After the lesson, go to your house and teach your family what you learnt. The Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:
« بَلِّغُوا عَنِّي وَلَوْ ءايَةً »
(balighû `anî wa law ‘âyah)
This means: « Convey from me, even if it is one 'ayah. » This is a hadith reported by Al-Bukhariyy and others. If your family needs help, rush to bring it to them, help them, greet them with happiness, address them in a nice way, alleviate their feeling of exhaustion with good words and remember that the Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:
« خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ »
(khayrukoum khayrukum li ‘ahlihi wa ‘anâ khayrukoum li ‘ahlih)
This means: « The best of you is the one who is the best with his family (which is to say: his wife) and I am the best of you with his wife. »
How sweet it is to send some of your food and drink to your poor neighbor or to someone you know who is in need. Be generous with him, seeking reward from Allâh…give a person who cannot find food something to break his fast. You will earn the reward promised by the Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam:
« مَنْ فَطَّرَ صائِمًا كانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لا يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الصائِمِ شَيْئًا »
This means: « that one will be given something like his reward », but not completely like his in all aspects because a person who fasts during Ramadan fulfills an obligation - a fard - whereas the one who gave food performed a nafl - a commendable deed - and a nafl is not equal to a fard.
If you know with certainty when the time of maghrib starts by watching the setting of the sun or by hearing a trustworthy “mu’adhdhin” who relies upon observation, then make haste to break your fast in accordance with the hadith :
« وما تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَىْءٍ أَحَبَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ »
This means: « People will be well as long as they make haste in breaking the fast. »
« اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ صُمْتُ وعَلى رِزْقِكَ أَفْطَرْتُ ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَٱبْتَلَّتِ العُرُوقُ وثَبَتَ الأَجْرُ إِنْ شاءَ الله »
(Allâhumma laka Soumt, wa `alâ rizqika ‘afTart ; dhahaba DH-DHama’u wa btallati l-`ourûqu, wa thabata l-‘ajru ‘in châ’ Allâh)
It means: « Allâhumma, it is for You I have fasted and with the sustenance You gave me I have broken my fast. » and « Thirst is gone; my veins are dampened and the reward has been earned by Allâh's will. »
Break your fast with a date and if you do not find one, with water. At-Tirmidhiyy reported that the Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:
« إِذا أَفْطَرَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيُفْطِرْ عَلى تَمْرٍ فَإِنَّهُ بَرَكَةٌ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَلْيُفْطِرْ عَلى ماءٍ فَإِنَّهُ طَهُور »
(idhâ ‘afTara ‘aHadukum falyufTir `alâ tamrin fa’innahû barakah faman lam yajid falyufTir `alâ mâ’in fa ‘innahû Tahûr)
This means: « When one of you breaks the fast, let him do so with a date for it is a blessing; and whoever does not find one, let him break his fast with water for it is purifying. »
Then stand to pray maghrib and after completing your meal – your 'iftar, go with determination and enthusiasm to the mosque to perform the salah of `isha' and the night prayers of Ramaḍān. Also read a lot from the Qur'ân. Beware of wasting your time and waking up late as a result. Instead, go to your bed after the prayer of tarawih and say
″ اللَّهُمَّ بِاسْمِكَ أَمُوتُ وأَحْيَا ″
(Allâhumma bismika ‘amûtou wa ‘aHyâ)
This means: « Allāhumma, by Your name I die and I live. » This will give you the strength to wake up before fajr to offer the salah of tahajjud, to read from the Qur'ân and eat your sahur, « for in sahur there is blessing » as it was reported by Al-Bukhariyy from the truthful one who is trusted utterly.
Let it be known to you that every one of the nights of Ramadan may be the night of sublime greatness, laylat al-Qadr. So address many du`'s to Allâh and offer many ritual prayers every night, particularly in the last ten days of Ramaḍān.
Do not use Ramaḍān as a time to indulge in pleasures or to eat a lot of foods of great variety, for the Messenger of Allâh, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:
« إِيّاكَ والتَّنَعُّمَ فَإِنَّ عِبادَ اللهِ لَيْسُوا بِالْمُتَنَعِّمِين »
(‘iyyâka wa t-tana`um fa ‘inna `ibâda l-Lâhi layçû bilmutana`imîn)
This means: « Do not indulge in pleasures for the virtuous servants of Allâh are not pleasure-seekers. »
O Allâh help us to pray at night, to fast and to maintain family ties by the honor granted to Muḥammad, the one who was under the shade of the cloud.
الحمد لله رب العالمين