Fazilat, Duas and Important Aspects of Ramadan
SOME IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF RAMADAN
The blessings of Ramadan are many. Hadhrat Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) stated that whenever the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saw the new moon of Rajab, he used to raise his hands and say the following dua:
“Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab, wa Sha’baana, ballaghna shaare Ramadan.” (Tohfa-e-Yemeni) O Allah! Make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings)[Narrated by at-Tabarani and Ahmad]
This hadith highlights the merits for actions performed during the month of Ramadan.
“NONE OF YOU SHALL FAST BEFORE COMMENCEMENT OF RAMADAN”- Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) talking about Ramadan stated:
“Do not fast unless you see the crescent moon (of Ramadan), and do not give up fasting till you see the crescent (of Shawwal), but if the sky is overcast (if you cannot see it), then act on estimation (count Shaban as 30 days)”. (Sahih al-Bukhari).
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) has narrated that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) stated:
“None of you should fast a day or two before the month of Ramadan unless he has the habit of fasting (that is Nawafil fasting and that fasting coincides with that day, for example many people fast on Mondays and the day before Ramadan is a Monday, then he can fast on that day)”.
It is therefore very important to start fasting from the 1st day of Ramadan. To do otherwise
would be ignoring the Hadiths of our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallasm). It is advisable to look for the moon and failing this should get information on sighting of the moon from the local mosque.
WHAT TO RECITE IN RAMADAN
1st of Ramadan
- a) On sighting of the moon recite Surah Muhammad (no. 47)
- b) After Ishaa. Surah al-Fath (no. 48)
Any night of Ramadan After Tarawih Salaat
Recite Surah Qadar seven times. Insha-Allah, the recitation saves one from all troubles and afflictions.
On the 21st. Night : Surah al-Qadr (97)
On the 23rd Night : Surah Yaa-seen (36)
On the 25th Night : Surah ad-Dukhan 44/ Surah al-Fath (48)
On the 27th Night : Surah Haa Meem (41). See also section for Lailatul Qadr.
On the 29th Night : Surah waq’ia (56). See section for this night for special prayers.
DUA TO RECITE FREQUENTLY DURING THE MONTH
La ilah illallahu Allahumma nastagh-firuka wan as-alukal jan-nata wa na-oozu bika minan-naar.
DUA TO BE RECITED AT THE TIME OF IFTAAR
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) stated that the Dua of a fsting person at the time of Iftar is accepted. Below are some of the many that one could make. One must make it a habit to recite some at the time if Iftar.
Allah Almighty likes the supplication for peace and safety because it has an expression of devotion. It is mentioned in hadith that the most important thing next to Imaan is safety and peace. (Abu Dawood, Nisai)
- Allahumma in-nee as-alu-kal af-wa wal aafiyata fee deenee wa dunya-ya wa ah-lee wa maa-lee.
- Rab-big-fir wer-ham wa an-ta khai-rur-raa-hi-meen.
(My Lord! Foegive and have mercey, for Thou are best of all who show mercy. (23:18)
DUAS DURING THE MONTH OF RAMADAN
It is advised that the following duas be recited three times after every fard salat during Ramadan.
To Recite Throughout Ramadan after Fard Salaat
Ashhadu anla ilaha illallah asthagfirullah as-alukal jannata audhubika minan-naar
(I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, O Allah forgive me, give me Paradise, protect me from HellFire)
1ST Ten Days – Dua for Rahma – Mercy
Allahumma arhamni Ya Arham-mar-Rahimeen
(Oh Allah have mercy upon me, O Most Merciful)
2nd Ten Days – Dua for Forgiveness
Allahummaghfirli zunubi ya rabbal alameen
(O Allah forgive my sins, O Lord of the worlds)
3rd Ten Days – Dua for Freedom from Hell fire
Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul’afwa fa’fu’annee
(O Allah! Verily, You are the Oft-Pardoning, You love to pardon, so pardon me).”
Allahumma ajirnaa min an-Naar
(O Allah save us from the Fire)
Allahumma qi-naa azaaban-naar wa ad-khil-nal jannata ma-al-abraar yaa Azizu ya Ghaffar.
RECITING HOLY QUR’AN AND PRAYING TARAWEEH SALAAT
Praying the 20 raka’at Taraweeh during Ramadan is Sunnat-e-Muakkadah. Reciting the Holy Qur’an once during Taraweeh Salaat is sunnah and mustahab if done more than once. To recite the Holy Qur’an with ‘tartil’ is essential. After every every 4 raka’ats it is mustahab to sit for a while in which to recite the Holy Qur’an, Kalema, Durood Sharif or dua given in the Dhikr section.
