Welcoming Ramadan

Sunnahs of the Prophet (saw) during Ramadan

I attended a welcoming Ramadan workshop a couple of days ago. Sharing some notes on the sunnah of the Prophet (saw) during the month of Ramadan that were discussed during the workshop. 

a. Having suhoor

Having suhoor is the sunnah of Prophet (saw). Many of us skip this sunnah by eating before sleeping and waking up later to pray fajr. 

Irbadh (RA) narrates that Prophet (saw) said while calling a person to suhoor: “Come towards the meal of Barakah” (Abu Daud). 

Do not skip suhoor this Ramadan for it’s a sunnah and there is barakah in it. Having something sweet in suhoor is also a sunnah. 

Abu Huraira (RA) narrates that Prophet saw said that the best suhoor is khajoor.

b. Increase in worship

We strive to get more and more taqwa in the month of Ramadan – attaining taqwa is to stop everything that is disliked by Allah. Prophet (saw) used to increase the amount of all kinds of worship in Ramadan: dhikr, salah, nawafil, recitation of the holy Quran, staying up the night to worship. Make it a goal to increase in worship to maximize the ajar this Ramadan.

c. Decrease sleep in Ramadan

During the month of Ramadan, Prophet (saw) used to decrease the number of hours he slept and used to spend that time in worship. Decreasing the sleep is also a way to train our nafs. 

Aisha (RA) narrated that Prophet (saw) slept less during the earlier days of Ramadan (as compared to non-ramadan), and in the last ten days of Ramadan he’d almost stop sleeping (Subul al Hadi)

d. Decrease in food consumption

There is a relationship between our outside actions and inward feelings. If we eat more in Ramadan than we do everyday then the entire purpose of training our nafs and fasting is defeated. Eating too much food makes us feel lethargic and diverts our focus from other activities. Going into a food coma after iftar and not wanting to do anything after is not the purpose of iftar. During Ramadan, Prophet saw used to be so busy in worship that he wouldn’t get time for food.  

Aisha (RA) narrated that Prophet (saw) would eat his night meal at the time of suhoor during the last ten days of Ramadan. (Subul al Hadi)

e. Waking up family for worship during nights of Ramadan

Do Qiyam-al-Layl during ramadan and encourage your family members and loved ones to stay up the night in worship as well.

 Aisha (RA) narrates that when the last ten days of Ramadan started Prophet (saw) would get busy in worship for complete nights and would also wake his family up for worship and would separate himself from his wives. (Muslim)

f. Complete recitation of the Holy Quran

Finish at least one Quran in Ramadan and recite it properly – recite it the way Prophet saw did. Reciting the Arabic has its own reward and blessings and learning the translation and tafseer has its own.

 Abu Huraira (RA) narrates that every year (in Ramadan) Sayyidna Jibrael would read out Quran to Prophet (saw) once, and the year when the Prophet (saw) passed away, Jibrael (AS) read it out to Prophet twice. (Bukhari) 

There is a special connection between Quran and Ramadan so read as much Quran as you can.

g. Taking shower

Even taking a shower can become ibadah if you make the intention of following the sunnah of our Prophet (saw). 

A companion narrated that I saw Prophet (saw) pouring water on himself due to intense heat. (Abu Daud)

h. Using Miswak.

Using miswak while fasting is a sunah and should be practiced. Miswak doesn’t break the fast.

Rabeea (rA) narrates that I saw Prophet (saw) do miswak while fasting many times. 

i. Encouraging children to fast

Muawwaz (RA) narrates that we used to make children fast; when we would go to the mosque we’d arrange a toy fro them made of wool and even if they cried, we’d give them food at iftar time. (Muslim).

The goal behnd this practice was to introduce children close to maturity to the concept of fasting so that when the time comes, they are mentally prepared. At the age of 7, start encouraging them and when the fast is obligated upon them they are acquainted with the practice and have less difficulty fasting.

j. Sunnah of Iftar

It’s a sunnah not to delay the iftaar: 

Qutba bin Qatadah narrates that Prophet (saw) would break his fast as soon as the sunset. (Ahmad)

It’s a sunnah to conclude fast with fresh dates, dry dates or water: 

Anas (RA) narrates that if there were no fresh dates then the Prophet (saw) would break his fast with dry dates and if there were no dry dates then he’d break his fast with few sips of water. (Tirmidhi)

k. Searching for the night of Qadr

Make special arrangements and schedule changes to permit yourself to search for the night of Qadr in the last ashore. 

Aisha (RA) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said: Search for the night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of ramadan. (Bukhari)

Dua for the night of Qadr:

l. Practice Itikaaf

Prophet (saw) use to practice itikaf (spiritual retreat) to search for the night of Qadr. Itikaf is when you seclude yourself form others in order to focus on worshiping Allah (swt). Prophet saw did Itikaaf persistently throughout his life.

Aisha (RA) narrates that Prophet (saw) performed itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he passed away, and after that, his wives used to do itikaaf. (Bukhari)

Nowadays, people take it lightly and do not understand its significance. If a person is able to do itikaaf, then it’s highly recommended that he does so in the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Let’s strive to follow as many sunnahs as we can this Ramadan inshallah!