How to Spend Ramadhan
The month of Ramadhan is the season of divine blessings. It is the month of purification. it is meant for annual renovation of the inner spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen his ‘Iman, to purify his heart and soul and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him. This month invites a Muslim to minimize his other mundane involvement and maximize the acts of worship. One should plan his schedule for this month, before-hand, so as to spare maximum time for ‘ibadah. Here is a brief list of the acts which should be carried out in Ramadhan with due care:
What Should be Done in Ramadhan
1. To offer every prayer with jama’ah in a masjid.
2. To rise up a little earlier than the exact time of suhoor and to offer the salah of tahajjud. There is no prescribed number of the Tahajjud prayer. Yet, it is better to pray 8 Rak’at.
3. To offer the nafl prayers of Ishraq (two rak’at after sunrise) Duha (Four rak’at which may be performed at anytime after Ishraq before noon) and Awwabin (six rak’at after maghrib).
4. The recitation of the Glorious Qur’an. No specific limit is prescribed. But one should recite as much of it as he can.
5. Any Zikr or Tasbeeh. Apart from reciting these words, one hundred times each, at a particular time, they may also be continued frequently throughout the day, even if one is engaged in some light work, when walking and when in bed.
6. Prayers and supplications: No particular prayer is prescribed. One can pray for everything he needs both in this world and in the Hereafter. However, the supplications of the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) are so comprehensive that they encompass all that a Muslim can need in his life and after his death. It is, therefore, much advisable to pray Allah Almighty in the prophetic words used by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) .
There are several books where these prophetic supplications have been compiled. Here is the name of a book which should be kept by every Muslim in his home and be used for praying daily:
(i) Al-hisnul-hasin By Allamah al-jazri
7. Sadaqah (charity): Apart from paying zakah, which is obligatory, one should also pay optional sadaqah in Ramadhan according to his best ability. It is reported in authentic ahadith that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) used to pay special attention in Ramadhan to look after the poor and to help them financially. Therefore, a Muslim Should give as much money in sadaqah as he can afford.
What Should be Avoided in Ramadhan
All sinful acts should be avoided completely during the month of Ramadhan. Although the sinful acts are totally prohibited in Shariah, whether in Ramadhan or at any other time, but their prohibition becomes more severe in this month. It is evident that every Muslim avoids certain lawful acts, like eating and drinking, during the fasts. If he continues to commit sins in Ramadhan, it will be a mockery to avoid lawful things and yet be engaged in unlawful acts never allowed in Shari’ah. Thus, the abstinence from sins be comes all the more necessary in this month. Specially the following acts should be avoided totally:
(1) Telling a lie.
(2) Gheebah or backbiting i.e. condemnation of a person in his absence.
3) Quarrelling. (The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) has particularly forbidden from it when one is in the state of fasting. He has directed us that, if someone wants to quarrel in Ramadhan, we should tell him that we are fasting, hence we are not prepared to indulge in any quarrel.
(4) Eating unlawful things.
(5) Earning through unlawful means.
(6) Any act which may harm a person without a valid cause.
(7) Burdening one’s servants or employees with a toilsome job beyond their ability, without providing them facilities to carry it out.
In short, one should try his best to refrain from all kinds of sins, and protect his eyes, ears, tongue and all other organs from indulging in an unlawful activity. Once a Muslim spends the month of Ramadhan in this way, he will insha Allah, find himself equipped with a spiritual strength which will facilitate for him to conduct a good Islamic life in accordance with the pleasure of Allah.
Source: Madrassah Arabia Islamia: Darul Uloom Azaadville