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 3Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that it’s a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil….we forget to make du3aa’, forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire of Hell. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that’s about all. Although the Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa Sallam said:
Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’….” (1)
Fasting but not praying
Realize that the fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet Sall-Allaahu 3Alayhi wa Sallam said:
Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” (2)
In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all annulled. The Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa Sallam said:
Whoever forsakes ‘Asr prayer, his deeds are in vain.” (3)
This hadeeth indicates that in the case of one who does not pray, Allaah will not accept any deed from him, so the one who does not pray will not benefit at all from his deeds, and no good deeds of his will ascend to Allaah. (4)
Too much stress 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 only 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.
And remember, too much food is also a kind of waste & extravagance.
وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
“…..and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance)” [soorah al-A3raaf , v: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 3Ishaa’, let alone pray Taraaweeh or Tahajjud; too exhausted to even read Qur’aan.
This is the month of mercy and forgiveness, du3aa’ and 3Ibaadah, to increase in your taqwa and to improve your relationship with Allaah. And how can you do that if you spend all your time in the kitchen cooking? So turn off that stove and turn on your Eemaan!
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 they missed.’ However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Remember, moderation is the key to everything.
The Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi 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. (5)
Besides, too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy.
Sufyaan al-Thawri (may Allaah have mercy on his) said: If you want your body to be healthy and to sleep less, then eat less.
Eating too much also makes the heart heedless. It was said to Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him):
“Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full?
He said, I do not think so.” (6)
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 are also missing the purpose of fasting and just falling prey to laziness and lethargy. All it needs is to exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing, but negligence on his part.
The Standing Committee said regarding this: “For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is a kind of negligence on his part, especially since the month of Ramadaan is a special time and the Muslim should strive to benefit from it by reading Qur’aan a great deal, seeking provision and acquiring knowledge.” (7)
Fasting but not giving up evil
Some 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, committing 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.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [soorah al-Baqarah 2:183]
The Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it and ignorant conduct, Allaah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” (8)
In another narration:
Whoever does not give up obscene talk and lying, Allaah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” (9)
The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time, so much so that Allaah calls this month أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ
“Ayyaamum Ma3doodaat” (A fixed number of days) (10)
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 DISOBEYING him!
Smoking is haraam (forbidden) in Islaam whether during Ramadaan or outside of it (11) as it is one of al-Khabaa’ith (evil things). And this includes ALL kinds of ‘smoking material’ whether it is cigars, cigarettes, pipes,’Sheesha’, hookah or even worse than that. (12)
وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ
“He allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa’ith (all evil and unlawful things) (13)
Smoking is harmful, not only to the one smoking, but also to the ones around him. It is also a means of wasting one’s wealth.
The Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa Sallam said: “There should be no harming or reciprocating harm.”
& Smoking invalidates the fast. (14)
To be continued…..part 2
By Asma bint Shameem, edited & modified by TowardsHuda
How to Spend Ramadaan by Shaykh Muhammad Hassan
(1) Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Saheeh by al-Albaani
(2) Narrated by Muslim, 82
(3) Bukhaaree, 553
(5) Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2380; Ibn Maajah, 3349. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1939
(7) Al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah, 10/212
(8) Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6057
(9)Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Sagheer and al-Mu’jam al-Awsat. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb
(10) Soorah Al-Baqarah, v:184
(11) http://islamqa.info/en/37765 and http://islamqa.info/en/10922
(12) http://islamqa.info/en/7432 –
(13) Soorah al-A3raaf :157
(14) http://islamqa.info/en/106450 and http://islamqa.info/en/37765