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Ramadân -

Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may guard against evil… 

[al-Qur’aan 2:183]

The month of Ramadân is that in which the Qur’aan was sent down: a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and the criterion (of right and wrong)…

[al-Qur’aan 2:185]

The virtues of fasting and other activities during the month of Ramadân are enough to fill an entire volume. In this article we will try, by the mercy of Allâh, to summarize some important points. A good book to study during Ramadân is Virtues of Ramadhân by Shaikhul-Hadîth Maulana Mohammad Zakariyya Kandhalvi (rahimahu-allâh).


The month of Ramadân is a most blessed month, in which the reward for performing a nafl will be as the reward of a fard in any other time of the year; and the reward for performing a fard will be as the reward of seventy fard in any other time of the year. It is a month of patience, whose reward is Jannah. It is the month of sympathy for one’s fellowmen. Whoever provides food to someone to break their fast, he will have forgiveness for his sins and freedom from the fire of Jahannam (Hell). The first of this month brings Allâh’s Mercy; the middle brings His Forgiveness and the end brings emancipation from the Hellfire. In this month the devils are chained and confined, as a result of which evil is diminished. In this month, the Qur’ân was sent down from al-Lawh-ul-Mahfűz (the Protected Tablet) to the Samâ-ud-Dunyâ (heaven of the earth), from where it was revealed bit by bit over a span of twenty-three years.

During this month every Muslim should endeavor to read the Qur’ân at least once from cover to cover. Our great and pious predecessors and scholars such as Imâm Shâfi’ and Imâm Abu Hanîfah (rahimahum-allâh) used to complete the reading of the entire Qur’ân 60 times over in this month. Hazrat Jibra’îl (alayhis-salâm)  used to recite or listen to the recitation of the entire Qur’ân by our Nabi Muhammad ( sallallâhu-alayhi-wa-sallam) in the month of Ramadân. Also during this month, Rasűlullâh(- sallallâhu-alayhi-wa-sallam) advised us to make much dhikr and istighfâr. [Virtues of Ramadhân]


Sighting the Moon

It is wâjib kifâyah to look for the moon on the night of the 29th of Sha’bân. If some people from the locality do this, the obligation is removed from the entire community. If no one goes to sight the moon, it will be a sin upon the entire community. If the sky is not clear, then the witness of a single upright, mature, intelligent Muslim is sufficient. If the sky is clear, then it is necessary that a large group of people should bear witness to the sighting such that there can be no doubt in the report. If the moon is not sighted, then 30 days of Sha’bân are to be completed. [Rahnama-e-Mudarrisîn Ml. Muhammad Tâhir Rahîmi, Multan, Pakistan; Noorul-Eidâh Imâm Shurunbulâli; Bahishti Zewar

Du’â (Prayer) Upon Sighting the Moon of Ramadân

Allâhumma ahillahű ‘alaynâ bil-yumni wal-îmâni; was-salâmati wal-islâmi; wat-tawfeeqi li mâ tuhibbu wa tardâ; rabbî wa rabbukal-lâh.

Oh Allâh! Let the moon appear over us with blessing and Imân; with peace and Islâm; with the ability for us to practice that which You love and which pleases You.
   (O moon): Your Lord and my Lord is Allâh.



Intention for the Fast

It is necessary to make intention for the validity of the fast. The intention may be expressed in the heart, but it is much more preferable to recite the following statement of intention verbally before the beginning of the dawn:


Wa bi sawmi ghadin-nawaytu min shahri Ramadân.

I have the intention of observing a fast of the month of Ramadân tomorrow.


Prayer at Time of Breaking the Fast

It is sunnat to make iftaar (breaking the fast) immediately after sunset and not to delay. The iftaar should not be so long that the Maghrib prayer is missed. There are several recommended du’â at the time of iftaar. Among them,

Oh Allâh! Truly for You did I fast, and in You do I believe and upon You do I place my trust, and with Your provision have I broken the fast.

Allaahumma innî laka sumtu; wa bika âmantu; wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu; wa ‘alâ rizqika aftartu.



With regard to fasting, the Prophet ( - sallallâhu-alayhi-wa-sallam) has left an important warning which we must endeavor to heed: “Many are those who fast but whose fast brings them only hunger and thirst; and many are those who pray at night, but whose prayer only results in sleeplessness.” Abstaining from carnal pleasures is not the only conditon of the fast. The fast is also meant to strengthen the spiritual and moral character of the Muslim. Thus, all actions of the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and especially the tongue, must be kept in strict accordance with the Sharî’ah. The Prophet ( - sallallâhu-alayhi-wa-sallam) repeatedly emphasized the avoidance of lying, back-biting, gossip, cheating, swearing, obscene and useless talk while fasting. All these actions can ruin the fast. May Allâh guide us and help us.



