Virtues Of Ramadan
Sheikh Muhammad Ali 'Abdur-Rahim
Virtues of Ramadan
(Its fasting and rulings, Salat-ut-Tarawih, Laylatul-Qadr, I'tikaf, Why
fasting was ordained, evenings of Ramadan)
Allah's Wisdom decreed that some places take priority over others, thus He
made Al Masjid Al Haram the best spot on the surface of earth, and made Salah
therein equals 100.000 Salah elsewhere. Also, Allah's Wisdom decreed that
sometimes take priority to others.
In this month, Allah decreed the Glorious Qur'an and ordained its fasting and
made it a way for forgiveness and pleasure, and placed therein a night that is
better than one thousand months. He made it the month of patience, and the
reward of patience is Paradise. It was reported in the Hadith of Salman Al
Farisy that it is the month of consoling, a month in which the sustenance of a
believer increases and whoever offers food to a fasting person during that
month his sins shall be forgiven. It is also a month during which people are
released from Hell and a fasting person shall have the same reward of the one
whom he feeds without reducing any of their rewards. It is a month which
begins with mercy, the middle is full of forgiveness, and its end contains
release from fire.
There are many Hadiths reported about the favors of Ramadan, of which:
1- Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of
Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The reward of every (good) deed of a person
is multiplied from ten to seven hundred times. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:
The reward of observing fasting is different from the reward of other good
deeds; Sawm is for Me, and I Alone will give its reward. The person observing
Sawm abstains from food and drink only for My sake. The fasting person has two
joyous occasions, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the
time of meeting his Lord. Surely, the breath of one observing Sawm is better
smelling to Allah than the fragrance of musk."
"Fasting is a screen (from Hell) and when it is the fasting day of a person,
he should not have sexual intercourse with his wife or make a noise, and when
someone slanders of fights with him, he should say: I am a fasting person."
[Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
2- Abu Sa'id Al Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Every servant of Allah who
observes Sawm (fasting) for one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will draw his
face farther from Hell-fire to the extent of a distance to be covered in
seventy years." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
3- An-Nasa'y reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever
fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward
from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever stays up
at night for worship out of faith and seeking His Reward his past sins shall
4- Imam Ahmad and others reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Fasting and Qur'an intercede (i.e. for the Muslim) before Allah on the
Resurrection Day. Fasting says: O my Lord! I prevented him from eating and
lust, so accept my intercession for him! And the Qur'an says: I prevented him
from sleeping as he stayed up at night reciting me, so accept my intercession
for him! He said: So, Allah accepts their intercession."
5- Imam Ahmad and the Compilers of Sunnah (Hadith compilations classified by
jurisprudential themes) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Three people will not be rejected their invocations: A fasting person at the
time of breaking his fast, the just ruler, and the invocation of the oppressed
which Allah raises above clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it,
then the Lord says, "By My Honor, I will surely help you though after
'Abdullah ibn 'Umar used to say at breaking his fast: "O Allah! I ask you with
Your Mercy which encompasses everything to forgive my sins."
7- At-Tabarany reported that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) broke his
fast, he used to say: "In the name of Allah, O Allah! For You I have fasted,
and on Your Sustenance I break my fasting."
The punishment of a person who breaks one-day fasting of Ramadan without a
Al Bazzar reported that a man said: "O Messenger of Allah, I have ruined
myself, I deliberately broke fasting in Ramadan. He said: Release a slave. He
said: I cannot afford it. He said: Observe the fasting of two consecutive
months. He said: I am not able to do it. He said: Feed sixty needy persons;
this is the penance of the one who break fasting on purpose."
Nullifications of Fasting:
If a person vomits on purpose, masturbate, swallow food between teeth, swallow
the water of rinsing one's mouth by mistake, and take nutritive injections
such as vitamins, glucose and the like, he would break his fast and must make
up for that day. Whoever fondles his wife causing his Madhy (pre-seminal
fluid) to come out also must compensate for that day without penance.
