As-salaamu Alaykum,



As-salaamu Alaykum,

Living in
North America, how should I -- a simple,
ordinary Muslim -- spend this fasting month so that at
the end of the month I feel inner joy and true
happiness knowing that my Eed day is the day of
celebrating rewards from Allaah SWT?

Here is my plan for that purpose:

For this Ramadhaan, I will not worry about the
appearance of the moon or lack thereof in the country
of my origin. Rather I will be satisfied with the
decision of the country of my residence. I will
graciously accept and follow the decision or the
announcement of my neighbourhood Masjid regarding the
starting and end of Ramadhaan. I will not question,
argue, discuss or complain or even mention anything
about the accuracy or inaccuracy of their decision.

This Ramadhaan, I will establish a close relationship
with the Qur-aan. I will give the top priority to
knowing and understanding the contents and message of
the Qur-aan. I will finish the whole Qur-aan with
translation and tafseer by studying it steadily
throughout the month from a good, authentic English
translation and Tafseer such as the one by Imam
Maudoodi (The Meaning of the Qur-aan) or by Syed Qutb
(In the shade of the Qur-aan). I will not sleep after
Fajr, but instead study the Qur-aan until I am ready
to go to school or work. Throughout the day, I will
find time to revise and re-learn the Soorahs and
Aayaat I already know. Once that is completed, I will
learn at least one Aayah a day from a Soorah I do not
already know.

This Ramadhaan, I will sleep early, soon after Ishaa.
I will go to bed with clear and conscious intention of
fasting the next day, as well as with the intention of
getting up early for Tahajjud. Then, while remembering
Allaah, I will fall asleep. I will get up around 4:00
AM, thanking Allaah for giving me life, offer Tahajjud
and then make special Duaa for the mercy of Allaah on
our Ummah, His help for its success and well being,
and His interference to foil the plans of the enemy. I
will also make special Duaa that Allaah protects me,
my family and my Ummah from the Dajjaal and his

Just for this month, I will not watch TV at all. My
knowing of what is shown in the news does not affect
any affairs of the world. Watching the news causes
only frustration, despair and anxiety. If I do not
watch for a month, it will not have any impact either
on me, my Ummah or the world at large. I would rather
spend the month on my personal improvement, personal
spirituality and building a close, personal
relationship with Allaah, rather than on an activity
where I cannot make any difference. (Unless I am one
of those few Muslims who write letters, articles or
op-ed pieces to TV producers / anchors, paper editors
/ columnists, politicians and media in general to make
Islamic points or to stand up for the Ummah. If I am
one of those, I should continue this Jihaad in

While fasting, I will make a special effort to speak
only to add value and to say only what is true,
factual, positive, meaningful and useful. When I do
not have anything good and useful to talk about,
instead of saying anything else, I will remember
Allaah through the beautiful words taught by our
Prophet, while paying attention to their meanings and
feeling the impact of the words on my heart, my mind,
my thoughts and my attitude. Or, if I do not know
them, I will learn those words of remembrance or
prayer. Or, I will spend those moments to recite the
portions of the Qur-aan that I know or learning those
I do not.

I will not lend my ears to anything that is useless,
indecent, negative, spiteful or inappropriate. In my
car, I will listen to the Qur-aan or some good speech
of a reputed scholar. My car CD player has a feature
that allows it to repeat the same piece over and over
again. It can help me learn new verses or Soorah.
Similarly, while riding the transit or subway, I will
use my pocket-sized Qur-aan or book of Prophet’s Duaas
to recite, practise or revise those I know or learn
those I do not know.

This Ramadhaan, I will particularly watch my gaze.
While glancing on a member of opposite sex, I will
move my gaze away before I start evaluating or
assessing the attractive features of looks, appearance
or personality or before I start paying attention to
or begin enjoying those attractions. I will not
participate or listen to the comments of sexual nature
that my colleagues, peers or friends make.

