How do we receive Ramadan?

Since 2008-07-01

All praise is due to Allah alone, and prayers and peace of Allah be upon the last Prophet, our prophet Muhammad, and all his family and companions.

People's habits vary in receiving the month of Ramadan and investing its times in their preferred works and activities.

Some receive it with laziness, unemployment, sleeping and negligence to the acts of worship.

Some receive it with devoting the time for watching TV.

Some receive it with staying up late at night and devoting times for visits and going to the markets, rests, parties … etc.

And some receive it with excessive eating and drinking and exerting the efforts in this aspect as if it were the month of eating and drinking, not the month of fasting.

On the other hand; the successful, whom Allah wanted the good for, and guided their insight to see what is righteous, distinguishing it from the falsehood; they receive the month of Ramadan with joy, delight, happiness and gladness, because they see it as opportunity for forgiving the sins and correcting errors. It is the month of forgiveness, mercy, and freeing oneself from hellfire; the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) used to give glad tidings to his companions for the upcoming of Ramadan by saying: "Ramadan has come to you, a blessed month, Allah ordained its fast upon you. The gates of heavens are opened in this month, the gates of hell are closed in it, and the giant devils are chained in it. In it, there is a night better than one thousand month; the one who is deprived from its good is surly deprived." [Reported by An-Nasa'y and authenticated by Al-Albany]

«أتاكم رمضان، شهر مبارك، فرض الله عليكم صيامه، تفتح فيه أبواب السماء، وتغلق فيه أبواب الجحيم، وتغل فيه مردة الشياطين، لله فيه ليلة خير من ألف شهر، من حرم خيرها فقد حرم» رواه النسائي وصححه الألباني

Therefore; they knew the benefits, rewards and fruits of this month to acquire such prizes and grants in order not to feel remorse in the Day of Judgment and say: {Alas! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for (this) my life!} [Al-Fajr 89:24]

{يَا لَيْتَنِي قَدَّمْتُ لِحَيَاتِي} الفجر: 24

Transliteration: Yaqoolu ya laytanee qaddamtu lihayatee

Or say

{My Lord! Send me back, So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!} [Al-Muminun 23: 99-100] and regret their negligence.

{...رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ (99) لَعَلِّي اَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ...} المؤمنون: 99-100

Transliteration: rabbi irjiAAooni (99) LaAAallee aAAmalu salihan feema taraktu

Hence those successful intended to receive the month of Ramadan with the following:

Repentance and turning to Allah:

Repenting from sins is obligatory at all times and in Ramadan the necessity of repentance become more essential. Hence, the one that does not repent in Ramadan; when will he repent?! And the one that does not turn to Allah in Ramadan; when will he turn to Him?! Allah Almighty says: {And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful} [An-Nur 24:31]

{...وَتُوبُوا اِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا اَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ‏} النور: 31

Transliteration: watooboo ila Allahi jameeAAan ayyuha almuminoona laAAallakum tuflihoona

O you who delay repentance till tomorrow, till when will you delay your repentance and turning to Allah?!

You used to say 'I will repent when I fast, and will turn to Allah when Ramadan comes' and now the days of Ramadan are going away and you are still distant from your Lord and escape from Him instead of escaping toward Him. You insist to disobey Him, so how could you receive the angle of death in this case of negligence and inattention?! How could you hope repentance while you are walking in a different path?!

Allah Almighty is Oft-forgiving for the sins; "He extends His mercy in the night for the repentance of whomever committed sins in the day to forgive him, and extends His mercy in the day for the repentance of whomever committed sins in the night to forgive him." [Narrated by Muslim]

« إن الله عز وجل يبسط يده بالليل ، ليتوب مسيء النهار . ويبسط يده بالنهار ، ليتوب مسيء الليل . حتى تطلع الشمس من مغربها» صحيح مسلم

Moreover, He is happy because of the repentance of those who repent and the regret of those who disobeyed and committed sins. So, "He Almighty made a gate for repentance in the west, its wide as forty years distance; He will not close it till sun rises from the west according to the saying of the Truthful Prayers and Peace be of Allah be upon him." [Declared Hasan (good) by Al-Albani]

« إن من قبل المغرب لبابا مسيرة عرضه أربعون عاما ، أو سبعون سنة ، فتحه الله عز وجل للتوبة يوم خلق السماوات والأرض ، فلا يغلقه حتى تطلع الشمس منه» حسنه الألباني

Hence, where are those who want repentance and turning to their Lord?

