Taking Ramadaan as a ritual
For many of us Ramadaan has lost its spirituality and has become more of
a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night just
because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to
purify our hearts and our souls from all evil....we forget to make dua,
forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the
Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that's about all.
Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: 'He is doomed
who sees the month of Ramadaan come and go, "Jibreel said to me, 'May he
be destroyed, who sees the month of Ramadaan come and go and he has not
been forgiven', and I said, 'Ameen'. (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Saheeh by
Emphasis on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadaan revolves around food. They
spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about
food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Qur'aan and other acts of
worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they turn the
month of 'fasting' into the month of 'feasting'. Come Iftaar time, their
table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food,
sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and
thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control
them. It is also waste & extravagance. ".....and eat and drink but waste
not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those
who waste by extravagance)" [al-A'raaf :31]
Spending all day cooking
Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their
husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the
day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or
Tahajjud or even read Qur'aan. This is the month of mercy and
forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!
Eating too much
Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst,
because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and
some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to 'make up
for the food missed.' However, this is completely against the Sunnah.
Moderation is the key to everything.
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The son of Adam does not
fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few
mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it,
then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air." (Tirmidhi,
Ibn Maajah. saheeh by al-Albaani).
Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and
worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless. It was said
to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart
when he is full? He said, I do not think so.
Sleeping all day
Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) 'sleeping
away their fast'. Is this what is really required of us during this
noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and
are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot 'bear' to
be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a
fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but,
negligence on his part.
The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time. Before we know it,
this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and
spend every moment possible in the worship of Allaah so that we can make
the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away
their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or
even listening to music. Subhaan Allaah! Trying to obey Allaah by
Fasting but not giving up evil
of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc.
and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in
haraam, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all
kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of
fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind
it is to fear Allaah.
who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for
those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)" [al-Baqarah
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever does not give up
false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allaah has no need of
him giving up his food and drink." (Bukhaari)
Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadaan or outside of it,
as it is one of al-Khabaa'ith (evil things). And this includes ALL kinds
of 'smoking material' eg.cigars, cigarettes, pipes,'Sheesha', hookah
allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), and
prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa'ith (all evil and unlawful things)
It is harmful, not only to the one smoking, but also to the ones around
him. It is also a means of wasting ones wealth.
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "There should be no
harming or reciprocating harm." (Ibn Maajah, hasan)
This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast.
(Fatwa -Ibn 'Uthaymeen)
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Eat suhoor for in suhoor
there is blessing."(Bukhaari, Muslim). And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa
Sallam) said: "The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the
fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor." (Muslim)
Stopping Suhoor at 'Imsaak'
Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of
Fajr to observe 'Imsaak'. Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen said: This is a kind of
bid'ah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah
is to do the opposite. Allaah allows us to eat until dawn:
and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct
from the black thread (darkness of night)" [al-Baqarah 2:187]
Prophet (pbuh) said: "….eat and drink until you hear the adhaan of Ibn
Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes."
This 'imsaak' which some of the people do is an addition to what Allaah
has prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion,
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Those who go to extremes
are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to
extremes are doomed." (Muslim)
Not fasting if they missed Suhoor
Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, this is
a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal if you missed
a few morsels of food? Remember, obedience to Allaah overcomes
everything. Saying the intention to fast 'out loud' or saying a specific
dua to start fasting The intention is an action of the heart. We should
resolve in our heart that we are going to fast tomorrow. That is all we
It is not prescribed by the Shari'ah for us to say out loud, "I intend
to fast", "I will fast tomorrow" or other phrases that have been
innovated by some people. Also, there is no specific dua to be recited
at the time of starting the fast in the correct Sunnah. Whatever 'dua'
you may see on some papers or Ramadaan calendars, etc. is a Bid'ah.
Delaying breaking fast
Some people wait until the adhaan finishes or even several minutes after
that, just to be 'on the safe side'. However, the Sunnah is to hasten to
break the fast, which means breaking fast whenever the adhaan starts,
right after the sun has set. Aa'ishah (RA) said: This is what the
Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to do. (Muslim)
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The people will continue
to do well so long as they hasten to break the fast." (Bukhaari, Muslim)
Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock,
calendar, etc. and then have tawakkul on Allaah and break your fast
exactly on time.
Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up
Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast
and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they
miss Maghrib. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh)
was that once he broke his fast with some dates, them he would hasten to
the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back
and eat some more if you wish.
Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted
The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the
time of breaking fast.
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Three prayers are not
rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and
the prayer of a traveler." (al-Bayhaqi, saheeh by al-Albaani).
Instead of sitting down and making Dua at this precious time, some
people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas,
talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think
about it....Is food more important than the chance to have your sins
forgiven or the fulfillment of your Duas.
Fasting but not praying
The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is
because not praying constitutes kufr as the
(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Between a man and shirk and kufr
there stands his giving up prayer." (Muslim)
In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all
does not pray 'Asr, his good deeds will be annulled." (Bukhaari)
Fasting and not wearing Hijaab
Not wearing the Hijaab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim
women. (See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijaab
certainly takes away enormously from the rewards of fasting, even if
does not invalidate it.
Not fasting because of exams or work
Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shari'ah to fast.
You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do
that during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allaah is
much more important than 'good grades'. Besides, if you will fulfil your
obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allaah will make it easy
for you and help you in everything you do.
"Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide
for him from where he does not expect, Allah is Sufficient for whosoever
puts his trust in Him." (Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)
Mixing fasting and dieting
DO NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. That is
one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (esp. sisters). Fasting is
an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allah alone.
Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of
Fighting over the number of Raka'ah of Taraweeh
There is no specific number of rak'ahs for Taraweeh prayer, rather it is
permissible to do a little or a lot. Both 8 and 20 are okay. Shaykh Ibn
'Uthaymeen said: "No one should be denounced for praying eleven or
twenty-three (raka'ah), because the matter is broader in scope than
that, praise be to Allaah."
ONLY on the night of the 27th
Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all
other odd nights, although the
(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd
numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan." (Bukhaari, Muslim).
Wasting the last part of Ramadaan preparing for Eid
Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadaan preparing for Eid,
shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr.
although, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to strive the
hardest during the last ten days of Ramadaan in worship (Ahmad, Muslim)
and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid before Ramadaan so
that you can utilize the time in Ramadaan to the max.
Aa'ishah (RA) said:
the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu
Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper (i.e., strive hard
in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night
and wake his family." (Bukhaari and Muslim).
Although inviting each other for breaking fast is something good and
encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish 'Iftaar parties' with
all sorts of disobedience to Allaah, from flirting, mixing of the sexes
and hijaab-less women, to show-off and extravagance, to heedlessness to
Salaah, and Taraweeh to even music and dancing.