The Program Of The Muslim Sister In Ramadan
All Praise be to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness and
seek refuge in Him from the evils of ourselves and the evils of our actions,
whomever Allah guides is not to be misled, and whomever He misleads is not to
be guided. We testify that there is no god but Allah alone Who has no
partners, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.
Sister, a great month is approaching. It has great virtues and many bounties.
Its night is a niche for worshippers; its day is provision for them, and all
its days are the escape bridge on the Day of Return. A month so described, and
so full of favor is worthy of being prepared for investing, and getting ready
for reaping its fruits; day and night.
O Ramadan you are the good omen for the worlds
Corners and universes called your name
In the sky stars are shining for you
And believing souls are your domain
So, what have you prepared for the month of Ramadan?
A brief note on the virtues of the fasting:
Sister, perhaps you have read in books, or heard in tapes about the virtues of
fasting, and its great bounties. Perhaps knowing such bounties is the major
step that stimulates the soul for catching the great blessings of Ramadan.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has shown
the virtues of fasting in a comprehensive speech. He, peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him, has made it a stimulus for the believers to invest well in
this month and spend it in good acts and charity. Abu Huraira (may Allah be
pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him, has said: ''Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be
multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward.
Allah, Glorified and Exalted, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it
is done for Me and I will give a reward for it. [Reported by Muslim].
«كل عمل ابن آدم يضاعف الحسنة عشرة أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف. قال الله عز وجل:
إلا الصوم. فإنه لي وأنا أجزي به» رواه مسلم
There is evidence in this Hadith that the faithful person, who fasts with
faith and ihsan (i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allâh,
totally for Allâh's sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the
Prophet (peace be upon him in a perfect manner) is rewarded for his fasting
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) has also reported the Messenger of
Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as saying: ''A blessed month
has come upon you, Allah has enjoined you to fasting it. A month where the
gates of heavens are opened and the gates of Hell-fire are closed and the
giant devils are put in chains. Allah has put in it a night better than a
thousand months. He who is deprived from its bounties is really deprived''
[Reported by An-Nassa'i, and authenticated by Al-Albani].
«أتاكم رمضان شهر مبارك، فرض الله عز وجل 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
Are you a guest visiting for days
Swearing to live in fasting
You made a certain promise to time
To come back for a visit each year
Your campus is not limited by boundaries
The whole earth is your place
You have altered hospitality traditions
By sufficiently staying without food
O Muslim sister: Remember that Ramadan is unique in two aspects:
First: It is the month of obligatory fasting
Second: It is a month where Allah is pleased by striving in all kinds of
performing acts of worship and that He has doubled the reward for it.
O sister, hence, to spend the month according to both things you should:
First: be keen on completing fasting with all its conditions, duties, its
desirable actions; and by avoiding its violators, nullifiers and spoilers.
Second: abide by performing virtuous acts and acts of closeness by the day and
night of Ramadan - especially those established in the Sunnah and to follow
the conditions of the righteous ancestors in Ramadan.
Those two things require the Muslim woman to know the tenets of fasting, its
conduct, and practices. This is all learnt by inquiring, reading, listening to
useful lessons and attending sessions related to this issue, and to do
anything that would benefit her in learning these rulings.
Here, sister is a proposal representing a program which may be useful for a
Muslim woman to spend her day in Ramadan.
Muslim sister's program in Ramadan
First: the program of the nights of Ramadan
The nights of Ramadan start by the appearance of the crescent after the sunset
of the last day of Sha'baan. In this night, it is permissible to start the
qiyâm, the sahűr and other established by evidence acts of worship.
The program of the Muslim sister of the nights of Ramadan differs according to
the nights themselves. The last ten nights are more virtuous, and are more
worthy of being keen on performing acts of worship in them.
In general, the program of the night of Ramadan is as follows:
1- Qiyâm (deep night prayers):
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allah,
peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: ''whoever performs night
prayers in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward
from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.'' [Agreed upon].
«من قام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» متفق عليه
The Hadith is an evidence of the virtue of the night prayers in Ramadan, and
that they are means to forgiving sins. And whoever performs the tarâwîh
prayers as they should be, then he has performed the night prayers of Ramadan.
Forgiveness is conditioned on his words: ''out of sincere faith and hoping for
a reward from Allah''
Out of sincere faith means: In the state of praying, a Muslim does this while
he is believing in Allah and his Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him, and sure of Allah's promise, the virtue of night praying, and the
great reward given by Allah Almighty.
Hoping for a reward from Allah means that he is only waiting for Allah's
reward, and that he is not meaning to show off to people. These are the
virtues and the conditions of the qiyam.
O Muslim sister, if you think about the words ''out of sincere faith'', you
will see that they are evidence of following the traditions in night praying.
This is because following is a condition for believing in Allah as God, and
Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as a Messenger.
So when is the time for night prayers and how it is performed?
Time: the Sunnah is to perform night prayers in the early night.
It is not from the Sunnah to delay it. If a Muslim woman wants to pray in the
last night hours before daybreak, after performing the night prayers in the
early hours of the night, it is from the Sunnah, too.
