Download PDF: Ramadan Kareem – The 9th Month of Islamic Calendar
The ninth month in the Islamic calender is the blessed month of Ramadaanul Mubaarak. The word Ramadan is extracted from the root word, “Ramdun” which means “to burn”. Since in this blessed month, the sins and transgressions of the Muslims are burnt, hence the name Ramadan. Another reason is that the root word could signify a ground which is hot or a place where the feet get burnt. Therefore, this could mean that in this month, the nafs of a person is burnt and it is also a month of trial, hence the name Ramadan. The word Ramadan could also signify a hot stone or rock.
(Ghunyatut Taalibeen. 2/5)
Famous incidents which occurred in this blessed month
- In this month, the doors of Jannah are kept open and the doors of Hell are closed. The satan is also chained.
- On the 3rd of this month, the book was revealed on Nabi Ebrahim alaihis salaam.
- On the 6th of this month, Torah was also revealed to Nabi Moosa alaihis salaam.
- On the 18th of this month, Zabur was revealed to Nabi Daud alaihis salaam.
- On the 13th of this month, Injeel (Bible) was revealed to Nabi Esa alaihis salaam.
- On the 27th, the Quran was revealed upon the Holy Prophet peace be upon him.
(Ghunyatut Taalibeen. 2/5).
- On the 17th, the city of Makkah shareef was conquered by the Muslims.
- On the 27th of this month, the battle of Badr took place and the Angels also appeared to help and assist the Muslims.
- On the last day of this month, the same amount of people are freed from the fire of hell as the amount which were freed during the course of the entire month.
(Ajaa’ibul Makhluqaat. 46).
The excellence of this month
There is Ijmah (consensus) of Muslims that this is considered as the best of months. Ibn Jouzi May Allah have mercy on him in Bustaanul Waa’izeen states that, “As Nabi Yusuf alaihis salaam was the most beloved son of Nabi Yaqub alaihis salaam, even though Nabi Yaqub alaihis salaam had twelve sons, in the same manner, there are twelve months in the year, and the month of Ramadan is very beloved to the Almighty azza wa jall. As Nabi Yaqub alaihis salaam forgave and pardoned all his eleven sons for the sake of Nabi Yusuf alaihis salaam, in the same way, the Almighty azza wa jall pardons the sins of 11 months through the barakah of the month of Ramadan.
(Nuzhatul Majaalis. 1/136)
The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “When the month of Ramadan approaches, the doors of the heavens are opened.” In another report it is mentioned that, “the doors of Jannah are opened and the doors of hell are closed and the satan is chained.” In another report, it is mentioned that “the doors of mercy are opened.”
(Mishkaat shareef. 173)
It is said that Jannah is further beautified and the maidens of Jannah wait expectantly for their husbands and call out to them. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated, “Jannah is beautified further from the beginning of the year until the following year for the month of Ramadan.”
(Mishkaat shareef. 173)
It is mentioned that in this blessed month, every night, seventy thousand people are pardoned. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “In this month, every night someone calls from the heavens, “O those who seek good, be joyous and those who perform evil, learn a lesson. Is there anyone who seeks pardon so that he can be pardoned? Is there anyone who makes Taubah so that his Taubah can be accepted? Is there anyone who makes Dua so that his Dua can be answered? Is there anyone who seeks so that his request can be listened to? In the month of Ramadan, the Almighty azza wa jall at the time of Iftaar, pardons seventy thousand people (and frees them) from the fire of hell. When the day of Eid arrives, He frees the same amount of people as He has freed during the entire month. In other words, seventy thousand by thirty days.”
In like manner, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “In the last night of Ramadan, my ummah is forgiven. He was asked, “O Prophet of Allah azza wa jall! Is it on the night of Qadr?” He replied, “No, however the person who has completed his task, is paid in full when he completes his task.”
(Mishkaat shareef. 174)
He who does not respect Ramadan, has destroyed himself
That person who does not respect this month and does not perform good deeds in this month, he has delivered himself to the pit of destruction. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “You should approach the mimbar”. The blessed companions then came nearer to the Mimbar shareef. When the Holy Prophet peace be upon him set the first step, he said Ameen, on the second step, he said Ameen and when he took the third step, he said Ameen. When he alighted from the Mimbar shareef, we asked, “O Prophet of Allah azza wa jall! We have seen something which we have never witnessed before. He replied, “Without doubt, Jibraeel Ameen approached me and said, ‘Without doubt, one (is destroyed) who finds (the month of) Ramadan and he is not pardoned.’ I then responded “Ameen”. When I took the second step, then he said, “That person is far (from Divine Mercy) when he hears your name, he does not read the Durood shareef’, I replied “Ameen”. When I took the third step, he said, ‘That is person is far (from Divine Mercy) who has both parents or one of them and they become old and through them, he does not enter Jannah.’ I then said “Ameen”.
