Tips to Making your Ramadan A Meaningful One
- Muslims Unite: The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." (Bukhari)Tips to Making your Ramadan A Meaningful One
Alhamdulilahi Rabil 'Alameena wassalatu wassalamu 'ala ashrafil anibiya wal mursaleen nabiyyina muhammadin wa 3ala aali wa sahbihi ajma'een.
Allah's Apostle said (translation), "When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened." –Bukhari
In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (saws) says, "Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted." –Tabarani
1) Fast Ramadhan with belief and sincerity, truly seeking the reward of Allah (swt) so that He may accept from you your fasts & good deeds and forgive you your sins.
2) Be especially generous during this month in giving charity. And remember, even a smile is charity. "Allah's Apostle was the most generous of all the people, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds) and he used to reach the peak of generosity in the month of Ramadan.." –Bukhari
3) Eat a pre-dawn meal, called the Suhoor. This is part of the Sunnah, and a blessing from Allah (swt). The Prophet (saws) said, "Take Suhoor as there is a blessing in it." –Bukhari
4) Cook a supper or give food to those who are fasting, even only if it is water. For if they break their fast on the food you have given to them, you will earn a reward similar to theirs (on top of your own reward). "He who breaks another's fast, earns the same reward as the one who fasted without diminishing the latter's reward in the slightest." –Bukhari
5) Hasten in breaking your fast after the sun has truly set at Maghrib, so as to gain the love of Allah. Do not delay. Allah's Apostle (saws) said, "The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast."
6) When breaking the fast, make a supplication. "The supplications of three persons are not rejected: the supplication of a fasting person at the time of breaking fast, of a just ruler, and of a person who is wronged. Allah causes their supplications to rise above the clouds, and gates of heaven are opened for them, and God says, 'By My Majesty, I will help you, even it be after a while'." –Tirmidhi
An example of a supplication is this: Oh Allah, for You I have fasted, and to You I have submitted myself (in Islam), and in You I have faith & believe, and on You I rely and with Your Providence I break my fast. The thirst has gone, and the veins have been quenched and the reward has been made, God-Willing. [Arabic: Allahumma laka sumt, wa laka as-lamt wa bikka aament wa 'alayka tawakkalt wa 'ala rizqiqa aftart. Tha-ha-ba thamaa wab-tallit il-'urook wa thabbit al-ajr inshaAllah.]
7) Make more supplications! For yourself, your parents, children, the Muslims who are being oppressed, the Muslims who are fasting, the Muslims who are fighting in the cause of Allah (swt), etc. Ask for Paradise and seek protection from the Fire. The best way to go about this, is to have a plan. Write out the supplications you want to say in the morning and evening; write out the supplications in which you ask for wordly or spiritual things etc. "There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim an supplication which he can make and will be granted." -al-Bazzaar, Ahmad, Saheeh
One of the best times to make supplications is during the night (after the Isha prayer and long into the night). Please check these sites for a more comprehensive way to make supplications and which ones to make. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/law/fiqhussunnah/fus4_65.html and http://www.issaservices.com/random/dua.html
We should not cease to make the daily supplications (i.e. when waking up and when going to sleep).
8) Increase in the Remembrance of Allah (swt). This is called dhikr. Recite SubhanAllah, Alhamdulilah, La ilaha illaAllah, waAllahu akbar after all obligatory prayers. Not only then, but whenever you have the chance, whether it is on the bus, waiting in line, or shopping for groceries.
Recite La ilaha illaAllahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul mulk wa lahul hamd wa huwa 'ala kulli shay'in qadeer 100 times after waking up and before going to sleep. English: There is no god but Allah, the One & Only, without partners. To Him belongs all sovereignty & domninion and all Praise. And He is able to do all things.9) Seek the forgiveness of Allah (swt). Make istighfaar as much as you can during the day. Supplicate to Allah (swt) with His most Beautiful Names.
10) Pray the taraweeh prayer. Allah praised those who engage themselves in prayer at that time of night: Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in charity in Allah's cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. -Quran 32:16
Performing night prayer in Ramadan is far more superior to that performed in a different month by virtue of the recommendation of the Prophet (saws). "He who performs night prayer in Ramadan with faith in Allah, in the great reward for it and in seeking such reward will have his past sins forgiven." –Bukhari
The full reward of Taraweeh is obtained only when it is performed in Jama'ah. The person who performs it in Jama'ah will be considered, according to authentic Tradition, as if he spent the rest of that night praying. It is generally accepted by the majority of scholars that the night prayer (performed after the last obligatory prayer i.e. Isha) does not exceed 11 rak'aat. Therefore, one would perform Isha (4) plus (2) Sunnah for Isha then the night prayer (11)= (2) +(2) +(2) +(2) + 2 witr Sunnah + 1 witr Sunnah.
If you need more information on how to perform the Taraweeh prayer ask someone who is more knowledgeable, or contact your local masjid.
11) Recite the Quran as much as possible this month. Try to read 2-3 jizu (portions) per day. There are 30 jizu in the Quran, so you will have completed its recitation entirely during this month. Spend time to reflect on what you have read. Study the tafseer (interpretation) and take notes while you are reading. Some people also gain more by listening to the Quran being recited. Please visit this link for a large list of recitors. http://www.islamway.com/?iw_s=Recitor
And if it's possible, don't just recite the Quran, memorize it.
12) Beware of spending your time without performing righteous deeds. The Mercy from Allah (swt) in this month is greater than in any other. You must engage in good deeds in order to obtain that mercy and understand the significance of the Holy month of Ramadhan.
13) Beware of engaging in sinful activities or putting off obligatory duties. Preserve your tongue from lying, swearing, backbiting, and slander, as these decrease the reward of fasting. "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.)" –Bukhari. "Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking. Rather, it is also abstaining from ignorant and indecent speech. So if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then say: 'I am fasting, I am fasting'." –Al-Haakim
14) Stay away from distracting and unlawful things such as watching TV and listening to music. Satan only wants to keep us away from engaging in righteous acts by making the unlawful ones seem appealing. O mankind! Verily, the Promise of Allah is true. So let not this present life deceive you, and let not the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah. Surely, Shaytaan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his followers that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire. –Quran 35:5,6. So whatever you have been given is but a passing enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with Allah (Paradise) is better and more lasting for those who believe.. –Quran 42:36
Abu Huraira related that RasoolAllah (saws) said: Many people who fast get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst, and many people who pray at night get nothing from it except wakefulness. –Darimi
Imam Ash-Shafi'i said: "Time is a sword. Cut with it before it cuts you".
Don't waste your time this Ramadhan. We can never be sure that it will come to visit us again. Think of the people whom you knew last year, and are no longer with us this year. They saw the last Ramadhan of their life. You do not know if this is the last one you will see in yours. Worship Allah (swt) as much as you can this month. There is so much Mercy to be obtained from Allah (swt), so don't let your time go to waste.
All Praise is due to Allah, His blessings on RasoolAllah (saws). May Allah (swt) accept from us our prayers, our fasting, and our supplications, and may He count us among those who are successful in the Hereafter. Ameen