How to enjoy Ramadan – Part 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In Part 1, I mentioned many things including the virtues of fasting. Many Muslims are under the misconception that Ramadan is ONLY about fasting, so they would fast but then not pray and watch television programs featuring all sorts of unwholesome stuff. [I’m being very charitable when I say “unwholesome”.]

This is exactly what the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) warned us against.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ رُبَّ صَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ صِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ الْجُوعُ وَرُبَّ قَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ قِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ السَّهَرُ

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690. Graded “hasan sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani]

So how can we make our day of fasting stand out from our other days? That’s what I’m going to discuss in the next section.

A Fasting Person's day

The first thing that the day starts with is Salatul Fajr (the morning prayer). Many people fast yet they don’t pray. Such fasts have NO value whatsoever because the salah (prayer) is the first thing that we will be asked about on the Last Day:

 عَنْ حُرَيْثِ بْنِ قَبِيصَةَ، قَالَ قَدِمْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ فَقُلْتُ اللَّهُمَّ يَسِّرْ لِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا ‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَلَسْتُ إِلَى أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي سَأَلْتُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا فَحَدِّثْنِي بِحَدِيثٍ سَمِعْتَهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَنْفَعَنِي بِهِ فَقَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلاَتُهُ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ فَإِنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنَ الْفَرِيضَةِ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ ‏”

Huraith ibn Qabisah narrated: “I arrived in Al-Madinah and said: ‘O Allah! Facilitate me to be in a righteous gathering.'” He said: “I sat with Abu Hurairah and said: ‘Indeed I asked Allah to provide me with a righteous gathering. So narrate a hadith to me which you heard from Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) so that perhaps Allah would cause me to benefit from it.’ He said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) say: “Indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his salah  (prayer). If it is complete, he is successful and saved, but if it is defective, he has failed and lost. So if something is deficient in his obligatory (prayers) then the Lord, Mighty and Sublime says: ‘Look! Are there any voluntary (prayers) for my worshipper?’ So with them, what was deficient in his obligatory (prayers) will be completed. Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 413. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani]

People grumble so much about praying five times a day, yet these prayers remove our sins.

 عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏”‏ أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ أَنَّ نَهَرًا بِبَابِ أَحَدِكُمْ، يَغْتَسِلُ فِيهِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ خَمْسًا، مَا تَقُولُ ذَلِكَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا لاَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ شَيْئًا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَذَلِكَ مِثْلُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ، يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِهَا الْخَطَايَا ‏”‏‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) : “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saying, “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” He said: “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Hadeeth No. 506]

So the focus of any day in our life should be on our salah, not jobs, studies or family. All of these are secondary to salah because it is our connection to Allah. In Ramadan, the focus on salah needs to be even greater.

Another thing that we should focus on in Ramadan is spending time with the Quran.

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ، فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ‏.‏

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

The Quran was revealed in Ramadan (as will be discussed later on in this article) so spending time with it in Ramadan is a must. Actually, we need to spend time with the Quran EVERY DAY but that’s a discussion for another day.

Some of the ways to spend time with the Quran are reciting it, reading its tafsir (commentary), memorising it, etc. Please note though that one should try to recite a portion of the Quran every day. If you are good at recitation and know the rules, and can understand the basic meaning, you should definitely try to finish the Quran at least once in Ramadan, if not more.

Another act mentioned in the hadeeth before the last is giving in charity. This is an act which has many virtues.

يَمْحَقُ اللَّـهُ الرِّ‌بَا وَيُرْ‌بِي الصَّدَقَاتِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ‌ أَثِيمٍ

Allah will destroy riba (interest) and will give increase for sadaqaat (deeds of charity, alms, etc.) And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners. [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 276]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَا نَقَصَتْ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ مَالٍ وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزًّا وَمَا تَوَاضَعَ أَحَدٌ لِلَّهِ إِلاَّ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ ‏”

“Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect, and the one who shows humility Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6264]

Most people give only zakah (the obligatory charity) in Ramadan (and only in Ramadan for some very strange reason!) but it’s good to also give sadaqah (voluntary charity). [Don’t know the difference between zakah and sadaqah? Here you go.]

[Please note that the zakah that I’m referring to here is zakatul maal (zakah on wealth). This should not be confused with zakatul fitr which is given only at the end of Ramadan and is given in the form of food and not money (according to the majority of scholars).]

Wait, what’s that? You can’t give charity because you’re struggling with your finances? Charity is only for the rich folk, you say?

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious). Those who spend [in Allah’s Cause – deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the good­ doers). [Surah Aal-Imran (3): 133-134]

We should spend in Allah’s cause even in times of adversity. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, even a few dirhams will do.

Another great act of worship that one can and should do in Ramadan is show good manners. Many people don’t realise how valuable this act really is.

عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ :‏ مَا شَيْءٌ أَثْقَلُ فِي مِيزَانِ الْمُؤْمِنِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ خُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَيَبْغَضُ الْفَاحِشَ الْبَذِيءَ ‏

Abu Ad-Dardaa (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Nothing is heavier on the believer’s Scale on the Day of Judgement than good character. For indeed Allah, the Most High, is angered by the shameless obscene person.” [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2002. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ يُوضَعُ فِي الْمِيزَانِ أَثْقَلُ مِنْ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ لَيَبْلُغُ بِهِ دَرَجَةَ صَاحِبِ الصَّوْمِ وَالصَّلاَةِ ‏”‏ ‏

Abu Ad-Dardaa (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed, the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer. [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2003. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

[I had written a short article on good manners a few years ago which you can read here.]

