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Posted by spiritualphilantropy in Islamic Perspectives.

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is called Ramadhaan and it is the most meritorious month of the whole year. Since there are many specific rules peculiar to this month, we would like to deal with it’s characteristics in a rather detailed manner under different section.


The glorious Qur’aan has explicitly mentioned that the basic objective for which man is created by Allah is that he ‘worships’ Him: “And I did not create Jinn and human beings except that they should worship Me.” (Glorious Qur’aan 51:56)

The word used by the glorious Qur’aan for worship is ‘Ibaadah, which has a much wider sense than worship. In English, the word worship indicates some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one’s reverence to his Creator. But the word ‘ibaadah is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah’s Commands and to seek His Pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature are included in the word ‘ibaadah, like earning one’s livelihood through Halaal (permissible) means and in order to fulfil one’s obligations towards his dependants.

However, ‘ibaadah is of two kinds. One consists of acts that are meant exclusively to worship Allah, having no worldly objective, like Salaah, Fasting, etc. These are direct acts of ‘ibaadah, while the other kind of ‘ibaadah includes acts which are primarily mundane, but are converted into ‘ibaadah when performed in full conformity with Sharee’ah and with an intention to discharge one’s obligations. Therefore, these acts are treated as ‘ibaadah in an indirect manner. It is obvious that the direct acts of ‘ibaadah should be superior to the indirect ones.

Now, while prescribing very few acts of direct ‘ibaadah in one’s daily life, like the Salaah which is performed five times a day, Islaam has left its followers mostly with the indirect acts of ‘ibaadah like eating, drinking, earning livelihood and association with one’s wife, children, parents, relatives, friends and other human beings. But the primary nature of these acts being mundane, one becomes so absorbed in their worldly pleasures that their material aspects prevail their spiritual ones. Therefore, these acts have less spiritual strength than the direct acts of worship.

Since the direct acts of ‘ibaadah are very few in one’s daily life as compared to the indirect ones, his spiritual progress becomes slow vis-A-vis his material progress. The month of Ramadhaan has been designed to maintain a balance between material and spiritual aspects of the human life. This month is meant to maximise the direct acts of ‘ibaadah and to minimise the pure mundane activities, so that one may accelerate his spiritual progress to make up the distance and to repair the spiritual loss one may have suffered through his deep involvement in the mundane activities during the year. The days of Ramadhaan are designed for fasting, which is an act of ‘ibaadah for the whole day, and depriving oneself from food for many hours. This lessens the undesirable spiritual effects of the material pleasures. The nights of Ramadhaan, on the other hand, are spent in offering Taraaweeh, Tahajjud and Suhoor, thereby reducing one’s sleep much less than normal days. Moreover, apart from the prescribed acts of worship, one is supposed to offer as much optional (nafl) ‘ibaadah in this month as he can. In this way the level of one’s spiritual activities in this month is raised up much higher than in other days of the year.

This philosophy of Ramadhaan makes it clear that this month should be devoted to the direct acts of worship as far as possible. That is why the rewards of the virtuous acts in this month have been multiplied. This is to encourage the Muslims to carry out maximum possible acts of ‘ibaadah.


The month of Ramadhaan is the season of Divine Blessings. It is the month of purification and meant for annual renovation of the inner spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen his Imaan, purify his heart and soul and remove the evil effects of the sins committed. This month invites a Muslim to minimise his mundane involvements and maximise the acts of worship. One should plan his schedule for this month beforehand, so as to spare maximum time for ‘ibaadah.

Below is a brief list of the acts which should be carried out in Ramadhaan with due care:

1. To offer every prayer with congregation in the Musjid.

2. To rise up a little earlier than the exact time of suhoor and to offer the Salaah of Tahajjud. There is no prescribed number of the Tahajjud prayer, yet, it is better to pray 8 rak’ats.

3. To offer the nafl (optional) prayers of Ishraaq (two rak’ats after sunrise), Dhuhaa (Four rak’ats which may be performed at anytime after Ishraaq before noon) and Awwaabeen (six rak’ats after Maghrib).

4. The recitation of the glorious Qur’aan. No specific limit is prescribed, but one should recite as much of it as he can.

5. To remember Allah frequently through different prophetic recitations, such as the following: Subhaana Allaah wa bihamdihi subhaana Allaahu al-Adheem, Laa hawla walaa quwwata illaa bi-llaahi al-aliyy al-adheem, subhaana Allaahu wa alhamdulillaah wa laa ilaaha illa Allaahu wa Allaahu Akbar, Astaghfiru-llaah lladhee laa ilaaha illaa huwa al-hayy al-qayyoom wa atoobu ilayhi, Allaahumma salli alaa muhammadin al-nabiyy al-ummiy wa-alaa aalihi wa-sallim tasleeman.

Apart from reciting these phrases, 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 (du’aa): 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 noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam 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 to Allah Almighty in words used by our noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

There are several books wherein these prophetic supplications have been compiled. Below are the names of two books which should be kept by every Muslim in his home and be used for praying daily: Al-Hisnul Haseen by Allaamah Al-Jazri and Munaajaat-e-Maqbool by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi

7. Giving Sadaqah (charity): Apart from paying Zakaat, which is obligatory, one should also spend optionally in Ramadhaan to the best of his ability. It is reported in authentic Ahaadeeth that the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to pay special attention in Ramadhaan to look after the poor and help them financially. Therefore, a Muslim should give as much money in Sadaqah as he can afford.


All sinful acts should be avoided completely during the month of Ramadhaan. Although the sinful acts are totally prohibited in the Sharee’ah, whether in Ramadhaan or at any other time, but their prohibition becomes more severe in this month. It is evident that every Muslim avoids certain lawful acts, like eating and drinking during the fasts. If he continues to commit sins, it will be a mockery to avoid lawful things and yet be engaged in unlawful acts that were never allowed in the Sharee’ah. Thus, the abstinence from sins becomes all the more necessary in this month.

The following acts in particular, should be avoided totally:

1. Telling a lie.

2. Backbiting.

3. Quarrelling. The noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam has particularly forbidden from quarrelling during the fast. He has directed us that, if someone wants to quarrel in Ramadhaan, we should tell him that we are fasting, hence we are not prepared to indulge in any quarrel.

4. Eating unlawful things.

5. Earning through unlawful means.

6. Any act which may harm a person.

7. Burdening one’s servants or employees with a toilsome job that is beyond their ability, without providing them facilities to carry it out.

In short, one should try his best to refrain from all kinds of sins and protect his eyes, ears, tongue, and all other organs from indulging in any unlawful activity.

Once a Muslim spends the month of Ramadhaan in this way, he will insha’allah, find himself equipped with spiritual strength which will facilitate for him to conduct a good Islamic life in accordance with the Pleasure of Allah throughout the year.

Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani



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