While remembering Allaah in many other ways, I will
more frequently ask for Allaah’s mercy in the first 10
days of Ramadhaan (Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyoomu,
bi-rahmatika astagheethu), invoke Allaah’s forgiveness
in the second 10 days
(astaghfirullaah-al-azeem-alladzi laa ilaaha illaa
huwa-al Hayyu-l-Qayyoomu wa atoobu ilayh) and seek
salvation from the Fire in the last 10 days (Rabbanaa
aatinaa fi-ddunyaa hasanatanwa fil-aakhirati
hasanatanwa qinaa adzaab-annaar). During the last ten
nights, I will frequent the Duaa: Allaahumma innaka
‘afuwwun, tuhibbul ‘afwa, fa’fu ‘annee.

This Ramadhaan, I will be exceptionally charitable.
The tears that fill my eyes when I see the scenes of
devastation, disease, starvation, agony, displacement,
killings, blown up bodies and severed limbs of poor,
helpless people of Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya
and Kashmir will ameliorate my heart and open my
purse. I will send all my Zakaah to them right at the
beginning of Ramadhaan through trustworthy Islamic
charities. In addition to my Zakaah, I will pay
whatever I can spare from my family’s necessities for
helping those in dire need. If I have been paying my
Zakaah to my relatives, this Ramadhaan, I will help my
relatives from my other savings and resources, so that
I can pay Zakaah to the victims of terrorism being
inflicted by the enemies of Islam. I will avoid
spending money on my home decoration or getting new
clothes for Eed or buying more video games and toys
for my children, so that those who are in more need
then me and my family can be helped. I will even pay
my Fitrah very early in Ramadhaan so that it can reach
those displaced from their homes before the severity
of winter.

Also this Ramadhaan, I will be generous and forgiving
to my family, friends and the Muslim community at
large. I will clear my heart from anger complaints,
suspicion, jealousy, grudges or dislike against any of
them. I will be extra kind, accommodating, courteous,
supportive and helpful to my non-Muslims neighbours
and colleagues. I will find ways to have them
participate in the blessings of Ramadhaan and
happiness of Eed by sharing my food specialties with
them or giving gifts and chocolates to them.

This Ramadhaan, I will decline all invitations to
Christmas dinners, because every moment in this month
is too precious to be spent on those activities. And
this Ramadhaan, I am going to take my vacations in its
last 10 days, so that the precious opportunity offered
by those days can be fully utilized for developing my
spiritual relationship with Allaah SWT.

I will kick at least one of my bad habits such as
arriving late for appointments or breaking promises. I
will show up or do what I indicate I will do and I
will show up or do so on time. If I am a smoker, this
Ramadhaan, I will not smoke even after Iftaar, before
Suhoor or at night. I will keep my mouth odour free
for prayers and Allaah‘s remembrance and my lungs,
blood and heart from disease.

If I am a university student whose final exams are
falling in Ramadhaan, my act of worship is to do my
utmost best to study hard and get the best possible
results, given that any moment that is not spent on
studying is not spent in any other pursuit except in
the remembrance of Allaah or study of the Qur-aan.
While travelling to/from or within campus or while
taking a break from studies, I will automatically
shift to remembrance of Allaah or recitation of the
Qur-aan. For my studies, I will keep timings that are
consistent with the spirit of Ramadhaan, i.e. sleep
early and get up very early. Instead of staying up
late at the risk of missing Suhoor or Fajr, I will
adjust my body clock to Islamic lifestyle instead of
the western lifestyle. When I get up to study at 2 or
3 AM, I will start with two Raka’at of Tahajjud and
then continue with my studies. After Fajr, I will
still spend 15-20 minutes on the study of Tafseer even
on exam days.

If I succeed this Ramadhaan in living as planned
above, I will be able to look back and rejoice on the
day of Eed.


May Allaah help us with our pious plans.

Ayub Hamid


Copyright ©2003, Ayub A. Hamid

Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups,

to post on Internet sites and to publish in full in not-for-profit publications.

Contact author for all other rights, which are reserve



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