Sincerity in all deeds:

I will say it to you from the very beginning; if you did not be sincere, you should not exhaust yourself, because the deed is not accepted without sincerity. Allah Almighty says: {So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord} [Al-Kahf 18:110]

{...فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ اَحَدًا‏} الكهف: 110

Transliteration: faman kana yarjoo liqaa rabbihi falyaAAmal AAamalan salihan wala yushrik biAAibadati rabbihi ahadan

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) stated that Allah the Most Glory and exaltation to him: "I am the One, One Who does not stand in need of a partner. If anyone does anything in which he associates anyone else with Me, I shall abandon him with one whom he associates with Allah." [Reported by Muslim]

«قال الله تبارك وتعالي: أنا أغنى الشركاء عن الشرك، من عمل عملاً أشرك فيه معي غيري تركته وشركه» رواه مسلم

Fasting is one of the greatest acts of worship that trains the Muslim to be sincere, because the one who fasts, none knows of his fast but Allah Almighty; especially if it was in a month other than Ramadan. Even in Ramadan, if the person wanted to break his fast and pretend fasting, he could; however, he preserves his fasting well and does not break it. The Muslim does this as sincerity to Allah Almighty and for seeking His proximity and satisfaction. That is why Allah has concealed the reward of fasting and made it known for Him alone, as the fasting of the person is known for himself alone; the Most Generous gives nothing but much, He Almighty said in the Qudsi Hadeeth: "Every act of the son of Adam is for him except fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give the reward for it." [Agreed upon]

«كل عمل ابن آدم له، الحسنة بعشر أمثالها، إلى سبعمائة ضعف، إلا الصيام، فإنه لي، وأنا أجزي به» متفق عليه

Following the Sunnah of the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him):

For the acceptance of a deed, two basic conditions must be fulfilled:

The intentions while doing the deed must be totally for the sake of Allah only without any show-off or to gain any praise or fame.

Such a deed must be performed in accordance with the Sunnah of Allah's messenger prayers and peace of Allah be upon him.

The above mentioned verse contains references to these two conditions; His saying: {So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness} refers to the importance of performing the deed in accordance with the Sunnah, and His saying: {and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord} [Al-Kahf 18:110] refers to sincerity.

{...وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ اَحَدًا‏} الكهف: 110

Transliteration:wala yushrik biAAibadati rabbihi ahadan

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) articulated everything about fasting. He articulated the time of fasting and the time of breaking it; moreover, he articulated its obligations, conditions, Sunnan, etiquettes, merits and fruits. He also articulated the things that nullify the fast, the things that do not affect it, and the excuses that give the person permission of not fasting and so on.


Ramadan is the month of patience where the person abstains from his customs and the things that he used to eat, drink or do to satisfy his physical and emotional needs (e.g. sexual intercourse with wife) in obedience to Allah Almighty and seeking closeness to Him.

Patience is one of the hardest things to the oneself; that is why patience is half of the faith and its reward is the greatest as Allah Almighty says: {Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning} [Az-Zumar 39:10]

{‏...اِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ اَجْرَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ‏} الزمر: 10

Transliteration:innama yuwaffa alssabiroona ajrahum bighayri hisabin

Patience is divided into three subdivisions:

First: patience to perform the acts of worship.

Second: patience to not commit sins.

Third: patience during Ibtilaa (trial) and not complaining the Lord because of it.

Every person should adhere to one of these three. Also, there are reasons for patience, and they are;

First: Loving Allah Almighty.

Second: Fearing Allah.

Third: one self's honor and purity.

Fourth: Short hope for worldly affairs.

Fifth: Not having excessiveness in food, drink, cloth, having sexual intercourse (with wife) and interacting with people.

Sixth: Shyness from Allah Almighty.

Seventh: observing and preserving the grants of Allah and His beneficence upon the servant.

Eighth: knowing the disgrace and the ugliness of a sin.