Fasting is a time when it is really essential to have good manners.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: ليسَ الصيامُ منَ الأكْلِ والشرْبِ ، إِنَّما الصيامُ منَ اللغوِ والرفَثِ ، فإِنَّ سابَّكَ أحدٌ ، أوْ جَهِلَ عليْكَ ، فقلْ إِنَّي صائِمٌ إِنَّي صائِمٌ

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Fasting does not just mean abstaining from food and drink, rather fasting means abstaining from idle and obscene speech. If someone curses you or treats you in an ignorant manner, then say, ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’ [Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, Hadeeth No. 1996. Mustafa Al-Adhami said that its isnaad (chain) was sahih (authentic).]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فِي أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ ‏”‏‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadeeth No. 127]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، – رضى الله عنه – رِوَايَةً قَالَ : إِذَا أَصْبَحَ أَحَدُكُمْ يَوْمًا صَائِمًا فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَجْهَلْ فَإِنِ امْرُؤٌ شَاتَمَهُ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ ‏

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) reported: When any one of you gets up in the morning in the state of fasting, he should neither use obscene language nor do any act of ignorance. And if anyone slanders him or quarrels with him, he should say:” I am fasting, I am fasting.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2563]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ:‏ الصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ، فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَجْهَلْ، وَإِنِ امْرُؤٌ قَاتَلَهُ أَوْ شَاتَمَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ‏.‏ مَرَّتَيْنِ، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَخُلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ، يَتْرُكُ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ وَشَهْوَتَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي، الصِّيَامُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ، وَالْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا ‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadeeth No. 118]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: لا تَسَابَّ وأنتَ صائمٌ وإنْ سابَّك أحدٌ فقُلْ: إنِّي صائمٌ وإنْ كُنْتَ قائمًا فاجلِسْ

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) said: The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Don’t curse (anyone) while you are fasting and if someone curses you, say “I am fasting” and if you were standing, then sit down.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadeeth No. 3483. Shuaib Al-Arnaut said that its isnaad (chain) qawi (strong).]

So, please don’t forget to have good manners!

[Oh, and while we’re on this topic, can we PLEASE do something about those grumpy faces during Ramadan? Everyone looks like they are being tortured. The non-Muslims are probably thinking “Hmm…they say that this is a great month but why do they all look so miserable?” Oh dear.]

Another great act that can be done during this month is Umrah. Doing Umrah during Ramadan is the equivalent of doing Hajj (in reward) and also like doing Hajj with the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

عن عطاءٍ قال سمعتُ ابنَ عبَّاسٍ رضيَ اللّهُ عنهما يُخبرنا يقول «قال رسولُ اللّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلّم لامرأةٍ منَ الأنصارِ ـ سمَّاها ابن عبَّاسٍ فنسيتُ اسمها ـ ما مَنَعَكِ أن تَحُجِّي معنا؟ قالت كان لنا ناضحٌ، فركبهُ أبو فلانٍ وابنه ـ لزوجِها وابنِها ـ وتركَ ناضحاً نَنضحُ عليه. قال: فإذا كان رمضانُ اعتمري فيه، فان عُمرةً في رمضان حَجةٌ» أو نحواً مما قال

Narrated Ataa: I heard Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhuma) saying, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked an Ansari woman (Ibn Abbas named her but Ata forgot her name), ‘What prevented you from performing Hajj with us?’ She replied, ‘We have a camel and the father of so-and-so and his son (i.e. her husband and her son) rode it and left one camel for us to use for irrigation.’ He said (to her), ‘Perform Umrah when Ramadan comes, for Umrah in Ramadan is equal to Hajj (in reward),’ or said something similar.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 10]

عن ابن عَبَّاسٍ ، قالَ: أَرَادَ رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم الْحَجَّ فَقَالَتْ امْرَأَةٌ لِزَوْجِهَا أَحِجَّنِي مَع رَسُولِ الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم عَلَى جَمَلِكَ فَقالَ مَا عِنْدِي مَا أُحِجُّكِ عَلَيْهِ قالَتْ أحْجِجْنِي عَلَى جَمَلِكِ فُلاَنٍ قالَ ذَاكَ حَبِيسٌ في سَبِيلِ الله عَزَّوَجَلَّ فأَتَى رَسُولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم فَقَالَ إنَّ امْرَأَتِي تَقْرَأُ عَلَيْكَ السَّلاَمَ وَرَحْمَةَ الله وَإِنَّها سَأَلَتْنِي الْحَجَّ مَعَكَ قالَتْ أَحِجَّنِي مع رَسُولِ الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم، فَقُلْتُ مَا عِنْدِي مَا أُحِجُّكِ عَلَيْهِ قالَتْ أَحِجَّنِي عَلَى جَمَلِكَ فُلاَنٍ، فَقُلْتُ ذَاكَ حَبِيسٌ في سَبِيلِ الله عَزَّوَجَلَّ قالَ أَمَا إِنَّكَ لَوْ أَحْجَجْتَها عَلَيْهِ كَانَ فِي سِبيلِ الله، أَمَا وَإِنَّهَا أمَرَتْنِي أَنْ أَسأَلَكَ مَا يَعْدِلُ حِجَّةً مَعَكَ؟ قال رَسُولِ الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم أقْرِئْهَا السَّلاَمَ وَرحمَةَ الله وَبَرَكَاتِهِ وَاخْبِرْها أَنَّهَا تَعْدِلُ حَجَّةً معِي يَعْنِي عُمْرَةً في رَمَضَانَ