Abu Dawood said: ''Ahmed was asked, in my presence: should we delay night
prayer (meaning rest prayers) to the last hours of the night. He replied: No,
the Muslims' Sunnah is more favorable for me'' (Questions for Imam Ahmed, by
Abu Dawood, p 62).
But the Muslim sister must not pray an odd prayer if she has prayed in the
early hours of the night and wants to pray in the late hours of it; because
the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: ''There
should not be two odd prayers in one night'' [Reported by At-Tirmidhi and
authenticated by Al-Albani].
«لا وتران في ليلة» رواه الترمذي وصححه الألباني
This means that the odd prayer will be either in the early night prayer and
not the late one, or the late night prayer and not the early one.
If, sister, you were praying in the Mosque, you shouldn't leave before the
Imam does; even if he prays more than eleven or thirteen prostrations; because
the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: ''He who
prays with the Imam till he leaves, a night in prayers and remembering Allah
will be written for him (in his book of deeds).'' [Reported by the four Sunan
and authenticated by Al-Albani].
«من قام مع الإمام حتى ينصرف كتب له قيام ليلة» رواه أصحاب السنن الأربعة وصححه
When the odd prayer is finished, you should say ''Glory be to the King the
Holy'', three times as was proven to be done by the Prophet, peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him [Reported by Abu Dawood and authenticated by
«كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا سلم في الوتر قال سبحان الملك القدوس»
رواه أبو داود وصححه الألباني
However, you must be following the manners of walking to Mosque; such as
decency, reverence, veiling and chastity so that your going to the mosque is
not a sedition for men.
As for the state of night praying; you should be keen on performing perfect
prostrating and kneeling, and do much calling and asking for forgiveness when
you prostrate. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said, when she was asked
about the prayers of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in
Ramadan: He never exceeded eleven Rakats in Ramadan or in any other month; he
used to offer four Rakat, do not ask me about their beauty and length, then
four Rakat, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then three Rakat.''
Aisha further said, ''I said, 'O Messenger of Allah! Do you sleep before
offering the Witr (odd) prayer?' He replied: 'O 'Aisha! My eyes sleep but my
heart remains awake''' [Reported by Al-Bukhari].
«أنه سأل عائشة رضي الله عنها: كيف كانت صلاة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في
رمضان؟. فقالت: ما كان يزيد في رمضان ولا في غيره على إحدى عشرة ركعة، يصلي أربعا،
فلا تسل عن حسنهن وطولهن، ثم يصلي أربعا، فلا تسل عن حسنهن وطولهن، ثم يصلي ثلاثا.
فقلت: يا رسول الله، أتنام قبل أن توتر؟. قال: (يا عائشة ، إن عيني تنامان ولا
ينام قلبي)» رواه البخاري
Ibn Abass (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) said: ''The prayer of
the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to be of thirteen
Rakat, i.e. of the night'' [Reported by Al-Bukhari].
«كانت صلاة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ثلاثة عشرة ركعة يعني الليل» رواه البخاري
So performing much prostrations or less is according to the length of the
night prayer; according to Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya.
It is preferable for you, O Muslim sister to recite the Holy Quran much. The
last hours of the night are blessed hours, where Allah's mercy to His
creatures floods both in Ramadan and in other times. After performing the
night prayer, you should take a rest to help you both in life and religious
affairs. Yet, sleeping in Ramadan should not exceed eight hours; so that no
harm is done to the body, and that acts of worship are not ignored in the
blessed month of Ramadan. It is sufficient to sleep for five hours at night,
if you can, and two in the early hours of the day and two in the mid-day. This
is done according to one's strength. It is preferable to seek help by the
sleeping recitations that give power to the body during the rest of the day.
Of these recitations are: glorifying Allah thirty three times, praising Allah
thirty three times, and saying Allah is Greater thirty four times.
2- The Sahur (the last light meal before dawn):
The Sahur is the final meal in the last hours of the night. The Messenger of
Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was very keen on having it,
and he has called it the blessed food. He has urged his nation to have it
saying: ''You should have the Sahur meal, verily it is the blessed food''
[Reported by An-Nisa'I and Al-Albani said: Its chain of transmission is
«عليكم بغداء السحور، فإنه هو الغداء المبارك» رواه النسائي وقال الألباني:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said:
''eat the meal of the Sahűr (the last light meal before daybreak), surely
there is a blessing in Sahűr'' [Agreed upon].
«تسحروا، فإن في السحور بركة» متفق عليه
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has also
said: ''the Sahur is all blessings; so do not leave it even by taking a gulp
of water. Allah sends His Salât (Graces, Honors, Blessings, Mercy) on those
who take the sahűr and so do His angels (ask Allah to bless and forgive
them)'' [Declared Good (Hasan) by Al-Albani].
«السحور كله بركة فلا تدعوه، و لو أن يجرع أحدكم جرعة من ماء، فإن الله وملائكته
يصلون على المتسحرين» حسنه الألباني
To have the Suhur blessing present, one should follow the Sunnah of the
Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The Sunnah is to delay it
to the last hour of the night. It is reported on the authority of Um Hakim:
''Hasten the breaking of the fast and delay taking the sahűr.'' [Authenticated
«عجلوا الإفطار، و أخروا السحور» صححه الألباني
The Sahur blessings include the blessings of religion and the blessings of
this worldly life. It gives the strength to endure fasting and piety during
it, if it is the will of Allah.
