On the First Night of Ramadan
– I will reflect on the hadith in which the Prophet said about this particular night. He said:
When the first night of Ramadan comes, the gates of heavens are open and not a single gate is closed, and the gates of the hell are closed not a single gate is open. The devils are chained. A caller will call, ‘O you who want to do good, come forth; O you who want to do evil stop.’ And Allah sets people free from hell every single night. (Al-Bukhari)
– I will make the supplication which the Prophet used to make:
O Allah, start this month with good and Iman, safety and Islam,” I will then address the crescent and say, “Your lord and my lord is Allah. (At-Tirmidhi)
– I will send emails to all my friends congratulating them with the blessed month. I will ask them to remember me in their du’a while worshiping God in these beautiful moments.
I will post the congratulation on my Facebook, my blog and my google talk picture. I will change my status to, “blessed with the blessed month, in a dire need of God’s mercy.” This will help reminding everyone with the moment.
– I will use the moment to repent to God expecting his great forgiveness to cover me in these remarkable moments. I will make a strong determination to quit all my sins and come out of Ramadan a different man.
– I will not forget to pray Taraweeh at the night before the first day of fasting and is almost forgotten by many people.
– I will not get into long disputes about the method of deciding the beginning of Ramadan and I will follow my local community if they adopt any of the legitimate scholars’ opinions in their decision.
– I will explain briefly to those who waste their time in this dispute that it is better to spend our time worshiping God rather than disputing about something which God will not hold us accountable for. I will try to foster unity in my community and between local communities as much as I can.
– I will make a list of my friends and colleagues who may not know much about the blessings of Ramadan and try to make a plan of how to get them closer to God in this blessed opportunity.
Every Single Day
Before Fajr (Dawn) Prayer
– I will start my day a while before fajr. The time before fajr is so valuable. The Prophet said that God descends to the lowest heaven in the last third of the night calling upon his creation:
Is there anyone who wants to ask for something so I give him? Is there anyone seeking forgiveness so I forgive him? Is there anyone who wants to repent so I accept his repentance? (Al-Bukhari)
Allah praised high quality believers by the practice of “asking forgiveness during this time.”
– I will make sure I have suhur– the meal before fajr. The Prophet said:
Have suhur for there is a blessing in suhur. (Al-Bukhari)
– I will take 10-15 minutes before fajr prayer sitting alone asking God for forgiveness and calling upon Him in response to His call. The Prophet said when asked about which part of the night is better in accepting du’a, “The last part of the night.” I will also make a short night prayer during which I will prostrate and get even closer to Allah as the Messenger said:
The closest the servant of Allah will be is when he is in the state of prostration.
I will glorify God in my sujud (prostration) and call upon Him. I will seek His guidance, help, and support in this beautiful time.
– I will try my best to make Subh prayer (This is the name used for the morning prayer. Fajr prayer is often used to mean the two optional rak’as before Subh prayer) in the mosque.
I will go to the closest mosque to my house even if it is a little far. I will consider my steps an elevation in my degrees and an expiation of my sins as the Prophet promised.
I will feel the happiness and the gratitude of praying in congregation during fajr time, an act which makes me pure of hypocrisy as the prophet mentioned.
– I will remember to make the optional fajr prayer which is 2 rak’as for the Prophet said:
The two rak’as of fajr are better than this life and what is in it. (Muslim)
– If I reach the masjid before Iqamah time, I will sit and make du’a. The Prophet said:
Du’a between Adhan and Iqamah is not rejected. (Abu Dawud)
– I will make sure I remember God after Prayer for the Prophet said:
Whoever says Subhana Allah 33 times, Alhamdu Lillah 33 times, Allahu Akbar 33 times, and then completed the 100 by saying “La Ilaha Illah Allah, Wahdahu La sharika lah lahu al-Mulk walau Al-Hamd wa howa ‘ala koli shai’ qadir,” his sins will be wiped out even if they are like the foam of the sea.
– I will remember to say “Ayat al-Kursi (verse 2: 255)” for the Prophet said if you say it after prayer there is nothing between you and Paradise except death.
– I will try, especially during weekends, to stay after fajr in the mosque remembering God, reciting some Quran until 15 minutes after sunrise. I will then make a 2,4,6, or 8 raka’as . I will feel the reward of a complete Hajj and Umrah as the Prophet promised.
– I will try to sleep a little before going to work.
– I will go to work and will do my best to excel in my job. I will try to remove the misconception that Ramadan is a month of laziness. I will consider my job an act of worship, simultaneously worshiping God by fasting and working.
– I will get a few minutes in the office where I will relax and try to close my eyes in a half-sleeping mode for that gives me energy as if I really slept for some time. I will need it to resume my day and to relax in preparation for a long night.
– I will try my best to make Dhuhr and Asr prayers on time and I will make them in congregation during the weekends.
– I will make my Iftar most of the time in the mosque as my community always does. When it is our turn to prepare Iftar, I will take the intention for giving Iftar to all those who are fasting for there is an immense reward in it. The Prophet said:
“Whoever gives Iftar to a fasting person, will get a similar reward.” (At-Tirmidhi)
– I will try to go a few minutes before Maghrib so I can spend sometime in the mosque remembering God and making du’a.
– I will break my fasting feeling the happiness the Prophet mentioned. The happiness of someone who was allowed to complete his day of fasting and was given the opportunity to eat. I will recall the other part of the happiness the Prophet mentioned when I meet God with this day of fasting. These are the two pieces of happiness the Prophet mentioned in his hadith:
The one who fasts has two happiness: one when he breaks his fast and the other when he meets his Lord. (Al-Bukhari)
– I will remember to make dua at this very moment of breaking my fasting for this is a time the du’a is accepted as the Prophet mentioned. I will remember my family, my parents, my brothers and sisters, and all Muslims during my du’a.
– I will not eat a lot to prepare myself for taraweeh prayer and I will make sure I eat healthy food.
“O Allah, make us reach Ramadan!”
Abridged from Muslim American Society.