A Muslim Day in Ramadan: From Morning Till Evening


The following notes are from an Ilminar conducted by Shaykh Riad Ourzazi.

Ramadan is on the verge of leaving us.  How many people do you know who prayed last Ramadan who are not with us this Ramadan?

Surah Al Baqarah v. 153:  Siyam has been prescribed for you as it was for those who came before you so that you may obtain piety.

This is the month of siyam, Quran, forgiveness.  Hadeeth of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam):  A man will come on the Day of Judgment with another man and will want to take back what the other man took from him.  Allah showed him a palace in Jannah in said that if he forgave the other man, then it would be his.  The man said he forgives the other man, and Allah told him enter Jannah.  Then Allah said that He is the most forgiving, so take the other man’s hand and enter Jannah.

We were just talking about the man who forgave the other, and Allah told him to take his brother’s hand and go to Jannah.  If Allah forgives, then will not you?  Why wouldn’t you?

As the amal increase in this blessed month, they multiply and likewise the bad deeds multiply as well.  Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) said something interesting.  It is not a hadeeth of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) but is only mentioned by Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu ‘anhu).  Ibn Abbas said:  “The inner sins are greater than the outer sins.”  The sins starting with the heart are greater.  The sins done with the heart are greater than those done with the physical faculties.  For instance, if you are talking to a girl on the phone and all of a sudden your mother or father comes in and your heart starts beating and you change the conversation.  In fact, the heart that starts beating:  the sin in itself is greater because you are not afraid of Allah when you were doing something haram.  That particular sin is greater than the sin itself.

Allah is watching us not only in Ramadan.  Ramadan is a training we have to endure so that we can get ready for other things.  Jaabir ibn Abdullah used to say to let your tongue fast and your physical faculties also fast along with you.  You leave a lot of halal things in Ramadan.  You leave halal and do haram.  In Ramadan you leave that which is halal and without realizing end up doing haram and eat the haram meat of people by doing gheebah and nameemah.

Let us take a 24 hour trip on how to live Ramadan from morning to evening.  A day in Shari’ah starts from salat al fajr until maghrib, and the night starts from maghrib until fajr.  This is a very practical talk.  First, we will have a goal.  The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah will save souls from Hell fire throughout the month of Ramadan” (Ibn Hibban, Al Hakim, Ibn Majah, Al Bayhaqi).  Every night souls are saved from Hellfire.  May Allah make us of those whose souls are saved from Hellfire.

Let us go on this trip from morning until evening.  The adab of fajr should find you inside the masjid especially the brothers.  Hadeeth in Sahih Muslim:  For the women, praying in the home is better than the masjid, but do not prevent women from going to the masjid.  Nowadays, women should go to the masjid for taraweeh and to benefit.  So the adab of fajr is to pray it inside the masjid.  Make sure that you are in the masjid before the adhan of salat al fajr.  One of the salaf said, “For the past 40 years, any time that the mu’adhin would make adhan, he would find me inside the masjid.”  There are so many benefits of being inside the masjid before the adhan.  First of all, I want to give you this example of a person (not you brothers and sisters, but a person who does not fear Allah) who has a meeting with a girl or a girl who has a meeting with a boy, and the boy sits in front of his mirror for half an hour an preparing himself and dressing up and then checks and goes back to the mirror to make sure he is looking cool.  He is getting ready to go and meet this person whom he loves.  You all claim that you love Allah and are going to His masjid and going to meet Him, then how would you go and meet Allah?  How is your heart?  The person’s heart starts beating faster the closer and closer the time comes to meeting the girl.  Do you prepare yourself to go to the masjid and meet Allah?  Or do you prepare to go for the last rak’ah?  There are constantly people who are late for the salah and try to get what they can get, but this person has missed a lot of benefits by being early in the masjid.

There is a beautiful hadeeth of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) reported by Bukhari and Muslim and narrated by Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) says:  “If people knew what reward is in the call (i.e. the adhan) and the first row, and there is no other way to settle the matter other than drawing lots then they will draw lots for it.”  This means that if people all come on time and try to get into the first row, but there is only limited space, then they will draw lots for the first row.

Try to get into the right side of the row because a hadeeth in Tabarani talks about this and is reported by Ibn Hajr in Fath Al Bari.  Aisha (radhi Allahu ‘anha) narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:  “But Allah and all of his angels send all of their salaams and make du’a for those who pray in the right side of the row.”  There is more reward in praying in the right side of the row.  How do you get this?  By being in the masjid early.

Another benefit:  Obtaining the first takbeerat of the salah.  If you come late, you will not benefit from this.  Anas (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said:  “Whosoever prays forty days in jama’ah without missing takbeerat al ihram, Allah will give him two declarations of immunity / innocence:  one from the Hellfire and the other declaration of innocence from hypocrisy.”  Imagine, may Allah forbid, you go into court and worried about the case and are so scared and know that you are innocent so you hire the dream team of lawyers to defend you and in the end the judge comes back and says you are innocent, how would you feel?  How would you feel if Allah gives you two declarations of innocence?  A declaration of immunity from hellfire and a declaration of immunity from nifaq all from praying forty days in jama’ah and not missing takbeerat al ihram.

