Ramadan - رمضان

What Is The Month Of Ramadhan?

Ramadhan is the month of observing Saum (Fast). Fasting is observed / prescribed during the daylight hours of the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar.

Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islamic faith. Every Muslim who meets certain requirements is required to Fast from dawn until dusk.

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) says,
"O You who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint." Surah Baqarah (2.183)

The way of fasting is to abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual acts. The time of fasting begins before dawn and ends at sunset.

The month of Ramadhan has direct impact on Muslims moral and behaviour. It is a good opportunity to modify our habits.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
"Whoever doesn't give up lying and acting on lies during Fasting then Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has no need for him giving up food and drink." (Bukhari)

In addition to lying, all other forms of undesirable behaviours i.e backbiting, fighting, spreading rumors, false testimony should be avoided.

Who Fasts?

Every Muslim over the age of puberty, who is sane and healthy enough to do it, must observe the fast of Ramadhan. It is Fardh (obligatory) on every able-bodied, Muslim male or female.

Exemption From Fasting

Islam provides alleviations and exemptions for special circumstances from Fasting:

a) Permanently Exempted - Those who are exempt are very young (below the age of puberty), the permanently sick (which implies pain, suffering, endangering one's health or life)
Moon Stars
b) Temporarily Exempted - The people who are traveling may not Fast. Women during pregnancy or lactation, if Fasting would affect the health of mother or baby in some serious way are allowed not to Fast.

In addition, a women on her monthly course or ill person may skip Fasting days.

How to make up the missed days?

If someone is categorized under one the above group, he/she must make the number of days they have missed later.

If someone breaks their Fasts for no reason it is a vital crime. Then he/she must free a slave, Fast for sixty consecutive days, feed sixty people two meals or feed one person two meals for sixty days.

The Importance Of Intention In Performing The Fast

Hadhrat Umar ibn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Actions are judged according to their intentions." (Bukhari & Muslim)

ireminiscesThis is the Hadeeth which Imam Bukhari put at the very beginning of 'Sahih-al-Bukhari'. This reflects the importance of the good intention in any good deed.

Intention is an essential requirement for Fasting, the following is the Du'a (supplication) for Fasting.

"I intend to observe tomorrow a Fast of the month of Ramadhan." 

It is not essential to speak out or utter these words. Intention has to be made daily preferably before the break of dawn of each day of Fasting.

If someone has forgotten to make the intention, it is permissible to make the intention until before noon to avoid invalidating the Fast.

The Fasts only start when the new Crescent Moon (Hilal) is sighted signalling the beginning of Ramadhan on the next day.

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar ( may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 

"Do not start fasting unless you see the new moon, and do not end fasting until you see it. If the weather is cloudy then calculate when it should appear." (Bukhari & Muslim).

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) related that Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"When Ramadhan begins, the gates of heaven are opened, the gates of hell are locked, and devils are chained." (Bukhari)
The month of Ramadhan is an important opportunity for many reasons;
  • Ramadhan is a month of forgiveness.
  • Ramadhan is a month of extra rewards.
  • Ramadhan is a month of special events.
Whoever Fasts with faith & seeking his reward from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will have his past sins forgiven.

Remember a good deed in Ramadhan is equal to seventy times a good deed performed in other months, and an optional act is equal in reward of an obligatory act.

Many important events occured during Ramadhan;
  • Qur'an was revealed from Lauh-e-Mahffoz to the first heaven.
  • During the last ten days of Ramadhan, Laylat-ulQadr occurs, a night which in virtue, is better than 1000 months.
  • Battle of Badr, first battle of Islam took place in Ramadhan.
  • Liberation of Makkah occurred.
  • Following deaths occured; Khadijah, Ruqayyah, Fatima, Ayisha, Saffiyah, & Ali (may Allah be pleased with them).

Moral & Behaviour In Ramadhan

The objective of Fasting is not just to stay away from food and drink but to make conscious efforts to improve our conduct and to learn self restrain. The blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 

"Five things break a person's Fast: 1. Lying, 2. Backbiting, 3. Spreading Rumours, 4. False Testimony, and 5. Lustful Gaze" 

From the above Hadeeth it shows clearly the moral dimension is as important as the physical aspect of Fasting. Fasting for a month from the sins is the corrective action.