Rasűlullâh( - sallallâhu-alayhi-wa-sallam) said: “The one who observes the Tarâweeh prayer at night during Ramadân with complete faith and devotion, only for the sake of the reward of the Hereafter, will have all his previous sins forgiven by Allâh.” [Agreed upon]  The Tarâweeh prayer starts from the evening that the moon of Ramadân is sighted up till (but not including) the night of ‘Eid. Imaam Nawawi (rahimahu-allâh) has written about this prayer:




Know that the Tarâweeh prayer is a sunnat by the consensus of the scholars and it is 20 rak’aat with tasleem between every two. And the prayer is performed just like all other prayers, with rukű’, sujood, etc.

 As for the recitation, the correct way which has been expressed by most of the scholars and acted upon by the people is that the entire Qur’aan should be completed in the Tarâweeh of this month. Every night, about one juz should be recited. It is preferable that the recitation be at a steady pace and not be longer than a juz every night, so that the people are not put to hardship. And especially avoid the baseless innovation of reciting the entire Sűrah al-An’âm in one rak’ah of the 27th of Ramadân, thinking that it was revealed all at once…

[Kitaabul-Adhkaar Imaam Nawawi]

As mentioned above, the Tarâweeh is performed in units of two rak’ât. After every four units, a short pause is observed during which one may rest quietly or recite supplications such as the following tasbeeh:

Glorified is the Owner of the Kingdom of earth and heaven; Glorified is the Possessor of Honour, Magnificence, Awe, Power, Greatness and Omnipotence; Glorified is the Sovereign, the Living, Who neither sleeps nor dies; Exceedingly glorified and sanctified is our Lord and the Lord of the angels and the Spirit (Jibreel); Oh Allâh! Save us from the Fire: Oh Mighty Savior, Oh Mighty Savior, Oh Mighty Savior.

(During Ramadân only, the 3 rak’aat of Witr prayer is also performed in congregation after the Tarâweeh.)



Among the nights of Ramadân, the “Night of Power,” Laylatul-Qadr, is a night of extremely great blessing. The virtues and reward of good actions on this night are multiplied by 1000 months, as mentioned in the Qur’ân itself. Laylatul-Qadr most probably occurs on one of the odd nights of the last ten nights of the month. It is recommended to search for it and involve oneself in extra worship and recitation of the Qur’ân. The best du’â to make on that night is: 

Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni.

Oh Allâh! You are the One who grants pardon for sins; You love to pardon; So pardon me.

(This supplication is related in a famous hadîth by Hadrat Â’ishah radhiyallâhu-anha)



The practice of remaining in the masjid for a certain period of time, with intention of doing so, is called I’tikaaf. It is sunnat mu’akkadah ‘alal-kifaayah upon a community to perform I’tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadân. If even one person from a particular locality remains in the masjid then the sunnah is fulfilled on behalf of the community. But if no one performs this duty, then the entire community is sinful for having neglected to fulfill a sunnah. The purpose of this seclusion is that the heart should get attached to Allâh and that one should remain in a constant state of His remembrance, with no distraction of worldly affairs. The detailed rulings of I’tikaaf may be found in various Islamic books, such as Bahishti Zewar (Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanvi) or Kitaabus-Sawm (Mufti A.H.Elias).



Rasűlullâh(sallallâhu-alayhi-wa-sallam) said: “The heart of the person who remains awake (in worship) during the night of ‘Eid-ul-Fitr and ‘Eid-ul-Adwill not be dead on the Day when the hearts will be dead.” [Tabraani]

The night preceding the day of ‘Eid is an auspicious occasion which should be observed with reverence and worship. The greatest reward of doing so, mentioned above, is that the hearts will not be smitten with terror and fear on the Day of Judgment when the upheavals of that Day will be so fearsome that men will appear to be intoxicated.

(The rulings related to the ‘Eid prayer and Sadaqatul-Fitr will insha-Allâh be discussed towards the end of the month.)




Fear of Allâh;

Abstinence from Sin;

Steadfastness on Shari’ah;

Tolerance in Difficulty;

Integrity in Dealing;

Nobility in Character;

Gratefulness for Allâh’s favors.




Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756