Things that do not nullify fasting:
shower even for cooling down, rinsing one's mouth with water without
exaggeration, using fresh Miswak, applying kohl, using creams and so on. When
a person wakes up in the state of major ritual impurity, nothing is due upon
him except performing complete ritual bathing. Also, the one who sees wet
dream while observing fasting, and if a person commits sexual intercourse with
his wife forgetfully, nothing is due upon him; and when he eats or drinks
forgetfully, it is Allah who fed and watered him.
Things that frustrate the actions of a fasting person:
Backbiting, slander, noise, idle talk, engaging oneself in forbidden games
such as playing with backgammon, and lying. Al Bukhari reported that the
Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "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.)"
Al Bukhari reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Fasting is a
shield, so long as you do not damage it. It was said to him: What may damage
it? He said: lying or backbiting."
Ibn Khuzaymah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Fasting is
not abstaining from food and drink. Fasting is abstaining from idel talk and
sexual intercourse (with one's wife), and when someone insults you or tries to
incite fight with you, you should say: I am fasting, I am fasting."
Ibn Khuzaymah also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Perhaps a person spends all night in worship but takes no reward but
wakefulness, and perhaps a person who observes fasting would suffer hunger and
thirst of his fasting [without taking a reward]."
Pre-dawn (before fasting) and breakfast:
a Sunnah to delay the Pre-dawn meal (before fasting) and accelerating
breakfast. So, delaying the Pre-dawn meal (before fasting) to help you for the
day work and to be able to offer the Fajr (Dawn) Salah; so people should not
observe fasting and neglect their Salah or abandon the congregational Salah.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Take the Pre-dawn meal, for it contains
blessing." [Reported by Al Bukhari].
Muslim reported on the authority of 'Amr who said: "The difference between our
observance of Sawm (fasting) and that of the people of the Scriptures is Suhur
(predawn meal in Ramadan)."
Ahmad reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The predawn meal is
full of blessing, so do not abandon it even if a person takes a dosage of
water, for Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) and His Angels offer Salah
to those who take Suhur (predawn meal)."
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "My nation will remain on the
right path as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast." [Reported by Al
Bukhari and Muslim].
Ibn Hibban reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "My nation will
remain on the right path as long as they do not wait until stars appear in the
Imam Ahmad and others reported in the Divine Hadith that Allah (may He be
Glorified and Exalted) said: "The dearest of My Servants to Me is he who
hastens to break his fast."
It is desirable to break fasting by taking dry date:
Abu Dawud and others reported: "When someone of you breaks his fasting, he
should break it on dry dates because it is a blessing, but if he does not find
any, water will be enough for him, for it is a purification."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to break his fast by taking fresh dates
before performing Salah. If he cannot find fresh dates, he may take dry dates.
If he cannot find dry dates, he would drink sips of water then takes dinner
What is desirable for a fasting person:
Engaging in reciting the Glorious Qur'an, paying charities frequently, and
staying up at night for worship even through Salat-ut-Trawih.
Al Bukhari and others reported on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas who said that
the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all
people, and was the most generous in Ramadan. So, the Messenger of Allah
(peace be upon him) was more generous than the blowing wind."
In another Hadith of Ibn 'Abbas, Gabriel used to meet the Messenger of Allah
(peace be upon him) every night during Ramadan to teach him the Qur'an.
Performing Salat-ut-Rarawih in a hurry has no blessing or reward because Allah
does not accept Salah performed badly. It was reported from the Messenger of
Allah (peace be upon him) that he said: "Do you know who is the worst who
steals? People said: No, O Messenger of Allah. He said: The one who steals
from his Salah. People asked: How could he steals from his Salah, O Messenger
of Allah? He said: He does not perfect its bowing, prostration, or
So, acceleration in obligatory or voluntary Salah makes Salah null and void, a
prohibited act, and a bad Sunnah which Muslim emirs are responsible for its
burden and the burden of those who act according to it until the Day of
It is better for the performers of Salah not to offer it because Salah shall
be thrown in their faces and it will say to them: May Allah lead you astray as
you wasted me.
