The entire month of Ramadan is a season of virtues, worship, and obedience to Allah. We are encouraged to do good deeds frequently and with full preparation in this month. Therefore, we have to strive hard in the days and nights of Ramadan to follow the practice of the Prophet (ﷺ), to seek the Pleasure of Allah, and to attain the benefits of fasting during Ramadan.
- Benevolence and Generosity
Spending out charity is recommended during all time, but it is particularly emphasized during the month of Ramadan which gives the believers a chance to feel what a hungry needy person feels when he/she does not have any food to eat.
In this month the believers can understand the importance of giving to charity and helping the hungry and needy people. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) urged the fasting Muslim to be generous in Ramadan and to increase in voluntary acts of devotion or worship.
We are encouraged, if we want more reward, to feed fasting brothers and sisters for we will get the reward of their fasting besides ours! It is reported from Zayd Ibn Khalid (May Allah be pleased with him) that Allah Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“He who provides something for breaking the fast earns the same reward as the one who observes the fast without diminishing”. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)
- Offering night prayers (Taraweeh)
The night prayer of Ramadan (Taraweeh) has been especially underlined for the spiritual rewards awaiting the observers of this prayer. It is an emphasized Sunnah, which is similar to the compulsory prayers performed in congregation.
The Prophet (ﷺ) did offer it in a congregation and the companions conformed to his practice. He encouraged us to perform Taraweeh and he approved it, then we have no choice but to follow him if we want Allah to be pleased with us. He
Thus every Muslim should attend Taraweeh prayers, including women, provided they are properly covered.
Praying during the nights of Ramadan is especially emphasized in the last ten nights. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them [that is, being busy in acts of worship] (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
- Recitation/Studying the Qur’an
The reason for the stress on the Qur’an is that the Qur’an and the month of Ramadan are closely linked with each other. The Qur’an was sent down from the seventh heaven to the first heaven in the month of Ramadan. This is indicated in Allah s words:
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)… (Al-Baqarah)
Therefore, the person who observes fasting is encouraged to read the Qur’an daily and to attempt to complete reading it from the beginning to the end during this month.
- Seclusion in a mosque (I’tikaf)
This is the act of spending the last nights of Ramadan in a mosque in seclusion for the purpose of full attachment in worshiping Allah, seeking His pleasure and thinking of those actions that result in nearness to Him. Allah the Most Merciful prescribed I’tikaf for the believers, so that the heart be fully occupied with Allah alone, remembering Him alone, thinking of how to attain His pleasure and cutting off from preoccupation with the creation. Allah the Most Merciful says:
“ .. and We covenanted with Ibrahim and Ismail, that they should purify My House for those who circle it, or use it as a retreat, or bow; or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).” (Al-Baqarah, Verse: 125)
I’tikaf is highly recommended in Ramadan as described in the hadith of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) who reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) (used to perform i’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah the Mighty and Majestic, took away his life, then his wives followed this practice after him”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
The above hadith also contains a proof of the permissibility for women to perform I’tikaf. However, this permissibility is conditional, i.e. it should be performed according to Islamic Shariah. There are a number of prohibited actions that a person during i’tikaf should observe.
You can read more on I’tikaf here
- Seeking Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree)
It is the greatest night of the year in which Qur’an was revealed. It is the night when every matter of ordainment is decreed. Allah says in what can be translated as:
Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr is? The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. There is peace until the appearance of dawn. (Quran: Al-Qadr, verse 1-5).
A person who misses Laylatul-Qadr is really a deprived person! Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) Said?
“The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night during this month, which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived of something great. (Ahmad)
Therefore it is recommended that the Muslim who is eager to be obedient to Allah should stand in Prayer during this night out of Faith and in hope of a great reward. If he does this, Allah will forgive his previous sins.
To know more about Laylatul-Qadr, its benefits, dua, and how to seek it, please read this article: Laylatul-Qadr: The ultimate guide.
- Performing Umrah
Umrah is considered one of the best deeds particularly when it is performed in the month of Ramadan. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) Said:
“Umrah during Ramadan is equal to the performance of pilgrimage or equal to the performance of pilgrimage with me”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
May Allah increase our deeds in the blessed month of Ramadan!