If a Muslim gets benefit from this opportunity to train himself to avoid the bad behavior, he will continue to do so when Ramadhan is over insha'Allah.

Unfortunately, many people who Fast get nothing from their Fasts except hunger and thirst. The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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). 

A Muslim should work hard not to spoil his record of Fasting with Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) by avoiding committing the bad deeds, and not behaving foolishly. The blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 

"Fasting is a shield. So, the person observing Fasting should avoid sexual relation with his/her mate and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuse him, he should tell him twice, I am Fasting." (Bukhari)

Fasts & Suhur

What is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in completing his Fasts and in the Suhur.
The Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to break his Fast as soon as possible (soon after sunset). He used to break his Fast with dates, water or milk.

Salman Ibn Amir Dhubi related that Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 

"Break you Fast with dates, or else with water, for it is pure" (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi) 

The following is the Du'a (supplication) on breaking the Fast. 

"'O' Allah! I have observed the Fast for your sake and I have belief in you and I put my trust upon you and broke it with the provisions bestowed by you" (Abu Dawood) 

Du'a after breaking the Fast. 

"Thirst is gone, and veins are refreshed, and if Allah wills, the reward is also assured" (Abu Dawood) 

Suhur: Is the meal we eat just before the dawn Adhan, it is recommended to eat Suhur as late as possible. 

Anas related that Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 

"Take the Suhur meal, for their blessings in it" (Bukhari, Muslim)

Charity During Ramadhan

Muslims are urged always to be charitable, but in Ramadhan they are urged to be more so. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was more generous than anybody.

He (peace be upon him) used to give away much during Ramadhan, for the purpose of allowing the poor people to partake of the joys of 'Eid',

ireminiscesa special mandatory item that must be paid during the month of Ramadhan or on the early morning of 'Eid-ul-Fitr' called 'Sadqat-ul-Fitr' or charity of the Fast (Saum) breaking.

It is an obligation upon every Muslim in a household; they must count their children when figuring out the total to give.

It is estimated to be the cost of food sufficient for an ordinary adult person for one day.

It is also recommended that we pay our obligation Zakah of the property or money during the month of Ramadhan (2.5% of their savings for a period of one full year).

So, we can gain extra rewards which are promised by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). The Prophet (peace be upon him) in his sermon on the last day of the month of Sha'ban mentioned:...

'He, who fulfils an obligation in it, will be like one who fulfils seventy obligations.'

Supplications In Ramadhan
  • The supplication of intention for Fast:
"The next day's Fasting I intend for the month of Ramadhan."
  • The supplication of breaking the Fast:
"O' Allah, I kept the Fast for your sake and believed in you and put my trust in you, and break my Fast with food provided by you."
  • The supplication after breaking the Fast:
"Thirst is gone, and the veins are refreshed, and if Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) wills, the reward is also assured." (Abu Dawood)
  • The supplication on Laylat-ul-Qadr (the night of power):
"O' Allah! You are the one who grants pardon for sins, you love to pardon, so pardon me."
  • The supplication after every four 'Rak'a of Salat-u-Taraweeh:
"Glorified is the owner of the kingdom of earth and heaven; Glorified is the possessor of honour Magnificence, Awe, Power, and Greatness and Omni-potence.

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).

O' Allah, save us from the fire. O' Mighty Saviour, O' Mighty Saviour, O' Mighty Saviour."

Prayers In Ramadhan

The action Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) loves most is the Salah. Giving up Salah is equivalent to disbelief and paganism.

The five daily Salah, which must be performed by every Muslim are the minimum requirement for a Muslim to adhere to. It has been emphasized to perform the Salah with Jama'h (congregation), at the Masjid.

There are other types of Salah in Islam which are performed at other occasions and times.

Some of these prayers are performed only in Ramadhan, i.e Salat-u-Taraweeh, and others are performed at other times of the year for different occasions.


Twenty Raka's offered together with Isha Salah and are made in congregation on the nights in Ramadhan.

Where congregational prayers are not held, Taraweeh prayers could be offered individually. They are performed as a series of two Raka's done in the normal way.

Taraweeh prayer is strongly recommended practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them).


Witr prayer is extremely important to do because the Prophet (peace be upon him) never missed it.

