Friday, September 15, 2006

Acts of Worship in Ramadhan

Post 5 - Part 1

In the last post I mentioned the minimum level of worship one should carry out in the month of Ramadhan and points that people should always keep in mind during this month. In this post a few acts will be mentioned that, although not complete, can be used as a guideline and indication towards the acts which can be performed in this month. As there are many acts of worship that can be performed, and only a short period before the beginning of this blessed month, I shall be posting the acts of worships on a daily basis, Insha Allah.

Acts that can be Performed.

In the month of Ramadhan there is no amount of worship that be classified as the 'maximum' level of worship. However, there are worships which have been mentioned in the Ahadeeth that are specific for this month and others which are generally rewarding. Following is a selection of a few acts that one can perform during this month to reap the benefits of this month as well as these acts. May Allah give us all the strength to perform worship to the maximum of our ability in this blessed month. Aameen.

Acts of Worship Directly Related to Ramadhan

1. Worshipping on Laylatul Qadr - The Night of Power.

شهر فيه ليلة خير من ألف شهر، شهر جعل الله صيامه فريضة وقيام ليله تطوعً

"A month in which lies a night greater in virtue than a thousand months"

It is within this month of Ramadhan that Laylatul Qadr, Night of Power, is most likely to occur. This night is better and holds more weight than worship of a thousand months (eighty three years and four months). Many scholars have explained on the fact that this night, although not fixed, can be found mostly in the last ten days of Ramadhan and moreover on the 27th night.

The Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has said:

‏تحروا ليلة القدر في العشر الأواخر من رمضان

"Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan"

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

Keeping this Hadeeth in mind, every person should make an effort to spend the nights of Ramadhan in worship as much as possible. For it is most likely that this month contains the Night of Power. If one is unable to worship every night in this month then one should not miss the opportunity to perform worship on at least the 27th night.

Insha Allah, a post will be published regarding the Night of Power during the month of Ramadhan.

2. Fardh (obligatory) & Nafl (optional) Acts.

من تقرب فيه بخصلة كان كمن ادي فريضة في ما سواه و من ادي فريضة فيه كان كمن ادي سبعين فريضة فيما سواه،

"Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a Fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a Fardh shall be blessed with the reward of seventy Faraidh in any other time."

In this month Allah is multiplying the rewards for every act we carry out; a person who performs a Nafl (optional) act in this month will be given the reward of a Fardh (obligatory) act performed in any other month; and the person who perform a Fardh act in this month is given the reward of seventy Fardh acts performed in any other month.

Therefore, one should discharge all the Faraidh duties and thereafter make an effort to perform as many Nafl (optional) acts of worship. Thus, ensuring that one has acquired this great 'sale' and 'offer' that Allah Ta'ala is providing during this month.

3. Observing Patience.

وهو شهر الصبر، والصبر ثوابه الجنة

"And it is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Jannah (Paradise)."

This is the month within which a person's patience is tested and put at trial. The nature of man is such that if something occurs against his habit then he will feel uneasy and restless to such an extent that the person can become ill.

Therefore, during this month a person's habits will change significantly; he will leave his food and drink during the day and perform the fast and at night he will reduce his sleeping hours by perform the Taraweeh prayers and waking up for Sehri (morning meal).

This change, along with the extra level of worship and the abstention from sins, will make a person less patient. Therefore, patience will be a great act of worship for which the reward can be no less than Jannah itself.

Furthermore, it should be remembered that there are three levels of patience that one can exercise; the first being the most common, to have patience on a calamity or disliked occurrence that befalls us. However, in addition to this, we also need to exercise patience for the performance of good deeds and the abstention from sinning. When a person finds it difficult to perform a deed then he should be patient and hope for the reward that lies in this patience. Similarly, when one feels a struggle in abstaining from sin then he should be patient and again hope for the reward from Allah.

One should have a firm intention to be patient on all the difficulties he faces, whether is be in the form of sorrow, grief and trials, or merely the difficulties one faces when performing deeds and abstaining from sins.

4. Sympathy and Huqooqul 'Ibaad (rights of fellow beings).

شهر المواساة،

"It is the month of sympathy with one's fellow men."

Within this month great emphasis is placed on direct worship; worship which is directed related to Allah. However, this should not deceive us from the rights that are attached to people. It is vital that we ensure we do not unjustly disregard the rights of others whilst trying to offer optional acts of worship as well as obligatory acts.