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhuma): The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) intended to perform Hajj. A woman said to her husband: Let me perform Hajj along with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)). He said: I have nothing on which I can let you perform Hajj. She said: You may perform Hajj on your such-and-such camel. He said: That is dedicated to the cause of Allah, the Exalted. He then came to the Messsenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and said: My wife has conveyed her greetings and the blessings of Allah to you. She has asked about performing Hajj along with you. She said (to me): Let me perform Hajj with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). I said (to her): I have nothing upon which I can let you perform Hajj. She said: Let me perform Hajj on your such-and-such camel. I said: That is dedicated to the cause of Allah, the Exalted. He replied: If you let her perform Hajj on it, that would be in the cause of Allah. He said: She has also requested me to ask you: What is that action which is equivalent to performing Hajj with you? The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: Convey my greetings, the mercy of Allah and His blessings to her and tell her that Umrah during Ramadan is equivalent to performing Hajj along with me.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1990. Graded “hasan sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

Umrah has other virtues too which I will discuss in a future series on Hajj and Umrah, in shaa Allah.

Do you want even more reward? Then call people to good. If they apply what you’ve taught them, you get a share of the reward.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى هُدًى كَانَ لَهُ مِنَ الأَجْرِ مِثْلُ أُجُورِ مَنْ تَبِعَهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَيْئًا وَمَنْ دَعَا إِلَى ضَلاَلَةٍ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الإِثْمِ مِثْلُ آثَامِ مَنْ تَبِعَهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آثَامِهِمْ شَيْئًا ‏”

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He who called (people) to righteousness, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6470]

Another way to have a great day in Ramadan (or outside of it) is to have a day like Abu Bakr’s (radiallahu anhu).

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مِنْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ صَائِمًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ أَنَا ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَمَنْ تَبِعَ مِنْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ جَنَازَةً ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ أَنَا ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَمَنْ أَطْعَمَ مِنْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ مِسْكِينًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ أَنَا ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَمَنْ عَادَ مِنْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ مَرِيضًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ أَنَا ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مَا اجْتَمَعْنَ فِي امْرِئٍ إِلاَّ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ ‏”‏

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: Who amongst you is fasting today? Abu Bakr said: I am. He (again) said: Who amongst you followed a funeral procession today? Abu Bakr said: I did. He (the Prophet) again said: Who amongst you served food to the needy? Abu Bakr said: I did. He (again) said: Who amongst you has today visited the sick? Abu Bakr said: I did. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: Anyone in whom (these good deeds) are combined will certainly enter Paradise. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 5880]

As all of us start the day fasting in Ramadan, this is a good time to follow this sunnah. Please note that women are NOT supposed to follow the funeral procession.

عَنْ أُمِّ عَطِيَّةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ نُهِينَا عَنِ اتِّبَاعِ الْجَنَائِزِ، وَلَمْ يُعْزَمْ عَلَيْنَا‏‏

Narrated Umm Atiyyah (radiallahu anha): We were forbidden to accompany funeral processions but not strictly. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadeeth No. 368]

Now, many people would say “Hold on, I don’t have time to so much in Ramadan. I have a job/studies/children/house work, etc”.

Okay fine, you can’t do that many deeds of the limbs but what about the actions of the heart like loving Allah, hoping in Him, fearing Him, putting your trust (tawakkul) on Him, etc? These acts won’t take any extra effort from a person but many people tend to neglect them although they are very important. If we want to be people of tawheed (singling out Allah in worship), we need to give these acts a lot of importance.

Another way that “busy” people can increase in goodness during Ramadan is by turning regular (permitted) acts into acts of worship. This is done by intending to do that “normal” act for the sake of Allah.

عَنْ أَبِي بُرْدَةَ، قَالَ بَعَثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَبَا مُوسَى وَمُعَاذَ بْنَ جَبَلٍ إِلَى الْيَمَنِ، قَالَ وَبَعَثَ كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا عَلَى مِخْلاَفٍ قَالَ وَالْيَمَنُ مِخْلاَفَانِ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏ “‏ يَسِّرَا وَلاَ تُعَسِّرَا، وَبَشِّرَا وَلاَ تُنَفِّرَا ‏”‏‏.‏ فَانْطَلَقَ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا إِلَى عَمَلِهِ، وَكَانَ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا إِذَا سَارَ فِي أَرْضِهِ كَانَ قَرِيبًا مِنْ صَاحِبِهِ أَحْدَثَ بِهِ عَهْدًا، فَسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِ، فَسَارَ مُعَاذٌ فِي أَرْضِهِ قَرِيبًا مِنْ صَاحِبِهِ أَبِي مُوسَى، فَجَاءَ يَسِيرُ عَلَى بَغْلَتِهِ حَتَّى انْتَهَى إِلَيْهِ، وَإِذَا هُوَ جَالِسٌ، وَقَدِ اجْتَمَعَ إِلَيْهِ النَّاسُ، وَإِذَا رَجُلٌ عِنْدَهُ قَدْ جُمِعَتْ يَدَاهُ إِلَى عُنُقِهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ مُعَاذٌ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ قَيْسٍ، أَيَّمَ هَذَا قَالَ هَذَا رَجُلٌ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ إِسْلاَمِهِ‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ أَنْزِلُ حَتَّى يُقْتَلَ‏.‏ قَالَ إِنَّمَا جِيءَ بِهِ لِذَلِكَ فَانْزِلْ‏.‏ قَالَ مَا أَنْزِلُ حَتَّى يُقْتَلَ فَأَمَرَ بِهِ فَقُتِلَ ثُمَّ نَزَلَ فَقَالَ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ، كَيْفَ تَقْرَأُ الْقُرْآنَ قَالَ أَتَفَوَّقُهُ تَفَوُّقًا‏.‏ قَالَ فَكَيْفَ تَقْرَأُ أَنْتَ يَا مُعَاذُ قَالَ أَنَامُ أَوَّلَ اللَّيْلِ فَأَقُومُ وَقَدْ قَضَيْتُ جُزْئِي مِنَ النَّوْمِ، فَأَقْرَأُ مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لِي، فَأَحْتَسِبُ نَوْمَتِي كَمَا أَحْتَسِبُ قَوْمَتِي

