Introduction to Ramadan

The month of Ramadan is a blessed time of the year for Muslims. It is the month in which Muslims indulge in excessive worship and praise Allah Almighty. Besides keeping fast, the other objective of this month is to gain as many blessings and reward from Allah Almighty as possible. One of the acts of worship is Dua (supplication).The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance. The holy month of Ramadan provides us with the opportunity to eliminate unhealthy eating patterns and gives our overburdened digestive systems a much-needed break. Allah says:

 

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

 

“Month (of) Ramadhaan (is) that was revealed therein the Quran, a Guidance for mankind and clear proofs of [the] Guidance and the Criterion. So whoever witnesses among you the month, then he should fast in it, and whoever is sick or on a journey then prescribed number (should from days other. Intends Allah for you [the] ease and not intends for you [the] hardship, so that you complete the prescribed period and that you magnify Allah for [what] He guided you so that you may (be) grateful.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185)

 

Quran is the last book of guidance revealed upon Muhammad (PBUH) over a period of 23 years in Ramadan. It delivers guidance to us by providing the scale to differentiate between truth and falsehood. Quran is the only source of guidance, a complete manual for our lives that encourages us to do righteous deeds and to protect ourselves from the curse of evil. During the month of Ramadan Muslims kept themselves away from food and drinks from dawn to dusk, successfully prayed five times a day in Mosque. Allah says:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

 

“O you who believe[d]! Is prescribed for you [the] fasting as was prescribed to those from before you, so that you may (become) righteous.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183)

 

To the Companions of Muhammad (PBUH), the month of Ramadan was known as the month of the Quran, the holy month in which the divine revelation took place. Muslims managed to conduct (Akhlaq) during the holy month of Ramadan, spent money in zakat and charity to seek the pleasure of Allah SWT. All we need to do is to sustain these good habits of Ramadan in our lives. Quran was revealed in the night of Lailat-ul-Qadar, the blessed and powerful night. Allah says:

 

فَكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي وَقَرِّي عَيْنًا فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ الْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِي إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيًّا

 

“So eat and drink and cool (your) eyes. And if you see from a human being anyone then say, “Indeed, I [I] have vowed to the Most Gracious a fast, so not I will speak today (to any) human being.” (Surah Maryam 19:26)

 

During this sacred month, the rituals of fasting, night prayer and reading the Holy Quran on a daily basis can have a life-changing effect on our health and satisfaction. Fasting during Ramadan should improve our health, only if we are following the correct diet.

 

Good habits of Ramadan:

  • Implement what you learn in Ramadan
  • Keep the Sadaqah (Charity) Flowing
  • Evaluate yourself on a Weekly Basis
  • Eat Dry Fruits or Dates before a Meal
  • Set a Time for Quran Recitation
  • Drink Plenty of Water
  • Fasting is Good for Health
  • Recite Quran with translation
  • Read the Quran after every prayer
  • The month of Ramadan is about Moderation

Ways of Increasing Acceptance of Duas

In the blessed month of Ramadan, we can actually increase our chances of having our Duas accepted by following below mentioned ways of making Dua. Allah Almighty out of His mercy and benevolence has specified specific times in the day when He accepts Dua. So, we seek hard to make Dua during those times. Few of the times and some etiquettes while making Duas are:

  • At the time of Suhoor or in the last 3rd of the night
  • After obligatory prayers
  • While Fasting
  • While breaking the fast
  • When in Sajdah (Prostration)
  • After Wudu (Ablution)
  • During the last hour on Friday. Prophet (SAW) said: “Friday is divided into twelve hours. Amongst them there is an hour in which a Muslim does not ask Allah for anything but He gives it to him. So seek it in the last hour after the afternoon prayer.” (Abi Dawud)
  • Between the Adhaan and the iqama
  • Making Dua on the Night of Decree could transform the one’s destiny throughout the year. Aisha (RA) reported: “I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Laylat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (SAW) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” (Tirmidhi)
  • You should end your Dua with Salawat on the Prophet (PBUH).
  • Our Dua will be accepted when we will call upon Allah by His beautiful names and attributes.
  • One of the key things in improving our success rate of Dua is to obey Allah Almighty.
  • Increasing our worship and love of Allah is a sure way to quicken the response to our Duas by Allah (SWT).
  • Make Dua when you pray Qiyamul Layl in the night of Ramadan.
  • Face the Qibla while making Dua if it’s possible and also do not raise your voice too high while making Dua.

التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّاكِعُونَ السَّاجِدُونَ الْآمِرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللَّهِ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

 

“Those who turn in those who worship, those who praise, those who go out, those who bow down, those who prostrate, those who enjoin the right and those who forbid [on] the wrong, and those who observe (the) limits (of) Allah. And give glad tidings (to) the believers.” (Surah At-Taubah 9:112)

 

Seek guidance from this book as much as we can because the Quran is the word of Allah and if neglect it. we will be answerable for our deeds at the Day of Judgment. Make Quran part of our life, including the teaching of Quran in our lives in a way that it transforms us from the ordinary person to the person Allah wants us to be and the only key is to act upon the commandments of Allah. Allah says:

 

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا

 

“And said the Messenger, “O my Lord! Indeed, my people took this the Quran (as) a forsaken thing.” (Surah Al-Furqan, 25:30)

 

Making the Quran a vital part of our lives will make us able to act upon the teachings of the Quran. The month of Ramadan offers us this unique opportunity to refresh our understanding regarding the teachings bestowed upon us in this book of Quran and to maintain the discipline we observe in this month of Ramadan throughout the year. Allah says:

 

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

 

“Indeed, We revealed it in a Night Blessed. Indeed, We [We] are (ever) warning.” (Surah Ad-Dukhan 44: 3)

 

Ramadan is the month in which we can gain maximum blessings and mercy from Allah Almighty and also seek forgiveness for whatever sins we have committed. Therefore, Duas need to be ensured during the month as it is the means that can help us to achieve the desired objectives. May Allah bless us in Ramadan and allows us to increase in our Dua within this virtuous month.

 

“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari)

 

Lucky are those who are able to grab the Lailatul Qadar (Night of Power), a night which could only be found in the last ten days of Ramadan from 20th until 30th of Ramadan. Lailatul Qadar is better and superior to one thousand months of worship. We all should avail this opportunity and maximize our prayers in the last nights of Ramadan. it is the month which renews and recharged our faith. Now that it has completed it’s objective and gives us a graceful uplifting of Eman, it is now upon us is to remain constant upon what it has given us or not. Allah says:

 

فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَتَمَاسَّا فَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَإِطْعَامُ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا ذَٰلِكَ لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

 

“Then whoever (does) not find, then fasting (for) two months consecutively before [that] they both touch each other. But (he) who not is able then (the) feeding (of) sixty needy one(s). That – so that you may believe in Allah and His Messenger, and these (are the) limits (of) Allah, and for the disbelievers (is) a punishment painful.” (Surah Al-Mujadilah 58:4)

 

The blessed month of Ramadan is about to leave but its blessings will remain throughout the year if we make it best by offering maximum worship of Allah Almighty. Last ten days of this Holy Month of Ramadan have been left which we have to utilize by maximizing our prayers. Allah says:

 

أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

 

“(Fasting for) days numbered. So whoever is among you sick or on a journey, then a prescribed number of days other. And on those who can afford it, a ransom (of) feeding a poor. And whoever volunteers well then it (is) better for him. And to fast (is) better for you, if you know.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:184)

 

As we know just 10 days left, who knows if we would be able to enjoy this glorious month again or not the time of death is undetermined. Last 10 days of Ramadan is known as third Ashra which starts from 21st and ends on 29th or 30th of Ramadan. Third Ashra of Ramadan is superior to the first two Ashras of Ramadan. Allah Almighty said to Muslims search the night in which He sent the Quran. Lailatul Qadr and Itikaf are also associated with the last Ashra of Ramadan.

 

May Allah Almighty accept our good deeds, worships, fasts and Quran recitation which we had done in the holy month of fasting! Ameen.

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