It is essential to keep in mind that upholding the rights of others is also Fardh and obligatory. A person who disregards the rights of others will not be forgiven by Allah for that sin and only the person whose rights have been disregarded can forgive is.

Many times we see in the month of Ramadhan that due to the increased level of worshippers in the mosque there is a difficulty in finding parking; in such a case, it would wrong to cause someone inconvenience by parking inconsiderately or even blocking a car. It would in actual fact better to reach the prayers late and have not caused any inconvenience to fellow beings.

In short, as well as upholding the rights of Allah, it is necessary that a person keeps in mind the rights of fellow beings and does not disregard their rights whilst having the notion in his mind that he is receiving reward for the act he is doing.

5. Work & Worship.

و شهر يزاد في رزق المؤمن فيه

"It is the month wherein a true believer's sustenance is increased."

There are a very few fortunate people who can leave their work for this month and dedicate themselves entirely to worship in this month. However, Islam does not necessitate the leaving of one's job; in fact, Islam would not allow a person to leave working if his family are depending on him for food and income. Therefore, though one does not have to leave work to dedicate himself to worship it is advised that each person makes an effort to decrease the amount of work he is doing and spend a greater portion of his time in worship. It should also be noted that working and earning an honest and Halaal livelihood for one's family is also an act of worship and bears great reward.

However, one should keep in mind that this is the month within which one's sustenance is increased; this is an indication from Allah to the believers to notify them that do not be heedless towards worship by becoming engrossed in business and work; for Allah has increased the sustenance of a believer in this month so that he can freely worship Allah and not have major concern regarding his sustenance.

6. Feeding the Fasting & Feeding the Poor.

من فطر فيه صائما كان مغفرة لذنوبه وعتق رقبته من النار وكان له مثل أجره من غير أن ينقص من أجره شئ ... و من سقي صائما سقاه الله من حوضي شربة لا يضمأ حتي يدخل الجنة

"Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell), and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least... And whoever gave a person who observed fast water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from my fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah."

Abdullah ibn 'Amr رضي الله عنه narrates:

‏أن رجلا سأل النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏أي الإسلام خير قال ‏ ‏تطعم الطعام وتقرأ السلام على من عرفت ومن لم تعرف

"A man asked the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم, what sort of deeds (or qualities) of Islam are good? He صلي الله عليه و سلم replied, to feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know"

Feeding people in any month is classified as one of the greatest acts and qualities of Islam. However, in the month of Ramadhan this deed becomes more valuable and precious. The person who feeds a fasting person, or gives him water to break his fast, will receive the reward of that persons fast without that person's reward being decreased. Furthermore, Allah will make this act a means of that person's sins being forgiven and will safeguard him from the hellfire.

Taking this into consideration one should make an effort to feed the poor. If this is difficult to achieve, then one should take every opportunity to feed the fasting and provide them with the food to break their fast.

7. Lessening the Burden off Others.

من خفف عن مملوكه فيه غفر الله له و اعتقه من النار

"Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bonds-men) in this month Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam"

In this month, employers should make an effort to reduce the strain on their employees; just as anyone in charge should reduce the level of work and burden on those under their charge. It is a month where a person should show care and consideration towards others as much as possible.

One should make the utmost effort not to cause any difficulty to anyone in this month and to try and lessen the burden off as many people as he can. Insha Allah, by easing the matters from other people, Allah will ease our matters both in this world and the hereafter.

May Allah give us all the inclination to perform these acts, those that follow and many more during this blessed month of Ramadhan and thereafter also. Aameen.
Insha Allah, further acts of worship will be posted tomorrow.


Saj said...

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Aameen to the Dua's.

Masha'Allah a very thorough post highlighting the direct act of worship one should engage in.

Jazakumullahu Khairan Katheera for these exceedingly beneficial posts, looking forward to reading the next post on the further acts of worship, Insha'Allah.

May Allah reward you with the best of both worlds, forgive your shortcomings and reserve a place for you in Jannat-ul-Firdaus, Aameen...

Dua's Requested.

Wasalaamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Jazakallah for passing by and for the comments. Ameen to all the Du'as and may Allah also reward you and and accept you. Aameen.

Please remember me in your Duas in these last days of Sha'ban and even in Ramadhan.