In this hadith shareef, Jibraeel Ameen cursed three people and the Holy Prophet peace be upon him responded by saying Ameen after his dua. It was sufficient for merely Jibraeel Ameen to only curse the person, however, by the Holy Prophet peace be upon him also saying Ameen at the end of each dua, he placed a type of official seal on this dua. We sincerely make dua that the Almighty azza wa jall through the wasila of His Beloved Prophet peace be upon him protects us from all three curses. Ameen. If we are guilty of this, there is still time to mend one’s behaviour and learn a lesson from this dire warning.
We see that one of the people who was cursed is the one in front of whom the blessed name of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him is taken and he is so miserly, that he does not read the Durood shareef and salaam. There is no doubt that this person has only himself to blame for the punishment which will befall him. This is the reason that certain Ulama have given the opinion that it is Waajib to read the Durood shareef when we hear the blessed name of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. It does not matter how many times the blessed name is mentioned in front of us. There are many reports which explain that a person who does not read the Durood shareef is someone who is a great miser and someone who is also very unfortunate.
Another one is that unlucky person who finds his parents at an old age or finds one of them at an old age and does not take care of them. Certainly, in this manner, this person has also made himself arrive at the edge of a deep pit. In one report, it is mentioned that when one looks at his parents with love and respect, this act itself will achieve for that person the reward for one complete Hajj! In other words, no matter how many times he does this in one day, he will receive the same reward every time.
The third person is that person who did not take full advantage of the month of Ramadan. In other words, he continued in his old ways and did not allow himself to be pardoned in this month. He continued to commit sins and transgression and completely ignored performing any ibaadah in this month.
It is important upon every Muslim to respect this month. A person should endeavour to keep fast. As for those people who are excluded due to any valid religious reason, they are pardoned. These would include females who are suffering from Haiz, Nifaas, those who are travellers etc. At the same time, they should also indeed respect the month of Ramadan. They should not mock someone who is fasting. A person should also not openly eat and drink or smoke in public. Some of the Muslim jurists have stated that a person who openly does these acts should actually be killed.
This is on condition that it is an Islamic government. If not, the person should be warned and people should display disrespect for such a person.
It is mentioned that once the son of a fire worshiper was publicly eating in a the market of the city of Bukhara. However, when his father saw this, he slapped him and also displayed extreme anger at his son.
However, the son replied that even his father eats the entire day during the month of Ramadan. His father replied, “There is no doubt that I do not keep fast and also eat during the day, however I do this secretly and privately at home. I do not eat in front of the Muslims and I do not disrespect this month.”
It is said that when this same fire worshipper died, a pious Muslim in Bukhara saw him walking in Jannah. He asked him how come he was in Jannah when he was a fire worshipper. This person replied, “There is no doubt that I was a fire worshipper, however when the time of my death came near, due to the fact that I had respected the month of Ramadan, the Almighty azza wa jall gave me the strength to accept Islam. Therefore, before I could die, I accepted Islam.” I therefore died in a state being a Muslim. Hence, this reward of Jannah is simply because I used to respect the month of Ramadan.”
(Nuzhatul Majaalis. 1/136)
Fasting is Fard in Ramadan
Fasting is compulsory upon every mature male and female Muslim. The person who refutes this becomes a Kaafir. When a Muslim completes this act of fasting, he has completed what was compulsory upon him. He will entitle himself for a great reward. In the hadith shareef it is mentioned that Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “A person who keeps fast with true Imaan and thinking of it (as a great means of) reward, then his previous sins are pardoned.”