It was reported on the authority of Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him)
that he saw a man not performing Salah well, so he said: If he had died in
that case, he would have died as a non-Muslim because his Salah is null and
Dear Muslim brother, I commend you to offer Salat-ut-Tarawih correctly even if
you perform it at home. What important is to perfect Salah if they are few,
for Allah does not waste the reward of those who perfect their work.
Imam Malik reported that 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) assembled
people to offer Salat-ut-Tarawih and commanded Ubay ibn Ka'b (may Allah be
pleased with him) to lead people in Salah. Ubay used to recite over one
hundred Ayahs until we would depend on sticks from fatigue, and we used to
finish Salah nearly at dawn.
Of the virtues of Ramadan is that Allah made therein Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night
of Decree) which is better than a thousand month. Allah concealed it from His
Servants to exert efforts to get it because the Messenger (peace be upon him)
said: (seek it in the last ten nights of Ramadan).
Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) used to offer Salah in the last
twenty days of Ramadan as much as he used to offer Salah all year long, but
when the last ten nights of Ramadan come, he exerted more effort like none
Imam Ahmad reported that when the ten days of Ramadan came the Prophet (peace
be upon him) used to stay up all night long for worship, awakened his family,
and exerted more efforts in worship. Imam Ahmad reported also on the authority
of 'A'ishah who said: "O Allah's Prophet! If I can recognize Laylat-ul-Qadr
(the Night of Decree); what should I say? He said: Say: O Allah, verily You
are All Forgiving and love forgiving, so forgive me."
It was reported in the authentic Hadith on the authority of 'A'ishah (may
Allah be pleased with her) the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
"Whoever performs Salah at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere
Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be
forgiven. The one who stays up for worship during Laylat Al Qadr (Night of
Decree) out of sincere faith and hoping for Allah's Reward all his past sins
shall be forgiven." [Reported by Ahmad].
Of the myths which innovators invented is that Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of
Decree) is seen by some people like a window opened in the sky; this is mere
ignorance and error.
Also, confirming that it comes on the night of 27th is a mere speculation, and
it was reported that Allah moves it from year to year in the odd nights of the
last ten (days) of Ramadan. Sometimes, it comes on 21st and other times it
comes in other odd nights even 29th.
In the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Prophet informed him
Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) that it came in the last night which was
27th then it came in different nights.
Therefore, it should be known that it is not fixed in a certain night, and
celebrating it on 27th night is a Bid'ah (innovation in religion).
It is required to observe worship during the ten nights by reciting the Qur'an,
staying up at night for worship, and invoking Allah for salvation from
As for celebrating that night by numerating its virtue and saying Tawashih (a
kind of religious chanting) from a sheikh in a famous mosque, this is not part
of worship, and I should explain the truth here so that people would know the
reality of their religion.
I'tikaf (retiring to the mosque for worship):
Staying in the masjid for worship which is divided into two sections: I'tikaf
based on a vow and Sunnah I'tikaf.
So, whoever vows to observe I'tikaf (retiring to the mosque for worship) has
to do so along with fasting.
The Sunnah I'tikaf: The most important is I'tikaf (retiring to the mosque for
worship) in Ramadan, and it is permissible to observe it outside Ramadan; and
it is not permissible to observe I'tikaf (retiring to the mosque for worship)
at home. It is permissible for women to observe I'tikaf if the masjid is
already set to separate men from women provided that a permission from the
husband is obtained. It is permissible to leave the masjid for a need such as
purifying oneself from major impurity, answering the call of nature, or
fearing for oneself or luggage if he stays at the masjid provided that he
leaves for another masjid to complete I'tikaf (retiring to the mosque for
worship) if it is based on a vow, otherwise a volunteer can manage himself as
It is also permissible to leave the masjid to buy basic needs whether food,
drink, or any other necessary element.