Ninth: acknowledge the evil consequences of sinning and what it entails.

Tenth: acknowledge the good consequences of obedience and what it entails.

Eleventh: firmness of the tree of belief in the heart.

If the servant observed these reasons and emphasized on them; they will be the best support for him in having patience during performing the acts of worship and avoiding sins, especially in this month that we should exert greater effort for worshipping Allah and avoiding the sins in it.

Caring for time and investing it in the acts of worship:

Time is very precious; what passes does not return, till the Day of Judgment. Moreover, it is the subject of success or loss and the subject of safety or destruction.

Among the obligatory and mandatory acts of worship in Ramadan are;

First: Fasting its days.

Allah almighty says: {So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days} [Al-Baqarah 2:185]

{...فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا اَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ اَيَّامٍ اُخَرَ...}البقرة: 185

Transliteration: faman shahida minkumu alshshahra falyasumhu waman kana mareedan aw AAala safarin faAAiddatun min ayyamin okhara

And the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says: "He who observed the fast of Ramadan with faith and seeking reward (from Allah), all his previous sins would be forgiven." [Agreed upon]

«من صام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» متفق عليه

Second: Praying at the night (Taraweeh; special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadan associated with 'Isha' prayer)

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says: "He who observed prayer on the nights of Ramadan with faith and seeking reward (from Allah), all his previous sins would be forgiven." [Agreed upon]

«من قام رمضان ، إيمانا واحتسابا ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» متفق عليه

Third: Reciting the Holy Quran

Ramadan is the month of the Holy Quran; Allah Almighty says: {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)} [Al-Baqarah 2:185]

{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ...} البقرة: 185

Transliteration: Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu hudan lilnnasi wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqani

Jibreel (peace of Allah be upon him) used to review the Holy Quran with the Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) in Ramadan. Therefore, the righteous forefathers used to devote time for the Holy Quran in Ramadan; they used to recite it in the prayer and in other times.

Az-Zuhry used to say at the coming of Ramadan: "It is the time of reciting the Holy Qur'an and providing the food."

Fourth: Providing food for fast break for whoever is fasting

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says: "Whoever provides breakfast for a fasting person, will have reward equal to him without having the reward of the fasting person diminished in any aspect." [Declared authentic by Al-Albani]

«من فطر صائماً فله مثل أجره، غير أنه لا ينقص من أجر الصائم شيء» صحيح الألباني

Fifth: Generosity

The Messenger of Allah (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) was the most generous of mankind, and he was more generous in Ramadan. [Agreed upon]

«فقد كان رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - (أجود الناس، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان...) » متفق عليه

Sixth: Performing 'Umra in Ramadan (The lesser pilgrimage)

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) said to a woman from 'Ansar who wasn't able to perform Hajj with them: "When Ramdan cames, perform Umra, for Umra in Ramadan equals Hajj (pilgrimage)" [Agreed upon and this narration is for Muslim]

«قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏لامرأة ‏ ‏من ‏ ‏الأنصار...قال فإذا جاء رمضان فاعتمري فإن عمرة فيه تعدل حجة» متفق عليه واللفظ لمسلم

Seventh: I'tikaf (seclusion for worship in the Masjid)

I'tikaf is in the last ten days of Ramadan. 'Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) used to practice I'tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till his death, then his wives practiced I'tikaf after him. [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

«فعن عائشة - رضي الله عنها -، أن النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - (كان يعتكف العشر الأواخر من رمضان حتى توفاه الله، ثم اعتكف أزواجه من بعده) » متفق عليه

Eighth: Pursue Lailat-ul- Qadr (the night of decree) and observing prayer on it:

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says: "He who observed prayer on Lailat-ul- Qadr with faith and seeking reward (from Allah), all his previous sins would be forgiven" [Agreed upon]

«من قام ليلة القدر إيماناً واحتساباً غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» متفق عليه

Lailat-ul- Qadr is in the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Doing your job in the best manner and perfecting it:

Allah almighty says: {certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost} [Surat Al-Kahf: 30]

{...اِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ اَجْرَ مَنْ اَحْسَنَ عَمَلًا‏} الكهف: 30

