How to spend Ramadan?8 min read

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How to spend Ramadan?

Once, the Prophet Muhammad () said, “Draw nearer to the pulpit.” The Companions moved closer to the pulpit. When the Prophet (ﷺ) placed his blessed foot on the first step of the pulpit, he said: “Ameen!” When he placed it on the second step, he again said: “Ameen!” And when he placed it on the third step, he once more said: “Ameen!” When he (ﷺ) had finished the sermon and stepped down, the Companions asked, “Today we heard you say something while ascending the pulpit which we have never heard before.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When I stepped on the first step, Gabriel (upon whom be peace) appeared before me and said: ‘Doomed is the person who finds the blessed month of Ramadan and yet is not forgiven.’ I said: ‘Ameen!’ Then, when I stepped on the second step, he said: ‘Doomed is the person in whose presence your name is mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you.’ I said: ‘Ameen!’ And when I stepped on the third step, he said: ‘Doomed is the person whose parents or one of them reach old age, and he does not enter Paradise by serving them.’ I said: ‘Ameen!

Ramadan is the month of forgiveness

Ramadan is such a golden opportunity that if one makes the effort, one Ramadan is enough to forgive all sins. The person who fasts in Ramadan and does so believing that all promises of Allah Almighty are true, and He will bestow the best reward for all good deeds, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has said

حَدَّثَنَا مُسْلِمُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامٌ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ، وَمَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and 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.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Faith and accountability mean having complete belief in all of Allah Almighty’s promises, intending reward for every deed, seeking sincerity for the sake of Allah and His pleasure, and considering God’s will at the time of every action. Faith and accountability are what elevate a person’s actions from the earthly to the divine. Essentially, what is missing is not malintent among Muslims, but rather the absence of intent; that is, they do not make an intention at all. We perform ablution, but we do not set an intention; we perform other pillars of Islam, but faith and accountability are not kept in mind. When many people perform a task, it becomes a mere ritual. Fasting becomes a common environment; in such circumstances, one might fast out of the fear that if we do not, what is the point of eating and drinking secretly? This thought destroys the spirit of fasting. Often in illnesses, one has to remain hungry, and often on journeys, food is not available; hence, the essence of fasting is not just remaining hungry, but to comply with the command of Allah, to forsake what we have been asked to abstain from.

Signs and Indications of the Acceptance of Deeds

The uniqueness and popularity of an act of worship are evidenced by the fact that its performance engenders feelings of tenderness, gentleness, humility, and modesty within the heart. However, when the opposite happens, and pride, arrogance, and self-admiration arise, then one should realize that our worship has not been accepted; there has been a deficiency in it. Therefore, it is essential to keep faith and self-accountability in view and to maintain their presence in order to eliminate these traits. Observing a fast without thoughtful intention or performing any act of worship meaninglessly is futile. A person remarked, “I fast because the joy that comes at the time of breaking the fast is unlike any other blessing in the world,” even though he did not have faith in Allah Almighty. We should refresh our intention several times during the day and always keep it in mind. The Noble Messenger (ﷺ) said that the son of Adam would receive a reward ten to seven hundred times for every action, but Allah said, “Except for fasting, for it is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.

الصَّومُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي به

This person leaves all beloved things for me, therefore I myself will take revenge.

Actions generate power

The second point is that all the pillars of faith generate strength; that is, one act of worship proves to be supportive for another, and it becomes a source of reinforcement. Just as one type of food supports another, similarly, the fulfillment of one obligation aids in the fulfillment of other obligations and provides them strength. It is not the case that each pillar is separate. While the duty and importance of each are undoubtedly significant in their own right, they are not separate from each other; instead, they are there to assist one another. Similarly, fasting generates strength for the worship of the entire eleven months of the year, fasting creates enthusiasm and energy for the performance of other acts of worship.