Witr has an odd number of Rak'a' and it is to be performed after the Isha Salah, Taraweeh (in congregation during Ramadhan) or Tahajjud.

In addition, it is encouraged and recommended that Muslims perform Nafl Salah's in order to get extra rewards especially in Ramadhan.

Retreat In Ramadhan - i'tikaf

I'tikaf is confining or secluding oneself for private devotions in a Masjid starting on the evening (a little before sunset) on the 20th day of Ramadhan until the sighting of the Eid moon.

Going out of the Masjid during I'tikaf is not permitted except for necessary purposes. During I'tikaf spend time in prayer, reading Qur'an, study circles, and making Du'a.

The blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) used to perform I'tikaf annually. The minimum duration of I'tikaf is one day and one night.


The night prayers are Sunnah. They can be done at any time during the night (about mid night up until Fajr). They are performed as a series of two Rak'a.

It is recommended to sleep for part of the night before getting up to do Tahajjud and then to sleep again afterwards until Fajr time.

It is encouraged for those spending their time in practicing the I'tikaf to pray Tahajjud. It can be prayed individually or in congregation.

Layla-tul-Qadr (Night of Power)

A night which is better than a thousand months. It is mentioned in the Qur'an (44:3 & Surah 97) as being the night in which the Qur'an was sent down to this world.

Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) related that Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said,

"Look for Layla-tul-Qadr on an odd numbered day during the last ten nights of Ramadhan." (Bukhari)

For that reason, many perform I'tikaf and stay up all night seeking their Lords forgiveness and guidance.

Ahadeeth Regarding Ramadhan
1. It is reported by Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Supplication of three persons are not refused:
  1. A Fasting man when breaking the Fast,
  2. A just ruler, and
  3. An oppressed person" (Tirmidhi)
2. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) related that Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"If anyone omits his Fast even for one day in Ramadhan without a concession or without being ill, then if he were to Fast for the rest of his life he could not make up for it" (Bukhari)

3. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"When Ramadhan begins, the gates of heaven are opened, the gates of hell are locked, and devils are chained." (Saheehain)

4. Hadhrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) related that Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked:

Whether one should Fast when on a journey and He (peace be upon him) replied, "Fast if you like, or postpone it if you like." (Saheehain)

5. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) that Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"If anyone forgets that he is Fasting and eats or drinks, he should complete his Fast, for it is Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) who has fed him and given him drink." (Saheehain)

6. Hadhrat Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) related Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"When Laylat-ul-Qadr (the night of power) comes Jibra'eel (peace be upon him) descends with a company of angels who ask for blessings on everyone who is remembering Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), whether they are sitting or standing."

Extra Rewarding

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said: Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) says: 

"Fasting is mine and it is I who give reward for it. A man gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for my sake.

ireminiscesFasting is like a shield, and he who Fast has two joys; a joy when he breaks his Fast, and a joy when he meet his Lord.

The breadth of the mouth of him who Fasts is better to Allah than the smell of musk." (Bukhari & Muslim)

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has blessed the month of Ramadhan with the following:
  • A good deed done in Ramadhan equals to 70 good deeds done in the other months: This is just one of the blessings of it.Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has reserved its reward for himself that he would bestow on the day of judgement and no one knows what that reward would be.
  • Salman Farsi (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) describes the month of Ramadhan by the following saying: It is a month whose beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness, and its last part is freedom from hell. Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has blessed this month with full extent of forgiveness.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) related that Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said,

"Whoever Fasts during Ramadhan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will have his past sins forgiven."

And he who passes Layla-tul-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will have his past sins forgiven. (Bukhari & Muslim)

Fasting - Three Changes

A long hadith from the blessed Companion, Mu'adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) reported in the Musnad of Ahmad describes three changes that came in Salah during the early period of Islam, as well as, three changes in Sawm.

The three changes brought in the injunctions of fasting are as follow:

When the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) came to Madinah, he used to fast for three days in a month, and on the tenth of Muharram.

Then the command to observe fasts in the month of Ramadhan was revealed. Under the verse

"the fasts have been enjoined upon you",

there was an option either to fast or to pay ransom, with a preference given to fasting. Then, Allah Almighty revealed the other verse,

"those of you who witness the month must fast therein",

which took away the option given to those who had the strength, and ordained fasting as the only alternative.