Transliteration: inna la nudeeAAu ajra man ahsana AAamalan

And He almighty says: {verily, Allâh wastes not the reward of the good-doers} [Hud 11:115]

{...فَاِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ اَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ‏} هود: 115

Transliteration: fainna Allaha la yudeeAAu ajra almuhsineena

We say this because some people (may Allah guide them) took fasting as an excuse for neglecting people's affairs and not caring for their prescribed works; then if you argued one of them to fulfill some affair, he would say "Is not it sufficient that I am fasting?" It seems as if fasting calls for laziness, neglecting people's affairs, and punishing them. Actually, fasting is totally against that; it calls for vim, being beneficent towards people and making things easy for them.

Forgiveness, tolerance and good manners:

The Prophet (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him) says: "When any one of you is fasting on a day, he should neither have sexual intercourse, nor raise his voice (shouting); or if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him he should say: I am a fasting person." [Agreed upon]

«فإذا كان يوم صوم أحدكم، فلا يرفث ولا يصخب، فإنه سابه أحد أو قاتله، فليقل: إني صائم» متفق عليه

Therefore, we should abide to the etiquettes of Islam in this month and other months; we should observe our duties toward our Lord, Prophet Muhammad (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him), and Muslim brothers. Also, we should acquire our rights gently and kindly to achieve piousness, which is the main reason of fasting; Allah Almighty says: {O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn} [Al-Baqarah 2:183]

{...كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} البقرة: 183

Transliteration: kutiba AAalaykumu alssiyamu kama kutiba AAala allatheena min qablikum laAAallakum tattaqoona

Fasting should involve the following:

·Prevent the stomach (holding appetite) and the private parts from fulfilling their desires.

·Preventing eye, tongue, leg, ear and other organs from committing sins.

·Keeping the heart away from the mean desires and the ideas that might take it away from Allah Almighty. Also, preventing it from caring for anything other than Allah.

Judging one's self:

Allah almighty says: {O you who believe! Fear Allâh and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allâh (i.e. became disobedient to Allâh), and He caused them to forget their ownselves, (let them to forget to do righteous deeds)} [Al-Hashr 59:18-19]

{‏يَا اَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنْظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ اِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ (18) وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَاَنْسَاهُمْ اَنْفُسَهُمْ...} الحشر: 18-19

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waltanthur nafsun ma qaddamat lighadin waittaqoo Allaha inna Allaha khabeerun bima taAAmaloona (18) Wala takoonoo kaallatheena nasoo Allaha faansahum anfusahum

Omar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Hold yourselves for account before you are being accounted, because it is easier for you in account tomorrow to account yourselves today."

Accounting the self is before and after the work:

Before work, it is accounted for the intention and fulfilling the action according to the Sunnah.

After work, there are three kinds of accounting oneself:

First: Accounting it for shortage in observing the right of Allah during performing an act of worship.

There are six rights for Allah in the acts of worship:

1.Sincerity in observing the act.

2.Giving advice for the sake of Allah.

3.Performing it in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him).

4.Observing the event of beneficence in it.

5.Observing the favor of Allah in the act.

6.Observing shortage in acts.

Second: to account himself for every act, where its negligence was better than its doing.

Third: to account himself for every permissible act he did not do.

Did he perform this act for the sake of Allah and the hereafter? If yes, he will be successful. On the other hand, if he sought, by the act, the worldly life; he would lose this success and will not be winner.

By this way we receive Ramadan, live it, feel happy because of it, and utilize it. On the other hand, if we did not do that, it would be as the prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "There might be a fasting person receives nothing from his fasting but hunger and thirst, and there might be a person prays at night but receives nothing from his prayer but be awake." [Reported by Ahmed and authenticated by Al-Albany]

«رب صائم حظه من صيامه الجوع والعطش، ورب قائم حظه من قيامهالسهر» رواه أحمد وصححه الألباني

We ask Allah Almighty to accept from us the righteous deeds and not to return us as losers. Our last invocation is: Al-Hamdu Lillâhi Rabb-il-'lamîn [All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Lord of Realms (mankind, jinn and all that exists)].

"How Do We Receive Ramadan" booklet
Compiled by the department of researches in Al-Watan House

Translated by website


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