Abu Burdah (radiallahu anhu) narrated: *Then Muadh dismounted and said, “O Abdullah (ibn Qais)! How do you recite the Quran ?” Abu Musa said, “I recite the Qur’an regularly at intervals and piecemeal. How do you recite it O Muadh?” Muadh said, “I sleep in the first part of the night and then get up after having slept for the time devoted for my sleep and then recite as much as Allah has written for me. So I seek Allah’s Reward for both my sleep as well as my prayer (at night).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Hadeeth 630. *This is a long hadeeth but I’ve only added the relevant portion.]

So, Muadh (radiallahu anhu) intended his sleep as an act of worship and that’s what we should do as well.

Lastly (in this section anyway), don’t forget to ask Allah to renew your iman (faith). Yes, we’re doing all these deeds but iman gets worn out and it needs to be renewed.

عن ابن عمرو قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إن الإيمان ليخلق في جوف أحدكم كما يخلق الثوب ، فاسألوا الله تعالى : أن يجدد الإيمان في قلوبكم

Ibn Amr (radiallahu anhuma) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Iman (faith) wears out in the heart of any one of you just as garments wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” [Sahih Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 1590]

Dua, Iftar and Taraweeh

So, we had a nice productive day (hopefully) and now it’s time to break the fast.

Sorry, what’s that? You ate something by accident before the adhan of Maghrib? No worries.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ أَكَلَ نَاسِيًا وَهْوَ صَائِمٌ فَلْيُتِمَّ صَوْمَهُ، فَإِنَّمَا أَطْعَمَهُ اللَّهُ وَسَقَاهُ ‏”

Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “If somebody eats something forgetfully while he is fasting, then he should complete his fast, for Allah has made him eat and drink.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadeeth No. 662]

So, it’s almost time for iftar. Now what?

Well, now would be a great time for dua (supplication). The fasting person’s dua is one of those that is accepted. Interestingly enough, the following ayah (verse) comes right in between the verses of fasting.

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْ‌شُدُونَ

And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]

Also, as mentioned in Part 1, the gates of the heavens are opened in Ramadan i.e. duas are accepted.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم :‏ أَتَاكُمْ رَمَضَانُ شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ صِيَامَهُ تُفْتَحُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَتُغْلَقُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَحِيمِ وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ مَرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ لِلَّهِ فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِمَ ‏

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it the gates of the heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and every devil is chained up. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months; whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.”‘ [Sunan An-Nasai, Hadeeth No. 2108. Graded  “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

When is the dua meant to be done though? Well, I’ve heard different things. One shaikh said that it’s any time when the person is fasting. Another said it is right before Maghrib, and yet another said it’s while he breaks his fast, as in he eats something and then does dua. All of them seem accurate given the various ahadeeth on this issue so perhaps we should try to do dua at all these times. And Allah knows Better.

[Also, judging by the above hadeeth, it would appear that Ramadan itself is a time when dua is accepted. And again, Allah knows Better.]

عَنْ أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إنَّ للهِ تبارك و تعالى عُتقاءَ في كلِّ يومٍ و ليلةٍ ( يعني في رمضانَ ) . و إنَّ لكلِّ مسلمٍ في كلِّ يومٍ وليلةٍ دعوةٌ مُستجابةٌ

Abu Saeed said (radiallahu anhu): The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah has people whom He redeems every day and night – meaning in Ramadaan – and every Muslim every day and night has a supplication that is answered.” [Sahih At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, Hadeeth No. 1002]

[There are some other famous narrations on this issue but I didn’t add them as they seemed to have some weakness in their chains.]

Okay, so you did dua. Now you need to rush to break your fast as soon as you hear the adhan.

عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْرَ ‏”‏‏

Narrated Sahl ibn Saad (radiallahu anhu): The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The people will remain upon goodness as long as they hasten to break the fast.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadeeth No. 178]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْرَ عَجِّلُوا الْفِطْرَ فَإِنَّ الْيَهُودَ يُؤَخِّرُونَ ‏”‏

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The people will remain upon goodness so long as they hasten to break the fast. Hasten to break the fast, for the Jews delay it.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1698. Graded “hasan sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزَالُ الدِّينُ ظَاهِرًا مَا عَجَّلَ النَّاسُ الْفِطْرَ لأَنَّ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى يُؤَخِّرُونَ ‏”‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: The religion will continue to prevail as long as people hasten to break the fast, because the Jews and the Christians delay doing so. [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 2353. Graded “hasan” (good) by Al-Albani.]

 عن سهل بن سعد قال: قال  رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تزالُ أمَّتي على سنَّتي ما لم تنتظِرْ بفطرِها النُّجومَ

Sahl ibn Saad (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “My Ummah (nation) will not cease to be upon my Sunnah as long as they do not await the stars when breaking the fast”. [Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadeeth No. 3510. Shuaib Al-Arnaut said that its isnaad (chain) was sahih (authentic).]