(Sahih Bukhari shareef, Sahih Muslim shareef. Mishkaat shareef. 173)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “The deeds of the children of Adam alaihis salaam are always increased. For one good deed, there are ten rewards and even until seven hundred (rewards). The Almighty azza wa jall has also declared, “except Fasting whose rewards are endless. Without doubt, this is for Me and I will bestow the reward for this. The person fasting leaves aside his wishes and his food for My sake. For the person who fasts, there are two (moments) of joy. The first is when he completes the fast and the second is when He sees the Almighty azza wa jall. The smell which appears from the mouth of the person fasting is more beloved to the Almighty azza wa jall than the fragrance of Musk. The fast is a shield.”
(Mishkaat shareef. 173)
To miss a fast deliberately is indeed a great sin
As we are aware that there are five pillars in Islam:
The first is Tauheed and belief in the Prophet hood of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him.
The second is Salah.
The third is fasting.
The fourth is zakah and
The fifth is Hajj.
However, there are so many Muslims who do not fulfil these pillars of Islam. In the eyes of people, they may seem to be Muslims, yet in the Divine Court of Allah azza wa jall they are recorded as someone else!
Therefore, we should bear in mind that to deliberately miss a fast is a major sin especially when a person knows that fasting is Fard upon him. As we have already said, that person who does not believe in the fast being Fard, he has already left the folds of Islam.
The barakah during Sehri/Sahri or Suhoor
A Muslim should make effort to wake up for Sehri and also prepare something for Sehri. Even though it may be a few morsels or a few dates. The reason is that there is great barakah in this food. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated:
“Have Sahri because there is great barakah in the food of Sahri.”
(Sahih Bukhari shareef, Sahih Muslim shareef. Mishkaat shareef. 175)
At the same time, to awake for Sehri, to eat at this time has also become a symbol of Islam. The people of other religions do not have this barakah. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated:
“The difference between our fasts and the fasts of Ahle Kitab is the food of Sahri.”
(Sahih Bukhari shareef, Sahih Muslim shareef. Mishkat shareef. 175)
The Holy Prophet peace be upon him and his blessed companions used to also awake for Sahri and ate whatever was available. Therefore, we can see that Sahri is also an important Sunnah.”
The niyah for Sheri is:
بِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَوَیْتُ مِنْ شَھْرِ رَمَضَانَ
When the time comes for Iftaar, then one should make the following niyah:
اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنِّیْ لَکَ صُمْتُ وَبِکَ اٰمَنْتُ وَعَلٰی رِزْقِکَ اَفْطَرْتُ
One should also hurry to make the Iftaar and not delay unnecessarily or wait for all the stars to become visible. To wait in this fashion is considered as extremely undesirable. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “People, (the Muslim ummah) will continue to be well as long as they hurry to perform the Iftaar. One should not wait to see (all the) stars.”
(Kashful Ghummah. part one)
In like manner, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “The religion of Islam will always remain powerful as long as people hurry towards the Iftaar. The reason is that the Jews and Christians delay (in breaking fast).”
(Abu Daud shareef, Ibn Maja shareef. Mishkaat shareef. 175)
It does not mean that one should break one’s fast before time. If one does this, then the hard work of the entire day will be wasted. He will not receive any reward and will also earn the Divine Wrath of Allah azza wa jall. A simple example is that if Iftaar is at five o clock, a person should not wait until five fifteen to make the Iftaar. He should make it exactly on the recommended time so that there is no undue delay.
What should one eat for Iftaar?
One is permitted to eat any Halal food to break one’s fast, however, there is great reward for breaking one’s fast with odd number of dates. If there are no dates available, then one can break one’s fast with water.
The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has also stated that, “Whenever any of you wishes to break his fast, then he should break his fast with dates because there is barakah in this. If he cannot find dates, then he should make Iftaar with water and this is something which makes (a person) pure.”
(Imam Ahmed, Tirmidi shareef, Abu Daud shareef, Ibn Maja shareef. Mishkaat shareef. 175)
To perform twenty rakah of Taraweeh Salah is considered as Sunnat-e-Mu’akkidah according to the belief of the rightly guided Muslims.
All of A’immah Mujtahideen are also unanimous that this Salah is Sunnah. Shias are one of the groups that completely refute Taraweeh Salah.
Muhaqqiq alal Itlaaq, Hadrat Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlwi May Allah have mercy on him explains in the treatise “Ma Thabata min Sunnah” that if the people of a certain city do not perform Taraweeh Salah, then it is necessary upon the leader or ruler of that city to fight against these people.