It is desirable for a Mu'takif (One who retires to a masjid for worship) to
busy himself in worship, reciting the Glorious Qur'an, and seeking useful
knowledge. I'tikaf (retiring to the mosque for worship) is nullified by going
home for food or sexual intercourse with wives. I'tikaf is also nullified if
fasting is nullified by deliberate eating and drinking. A fasting person
should abandon backbiting, idle talks, amusement and anything that may
distract a person from the mention of Allah such as reading porno stories.
It is permissible to listen to news and broadcast religious radio programs and
reading every useful permissible material.
I'tikaf begins at Fajr (Dawn) Salah. Al Bukhari reported that when the Prophet
(peace be upon him) wanted to observe I'tikaf, he would perform the Fajr Salah
then enter his Mu'takif (One who retires to a masjid for worship), then he
command that a tent would be set for him inside the masjid.
Abu Dawud reported on the authority of 'A'ishah said: It is a Sunnah that a
Mu'takif does not visit a sick person, does not attend a funeral, does not
touch a woman, does not have sexual intercourse with her, and does not leave
the masjid except for a need. There is no I'tikaf without fasting and no
I'tikaf except in a congregational masjid where Friday Salah is performed.
Al Bukhari and Muslim reported that 'Umar asked the Prophet (peace be upon
him) saying: "I vowed in the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance to stay in
I'tikaf for one night in Al-Masjid al-Haram. The Prophet (peace be upon him)
said to him: Fulfill your vow." Imam Ahmad reported that the Messenger of
Allah (peace be upon him) used to observe I'tikaf during the last ten days of
Ramadan. Once he set out for a journey and did not observe I'tikaf, and when
it was the second year, he observed I'tikaf for twenty days.
Why fasting was ordained?
1- Accustoming bodily organs to stop from committing sins as the meaning of
fasting is not abstaining from desires and lusts but it means that bodily
organs abstain from forbidden things such as lie, backbiting, and ill-gotten
money, using hands and tonuge in aggression, and so on; perhaps a fasting
person gets no reward of his fasting but only suffers hunger and thirsty.
2- Accustoming oneself to fear Allah, for fasting is a secret between a
servant and his Lord, therefore fasting was a guide to good manners and
cultivation to souls for fear that they might slide into sins.
3- Accustoming oneself to patience because of a fasting person's patience on
food and drink.
4- Accustoming oneself to pity and compassion with the needy so that the rich
would know the pain of hunger and accordingly they pity the poor.
5- Accustoming oneself to have meals in certain times.
6- Strengthening one's stomache by make it rest from food and drink for one
7- Drawing nearer to Allah through obedience, especially the optional Night
Salah and reciting the Qur'an.
Unfortunately, we have become in a time where people give up their religion
and seize the chance of Ramadan to live in amusement, joy, and luxury. Some of
them fast but do not offer Salah, therefore his fasting shall not be accepted
because by abandoning Salah, he has apostated according to the views of
Not to mention the libertine evenings in Ramadan. After breaking the fast,
media focuses on preventing people from worship and set a trap for Muslims
through dancing, talk shows, series, and low-standard singing. That encouraged
them to view series in the time of Salah after mass media enlisted the most
beautiful naughty girls to dance and sing indecently under the pretext of
The worst thing is that such dancers and actors get the titles of heroes and
It is awful to see that the people in charge prepare to Ramadan by series and
movies under the name of encouraging art and dedicating huge sums to it.
All these things prevent people from Salah and obeying Allah, so would you
cease? Where are scholars who disapprove deniable matters and why did they
keep silent? "Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the
guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people
in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allâh and cursed by the cursers." [Surat
Al Baqarah: 159].
Correcting the concepts of media men is a must to know that dancing and
singing is forbidden, and teach them to stop praising these things which incur
the wrath of Allah without paying attention to the honorable month of Ramadan.
If the government had followed the Islamic Shari'ah, it would have punished
those people instead of encouraging them and granting them prizes that do not
serve the religion or the country, and it would punish those who break their
fast publically in Ramadan. They are the people who have lost their religion,
and thus lost the world and the Hereafter which is the plain loss.
May Allah guide us to His Pleasure and working on elevating the Muslim nation
through useful work.
Source: Majallat At-Tawhid