عَنْ أَنس، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: بَكِّرُوا بالإِفطارِ ، وأخِّرُوا في السُّحورِ

Narrated Anas (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:“Expedite the iftaar and delay the suhoor.” [Sahih Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 2835]

عَنْ أَبِي الدرداء، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: ثلاثٌ من أخلاقِ النُّبوةِ : تَعجيلُ الإفطارِ ، وتأخيرُ السُّحورَ ، ووضْعُ اليمينِ على الشِّمالِ في الصلاةِ

Abu Ad-Dardaa (radiallahu anhu) narrated: The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Three things are from the mannerisms of prophethood: expediting iftaar, delaying suhoor and placing the right hand over the left in prayer.” [Sahih Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 3038]

[As mentioned in Part 1, the above two ahadeeth do have some weakness in their chains.]

The fast is meant to be broken with fresh dates, if you have some.

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ ‏ “‏ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُفْطِرُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ عَلَى رُطَبَاتٍ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ رُطَبَاتٌ فَتُمَيْرَاتٍ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تُمَيْرَاتٌ حَسَا حَسَوَاتٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَرُوِيَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُفْطِرُ فِي الشِّتَاءِ عَلَى تَمَرَاتٍ وَفِي الصَّيْفِ عَلَى الْمَاءِ ‏.‏

Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) narrated: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would break the fast with fresh dates before performing salah (prayer). If there were no fresh dates then (he would break the fast) with dried dates, and if there were no dried dates then he would take a few sips of water.”  [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, No. 696. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

What about the dua when breaking the fast? The most authentic dua is the following one:

عَنْ مَرْوَانُ، – يَعْنِي ابْنَ سَالِمٍ – الْمُقَفَّعُ – قَالَ رَأَيْتُ ابْنَ عُمَرَ يَقْبِضُ عَلَى لِحْيَتِهِ فَيَقْطَعُ مَا زَادَ عَلَى الْكَفِّ وَقَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا أَفْطَرَ قَالَ: ‏ ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الأَجْرُ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ ‏

Marwan ibn Salim al-Muqaffa said: I saw Ibn Umar holding his beard with his hand and cutting what exceeded the handful of it. He (Ibn Umar) said that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said when he broke his fast: “Dhahabadh-Dhamaa, wab tallatil-urooq wa thabatal ajroo in shaa” (Thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward is sure, if Allah wills.) [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 2357. Graded “hasan” (good) by Al-Albani.]

[Please note that you are supposed to eat and then say the dua as is obvious from the wording.]

Don’t forget that this the first of two joys that you get so enjoy it.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ الْحَسَنَةُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلاَّ الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ ‏.‏ وَلَخُلُوفُ فِيهِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ ‏”

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it, and joy when he meets his Lord, and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2567]

Also, you can hope that you were one of these (or better yet, ask to be one of them!).

عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ ‏ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ عِنْدَ كُلِّ فِطْرٍ عُتَقَاءَ وَذَلِكَ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ 

It was narrated from Jaabir (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “At every breaking of the fast, Allah has people whom He frees (from the Fire), and that happens every night.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1643. Graded “hasan sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

If you are able to, try to just have some dates and water and then rush for Maghrib. If not, then try to eat a little bit and then go for prayer.

عَنْ أَبِي عَطِيَّةَ، قَالَ دَخَلْتُ أَنَا وَمَسْرُوقٌ، عَلَى عَائِشَةَ فَقُلْنَا يَا أُمَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَجُلاَنِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَحَدُهُمَا يُعَجِّلُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُعَجِّلُ الصَّلاَةَ وَالآخَرُ يُؤَخِّرُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُؤَخِّرُ الصَّلاَةَ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ أَيُّهُمَا الَّذِي يُعَجِّلُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُعَجِّلُ الصَّلاَةَ قَالَ قُلْنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ يَعْنِي ابْنَ مَسْعُودٍ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ كَذَلِكَ كَانَ يَصْنَعُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ زَادَ أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ وَالآخَرُ أَبُو مُوسَى ‏

Abu Atiyya reported: I and Masruq went to Aishah and said to her: Mother of the Believers, there are two persons among the Companions of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) one among whom hastens in breaking the fast and in observing prayer, and the other delays breaking the fast and delays observing prayer. She said: Who among the two hastens in breaking fast and observing prayers? We said, It is Abdullah. i. e. son of Masud. whereupon she said: This is how the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) did. Abu Kuraib added: The second one was Abu Musa. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2419]

Salatul Maghrib is generally meant to be prayed early.

عَنْ مَرْثَدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ لَمَّا قَدِمَ عَلَيْنَا أَبُو أَيُّوبَ غَازِيًا وَعُقْبَةُ بْنُ عَامِرٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَلَى مِصْرَ فَأَخَّرَ الْمَغْرِبَ فَقَامَ إِلَيْهِ أَبُو أَيُّوبَ فَقَالَ لَهُ مَا هَذِهِ الصَّلاَةُ يَا عُقْبَةُ فَقَالَ شُغِلْنَا ‏.‏ قَالَ أَمَا سَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ لاَ تَزَالُ أُمَّتِي بِخَيْرٍ – أَوْ قَالَ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ – مَا لَمْ يُؤَخِّرُوا الْمَغْرِبَ إِلَى أَنْ تَشْتَبِكَ النُّجُومُ ‏”

Marthad ibn Abdullah said: When Abu Ayyub came upon us to fight the infidels and in those days Uqbah ibn Amir was the Governor of Egypt, he (Uqbah) delayed the Maghrib prayer. Hence Abu Ayyub stood and said: What kind of prayer is this, Uqbah? He said: We were busy. He said: Did you not hear the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) say: My community will remain well- or he said: will remain on its natural condition,- so long as it would not delay Maghrib prayer until the stars have come out. [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 418. Graded “hasan sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

And no, don’t rush for Maghrib before you eat something.

