Practical Way To Benefit From Ramadhaan – Mustafa George (hafidhahullaah)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful.
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, his Companions and his family members and all those who follow them until the Last Day.
The following post is based on the notes from the lecture of Br. Mustafa George that he gave Saturday Aug. 16th at Masjid Rahmah, Newark NJ. The topic of the lecture was “How to Benefit from Ramadhaan Practically”
Practically benefitting from Ramadhaan should be divided into 2 Categories:
Goals and Preparations
Each person should make goals that he wants to achieve in the month of Ramadhaan. The following are just examples and they should be modified according to the person’s abilities and circumstances.
Here are some examples:
1) I want to finish the Qur’aan from cover to cover 1 time, or 2 times, or 5 times, etc.
2) I want to start Riyaad us-Saaliheen with my family, or I want to start teaching my family from Kitaab at-Tawheed or other beneficial books.
3) For the sister – I want to fix that which is between me and my sister.
4) I want to start praying Tahajjud regularly in Ramadhaan and continue after Ramadhaan
5) I want to memorize some dua’s from the Sunnah which I can continue saying even after Ramadhaan.
Each person should make a daily planner for Ramadhaan.
- If the person prays fajr at home, then he should pray in congregation in the month of Ramadhaan.
- Then after coming home, let him sit down with his family, either his wife and kids or with his parents and siblings and read the Qur’aan together. So each person reads one page or two pages.
- Then when the brother has to go to work, instead of listening to 1010 news station or some other radio channel that he usually listens to, he buys some beneficial lectures and listens to those while going to work and coming back. Its best if he listens to a series of lectures for example on ‘Aqeedah or the Correct Manhaj.
- At work, during his lunch time, he reads the Qur’aan or memorizes some du’as from the Sunnah which he is not familiar with.
The person can also tell his co-workers that – “This is the month of Ramadhaan, so please do not curse around me. Do not make too many jokes around me. Do not listen to music at your desks when I am around, etc.”
Then when he is coming back home, similarly, he listens to the Qur’aan or listens to some beneficial lectures to use that time wisely in Ramadhaan. (Note: Even though, this should be done outside of Ramadhaan as well because free time is a blessing from Allah. It should be used for the worship of Allah or in doing actions which will increase us in knowledge of the religion and help us to do righteous actions.)
- When he gets home, he can take a short nap and ask his wife or family members to wake him up in half an hour or 45 mins. Its important that we don’t sleep the whole time from ‘asr till maghrib so as to make use of this time with our families inshaAllah.
- After getting up, he again reads the Qur’aan with his family or if he wants to read Qur’aan in the morning and a beneficial book like Riyaad us-Saaliheen in the evening, then he does that. So if he reads Riyaad us-Saaliheen for example, each person can read a few ahaadeeths and then you ask everyone, “What did you benefit from that hadith?”
This questioning is done as a way of teaching and this was also the way of Prophet Muhammad sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam with his Companions.
It will also make everyone think about some of the benefits that can be derived from the ahaadith which were read. And other people can add other benefits which they thought of to make this more fruitful inshaAllah.
- At iftaar time, the parents can ask their kids to bring over their friends for iftaar. This will achieve several things bi’idhnillah.
1) You will gain the reward of providing food for the ones who are fasting
2) The parents will be able to know who your kids keep company with (i.e. who are their friends)
3) It can be said to the kids, “Let’s sit together since this is the month of Ramadhaan and read a book on fasting or any other beneficial book, or some ahaadiths”
This will motivate the kids to take this idea to their parents so they can implement it in their households as well. This will earn the parents the reward of helping others onto something good and earn a copy of their good deeds without their deeds being diminished in any way.
- Or one day, the husband can bring over the brothers for iftaar. Instead of talking about the normal things that brothers talk about when they get together, it can be said to them, “Since this is the month of Ramadhaan, let’s sit down and read a few ahaadiths so that we get some benefit from the time”
Similarly here, they might take this idea to their households and start implementing this also so you can bring some goodness to others by encouraging them to get some benefit from the time.