Salat al jama’ah is above all other salah by 25 / 27 levels.  Another benefit is that if you come early to the masjid, you can pray the nawafil between the adhan and the iqamah.  If you come early for salat al dhuhr and pray the sunnah as soon as you hear the sunnah:  Umm Habiba (radhi Allahu ‘anha) narrates that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) says in a hadeeth reported in Ibn Majah and At Tirmidhi: “Whosoever prays 4 rak’at before and after dhuhr will be saved from Hellfire.”

Another benefit: The du’a between adhan and iqamah is granted and answered, so when you hear the adhan and then do the sunnah and sit waiting for the iqamah, make du’a because it is granted at that time.  The supplication is answered at that time.  When you hear the adhan, send the salat on the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam).  Whosoever says the du’a of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) will receive the intercession of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) on the Day of Judgment. [Found in hadeeth in Bukhari].

Now you are inside the masjid before fajr and hear the adhan and pray the sunnah of the two rak’at and then recite the Quran.  In Surah Al Isra v. 78, Allah says: “The Quran that is recited in fajr is witnessed by Allah and His angels.”  The ulema by consensus say that here in this ayah, the meaning is the Quran recited in salat al fajr.  Do not miss salat al fajr, especially in a masjid and in Ramadan.

Many of us in Ramadan pray the sunnah and leave the fard when praying taraweeh.  We pray taraweeh in huge numbers but leave salat al fajr in jama’ah.

In Vallejo, a friend of the Shaykh said he went to Palestine and to Bayt al Maqdis and was taking pictures.  A rabbi came to him and asked him where he was from.  The rabbi asked how the Muslims are in that country in terms of prayers and asked if more Muslims are going to the masajid.  The man said there are many who go to Friday prayers.  The rabbi asks about the other prayers and said, “How about the early morning prayer?”  The man said only one row or half depending on the masjid.  The rabbi took him to an old school where there were many Jewish children learning Torah, and the rabbi said something in Hebrew, and all the children started jumping up and down.  The man asked the rabbi what he said.  The rabbi said, “I remember when your Prophet was sick and before he died, he could not pray in jama’ah for five days.  Remember the day when he stood up in the fajr prayer and looked at the masjid and it was crowded and smiled and was happy that your nation was in good shape.  You are now telling me the masajid are not crowded, which means to us that we still have the upper hand on the Muslims.”  Salat al fajr!

After you pray salat al fajr, you sit.  Do not say one salaam in the masjid and the other from your car. You have been standing before Allah and praying.  Sit after the prayer in your place and say the adhkar of salah.  In the Fortress of the Muslim, they have the du’a to recite after salah.  After fajr, say ten times:  “la ilaha ilAllah wahdahu la shareekah la, lahul mulk wa lahul hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer.”  Open the Fortress of the Muslim after the salah and recite the adhkar.  Recite ayat al kursi.  This is all done sitting facing the qiblah.  Then recite Surah Al Ikhlaas, Sural Al Falaq, and Surah An Nas three times. Then you can do the adhkar of as-sabah.  When you do this adkhar, engage your hearts!  Engage your hearts on the pleasure of Allah.  The trees, oceans, and mountains all make dhikr of Allah.  Look at your hand.  SubhanAllah!  Breathe.  SubhanAllah!

Keep Fortress of the Muslim and a pocket size Quran with you everywhere you are.  If you have spare time, start reading the Quran.

There is a lot of benefit staying inside the masjid and reciting the Quran and then praying the two rak’ah which have the reward of Hajj and umrah.  Don’t forget to recite at least ½ a juz of the Quran.  You want to complete the recitation of the Quran in Ramadan.  It is not too late and you can do it!  This was the habit of the salaf that they would finish the Quran.  Allah blessed their time and their life so that they would come close to Him.  Try to complete the recitation at least once.  How would you do this?  Recite ½ a juz in the morning and another ½ after salat al asr or whenever you can.

Do not miss salat al-dhuha.  The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) called it the salah of the obedient.  Reported by Imam Ahmad in his musnad:  Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet would never miss the salat al-awabeen, which was salat al dhuha.  This is all training and the best training is in Ramadan.

Try to pray salat al dhuhr inside the masjid.  Try to be there ahead of the adhan so that you can benefit.  If you are at work or school, then try to pray the sunnah and say the adkhar after the salah.  Then pray the sunnah after salat al dhuhr.  You can do this regardless of where you are.  Make time to do this.  You are comforted in the remembrance of Allah.

Asr approaches.  Get ready for salat al asr.  The hadeeth of the sunnah of salat al asr:  “Whosoever prays four rak’at before asr benefits from the Mercy of Allah.”  Always make du’a.  You have no time to waste!  You do not know if you will make it to the next Ramadan, so take advantage of this Ramadan.  Say the adkhar of the evening.