عن أنس قال: ما رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قط يصلي حتى يفطر ولو على شربة من ماء

Anas (radiallahu anhu) said: “I never saw the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) pray before breaking his fast, (rather he broke it) even if it was just with a sip of water”. [Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadeeth No. 3505. Shuaib Al-Arnaut said that its isnaad (chain) was sahih (authentic).]

After you’ve prayer Maghrib, you can have your meal. And remember, be grateful so that you can get a huge reward.

عَنْ سِنَانِ بْنِ سَنَّةَ الأَسْلَمِيِّ، صَاحِبِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ الطَّاعِمُ الشَّاكِرُ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ الصَّابِرِ ‏”‏

It was narrated from Sinan ibn Sannah Al-Aslami (radiallahu anhu), the Companion of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “A grateful eater will have a reward like that of a patient fasting person.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1765. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

And try not to stuff yourself.

عَنْ مِقْدَامِ بْنِ مَعْدِيكَرِبَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَا مَلأَ آدَمِيٌّ وِعَاءً شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنٍ بِحَسْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ أُكُلاَتٌ يُقِمْنَ صُلْبَهُ فَإِنْ كَانَ لاَ مَحَالَةَ فَثُلُثٌ لِطَعَامِهِ وَثُلُثٌ لِشَرَابِهِ وَثُلُثٌ لِنَفَسِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Miqdam bin Madikarib (radiallahu anhu) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saying: ‘The human does not fill any container that is worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and third for his breath.” [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2380. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

You could also feed someone else iftar so that you get even more reward.

عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ خَالِدٍ الْجُهَنِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ شَيْئًا ‏”

Zaid ibn Khalid Al-Juhani (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever provides food for a fasting person (to break his fast with), then for him is the same reward as his (i.e. the fasting person) without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.” [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 807. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

Feeding others, whether in Ramadan or outside of it, is a great act of worship which helps one to enter Paradise.

عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ لَغُرَفًا يُرَى ظُهُورُهَا مِنْ بُطُونِهَا وَبُطُونُهَا مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَامَ إِلَيْهِ أَعْرَابِيٌّ فَقَالَ لِمَنْ هِيَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ هِيَ لِمَنْ أَطَابَ الْكَلاَمَ وَأَطْعَمَ الطَّعَامَ وَأَدَامَ الصِّيَامَ وَصَلَّى لِلَّهِ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ ‏”‏

Ali (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Indeed in Paradise there are chambers whose outside can be seen from their inside, and their inside can be seen fom their outside.” A Bedouin stood and said: “Who are they for O Prophet of Allah?” he said: “For those who speak well, feed others, fast regularly, and perform salah (prayer) for Allah during the night while the people sleep.” [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2527. Graded “hasan” (good) by Al-Albani.]

Right then. You’ve eaten and possibly fed someone else? Now what? Time to relax? No!

It’s time for taraweeh.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: ‏ ‏ مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ ‏‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Hadeeth No. 36]

If you go to the masjid to pray, make sure to pray with the imam until the end.

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ، قَالَ صُمْنَا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ رَمَضَانَ فَلَمْ يَقُمْ بِنَا شَيْئًا مِنْهُ حَتَّى بَقِيَ سَبْعُ لَيَالٍ فَقَامَ بِنَا لَيْلَةَ السَّابِعَةِ حَتَّى مَضَى نَحْوٌ مِنْ ثُلُثِ اللَّيْلِ ثُمَّ كَانَتِ اللَّيْلَةُ السَّادِسَةُ الَّتِي تَلِيهَا فَلَمْ يَقُمْهَا حَتَّى كَانَتِ الْخَامِسَةُ الَّتِي تَلِيهَا ثُمَّ قَامَ بِنَا حَتَّى مَضَى نَحْوٌ مِنْ شَطْرِ اللَّيْلِ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَوْ نَفَّلْتَنَا بَقِيَّةَ لَيْلَتِنَا هَذِهِ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّهُ مَنْ قَامَ مَعَ الإِمَامِ حَتَّى يَنْصَرِفَ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْدِلُ قِيَامَ لَيْلَةٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ كَانَتِ الرَّابِعَةُ الَّتِي تَلِيهَا فَلَمْ يَقُمْهَا حَتَّى كَانَتِ الثَّالِثَةُ الَّتِي تَلِيهَا ‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَمَعَ نِسَاءَهُ وَأَهْلَهُ وَاجْتَمَعَ النَّاسُ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَقَامَ بِنَا حَتَّى خَشِينَا أَنْ يَفُوتَنَا الْفَلاَحُ ‏.‏ قِيلَ وَمَا الْفَلاَحُ قَالَ السُّحُورُ ‏.‏ قَالَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَقُمْ بِنَا شَيْئًا مِنْ بَقِيَّةِ الشَّهْرِ ‏

It was narrated that Abu Dharr (radiallahu anhu) said: “We fasted Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and he did not lead us in praying qiyam (prayers at night) during any part of it, until there were seven nights left. He led us in praying qiyam on the seventh night until approximately one third of the night had passed. Then on the sixth night which followed it he did not lead us in prayer. Then he led us in praying qiyam on the fifth night which followed it until almost half the night had passed. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, would that we had offered voluntary prayers throughout the whole night.’ He said: ‘Whoever stands with the Imam until he finishes, it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.’ Then on the fourth night which followed it, he did not lead us in prayer, until the third night that followed it, when he gathered his wives and family, and the people gathered, and he led us in prayer until we feared that we would miss the Falah.” It was asked: “What is the Falah?” He said: “Suhur.” He said: “Then he did not lead us in prayer at night for the rest of the month.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1327. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

An important reminder: Please show good manners in the masjid and don’t spoil other people’s prayers.

