Zakat-ul-Fitr


Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan as a token of thankfulness to God for having enabled him to observe fasts. Its purpose is to purify those who fast from any indecent act or speech and to help the poor and needy.[1] This view is based upon the hadith which reads, “The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, enjoined Zakat-ul-Fitr on those who fast to shield them from any indecent act or speech, and for the purpose of providing food for the needy. It is accepted as Zakah for the one who pays it before the `Eid prayer, and it is sadaqah for the one who pays it after the prayer.”[2] Al-Qaradawi comments on this hadith by saying that there are two purposes: one is related to the individual; for completion of his fast and compensation for any shortcomings in his acts or speech. The other is related to society; for the spreading of love and happiness among its members, particularly the poor and needy, during the day of `Eid.[3] It also purifies one’s soul from such shortcomings as the adoration of property, and from miserliness. Furthermore, it purifies one’s property from the stain of unlawful earnings. It is also a cure for ailments.[4] The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “It would be better that you treat your patients with charity.”[5] 

The last ten days of Ramadan


 How to take full advantage and benefit from the last part of Ramadan ? 

Though all parts of Ramadan are full of blessings and rewards, its last ten days hold a special status reflected in the recommendations and practices of the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and his companions. I will focus here on three major practices of the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and his companions during these days. 

Laylatul Qadr

“We have indeed revealed this (message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit (Jibraeel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of Morn!” (Surah 97)

One of the most meritorious aspects of the month of Ramadan is that it contains Laylatul Qadr, the most blessed night of the year. It is the night which Allah Almighty chose to reveal the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an has mentioned that this night is better than one thousand months. It means that the worship performed in this night brings more reward than the worship performed in one thousand months. The authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) mention that, in this night, Allah Almighty directs His special mercy towards the people of the earth, accepts the supplications made by His slaves and forgives a large number of people who repent and pray. 

I'tikaf



I’tikaf is unique form of worship in this month of Ramdan, a person gives up all his activities, abandons his attachments, associations and routines and enters the masjid for a specific period. 

Islam does not approve monasticism which is based on the concept that Allah's pleasure cannot be attained without abandoning all worldly activities for ever. The Holy Qur'an has expressly condemned this concept. Islam has, instead, emphasized on earning one's livelihood through 

Fast of Qada'

Whoever has missed a fast of Ramadan is liable to compensate it with fasting after Ramadan. This fast is called 'the fast of qada''.

Fast of qada' may be observed any day during the year except for the following days:

1.     First of Shawwal (Eidul-fitr)
2.     Tenth of Thul-Hijjah (Eidul-Adha)
3.     Eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth of Thul-Hijjah. On these days fasting is strictly prohibited, so the fast of qada' cannot be observed on these days.

Rules of Fasting


Fasting in the days of Ramadan is obligatory (fard) on every Muslim. The one who does not believe it to be obligatory is not a Muslim, and the one who, without a valid excuse, does not fast in a day of Ramadan is a sinner. 


"Fast" means "to refrain from eating, drinking and having sexual intercourse throughout the day, right from the break of dawn upto sunset, with a clear intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah." If somebody refrains from food, drink and sex for any reason other than seeking the pleasure of Allah, it cannot be called a "fast" in the terminology of the Shariah. It is thus necessary that there should be an intention which is called the "niyyah".

What Should be Avoided in Ramadan


All sinful acts should be avoided completely during the month of Ramadan. Although the sinful acts are totally prohibited in Shariah, whether in Ramadan 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 Ramadan, it will be a mockery to avoid lawful things and yet be engaged in unlawful acts never allowed in Shariah. Thus, the abstinence from sins becomes 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;

How to Spend Ramadan

The month of Ramadan is the season of divine blessings. It is the onth 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 involvements 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 Ramadan with due care:

The Merits of Ramadan


The Holy Prophet (Salla Allah ‘Alaihi Wasallam) has mentioned the merits of Ramadan in a large number of ahadith. Some of them are reproduced here with translation:

Salman, the Persian (ra) has reported the following: The Holy Prophet (Salla Allah ‘Alaihi Wasallam) addressed us on the last day of Sha'ban wherein he said:

Philosophy of Ramadan


The Holy Qur'an has expressly told us that the basic objective for which man is created by Allah (swt) is that he "worships" Him:
 ﴿ وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.

The word used by the Holy Qur'an for the worship is "ibadah" which has a much wider sense than "worship." In English, the word "worship" normally indicates to some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one's reverence to his Creator. But the word "ibadah" is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah's commands and to seek His pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature are included in the word of "ibadah" like earning one's livelihood through halal (permissible) means and in order to fulfill one's obligations towards his dependants. 

Maximize Your Rewards - Welcome to Ramadan


Ramadan (the 9th month in the Islamic Hijri calendar) is here again and more than a billion Muslims are gearing up to observe the various ibadat (worship) of this month. Although fasting is the primary highlight of this month, other Ibadat too, such as salat (prayers), Quran recitation, acts of charity, proactively striving for good deeds, etc., go hand in hand with fasting and will be the focus of everyone’s efforts.

As Muslims, the same Ibadat are at our disposal throughout the year. However, the many additional rewards associated with our worship during this month make the same Ibadat more potent. Even those with little faith and eeman in their hearts join the foray in an attempt to reinvigorate the Taqwa (piety) in their hearts, which is the primary objective of Ramadan.