Orphan Sponsorship Scheme
‘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)
Ramadan is here, and the blessings of Allah (SWT) are waiting to rain down on us over the smallest act of devotion -that’s how merciful our Lord is. So how will you make the most of this beautiful month? We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help inspire you.
Ramadan is divided into three parts. These are called Ashra, meaning ten days. Here’s how you can optimise your rewards by concentrating on the significance of each.
The First Ten Days of Ramadan
We all feel excited at the beginning of Ramadan. But don’t try to do everything all at once and burn out in the first few days. Remember, consistency is key, and it’s not how you start but how you finish that matters most.
The Days of Mercy teach us to pace ourselves in our worship and charity while being merciful towards ourselves too. Take care of yourself so you’re able to make the most of the entire month. Here are a few ideas to help you plan out these days:
Perform Taraweeh and other Night Prayers
Taraaweeh prayer is Sunnah Mustahabbah (ie. recommended) and falls under the heading of Qiyaam al-Layl (night prayers). Praying Qiyaam in Ramadan is one of the greatest acts of worship and is a means of drawing closer to Allah (SWT). The Prophet (PBUH) said:
‘Whoever prays Qiyaam in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.’(Bukhari)
So start by praying Taraweeh after Isha, every night, and eventually, you can work your way up to performing tahajjud as well. This is easier in Ramadan, than it is at any other time in the year, because we wake up for Suhoor before sunrise any way. So after making Wudhu and before you have your breakfast, pray two rak’ahsof tahajjud!
Recite ‘Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi’
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 20 times after each of your five daily prayers, to complete a set of one hundred each day.
In these times of global difficulty and stress, which is affecting us all, it’s easy to forget to be kind. Though it may not come naturally at first, force yourself to practice mercy by carrying out simple acts of kindness towards your family, friends, and those in need. Remember, to be on the receiving end of mercy, we must but able to show mercy ourselves.
‘The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.’ (Tirmidhi)
Here’s a good place to start: donate a food pack or Iftar meal to families in Afghanistan who are facing starvation this Ramadan.
Read the Holy Qur’an.
The Holy Qur’an was first revealed in Ramadan, and the first word/command was, ‘Iqra!’ (read). So Reading the book of Allah this month is a must.
‘Read the Quran, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.’ (Muslim)
Don’t let the thought of completing the whole Qur’an in 30 days daunt you and put you off. Ease into it by reading a page or two after each prayer and slowly build on that. This way, the task won’t seem insurmountable anymore.
The Second Ten Days of Ramadan: Days of Forgiveness
Feeling a bit tired? It’s not uncommon now, but don’t worry, your body is adjusting to the fasting routine and you’ll find more energy as you settle into the month. Don’t let that temporary drop in energy prevent you from taking advantage of this second Ashra. Here are some easy ways to gain forgiveness, in these days of forgiveness.
Extinguish your sins with charity
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 by giving charity? Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
‘Charity (Sadaqah) extinguishes sin, just as water extinguishes fire.’ (Tirmidhi)
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. You can give Sadaqah Jariyah with Aryana Aid by Sponsoring a child or donating a wheelchair.
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. Our Prophet (PBUH) said:
‘Forgive others and Allah will forgive you.’ (Musnad Ahmad)
So take the first step towards forgiveness and Allah (SWT) will meet you in the middle.
Make Wudu regularly.
Ablution is another way in which we can purify ourselves of sins. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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)
Here’s a way to do even better this Ramadan: enable others to take wudhu with water you can help to provide. In a rural part of Afghanistan, people living in extreme poverty have no access to clean water. Donate a water well to a poor village.
The Last Ten Days of Ramadan: Safety from Hellfire
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. Here’s how you can revive your worship and make the most of what remains of the blessed month:
Give Zakat and Sadaqah during Laylatul Qadr.
Among the last 10 nights of Ramadan, there’s one that’s 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!
The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. (Holy Quran 97:3)
But 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.
Pay Fitrana before Eid Salah.
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.
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar said that the Holy Prophet (PBHU) ordered the people to pay Zakat al Fitr before going to the Eid prayer. (Bukhari)
This is payable by the head of the household for each man, woman, and child in the family. Fitrana is £5 per person. Pay yours online through Aryana Aid, and ensure a poor person in Afghanistan can enjoy a warm meal this Eid.
Do more Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and Make Dua
The benefits of reciting Dhikr are countless. It removes care and worry and brings joy to the heart. It encourages us to turn back to Allah in every state. It drives away Shaytaan, and most importantly, it pleases our Lord and draws us closer to Him.
Those who engage in remembering Allah on the days of Ramadan are cleansed of their sins, and those who wish from Allah are not left empty-handed. (Holy Quran 8:464)
Together with Dhikr, make lots of Dua too – Allah wants us to ask of Him, and what better time than now, in the last ten days of Ramadan?
Renew your intentions for the rest of the year
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!
Currently our focus is on working with Afghan refugees who are in dire need of our support. Our current fundraising is dedicated to supporting these individuals.