There are a number of highly recommendable worshipful practices to be performed during the days of Ramadan, for those who seek closeness to their Lord and His Companionship. Even if in the first part of the month we have missed out on one or more of these acts, we can still make an effort from now to reap their benefits insha Allah.
Don’t Forget or Neglect the Pre-dawn Meal (Suhoor):
It is recommended to partake of a light meal (suhoor) prior to commencing the fast. The fast begins at first light and ends at sunset (maghreb).
“Eat some food before the fast begins, there is blessing in its partaking.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Zaid, the son of Thabit, RadhiAllahu Anhu, related: “We partook of suhoor (food before the commencement of the fast) during Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, and then stood up for prayer.
He was asked what was the interval of time between the two, so he replied: ‘The time it takes to recite fifty verses (of the Quran).'”
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said: “My nation will remain in goodness as long as they break the fast as soon as it is due.” [Muslim]
Joy When Breaking the Fast:
The fast is broken at sunset, and it is termed in Arabic iftar. It is a time of happiness and refreshment after experiencing the pangs of hunger and thirst. It is usually broken with dates and in many cultures a light soup with bread or small side dishes. Breaking the fast is followed immediately by the evening obligatory prayer. In many parts of the world, including the US, breaking fast is observed in congregation in mosques and homes.
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “Whosoever fasts experiences two joys. He is joyful when he breaks his fast, and is joyful because of his fasting when he meets his Lord.”
“When evening approaches from this side (east) and the day retreats from this side (west) and the sun has set, the one who is fasting breaks his fast.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“Break your fast with a date, or with water because it is pure.” [Abu Daud and Tirmidhi]
Generosity and Good Deeds During the Month of Fasting:
Our beloved prophet, Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, spoke on many occasions about the fast of Ramadan.
He informed us of the way in which we should prepare ourselves as well as urging us to do good, to be charitable, and to refrain from ways in which our fast would become invalid.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas, RadhiAllahu Anhuma: The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). [Bukhari].
Narrated Abu Huraira, RadhiAllahu Anhu: The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”
[Bukhari]. “Allah, the Mighty, the Glorified says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for himself, but his fasting is for Me and I shall reward him for it.
The fast is a shield. When any of you fasts he should forsake swearing and noise.'”
Recitation of Quran:
It was the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to recite the entirety of the Quran during Ramadan, and in his last year of life (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) he recited it twice.
It has become a common practice in Muslim countries and especially in the United States, to recite the entirety of the Quran during the voluntary congregational worship of Ramadan, taraweeh. This is usually done by reciting one-thirtieth or thereabouts each night.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas, RadhiAllahu Anhuma: The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). [Bukhari]
The Night of Power
It is during the last ten nights of Ramadan that the Night of Power occurs. By the consensus of many scholars it is most probable that the Night of Power falls on an odd night such as 21st, 23rd, 25th or the 27th.
About this night, Allah, the Glorious and Exalted said:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful
Indeed We sent it [the Holy Quran] down on the Night of Power.
What will convey to you what the Night of Power is like!
Better is the Night of Power than a
in that Night the angels and the Spirit descend
by the permission of their Lord for every affair.
Peace it is, till the break of dawn. [Quran, Chapter 97]
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said: “Whosoever offers voluntary prayers during the Night of Power out of belief and charging Allah with its recompense will have his past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, had a vision that the Night of Power was among the last seven nights of Ramadan, whereupon the Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said: “I see that your visions all agree upon the last seven nights. Whoever, then, seeks the Night of Power should look for it among the last seven nights of Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, would go into seclusion in the Mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan and said: “Look for the Night of Power among the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Lady Ayesha, Mother of Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, relates “I asked the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him: ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me, if I should realize which night the Night of Honor is, how should I supplicate?’ He answered: ‘Supplicate: ‘O Allah, You are the All Pardoning and You love pardoning, so pardon me.'” [Tirmidhi.]