Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Acts of Worship in Ramadhan

Post 5 - Part 2

8. Supplicating to Allah.

الدعاء مخ العبادة

“Supplication is the essence of worship.”

Ramadhan is the month within which one tries to excel in worship. It is a month where a servant, through the medium of worship, draws closer to his beloved, Allah. Though we perform many acts of worship during this month, we should keep in mind that the core and essence of worship lies in supplication. A person who does not supplicate to Allah gives out an image of being haughty, proud and independent; and these qualities are not liked by Allah.

In this month the mercy and blessing of Allah descend upon the earth all those people who are within. Allah calls out within this month to His believers asking whether there is anyone that is supplicating so that he can accept his supplication.

Therefore, one should make an utmost effort to supplicate as much as possible in this month and ask Allah for forgiveness, steadfastness, a place in Jannah, freedom from hellfire and all whatever needs a person has.

Insha Allah, specific Du’as will be posted during the month of Ramadhan which one may use to supplicate.

9. Dhikr & Remembrance of Allah.

مثل الذي يذكر ربه و الذي لا يذكر مثل الحي و الميت

“The example of one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not is like the living and the dead”

The month of Ramadhan is a month where man excels in the remembrance of Allah; the level of worship increases in this month and therefore the remembrance of presence of Allah is felt more. The more we remember our Lord the more He remembers us and the more Allah remembers us the more likely we are to receive His mercy and forgiveness.

Therefore, in the month of Ramadhan we should increase the Dhikr and remembrance of Allah by trying to recite as much Tasbeeh (glorification) of Allah as possible. If there is one thing that a person will regret and have remorse for in Paradise it will be that time which was not spent in the remembrance of his Lord.

10. Sunnah & Nafl I'tikaaf.

‏النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏كان ‏ ‏يعتكف ‏ ‏في العشر الأواخر من رمضان

“The Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم used to retire in the mosque for devotion (I'tikaaf) in the last ten days of Ramadan”

I’tikaaf is the name given to the retreat inside a mosque that one practices in the month of Ramdhan. When one retreats and secludes himself to worship Allah in the month of Ramadhan he is in actual fact offering his entirety to his Lord and trying to achieve a maximum level of worship and closeness to Allah.

There are two forms of I’tikaaf:

The first type of I’tikaaf Sunnah which is performed during the last ten days of Ramadhan and has been mentioned in many Ahadeeth and it holds great merits as it has also been mentioned that that Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) occurs during this time.

The second type is Nafl (optional) and can be performed at any time during the month of Ramadhan for any duration. This method is also meritorious and commendable; however it does not hold the same reward as the Sunnah I’tikaaf.

A person should try and perform the Sunnah I’tikaaf during the month of Ramadhan. If this is not possible due to commitments or other reasons then everyone should perform Nafl I’tikaaf for as much time as he can. A person can make the intention of Nafl I’tikaaf every time he enters the mosque, even if it is for prayer. This way he will receive the reward of I’tikaaf as long as he remains within the mosque boundaries and upholds the requirements of I’tikaaf.

11. Sehri / Suhur.

‏تسحروا فإن في السحور بركة

“Take Suhur (meal before dawn); for in Suhur there is a blessing.”

Suhur or Sehri is the meal that is taken by the person intending to fast before dawn and in the last portion of the night. Suhur is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم and we have also been encouraged to make Suhur as it contains blessings and is a medium for Allah’s mercy.

During Ramadhan, one should avoid missing Suhur without a valid excuse. Even though may not feel hungry it is advised that one performs this Sunnah and reaps the rewards, blessings and mercy of Allah contained within.

12. Iftaar

‏ ‏إذا أقبل الليل وأدبر النهار وغابت الشمس فقد أفطر الصائم

“When the night approaches and the day retreats and the sun sinks down, then the observer of the Fast should break his fast”

It is Sunnah to make Iftaar [break one’s fast] immediately after sunset. One should not delay the Iftaar as this is undesired and disliked.

One should indulge himself in seeking Du’a (supplicating) to Allah during the time of Iftaar. To do this, one should try and commit himself to sit down at least ten minutes before the time of Iftaar and supplicate to Allah for all his needs until the Adhan is called. Furthermore, one should make a habit of making Iftaar at the Masjid and not at home.

13. Taraweeh Prayers

شهر جعل الله صيامه فريضة وقيام ليله تطوعًا

“It is a month in which Allah has made fasting compulsory by day. And has made Sunnah the Taraweeh prayer by night”

The nights of Ramadhan are blessed with the recitation of the Qur’an through the prayers of Taraweeh. The scholars class the Taraweeh prayers as Sunnah and that it consists of twenty Rak’ats (cycles) in total.

