- The ideal way to perform tahajjud with suhoor is to wake up early and perform tahajjud and make du’ã before suhoor. Everyone in the house should wake up and engage in ‘ibãdah in the darkness and isolation of their own rooms. Shed tears and ask Allah S for your needs just as a small child cries and gets his needs fulfilled. Rasoolullah sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has encouraged his followers to cry when making du’ã. Crying and weeping attracts mercy. Just as a mother who, upon seeing her child crying for a sweet, will succumb at the sight of the child’s crying and treat it with mercy, similarly when one sheds tears whilst beseech-ing his Lord, the Mercy of the Lord will enshroud him.
- After tahajjud and suhoor, we must pray our Fajr Salãh with congregation. Ladies should also perform their obligatory Salãh.
- After Fajr remain engaged in ‘ibãdah till 15-20 minutes after sunrise and perform 4 rak’ãt ishrãq.
- Before zawãl, perform Salãtud-Dhuhã (chãsht). Rasoolullah s said, “There is charity due upon you in lieu of every joint that exists in your body. To say sub’hãnallah is a form of charity, to say alhamdulillah is also a charity, or to say lã ilãha illallah is also a charity, to command goodness and forbid evil is also a charity, and two rak’ãt at the time of dhuhã (chãsht) is sufficient for all this charity (i.e. to compensate the favour of every joint that Allah ta‘ālā has given you).” (Muslim)
- Perform Zuhr with congregation. If possible, engage in ‘ibãdah for a while and have a short rest with the intention of qayloolah a Sunnah of our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.
- Perform ‘Asr. The time between ‘Asr and Maghrib is very valuable especially for du’ã. We must make the effort to perform our ‘Asr with congregation and then remain in the masjid until Maghrib. Unfortunately Shaytãn and nafs have deceived us so much that many of us cannot do without food in the masjid at the time of iftãr. My friends, we should try to change our habits and keep the Ãkhirah in our minds. Shaytãn and nafs will take us home for some food, which should only take a few minutes, and will not let us come to the masjid until just before Maghrib. This is the best part of the day, which we do not value, only because of our desire for food. Rasoolullah sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “There are three groups of people whose du’ã is not rejected; the fasting person until he breaks the fast……..” (Ahmad).
When Allah ta‘ālā has made a promise through His Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, there is no doubt in the acceptance of these supplications. In spite of this, we find some people whose prayers are not answered. This does not mean that their prayers have been rejected. It is Allah’s ta‘ālā favour upon us that should He find that granting us what we ask from Him is in our interest, He grants, otherwise not. Another point to remember is that there are certain conditions in the absence of which they may be rejected. Among these is halãl food and making du’ã with attention and concentration. If our hearts and minds are not in our du’ãs, then they may not be answered. My friends, we must make the habit of bringing a few dates with us at the time of ‘Asr, and after ‘Asr we must engage in dhikr, tilãwah, tasbeeh, etc. until just 15-20 minutes before Maghrib, when we should raise our hands in du’ã until Azãn. In this way, everyone will be en-grossed in their own ‘ibãdah and we will find that if some of the individuals are crying, others will also get the inclination to do the same. Therefore value this time between ‘Asr and Maghrib and do not waste it in worrying about food. The saintly people are such that not even gold and silver will distract them from the Worship of Allah ta‘ālā let alone food. Their concentration in their du’ã is not affected even if heaps of treasure were to be placed before them, whereas, we would not be able to concentrate if only a small morsel was to be put in front of us. I would request my sisters not to spend the time between ‘Asr and Maghrib in the kitchen.
- After performing Maghrib, we should perform 6 rak’ãt of awwãbeen after the two rak’ãt sunnah and two rak’ãt nafl of Maghrib. However; those who do not feel inclined to do this, some ‘ulamã have said that two rak’ãt sunnah and two rak’ãt nafl of Maghrib can also become part of the 6 rak’at awwabeen. Hence, performing only two rak’ãt after the sunnah and nafl of Maghrib will suffice.
- After food prepare for ‘Ishã Salãh and go to the masjid. Perform ‘Ishã Salah and tarãweeh. The sisters should note that 20 rak’ãt tarãweeh is sunnah mu’akkadah for them too. They must perform tarãweeh after ‘Ishã.
- After taraweeh, go straight home. Do not loiter around outside the masjid wasting time. At home, remain in ibãdah until you go to sleep. Sleep with the intention of waking up for tahajjud and suhoor.
- Apart from the above, we know that in Ramadhãn there are always various programmes taking place in the masãjid led by our ‘ulamã. These are for our own benefit. There are many of us who are very sinful and during this month our hearts are softened and more receptive; by listening to the wise words of our ‘ulamã the chances of bringing good deeds into practice are greater. Although the month of Ramadhãn is solely for ibãdah, we should try and attend these programmes in the masãjid because by listening to these discourses, inshã’allah, changes will come into our lives for the better. Our hearts are blackened by and full of sins and by listening to these discourses and sitting in the company of the ‘ulamã and the pious, change will definitely occur in our hearts, inshã’allah.
- The household should sit together daily at a specified time and read from Virtues of Ramadhãn compiled by Shaykhul Hadeeth Muhammad Zakariyyã rahmatullahi alayh for at least 15 minutes. This will create a good atmosphere and environment in our homes and at the same time Ramadhãn will pass joyfully with an abundance of barakah in the home, Inshã’allah.
- Whilst in the masjid engage yourself in ibãdah. Take great care not to get involved in any worldly talk. It is very upsetting and disheartening to see people wasting their time in futile talk in the masjid, even during the month of Ramadhãn. Try and restrain yourself and remain engaged in ‘ibãdah.
- Perform I’tikãf of the last ten days in the masjid. Sisters may perform I’tikãf in their homes. Rasoolullah sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam used to perform I’tikãf in the final ten days of Ramadhãn. (Bukhãri, Muslim)
- Recite as much Qur’ãn as possible during the month of Ramadhãn
- Du’ã, istighfãr and tawbah should be made in abundance throughout the blessed month.
- Intermingling with people should be decreased to a minimum.
- Everyone should try to take rest in order to conserve energy for the compulsory ibãdah. There is no point in remaining in nafl ‘ibãdah and not getting rest, which will result in tiredness and laziness at the time of compulsory salãh, etc. Allah’s ta‘ālā Mercy is in abundance throughout the year, but especially during this month. We should yearn in our hearts for this Mercy because we need mercy, blessing and forgiveness from Allah ta‘ālā . We are sinful and in this month we want to win Allah’s ta‘ālā Attention so that we can become His Beloved Slaves. If we are eager to perform good deeds then, Inshã’allah this month will become a month of great blessing for us.
May Allah accept our efforts and make every moment of this month a means of receiving His Mercy, Blessing and Forgiveness. May we all be granted a place in Jannah. Ãmeen.