So, my Muslim sister you should be keen in observing the sahur, with no
overheat nor negligence. Beware that staying up at night talking and playing
keep your weaken you from waking up to obtain this godly blessing. Acts of
worship are better in certain times; observing the sahur is the best act of
worship during the last hour of the night; it is even better than performing
night prayers or reciting the Quran in this time.
Second: the program of the daytime of Ramadan
The daytime of Ramadan is the arena of racing towards performing acts of
closeness to Allah and acts of worship. This comes after observing the duties
of perfect fasting. Hence, O Muslim sister, you should avoid:
1- Bad manners such as: backbiting, slandering, lying, calling names and
disputing. Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of
Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: ''Fasting is not
just fasting from eating and drinking. Fasting is about leaving obscenity and
vain talking. So if someone happens to curse you or act foolishly, you should
say: I am a person fasting, I am a person fasting''. [Authenticated by Al-Albani].
«ليس الصيام من الأكل و الشرب، إنما الصيام من اللغو و الرفث، فإن سابك أحد، أو
جهل عليك، فقل إني صائم إني صائم» صححه الألباني
Abu Huraira has also reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him, has said: ''Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e.
telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not
in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.'' [Reported by Al-Bukhari].
«من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به والجهل ، فليس لله حاجة أن يدع طعامه وشرابه»
The former and latter Hadith prove that one should be keen on the integrity of
his fasting by being free from the above-mentioned vice. These things are even
worse during fasting, so they were specifically mentioned. Also, the Hadith
tells us that fasting is the fasting of the body organs, not just by
refraining from eating and drinking. Everyone can refrain from eating and
drinking'' (the Hadiths of Fasting pp83-84)
2- Leniency in learning the ordinances. The ordinances of Fasting – especially
for women- are not exactly known by many women such as the ordinances about:
menses, postpartum, pregnancy, and breast-feeding. So, women commit many
violations in such issues. This is because of lenity in learning the
ordinances of fasting and refraining from learning them.
3- Leniency in performing prayers, or leaving them altogether. Allah Glorified
and Exalted has made praying one of the five pillars of Islam, such as fasting
is a pillar of Islam. So, how come one observes fasting while waiving prayer-
especially that prayer has a greater status to Allah, and the acceptance of
fasting is even dependent on accepting it.
So, Muslim sister, you must try to shun these violations to make your fasting
free from defects such as: bad manners, committing sins, or leaving prayers.
Now, here is a general program for the daytime of Ramadan.
From dawn prayer to sunrise: In this time it is preferable to be keen in
saying dhikr (remembering Allah, mentioning Him and invoking and supplicating
Him) after performing the prayers, the morning praises, and reciting Quran
till sunrise. If the Muslim sister feels fatigued, she could sleep for an hour
and a half or two hours after sunrise. If the Muslim sister has overworked
herself during the night in praying and other acts of worship, it is
preferable that she takes this rest to regain her vigor during the day. If she
finds herself active; she should invest her fasting time by memorizing and
reciting the Quran. She should assign a daily part for memorizing. So, by the
time Ramadan has ended; she would find that she has memorized much of it, and
that she has followed the Sunnah of reciting Quran, as was done by our
righteous ancestors, may Allah be pleased with them.
If the Muslim sister has no obligations till noon such as studying or working
and the like; she should perform a lot of acts of closeness to Allah such as
praising, dhikr, asking for forgiveness, and reciting the Quran. She should
also perform the forenoon prayer - in particular- and the optional prayers in
general. It is preferable to do that even while going to perform her duties,
or even during working, cooking, etc.
From noon to the afternoon: Investing this time varies according to each
woman. If a woman can perform acts of worship, she can assign this time to
learning the Quran and reciting it in Quran schools, or in a house where
righteous women meet. If there isn't such a place, she should stay in her
chamber in submissiveness remembering Allah's praises and reciting Quran. She
should have some entertainment by hearing some lessons and ordinances,
especially concerning fasting.
From the afternoon to sunset: This time is for house work and chores while
remembering praises such as: glorifying Allah, asking for forgiveness, etc. If
she has no work to do, she should use this time in memorizing and reciting
Quran; teaching her children the ordinances of fasting; studying ordinances
with some qualified people; it is preferable to keep on remembering the
From sunset to night: It is preferable to hasten in breaking the fast. The
Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: ''The people will
remain on the right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast''
[Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
«لا يزال الناس بخير ما عجلوا الفطر» رواه البخاري ومسلم
The Sunnah and manners of breaking the fast should be observed. Afterwards the
preparation for the night and rest prayers should be observed.
Sister, these are guidelines that will, by the Will of Allah, show you how to
perfect your fasting. So, you would be, by the Will of Allah, one of those who
reap the luscious fruits of fasting in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad and upon his family and
Ibn Khuzaymah House
With little modification