The Last Ten nights

Twenty days are over and the last ten nights are here. Now what? Well, we need to get over the mid Ramadan dip and starting working hard.

عَنْ ابْنَ عُمَرَ، – رضى الله عنهما -قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ الْتَمِسُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ – يَعْنِي لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ – فَإِنْ ضَعُفَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَوْ عَجَزَ فَلاَ يُغْلَبَنَّ عَلَى السَّبْعِ الْبَوَاقِي ‏”

Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhuma) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “Seek it (Lailat-ul-Qadr) in the last ten (nights). If one among you shows slackness and weakness (in the earlier part of Ramadan), it should not be allowed to prevail upon him in the last week.“ [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2621]

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ، وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ‏.‏

Narrated Aishah (radiallahu anha): “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume  3, Hadeeth No. 241]

The reason that the last ten nights are so special is because the Quran was revealed on one of them, Laylatul Qadr. [And no, this was not when the first five ayaat (verses) of Surah Al-Alaq were revealed. I’ll have another post proving that point, in shaa Allah.]

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 185]

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

نَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) 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. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees,  Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allâh to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn. [Surah Al-Qadr (97) : 1-5]

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ

رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night (i.e. night of Qadr). 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]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. Amran (i.e. a Command or this Quran or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers), (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. [Surah Ad-Dukhan (44) : 3-6]

عن واثلة قال: قال رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: أنزلت صحف إبراهيم أول ليلة من شهر رمضان ، و أنزلت التوراة لست مضت من رمضان ، و أنزل الإنجيل بثلاث عشرة مضت من رمضان ، و أنزل الزبور لثمان عشرة خلت من رمضان ، وأنزل القرآن لأربع وعشرين خلت من رمضان

“The Suhuf of Ibrahim were revealed on the first night of Ramadan. The Tawrah was revealed on the sixth of Ramadan. The Injeel was revealed on the thirteenth of Ramadan. The Zaboor was revealed on the eighteenth of Ramadan. And the Quran was revealed on the twenty-fourth of Ramadan.” [Sahih Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 1497. Please note that there is some dispute over its authenticity.]

Don’t forget to spend this night in prayer (and other good deeds).

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 Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever established prayers on Laylatul 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, Volume 3, Hadeeth No. 125]

As we don’t know exactly when this night is, we need to pray on ALL the ten nights. [Yes, the even ones as well, because it could be one of them although the chances are greater that it will fall on an odd night.]

We need to REALLY strive hard on these nights and also say the famous dua.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ وَافَقْتُ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ مَا أَدْعُو قَالَ ‏ :تَقُولِينَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي ‏

It was narrated from Aishah (radiallahu anhu) that she said: “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think I should say in my supplication, if I come upon Laylatul-Qadr?” He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Say: ‘Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul-afwa, fafu anni (O Allah, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me).'” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 3850. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

Another narration has a slight addition to it (with the word Kareem).

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ عَلِمْتُ أَىُّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ مَا أَقُولُ فِيهَا قَالَ ‏ “‏ قُولِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي ‏”

Aishah (radiallahu anha) narrated: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is your view if I know when the Night of Al-Qadr is, then what should I say in it?” He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Say: “O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning, [Generous,] You love to pardon, so pardon me (Alaāhumma innaka Afuwwun [Karimun], tuhibbul-afwa fafu anni).’” [Jaami At-Tirmidhi,  Hadeeth No. 3513. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

Another great act of worship to do in the last ten days is itikaf (staying in the masjid).

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُجَاوِرُ فِي الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، وَيَقُولُ ‏‏ تَحَرَّوْا لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ فِي الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ ‏”

Narrated Aishah (radiallahu anha): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to practice itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadeeth No. 237]

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم اعْتَكَفَ الْعَشْرَ الأَوَّلَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ اعْتَكَفَ الْعَشْرَ الأَوْسَطَ فِي قُبَّةٍ تُرْكِيَّةٍ عَلَى سُدَّتِهَا حَصِيرٌ – قَالَ – فَأَخَذَ الْحَصِيرَ بِيَدِهِ فَنَحَّاهَا فِي نَاحِيَةِ الْقُبَّةِ ثُمَّ أَطْلَعَ رَأْسَهُ فَكَلَّمَ النَّاسَ فَدَنَوْا مِنْهُ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنِّي اعْتَكَفْتُ الْعَشْرَ الأَوَّلَ أَلْتَمِسُ هَذِهِ اللَّيْلَةَ ثُمَّ اعْتَكَفْتُ الْعَشْرَ الأَوْسَطَ ثُمَّ أُتِيتُ فَقِيلَ لِي إِنَّهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ فَمَنْ أَحَبَّ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يَعْتَكِفَ فَلْيَعْتَكِفْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَاعْتَكَفَ النَّاسُ مَعَهُ قَالَ ‏”‏ وَإِنِّي أُرِيتُهَا لَيْلَةَ وِتْرٍ وَأَنِّي أَسْجُدُ صَبِيحَتَهَا فِي طِينٍ وَمَاءٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَأَصْبَحَ مِنْ لَيْلَةِ إِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ وَقَدْ قَامَ إِلَى الصُّبْحِ فَمَطَرَتِ السَّمَاءُ فَوَكَفَ الْمَسْجِدُ فَأَبْصَرْتُ الطِّينَ وَالْمَاءَ فَخَرَجَ حِينَ فَرَغَ مِنْ صَلاَةِ الصُّبْحِ وَجَبِينُهُ وَرَوْثَةُ أَنْفِهِ فِيهِمَا الطِّينُ وَالْمَاءُ وَإِذَا هِيَ لَيْلَةُ إِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ مِنَ الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ ‏.‏