However, the command remained valid for the very old who could pay ransom for fasts they missed. After these two changes, there was a third change.

In the beginning, the permission to eat, drink and have marital intimacy after iftar was valid only if one did not sleep after breaking his fast.

Sleeping was taken to be an indicator of the beginning of the next fast in which, naturally, eating and drinking and marital intimacy are prohibited.

Then, Allah Almighty revealed the verse,

"It is made lawful for you, in the nights of fast, to have sex with your women",

which made it permissible to eat, drink and have sex during the night until the break of dawn. The eating of suhur or sehri soon after getting up in the early hours of dawn was declared to be the sunnah.

This is corroborated by ahadith in al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud. (Ibn Kathir)

Ramadhan Dictionary
  • Ramadhan - رمضان - The month of observing Saum (Fast). It is the ninth month of the Islamic calender. 

  • Niyyah - نية - Intention. For Fasting, to have in your mind a plan to Fast the next day of Ramadhan.

  • Hilal - هلال - Crescent moon.
  • Buloogh - بلوغ - Puberty. At this stage, Muslims will be accountable for his/her deeds and actions.
    • Fidya - فدية - A person who can no longer Fast due to old age or sickness is required to do this in compensation.

    • Iftar - إفطار - Meal to complete the Fast soon after sunset. 
    • Suhur - سحور - Meal just before the dawn to start the Fast.
    • Taraweeh - تراويح - Prayers after 'Isha' on the nights of Ramadhan.
    • Witr - وتر - Three Rak'a which are performed after the Isha prayer or in congregation after Taraweeh during Ramadhan.
    • Nafl - نفل - Optional practice of worship.
    • Sadaqat-ul-Fitr - صدقة الفطر - Charity of the Fast breaking.
    • Eid-ul-Fitr - عيد الفطر - The festival of the Fast breaking.
      • Eid Mubarak - عيد مبارك - Greeting during the Eid Festival.

      • Layal-ul-Qadr - ليلة القدر - The night of power. One of the odd numbered last ten nights of the month of Ramadhan.
      • I'tikaf - إعتكاف - Retreat. This consists of living in the prayer area of the Masjid for up to ten days, only going out for legitimate reasons.
      The Month Of Shawaal

      Shawaal is the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calender. It comes immediately after Ramadhan and has some merits and specific rules attached to it. 

      Beginning Of 'Ash-hur al-Hajj'

      Shawaal in arabic
      Shawaal is the first month of the three months named as 'Ash-hur al-Hajj' ( the months of Hajj).

      Although the major acts of Hajj are normally performed in the first ten days of Zulhijjah, yet the whole period starting from the 1st of Shawaal up to the 10th of Zulhijjah is held to be the period of Hajj.

      Shawaal has been chosen by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr. This happy day is a sign of gratefulness by Muslims on the completion of Ramadhan. 

      Fasts of Shawwal

      One of the things that Prophet (peace be upon him) used to practice was to Fast six days of the month of Shawwal (the month after Ramadhan).

      The blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

      "Whoever observes the Fast of Ramadhan and then follows it up with the six days of Fasting in Shawwal, it will be as if he Fasted his whole life time." (Bukhari) 

      The Six Fasts Of Shawaal 

      The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

      "Whoever completes Fasts of Ramadhan then adds to them the Fast of six days in the month of Shawaal, it will carry the reward of Fasting for the whole year." (Muslim)

      The scholars have interpreted this Hadeeth by saying that according to the recognized rules of Shari'ah every good deed is rewarded ten times more of its origin.

      Therefore, the reward of 30 days Fasting of Ramadhan amounts to the reward of Fasting for 300 days.

      If the Fasts of Ramadhan are followed by 6 more Fasts, they carry the reward of 60 days Fasts, raising the total to 360, which is the number of days in a year according to the Islamic calender.

      It is preferable to start these Fasts from the 2nd of Shawaal up to the 7th. However, if they are kept in other days, it is hoped that the requirement of the above Hadeeth may also be fulfilled insha'Allah.

      1 comment:

      1. MashAllah!! May Allah bless you and accept your fasting and prayers as well as your good deeds this holy month....keep posting ^_^