How to Spend Ramadan
Mufti Taqi Usmani
Source: The Month of Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is the season of divine blessings. It is the month of
purification. It is meant for annual renovation of the inner spiritual
qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen his 'Iman,
to purify his heart and soul and to remove the evil effects of the sins
committed by him.
This month invites a Muslim to minimize his other mundane involvements and
maximize the acts of worship. One should plan his schedule for this month,
before-hand, so as to spare maximum time for 'ibadah. Here is a brief list of
the acts which should be carried out in Ramadan with due care:
1) To offer every prayer with jama'ah [in congregation] in a masjid;
2) To rise up a little earlier than the exact time of suhoor [time before Fajr
spent having breakfast] and to offer the salah of tahajjud. There is no
prescribed number of the tahajjud prayer; yet, it is better to pray 8 rak'at;
3) To offer the nafl [voluntary] prayers of Ishraq (two rak'at after sunrise),
Duha (four rak'at which may be performed at any time after Ishraq before noon)
and Awwabin (six rak'at after Maghrib);
4) The recitation of the Holy Qur'an. No specific limit has been prescribed,
but one should recite as much of it as he can;
5) Dhikr or Tasbeeh, specially the following recitations:
A. Subhaanallahi wa bihamdihi subhanallahil Azeem.
B. Subhanallahi walhamdulillahi wala ilaha illallahu wallahu Akbar.
C. Astaghfirullah Rabbi min kulli zanbin wa atoobu ilaih.
D. Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin nabiyyul umme wa ala aalihi wasahbihi
E. La Hawla wala Quwwata illa billahil Aliyyul Azeem.
Apart from reciting these words, one hundred times each, at a particular time,
they may also be continued frequently throughout the day, even if one is
engaged in some light work, when walking and when in bed.
6) Prayers and supplications: No particular prayer is prescribed. One can pray
for everything he needs both in this world and in the Hereafter. However, the
supplications of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) are so comprehensive
that they encompass all that a Muslim can need in his life and after his
death. It is, therefore, much advisable to pray Allah Almighty in the
prophetic words used by the Holy Prophet.
There are several books where these prophetic supplications have been
compiled. Here is the name of two books which should be kept by every Muslim
in his home and be used for praying daily:
a. Al-hisnul-Hasin by Allamah al-Jazri
b. Munajahate-Maqbool by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi
7) Sadaqah (charity): Apart from paying zakah, which is obligatory, one should
also pay optional sadaqah in Ramadan according to his best ability. It is
reported in authentic ahadith that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) used
to pay special attention in Ramadan to look after the poor and to help them
financially. Therefore, a Muslim should give as much money in sadaqah as he