Muslim men and boys should make an effort to go to local Masjid. The females should perform Taraweeh within the confines of their homes. If a person is reading Taraweeh alone, then he can start the Salah with the last ten Surah coming downwards until Surah Naas. Another method is that the person can read Surah Quraish in the first rakah and Surah Ikhlas in the second rakah. When he completes this, in the third rakah Surah Abaabil and in the fourth rakah Surah Ikhlaas and then carry on in this manner. This means that in the last two rakah, he will read Surah Naas in the ninteenth rakah and Surah Ikhlas in the twentith rakah.
After each four rakah, people have the choice to either read the recommended Tasbeeh, read some part of the Quran, read some nafil or remain silent. If they choose to read the Tasbeeh, they may read the following Tasbeeh:
سُبْحَانَ ذِی الْمُلْکِ وَالْمَلَکُوْتِ سُبْحَانَ ذِی الْعِزَّۃِ وَالْعَظَمَۃِ وَالْکِبْرِیَآءِ وَالْجَبَرُوْتِ۔ سُبْحَانَ الْمَلِکِ الْحَیِّ الَّذِیْ لَا یَنَامُ وَلَا یَمُوْتُ سُبُّوْحٌ قُدُّوْسٌ رَّبُّنَا وَرَّبُّ الْمَلٰئِکَۃِ وَالرُّوْحِ اَللّٰھُمَّ اَجِرْنَا مِنَ النَّارِ یَا مُجِیْرُ یَا مُجِیْرُ یَا مُجِیْرُ
Followed by Durood upon the Beloved Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him.
To sit in I’tikaf is also Sunnah
To sit in a masjid in seclusion where there is a Azaan and Congregational Salah is considered as I’tikaf. This is done with the intention of pleasing the Almighty azza wa jall. There are three types of I’tikaf.
This is when someone vow over something e.g. that if he gets better or some work is completed, he will sit in the masjid for I’tikaf. It becomes Wajib upon this person to fulfil his promise of sitting for I’tikaf when he gets better or when that specific work is completed.
This is the I’tikaf which a person has to keep in the masjid during the last ten days of Ramadaan. It will start on the 20th of Ramadan when the sun is about to set and it will be completed when the moon has been sighted for Eid.
In this form of I’tikaf, there is no specific time and one does not have to be fasting. In fact, when a person enters the Masjid, he can merely make the intention of I’tikaf. When the person leaves the masjid, this form of I’tikaf is then cancelled.
The I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan is considered as Sunnat-e-Mu’akkidah. It is also termed as “Sunnat al Kifaayah” meaning that if one person in the entire town or city performs, this, then the responsibility of the entire town or city is cancelled. Otherwise, everyone will be held responsible. Males are allowed to be in the masjid for I’tikaf while the females are only allowed to be in I’tikaf within the privacy of their homes. It is not permissible for females to be in a Masjid for this action.
The excellence of I’tikaf
A person who performs this noble act, is proving in his life time that he has secluded himself from his family and everything to be in the house of Allah azza wa jall. It is also a fact that when someone enters the house of another, it is part of the etiquette of the host to take care of the guest. Therefore, you can imagine that you are entering the house of Allah azza wa jall and if your intentions are pure, you can imagine the status and dignity you are enjoying at this moment. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated about the person in I’tikaf that if he cannot partake in the Janaza Salah, visiting the sick, helping an oppressed person, yet, the person still gets the reward of doing these noble acts.
Excellence of the Shabbe Qadr
The superior status of this night is certainly above all other nights. Among many reasons for this, these are just a few:
- On this night, the Special Divine Mercy of the Almighty azza wa jall descends on earth from the evening until the break of dawn.
- On this night, the Angels and the souls of Muslims come to earth to meet those who are in ibaadah. When this happens, there is a special type of spiritual ecstasy which is created in a person when they are busy in ibaadah.
- On this night, the Holy Quran was revealed.
- The Angels were also created in this night.
- On this night, gardens of Jannah were beautified.
- On this night, the sand used to create Nabi Adam alaihis salaam was brought together.
There are many other excellences which have been explained in various books and which one can study through. However, one of the greatest gifts which was given to mankind on this day was the gift of the Holy Quran. As we have said previously, it is a Divine Gift of the Almighty azza wa jall which no one has been able to match until this day and they will never match something like the Holy Quran until the day of Qiyamah.
In which night is Shabbe Qadr?