Note: A person who prays Fardh Salaat for Isha on his own and then joins the Jama’at for Taraweeh Salaat, should pray Witr Salaat on his own.
DO NOT PRACTICE ‘AL-WISAL’ – THE IMPORTANCE OF SEHRI
Sehri is the eating of food or having something to drink before keeping fast. Below are two of many Ahadith emphasise having sehri before fast.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) has narrated that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Do not practice ‘Al-Wisal’. (fasting continuously without breaking fast in the evening or without eating before the following dawn). The people said to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), “But you practice AlWisal?” He replied, “I am not like any of you, for I am given food and drink (by Allah) during the night.”
Before commencing fast after sehri, one should do Neeyah or intention in mind, but it is better to recite the words.
“HASTENING BREAKING OF FAST : A MEANS OF REMAINING ON THE RIGHT PATH “– The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
The Holy Prophet (salllallahu alaihi wasallam) has stated,
“A person who provides Iftar for another person gets as much as the person who fasts.”
In another Hadith, the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has stated:
“Do Iftar with dates, because there is much blessing in it. If you do not have dates, Iftar with water, since water is purifier.”
Sahl bin Sa’d (radi Allahu anhu) has narrated that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten breaking of the fast”
INTERCESSION BY HOLY QUR’AN AND FAST
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhu) says that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that fast and the Holy Qur’an will both intercede on the Day of Judgement. The fast will say: This servant has refrained from eating and drinking for my sake and so my intercession for him be accepted. The Holy Qur’an will say: “He did not sleep in the night for my sake and so my intercession for him be accepted. Allahu ta’ala will accept both these intercessions. (Tibrani)
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has stated: “Until the Sadaka-e-Fitr is paid, the fasting of a person remains suspended between the skies.” It is wajib (compulsory) to give Fitra. It is sunnat to give before Eid Salaat. If this is not possible, it should be given after the Salaat. It is given to a person who is eligible to receive Zakaat.
SOME IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF FASTING
Who should fast?
Fasting means to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.
It is fardh (compulsory) on every Muslim who has reached puberty (i.e. has become baligh) to fast during the month of Ramadan. (Boys reach puberty between the age of 12 and 15 years, and girls between 9 and 15 years). In fact it is better for every boy and girl to fast in the month of Ramadan from the age of 10 even if he or she has not reached puberty.
Allahu ta’ala has made fasting fardh on us in the month of Ramadan because it keeps us away from sins, for us to gain much thawwab and it is proved to be extremely good for our health besides other reasons.
What things will break a fast?
- Eating, drinking, smoking
- Sexual intercourse, masturbation (which is haram, strictly forbidden, whether fasting or not)
- Vomitting intentionally, if mouthful or more.
- Starting of Haiz or Nifas.
- Putting medicine in the ears or nose.
- Note: Take care when performing wudhu. Do not let water pass down your throat or else your fast will break.
What things will not break fast?
- Eating, drinking, smoking or sexual intercourse by mistake (forgetting that you are fasting).
- Application of Surmah, kajal, facial cream, hair oil, perfume, etc.
- Vomiting or swallowing back unintentionally. Even if it is more than a mouthful.
- Wet dream.
- The use of miswak or tooth brush without the use of tooth paste.
- Istihaza (abnormal vaginal bleeding due to some form of illness. If is not na-pak and thus it is Fardh to pray Salaat and fast in Ramadan.
Which people are excused from fasting?
- Children under the age of puberty.
- The insane.
- The very old and weak who cannot bear the hardships of fasting. (However these old and weak people should feed one poor and needy Muslim to satisfaction two times or give charity equivalent to one Sadaqa-e-Fitr for each fast).
Who is allowed to miss fast?
- A person who is ill and fears that fasting may increase the illness.
- Pregnant woman who fears that fasting may cause damage to her baby’s or her own health.
- Breast feeding woman who fears that if she fasts, her baby will not get enough milk.
- Women in haiz or nifas. In fact it is haram to fast during haiz or nifas.
- A traveller who intends to travel over 57 miles away from home.
Note: it is Fardh to make a Kaffara if one breaks a fast without a reason mentioned above.
What is a Kaffara?
Kaffara means to expiate for the sin one has committed. There are different kinds of Kaffaras for different sins. The kaffara for breaking one fast without a serious reason is to fast for 60 consecutive days. If one misses even a single fast in between, one will have to start all over again. An alternative method of making Kaffara for breaking one fast is to feed one poor Muslim twice a day for 60 days, or feed 60 poor Muslims twice a day for one day.(Women, however, should miss the days of Haiz and Nifas, but as soon as this has ended they must resume fasting).