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Ramadan is here and, with so many blessings awaiting us, we thought it would be helpful to put together a simple clear guide to help you reap as many benefits as possible.
‘This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah’s Mercy, the middle of which brings Allah’s forgiveness and the last part of which brings emancipation from hellfire’. (Bukhari)
Here is how you can optimise your rewards by concentrating on the significance of each and every part of Ramadan.
The First Ten Days of Ramadan
We get it—it’s exciting; this is the most blessed time of the year and there are so many ways in which we can express our love for Allah (SWT) that we want to do everything at once. But too many people simply burn out in the first few days. Remember, consistency is the key.
Also known as the Days of Mercy, these first ten days of Ramadan teach us to pace ourselves in our worship and charity, so we don’t burn out later on.
Here are a few ideas to help you plan out these days.
The virtues of reciting Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi (Allah is free from imperfection and His is the praise) one hundred times a day are amplified in Ramadan. Try to do this in addition to any Nafl (voluntary) acts which attract the same level of reward as Fard (obligatory) deeds in this month.
Start by reciting Dhikr ten times before and after each daily prayer. Then, slowly integrate one additional Du’a after Fajr and one Taraweeh prayer at night. It doesn’t get easier than this to earn rewards in Ramadan.
This is not only the best time to be at the end of receiving mercy, but also to be the one giving it. Practice by carrying out simple acts of kindness towards your family, friends, and those needy.
In these pandemic times, you can be merciful from the safety of your own home simply by giving a nutritious Iftar meal to a starving Muslim in Afghanistan with Aryana Aid.
Yes, reciting the entire Qur’an in a month can seem daunting for some people. Ease into it, especially during the first days of Ramadan by reading a few pages after each prayer. This way, the task won’t seem insurmountable anymore.
The Second Ten Days of Ramadan
Are you tired already? It’s not uncommon for people to feel a bit drained during these second ten days of Ramadan that focus on forgiveness. But don’t worry, your body is adjusting to the fasting routine and you’ll find more energy as you settle into the month.
We already know that every good deed is multiplied in Ramadan. But how great is it that Allah (SWT) also provides us with an opportunity to repent for our sins through charity?
His Messenger Himself said in a Hadith: “Charity (Sadaqah) extinguishes sin, just as water extinguishes fire”. [Tirmidhi, 614]
If you want to extinguish your sins continuously, you can opt for giving Sadaqah Jariyah, a form of charity that benefits both the giver and the receiver for a lifetime and beyond. Sponsor a child or donate a wheelchair with Aryana Aid to achieve this.
Remember that cousin you haven’t spoken to in a year because of a long-lasting grudge that doesn’t even feel justified anymore? Give them a call. Take the first step towards forgiveness and Allah (SWT) will meet you in the middle.
Ablution is another way in which we can purify ourselves of sins.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said ’A Muslim man does not perform ablution in an excellent manner and then performs prayer, but that Allah will forgive him for what occurred between his prayer and the next’. [Bukhari]
Even better—double your rewards; this Ramadan, facilitate wudu for those who live in extreme poverty, with no access to clean water. Donate a water well to a poor village in Afghanistan.
The Last Ten Days of Ramadan
If you feel like decreasing your worship during these last ten days, don’t. You could miss out on what many scholars describe as the best days of the year. This is how to revive your worship.
Among the last 10 odd nights of Ramadan, there’s one ‘better than a thousand months’—Laylatul Qadr or the Night of Power. Whoever gives Zakat or Sadaqah on this night will receive rewards as if for 83 years of charity!
So, if we don’t know exactly when Laylatu Qadr is, how are we supposed to know when to give charity? It’s simple. We give a little bit of charity every night.
With Aryana Aid, you can donate Iftars, help Afghan orphans regain their mobility and continue their education, build a water well and more with either Zakat or Sadaqah—so, plenty of causes to choose from!
Allah (SWT) commands that everyone should break their fast on Eid al-Fitr with a big, healthy meal. Therefore, all Muslims have to pay Fitrana (also known as Zakat al-Fitr or Sadaqah al-Fitr) to a poor individual who can’t afford food for Eid. This is payable by the head of the household for each man, woman, and child in the family. Pay Fitrana to a poor Afghan with Aryana Aid—only £5 per person.
While Ramadan is a special month that awakens immense joy in our hearts, it’s not the only time when we should strive for Taqwa (awareness of God). Instead, bettering our relationship with our Maker is an ongoing endeavour that continues long after Ramadan.
So, in these last ten days, make sure to renew your intentions for the rest of the year and think of ways in which you can apply all the great lessons of this blessed month to your day-to-day life.
Aryana Aid wishes you and your family a blessed Ramadan. May Allah keep us all safe in these challenging times!
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