Abu Said al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) observed itikaf (confined himself for devotion and prayer) in the first ten (days) of Ramadan; he then observed itikaf in the middle ten (days) in a Turkish tent with a mat hanging at its door. He (the Prophet) took hold of that mat and placed it in the nook of the tent. He then put his head out and talked with people and they came near him, and he (the  Prophet) said: I observed itikaf in the first ten (nights and days) in order to seek that night (Lailat-ul-Qadr). I then observed itikaf in the middle ten days. Then (an angel) was sent to me and I was told that this (night) is among the last ten (nights). He who among you likes to observe itikaf should do so; and the people observed it along with him, and he (the Prophet) said: That (Lailat-ul-Qadr) was shown to me on an odd (night) and I (saw in the dream) that I was prostrating in the morning in clay and water. So in the morning of the twenty-first night when he (the Prophet) got up for dawn (prayer). there was a rainfall and the mosque dripped, and I saw clay and water. When he came out after completing the morning prayer (I saw) that his forehead and the tip of his nose had (traces) of clay and water, and that was the twenty-first night among the last ten (nights). [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2627]

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَعْتَكِفُ الْعَشْرَ الأَوَاخِرَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ حَتَّى تَوَفَّاهُ اللَّهُ، ثُمَّ اعْتَكَفَ أَزْوَاجُهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ‏.

Narrated Aishah (radiallahu anha): “The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) used to practice itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until he died and then his wives used to practice Itikaf after him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 243]

And if you do itikaf, please make sure you ENJOY it because it is a really magnificent act of worship.

One last act of worship that we should make sure not to forget is paying zakatul fitr.

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ عَلَى الْعَبْدِ وَالْحُرِّ، وَالذَّكَرِ وَالأُنْثَى، وَالصَّغِيرِ وَالْكَبِيرِ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَأَمَرَ بِهَا أَنْ تُؤَدَّى قَبْلَ خُرُوجِ النَّاسِ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ‏.

Narrated Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhuma): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) enjoined the payment of one saa of dates or one saa of barley as zakat-ul-fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the Eid prayer. (One saa= 3 Kilograms approx.)  [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadeeth No. 579]

عَنْ سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيَّ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ يَقُولُ كُنَّا نُخْرِجُ زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ صَاعًا مِنْ طَعَامٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ أَقِطٍ، أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ زَبِيبٍ

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu): We used to give one saa of meal or one saa of barley or one saa of dates, or one saa of cottage cheese or one saa of raisins (dried grapes) as zakat-ul-fitr. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadeeth No. 582]

It needs to be given to the poor person before the Eid prayer or a day or two before Eid but not before that.

عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ فَرَضَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَدَقَةَ الْفِطْرِ ـ أَوْ قَالَ رَمَضَانَ ـ عَلَى الذَّكَرِ وَالأُنْثَى، وَالْحُرِّ وَالْمَمْلُوكِ، صَاعًا مِنْ تَمْرٍ أَوْ صَاعًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ، فَعَدَلَ النَّاسُ بِهِ نِصْفَ صَاعٍ مِنْ بُرٍّ‏.‏ فَكَانَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ يُعْطِي التَّمْرَ، فَأَعْوَزَ أَهْلُ الْمَدِينَةِ مِنَ التَّمْرِ فَأَعْطَى شَعِيرًا، فَكَانَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ يُعْطِي عَنِ الصَّغِيرِ وَالْكَبِيرِ، حَتَّى إِنْ كَانَ يُعْطِي عَنْ بَنِيَّ، وَكَانَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ يُعْطِيهَا الَّذِينَ يَقْبَلُونَهَا، وَكَانُوا يُعْطُونَ قَبْلَ الْفِطْرِ بِيَوْمٍ أَوْ يَوْمَيْنِ‏.‏

Narrated Nafi: Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhuma) said, “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) made incumbent on every male or female, free man or slave, the payment of one saa of dates or barley as sadaqat-ul-fitr (or said sadaqah Ramadan).” The people then substituted half  saa of wheat for that. Ibn `Umar used to give dates (as sadaqat-ul-Fitr). Once there was scarcity of dates in Madinah and Ibn Umar gave barley. ‘And Ibn Umar used to give sadaqat-ul- fitr for every young and old person. He even used to give on behalf of my children. Ibn Umar used to give sadaqat-ul-fitr to those who had been officially appointed for its collection. People used to give sadaqat-ul-fitr (even) a day or two before the Eid.  [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadeeth No. 587]

The reason that we give zakatul fitr is to purify our fasts so you can officially stop looking grumpy now.

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ فَرَضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم زَكَاةَ الْفِطْرِ طُهْرَةً لِلصَّائِمِ مِنَ اللَّغْوِ وَالرَّفَثِ وَطُعْمَةً لِلْمَسَاكِينِ مَنْ أَدَّاهَا قَبْلَ الصَّلاَةِ فَهِيَ زَكَاةٌ مَقْبُولَةٌ وَمَنْ أَدَّاهَا بَعْدَ الصَّلاَةِ فَهِيَ صَدَقَةٌ مِنَ الصَّدَقَاتِ ‏.‏

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhuma): The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) prescribed the sadaqah (alms) relating to the breaking of the fast as a purification of the fasting from empty and obscene talk and as food for the poor. If anyone pays it before the prayer (of Eid), it will be accepted as zakal. If anyone pays it after the prayer, that will be a sadaqah (charity) like other sadaqahs.  [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1609. Graded “hasan” (good) by Al-Albani.]

So, those are all the acts that we do in Ramadan. I hope you enjoyed reading about their virtues and I hope you enjoy Ramadan (or what’s left of it).

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