Before maghrib, try to complete the recitation of the juz of the Quran.  As soon as you hear the adhan, rush to iftar.  Make du’a and say the du’a of breaking the fast.  Have dates with you at all times and extra dates with you.  Give dates to other Muslims.  Ask Allah to accept your fasting from you.  Pray salat al maghrib.  Sit and say the adhkar.  Pray your sunnah and then go back and eat.

When we eat, there is something we tend to forget.  Allah says in Surah Al An’am v. 99: “Feast your eyes with the throat…”  Many Muslims do not have anything to break your fast with while Allah has left you with so much food.  Thank Allah for this blessing and eat, but do not knock yourself out.  Leave 1/3 for food, 1/3 for water, and 1/3 for air.

Now that you have eaten, you may want to take some rest.  Then get ready for salat al isha in jama’ah.  Make family circle time, which is very important.

Go to the masjid and sit down and wait for the salah.  You can make du’a or read the Quran.  Time is very precious, and you have no time to waste!

Once you have prayed, then you go back home.  Do not stay up too late!  Many youth are addicted to staying up and when they wake up for fajr, they are sleepy.  Before you sleep, make wudu.  Pray another two raka’ah or so and recite Surah Al Mulk before sleeping.  Ask your spouse for forgiveness before sleeping.  Say the du’a before sleeping.  Recite ayat al kursi, which is very important!  Do not miss out on this before sleeping!  Allah will send an angel who will guard you the entire night.

Go to sleep with the niyyah of qiyam al layl.  This is one of the times when the du’a is granted.  Eat suhoor before salat al fajr.  The sunnah of suhoor is to make it as late as you can right before the adhan of salat al fajr.

This is your 24-hour day in Ramadan.

Some quick advice:

  • Have sincere intentions to Allah in Ramadan.
  • Repent!  Repentance is also for the believers. “O you who believe, repent to Allah.”
  • Be happy in the month of Ramadan.  The sahabah used to be extremely happy in this month.
  • Pray inside the masjid in jama’ah in Ramadan.
  • Try to help people break their fasts.
  • Thank Allah for the bounties He has blessed you with.
  • Do not miss out on any obedience that you can do:  give charity, pray in the janazah, visit others.
  • Make sure that your tongue is busy with the remembrance of Allah.
  • Do not waste time in Ramadan.
  • Make sure your heart and physical faculties are fasting in Ramadan.
  • Ask Allah every night to save you from Hellfire.
  • Give charity every day in Ramadan.
  • Enjoin good and forbid evil.
  • Strive to be good.
  • Strive to tie your bonds of kinship.
  • Bring happiness to the hearts of the Muslims.
  • Be in the service of your brothers and sisters.
  • Be generous.
  • Strive to be good to your neighbors.
  • Do not laugh too much in Ramadan.  Why?  Too much laughter kills the hearts.
  • Stay away from arguments.
  • When you talk, only talk good or be quiet.
  • Increase the recitation of the Quran.
  • Pray taraweeh in the masjid.
  • Pray qiyam al layl.
  • Say the qunoot and make sure you say a long du’a and have a long qiyam.
  • Stay away from the masajid where there is bid’ah.
  • Pray with devotion and concentration.
  • Increase in the nawafil.
  • Seek the best times when the du’a is granted.
  • Seek istighfar early in the mornings before fajr.
  • If you can make umrah, then do it because umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj with the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam).
  • Mix your ibadat in Ramadan.  If you keep doing one thing, you may get bored, so if you try to do different things, then you will not be bored.
  • Beware of the ignorant who want to argue with you or waste your time.
  • Beware of intermingling.
  • Increase your ibadat in the last 10 days.
  • Seek laylat al qadr.  Ask Allah to make you of those to witness laylat al qadr.
  • Decrease from eating in Ramadan.
  • Train children to fast in Ramadan.
  • Beware of the human shayateen.
  • Have patience and perseverance.
  • Be aware that you are fasting on halal and not breaking your fast on haram.
  • Fast as if this is the last Ramadan in your life.
  • Ask Allah to let you enter Jannah through the gate of Ar-Rayan.

Q&A

Many people have the question, if the shayateen are locked, then why do we do bad things?  Not all shayateen are locked.  The Shaytan that is always with you is there and the Shaytan who comes to you in salah is there. The human shayateen are always there, and sometimes they are worse!

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) was the most generous in Ramadan.  In one minute you can make du’a, give sadaqah, make dhikr.  The Prophet said a treasure of Jannah is saying “la hawla wa la quwatta illa billah.”

The currency on the Day of Judgment is good and bad deeds.  You do not want those who you have oppressed to ask on the Day of Judgment for your hasanat.  The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said the bankrupt is a person who has mountains of good deeds who oppressed others and they take all of his good deeds and there are still more people waiting in line so they give him their bad deeds.  This is the month of forgiveness.  Break the Shaytan’s back and go and ask people for forgiveness.

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