The purpose of fasting is to gain control over the self

The third point is that the purpose of fasting is to gain control over the self, and due to fasting, controlling the self becomes easier, the passion and enthusiasm for religion are generated, and there is keenness in performing acts of worship. It is the command of Allah Almighty:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ١٨٣

O you who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you, so that you may be God-fearing, (2:183)

Some people have interpreted ‘Qawi’ with respect, meaning that in every act performed, one should maintain consideration: whether this act is in accordance with the will of Allah or not, distinguishing between what is permissible (Halal) and what is forbidden (Haram). This way, it becomes a practice that turns into nature, just as you feel hesitation in eating and drinking on the day of Eid because you had gotten used to not eating and drinking during the daytime for a month; thus, you find eating and drinking to be contrary to habit.

The month of charity and alms

In this month, increase in giving charity and alms. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) referred to this blessed month as

شَهرُ الْبِرِّ وَالْمُوَاسَاةِ

It has been said, meaning the month of kindness and caring. This means that there should be more attention towards Allah, and more participation in charities and almsgiving, tracking the conditions of people to find out, and sending them gifts and presents. There are many servants of Allah, who are only found in the mosque to break their fast, then they remain hungry. Therefore, such needy people should be identified and helped. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to take great care of this. It is mentioned regarding him.

أَجْوَدُ النَّاسِ صَدْراً

This means, “That is, he was the most generous among the people.

Then comes another occasion:

فَلَهُوَ أَجْوَدُ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ

This means they were generous like a storm, actively participated in it, and wholeheartedly assisted the poor, widows, and orphans.

The month of repentance and seeking forgiveness

People should understand that we are not capable of worshipping Allah Almighty as He deserves; we cannot even properly repent or seek forgiveness. Therefore, we should help the hungry, the helpless, and the needy, so that if the heart of one of Allah’s servants is pleased, Allah Almighty might accept it and fulfill our purpose. Our worship, our recitation, our prayers are not worthy of acceptance, but spending in the way of Allah may be accepted by Him. In this month, we should fully focus on charity and almsgiving. And we should prepare ourselves to fully benefit from this month. It is mentioned in the hadith.

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ، مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْعَلاَءِ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ: ‏ “‏ إِذَا كَانَتْ أَوَّلُ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ صُفِّدَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ وَمَرَدَةُ الْجِنِّ وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ النَّارِ فَلَمْ يُفْتَحْ مِنْهَا بَابٌ. وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ فَلَمْ يُغْلَقْ مِنْهَا بَابٌ. وَنَادَى مُنَادٍ: يَا بَاغِيَ الْخَيْرِ أَقْبِلْ. وَيَا بَاغِيَ الشَّرِّ أَقْصِرْ. وَلِلَّهِ عُتَقَاءُ مِنَ النَّارِ. وَذَلِكَ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “When the first night of Ramadan comes, the satans and mischievous jinns are chained up, and the gates of the Fire are closed, and none of its gates are opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and none of its gates are closed. And a caller cries out: ‘O seeker of good, proceed, O seeker of evil, stop.’ And Allah has necks (people) whom He frees (from the Fire), and that happens every day.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

It comes in another place that Allah Almighty will ask the servant on the Day of Judgment, ‘O servant, I was ill and you did not visit Me; I was hungry and you did not feed Me.’ The servant will humbly respond, ‘O Holy Lord! How can You become sick? How can You be hungry?’ Allah Almighty will say, ‘My servant so-and-so was sick, had you visited him, you would have found Me there. My servant so-and-so was hungry, had you fed him, you would have found Me present there.’ (Or as He said).

The month of sympathy and compassion, sacrifice and well-wishing

Therefore, it is essential that assistance be provided to those in need and widows, to the poor and destitute. The marriages of poor girls should be arranged. If we do not do so, Allah Almighty will hold us accountable on the Day of Judgment and will conduct a rigorous inquiry. The wealth we spend is not ours but a trust from Allah. If we spend it on festivities, we are doing wrong; if we waste it unnecessarily, we are acting unlawfully. It is not permissible for us to squander it; we should be concerned about how many widows and orphans there are, how many needy and destitute require help. We should spend in places where we can assist others and where Allah Almighty would be pleased.


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Umme Muhammad

I am an Islamic Scholar. I have expertise in Ahadith, Fiqh, Logics, and the Arabic language. I have a specialty in Translation, Tafseer, Arabic Language, and Ahadith learning. To get started with me, Book Now one-to-one Session, or let us know what do you like in the contact form.

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