Ramadhaan is a month of devoting oneself to the worship of Allah Ta‘ala more than at any other time. It is a time of charging the batteries of imaan to a peak. It is a time to develop the noble qualities of patience and kindness towards one’s fellow beings. Ramadhaan is a gift to cherish, a treasure to value and an absolute boon and blessing to the Ummah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
In order to make the best of this month, one should make a proper programme as to how one will spend this month. There will be those fortunate ones who will manage to free themselves from all worldly activities and devote the entire month of Ramadhaan for deen. Such people should be extremely grateful to Allah Ta‘ala for this favour and hence they should make the best use of every moment. Many others will not have the same opportunity. Nevertheless, they too can use every moment fruitfully.
Firstly, one should look at one’s daily programme and determine which worldly activities could be totally given up in this month. Such aspects must be completely avoided. If something can be postponed till after Ramadhaan, it should certainly be postponed. Then decide what can be scaled down. For example, one may decide to re-open the business half an hour later in the afternoon and take some rest at that time so that one will be fresh for taraweeh salaah at night. Perhaps one may decide to close up an hour earlier at the end of the day in order to devote that time to the recitation of the Quraan. This will not affect one’s sustenance. That is fixed. In no aayah of the Quraan or in any hadeeth has it been mentioned that one will only be granted sustenance if one works from “eight to five.” Rather, if one works from “nine to four” in order to devote the rest of the time for deen, Allah Ta‘ala will grant one much more barakah in that time. Besides this, while one is busy in one’s daily activities, one could also at the same time be engaged in zikr of the kalimah and in istighfaar. The bottom line is that one should plan one’s time in Ramadhaan.
Muslim employers should attempt to make some concessions for their Muslim staff in this month and encourage them to use that time for deen. To whatever extent possible, their workloads should also be decreased.
Refraining from Sin
The above pertains to postponing or scaling down worldly activity which is PERMISSIBLE so that one could devote more time to deen. Generally, most people do engage in much ‘ibaadah in this month. Besides the five daily salaah which is obviously compulsory, many also engage in nafl salaah, recitation of the Quraan, zikr, charity, etc. This is indeed wonderful and should be increased as much as possible. However, more important than this is… absolutely refraining from all sin at every single moment. Often in order to “pass time” people engage in idle chatter even in the month of Ramadhaan. This chatter more often than not involves one in gheebat (backbiting) – a sin that has been described as worse than zina (adultery) in the hadeeth. What type of fast is this, that a person refrains from lawful relations with his wife during the time of fasting, but engages in an act which is worse than zina? He refrains from eating the halaal flesh of permissible animals, but “eats” the haraam flesh of his fellow brother!
Ruining the Blessings
Likewise, many people ‘piously’ comment: “In Ramadhaan I only watch the news.” Can one ever avoid the zina of the eyes and ears when watching ANYTHING on the “Shaitaan box.” What is earned by fasting, is ruined in the “news.” The month of Ramadhaan is also not for wasting on sports grounds, whether playing or spectating. Similarly, it is not a month to “pass time” touring or going for aimless “drives.” By means of these things we end up ruining the blessings of this great month.
“Virtues of Ramadhaan”
One needs to have the correct concept of this gift of Allah Ta‘ala in mind with the true perspective of this treasure in one’s heart. For this one must become fully acquainted with the extensive guidance that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has given us in this regard. For this purpose, one should read the “Virtues of Ramadhaan” by Shaikhul Hadeeth Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya Saheb (rahimahullah). Choose an appropriate time when the entire family can sit together and have this read out to them daily for ten minutes. Do not regard this as insignificant. Go ahead… try it out… and notice the difference. To read it to one’s family is extremely important so that they too could appreciate this great month. May Allah Ta‘ala enable us to use every moment fruitfully in this month.