Some Common Mistakes in Ramadhan
Lets Strive Not to Repeat the Same.
By Asma binti Shamim
1 : Taking Ramadhan as a ritual
For many of us Ramadhan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of Ibadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil....we forget to make doa, forget to beseech Allah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that's about all.
Although the Prophet said:
Jibril said to me, May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadan comes and his sins are not forgiven, and I said, Amin.
Then he said, May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, Amin.
Then he said, May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you, and I said, Amin..
(Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Sahih by al-Albaani)
2 : Too much stress on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about only food, instead of concentrating on Solah, Quran and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they turn the month of fasting into the month of feasting. Come breaking fast time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. It is also a kind of waste & extravagance.
".....and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not those who waste by extravagance) " [al-Araaf :31]
3 : Spending all day cooking
Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Isyak, let alone pray Tarawih or Tahajjud or even read Quran. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Iman!
4 : Eating too much
Some people stuff themselves at Sahur until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at breakingfast, like there is no tomorrow, trying to make up for the food missed. However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.
The Prophet said: "The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air." (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah. sahih by al-Albani).
Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.
It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.
5 : Sleeping all day
Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) sleeping away their fast. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot bear to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.
6 : Wasting time
The month of Ramadan is a precious, precious time, so much so that Allah calls this month 'A fixed number of days'. Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Trying to obey Allah by DISOBEYING him!
7 : Fasting but not giving up evil
Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haram businesses, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allah.
'O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaquun (the pious)' [al-Baqarah 2:183]
The Prophet said: "Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allah has no need of him giving up his food and drink." (Bukhari)
8 : Smoking
Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadan or outside of it, as it is one of evil things. And this includes ALL kinds of smoking material eg.cigars, cigarettes, pipes, sheesha etc.
"he allows them as lawful all good and lawful things, and prohibits them as unlawful all evil and unlawful things [al-Araaf :157]
It is harmful, not only to the one smoking, but also to the ones around him. It is also a means of wasting ones wealth.
The Prophet said: "There should be no harming or reciprocating harm."
This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast. (Fatwa -Ibn Uthaymin)
9 : Skipping Sahur
The Prophet said: "Eat sahur for in sahur there is blessing."(Bukhari, Muslim).
And he said: "The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating sahur." (Muslim)
11 : Not fasting if they missed Sahur
Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Sahur. However, this is a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal if you missed a few morsels of food? Its not like you will die. Remember, obedience to Allah overcomes everything.
13 : Delaying breaking fast
Some people wait until the azn finishes or even several minutes after that, just to be on the safe side. However, the Sunah is to hasten to break the fast, which means breaking fast whenever the azan starts, right after the sun has set. Aishah (RA) said: This is what the Messenger of Allah used to do. (Muslim)
The Prophet said: "The people will continue to do well so long as they hasten to break the fast." (Bukhaari, Muslim)
Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock, calendar, etc. and then have tawakkal on Allah and break your fast exactly on time.
14 : Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up
Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss Maghrib. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) was that once he broke his fast with some dates, them he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.
15 : Missing the golden chance of having your Doa accepted
The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast.
The Prophet "Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler." (al-Bayhaqi, sahih by al-Albani).
Instead of sitting down and making Doa at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it....Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfillment of your Doas.
16 : Fasting but not praying
The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet said: "Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer." (Muslim)
In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all annulled.
"Whoever does not pray Asr, his good deeds will be annulled." (Bukhaari)
17 : Fasting and not wearing Hijab
Not wearing the Hijab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim women. (See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijab certainly takes away enormously from the rewards of fasting, even if does not invalidate it.
18 : Not fasting because of exams or work
Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah to not fast. You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do that during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allah is much more important than good grades. Besides, if you will fulfil your obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allah will make it easy for you and help you in everything you do.
"Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect, Allah is Sufficient for whosoever puts his trust in Him." (Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)
19 : Mixing fasting and dieting
DO NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. That is one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (esp. sisters). Fasting is an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allah alone.
Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of (minor) Shirik.
20 : Fighting over the number of Rakaat of Tarawih
There is no specific number of rakahs for Tarawih prayer, rather it is permissible to do a little or a lot. Both 8 and 20 are okay. Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen said: "No one should be denounced for praying eleven or twenty-three (rakaat), because the matter is broader in scope than that, praise be to Allah."
21 : Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th
Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailatul-Qadar, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet said: "Seek Lailatul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan." (Bukhaari, Muslim).
22 : Wasting the last part of Ramadan preparing for Eidulfitri
Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadan preparing for Eidulfitri, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. although, the Prophet used to strive the hardest during the last ten days of Ramadan in worship (Ahmad, Muslim) and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eidulfiri before Ramadhan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadan to the max.
Aaishah (RA) said: When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allah would tighten his waist-wrapper (i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night and wake his family. (Bukhari and Muslim).