There is difference of opinion on which specific night is Shabbe Qadr. However, the majority of opinion is that it occurs in the 27th night of Ramadan. Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Sha’rani May Allah have mercy on him has also mentioned that there are a few unique symbols which one can be able to see on this night. He says that:
- On this night the sky is clear and cloudless.
- The weather is neither too cold nor too hot. In fact, the temperature is medium.
- On this night, again there are no clouds nor will there be any rain.
- One will also not see any falling stars.
- In the morning, the sun appears without bright harsh rays.
- On this night, no dogs bark.
(Kashful Ghummah. 1/213. Ghunyatut Taalibeen. 2/114)
Some Ulama say that there is a specific time when the water of the sea and rivers becomes sweet. They also say that except for man and jinn, everything on earth falls into sajdah. However, it must also be remembered that this is only seen by those special friends of Allah azza wa jall who have the special insight to see these things.
(Kashful Ghummah. 1/214)
Dua is accepted on this night
It is said that there is a special moment in this night, in which one’s dua is accepted. Therefore, Muslims should make such du’a which is able to help them in both worlds. They should make du’a for their forgiveness and ask for the Divine Pleasure of Allah azza wa jall. Hadrat Sayyidah Ayesha May Allah have mercy on her narrates that she once asked the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, “Please inform me that if I come to know which night is Shabbe Qadr, which Du’a should I make on this night?” The Holy Prophet peace be upon him replied, “You should make this dua:
‘O Allah! Without doubt, You are the One who pardons all and also considers that person who seeks forgiveness a friend, so pardon me.”
(Mishkaat shareef. 182)
In other words, on this night, one should implore the Almighty azza wa jall for forgiveness.
Nafil on this night
On this special night, Jibraeel Ameen descends to earth with the other Angels. He then establishes four flags:
One on Masjidun Nabawi shareef
One on the Ka’bah shareef
One on the Baitul Muqaddas and
One is established in between the earth and the heaven.
These Angels then spread out all over the earth. There is no home in which they do not enter. If a person is busy in ibaadah, these angels also greet the person. This continues until the time of Fajr.
(Nuzhatul Majaalis. 1/140).
The ibaadah on this night is more superior than the ibaadah in one thousand months. The Almighty azza wa jall also described that this night is also more superior to a thousand months. On this night, one should read as much Quran as possible. Read as much Nafil as possible. Read as much Tasbeeh, Tahleel and Istighfaar as possible. As much as one reads Nafil, it would be better for him or her. However, there are a few which have been mentioned and which we present:
- One should read four rakah of nafil. In each rakah, after the Surah Fatiha, one should read Surah Kaafirun once and Surah Ikhlas three times. It is said that by reading this, the experience of death would become easier on a person. He will also be protected from the angels who give punishment in the grave.
(Nuzhatul Majaalis. 1/129)
- He should read two rakah of nafil and after the Surah Fatiha, he should read Surah Ikhlaas seven times. After the salam, he should read the Istighfaar seven times. Before he even awakes from this place, the Divine Mercy of Allah azza wa jall will rain down upon him and his parents.
(Tafseer Yaqub Charkhi)
- He should read four Rakats nafil. In each rakah, after the Surah Fatiha, he should read Surah Qadr once and Surah Ikhlas twenty-seven times. If a person does this, he will be clean and pure like he was when he was born. The Almighty azza wa jall will also bless him with a thousand mansions in Jannah.
- He should read two rakah of nafil, in which, after the Surah Fatiha, he should read Surah Qadr once, Surah Ikhlas three times. The Almighty azza wa jall will bestow upon him the reward of Shabbe Qadr. His nafil will be accepted. He will also be blessed with the reward of Nabi Idris alaihis salaam, Nabi Shu’aib alaihis salaam, Nabi Ayyub alaihis salaam, Nabi Dawood alaihis salaam and Nabi Nuh alaihis salaam. He will also be blessed with a city in Jannah which is as large as the expansion of the East and West.
- He should read four rakah of Nafil. In each rakah, after the Surah Fatiha, he should read Surah Qadr three times, Surah Ikhlas fifty times. After this, he should then go into sajdah and read:
“Subhaanallah Wal Hamdu lillah, Wa laa ilaaha illal laahu wallaahu akbar.” After this, whatever du’a he makes will be accepted. The Almighty azza wa jall will also bestow immense Divine Grace upon him and his sins will also be pardoned.
(Fazaa’il Ash shuhur)