One should make an effort to attend the Taraweeh prayers in the mosque and ensure that one completes the Qur’an in this manner. If one follows the Taraweeh within one mosque only then Insha Allah he will have heard the entire Qur’an.

14. Nafl (optional) and recommended Salaah.

During this month, one should make an effort to perform optional and recommended prayers. It is a month where even recommended acts receive the rewards of Fardh (obligatory) acts in another month and additional rewards and benefits will be gained from the reading of the optional prayer.

Some prayers that can be performed are:

a) Ishraaq (begins roughly 15 minutes after Dawn – Consists of 2 – 4 Rak’ats)

b) Duha / Chast (offered after sunrise until midday – Consists of 2 – 12 Rak’ats)

c) Awabeen (After Maghrib Salaah – Consists of 6 - 20 Rak’ats)

d) Tahajjud (offered in the last portion of the night before dawn – Consists of 2 - 12 Rak’ats)

e) Tahiyyatul Masjid / Tahiyyatul Wudhu (when entering the Masjid / after performing Wudhu – Consists of 2 Rak’ats)

f) Salaat-us Tasbeeh (anytime – Recommended once daily or at least once in a lifetime – Consists of 4 Rak’ats)

g) Salaat-ut Tawbah (anytime – Performed with the intention of seeking forgiveness from Allah – Consists of 2 Rak’ats)

h) Salaat-us Shukr (anytime – Performed with the intention of thanking Allah)

i) General Nafl (optional) prayers can be performed also.

14. Praying the Qur'an.

‏وكان ‏ ‏جبريل ‏ ‏يلقاه في كل ليلة من شهر رمضان فيدارسه القرآن

“And Jibreel عليه السلام would meet him every night in the month of Ramadhan and rehearse with him صلي الله عليه و سلم the Holy Qur’an”

The Holy Qur’an has an immense connection with the month of Ramadhan; it was in this month that the Qur’an was revealed and it was in this month the angel Jibreel عليه السلام would come to rehearse the Qur’an with our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم.

In this month one should make an effort to recite the Qur’an daily as much as possible. In actual fact, one should reduce his other forms of optional worship to accommodate the recitation of the Qur’an if he has limited time. It is also vital to recite the Qur’an correctly and accurately without making mistakes or reading too fast.

If one is able to then he should complete the Qur’an by recitation in this month and make an effort to hear the entire Qur’an in the Taraweeh prayers.

15. Excellence of Durood / Salaah Alan Nabi.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet (Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم). O you who believe! (Ask Allah to) send blessings upon him (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and (ask Allah to) send salutations upon him (صلي الله عليه و سلم).

The act of sending blessings on the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم is an act that carries endless rewards and merits whilst its benefits are infinite and cannot be encompassed. A person who sends blessings on the Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم is blessed ten times in return and it is through sending constant blessings on the Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم will one receive his intercession and favours on the Day of Judgment.

One should never fall short on sending blessings upon the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم during any month of the year. However, it is vital that this act of worship is increased in the month of Ramadhan so that one can reap the benefits contained within its recitation as well as seek the mercy of Allah and His Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم in both worlds.

َ اللهُمَّ صَلِّيْ وَسَلِّمْ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ كُلَّمَا ذَكَرَهُ الذَّاكِرُوْنَ , و صَلِّيْ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّم كُلَّمَا غَفَلَ عَنْ ذِكْرِهِ الْغَافِلُوْنَ َ

“O Allah, send blessings and salutations upon our Beloved Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه و سلم the amount of every person that remembers (sends salutation upon) him; and send blessing and salutations upon him صلي الله عليه و سلم the amount of every person who is ignorant of remembering (sending blessings upon) him صلي الله عليه و سلم.”


Saj said...

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu,

Jazakumullahu Khairan Katheera for these excellent posts on 'Acts of Worship in Ramadhan'...

Very beneficial indeed.

The posts on Ramadhan are serving as a good preparation for this month which is now only a day or two away.

May Allah reward you abundantly for each and every person who has/is/will be following and engaging in the advice and acts that you've stated in your posts, Aameen.

May Allah grant you and those whom are dear to you the best of both worlds, Aameen.

Please do keep us all in your humble Dua's in this blessed month of Ramadhan.

May Allah grant you ease in carrying out the acts of worship in this blessed month,
May Allah grant all your Ibaadah and Fasts,
May Allah grant you the opportunity to reap benefits from this blessed month,

Wasalaamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Jazakallah for the comment and words of encouragement. I am pleased to hear that the posts are aiding you in preparing for Ramadhan. The posts are a personal reminder to me and then a an effort to aid people in preparing for this month also.

Aameen to all the Du'as. Please do remember me in your Du'as in the month of Ramadhan.