- Likewise, one day, the wife can bring over the sisters for iftaar and also encourage them to read from a book instead of talking about whatever the sisters talk about normally.
- Then comes time for taraweeh. If the family is accustomed to praying taraweeh at home, then they take the initiative to go and pray in the masjid. And its important to the take the whole family to the masjid so everyone realizes that this is the month of Ramadhaan where we have to do extra worship to get closer to Allah and one of those extra acts of worship is praying Taraweeh.
It is important to note here that many Muslims don’t understand that worship falls into different categories. For example, there are those acts of worship which are obligatory, such as praying 5 times a day and then those which are recommended (i.e. Sunnah in the fiqh sense of the word) such as Taraweeh.
Its particularly sad to see that many of the Muslims neglect the obligatory duties such as praying in congregation for the men but they feel like they have fallen short if they don’t pray taraweeh in the month of Ramadhaan. Even though its good to see that the Muslims have zeal in the month of Ramadhaan to pray taraweeh, we need to understand that praying in congregation for the men inside and outside the month of Ramadhaan is more important and has a greater reward than praying Taraweeh. And Allah Knows Best.
- Then after Taraweeh, you come home and this is the time now when you need to work on our personal connection with Allah.
Think, o Slave of Allah, of the many blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you.
Has He not guided you to the Sunnah and has made your feet firm upon it?
Has He not chosen for you Islaam, out of so many people who are still wandering in the darkness of disbelief?
Why did Allah choose you? When in fact, He is in no need of your worship. So remind yourself that this guidance is a blessing from Allah and its a gift that He bestows upon whomever He wills.
Remind yourself that Allah has chosen for you the path of knowledge, such that He has placed the love of following the Qur’aan and the Sunnah according to the way of the Sahabah in your heart. Is this not a blessing from your Lord upon you?
Remind yourself that it could be that He wishes for the path of Jannah to become easy for you so He has made the path of knowledge open for you.
Remind yourself of all the blessings that He has given you in terms of good health.
- Then you should get some rest so that it becomes easy for you to wake up for Tahajjud inshaAllah later on in the night.
- For the last 10 nights of Ramadhaan, its a good idea to make a list of things that you want in the dunya and in the Next life. And then ask Allah for those things. Indeed, He gives without any measures. Keep in mind the hadith of the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam:
It was relayed on the authority of Abu Dhar al-Ghifari, radiyallahu ‘anhu, that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, said, of waht he related from his Lord, magnified and exhalted be He, Who said:
O My servants, even if the first amongst you and the last amongst you and the whole human race of yours and that of Jinns gather together on a sector of land and all ask of Me and if I were to give everyone of them what they asked, that will not in any way decrease what I have anymore than a needle decreases what is in the ocean when it is put into it. (Taken from Nawawi Hadith 24)
And you continue to follow this throughout the month of Ramadhaan so that Your Day in Ramadhaan is not Like the Day when you are Not Fasting.
Aside from that, there are many small and easy things which all of us can do to get more rewards in the month of Ramadhaan. Here are a few:
- Buy a few pack of water bottles and put them in the masjid so the people can have water to drink during Taraweeh
- Buy some tissues and leave them in the prayer area.
- Sponsor an iftaar at the masjid for the people
- Help out in setting up the iftaar in the masjid
- Come early and clean the masjid so the people come to a masjid which looks very clean
- Buy some air freshners and leave them to be used in the masjid
- Buy some burning incense to be used during Taraweeh
- Give rides to those who don’t have a means of transportation to the masjid for Taraweeh
- At the MSA’s, sponsor and arrange iftaars for the Muslim brothers and sisters in college
- Buy 30 or 40 copies of the Qur’aan and place them in the masjid for people to read during Ramadhaan
So there are many easy things that each one of us can do which we have the capability of doing in the month of Ramadhaan to achieve more good deeds for the sake of Allah alone.