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 Salaah, Qur’an 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 Iftaar 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 (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance)’ [al-A’raaf :31]
- 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 Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh, Tahajjud or read Qur’aan, etc.
- Eating too much
Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor 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 Iftaar, 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 (pbuh) 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 Maajah. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
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.
- 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.
- Wasting time
Other people waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subhaan Allaah! Trying to obey Allaah by DISOBEYING him!
- 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 haraam, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and we think we are sooooo good.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.’ (Bukhaari)
Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadan or outside of it, as it is one of al-Khabaa’ith (evil things).(This includes ALL eg. cigars, cigarettes, pipes, ‘Sheesha’ ,etc.) ‘he allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa’ith (all evil and unlawful things) [al-A’raaf :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 (pbuh) said: ‘There should be no harming or reciprocating harm.’ This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast. (Fatwa-Ibn ‘Uthaymeen)
- Skipping Suhoor
The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing.'(Bukhaari, Muslim). And he (pbuh) said: ‘The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor.’ (Muslim) Stopping Suhoor at ‘Imsaak’ Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr to observe ‘Imsaak’. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: This is a kind of bid’ah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite. Allaah allows us to eat until dawn: ‘and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)’ [al-Baqarah 2:187]
And the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘….eat and drink until you hear the adhaan of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes.’ This ‘imsaak’ which some of the people do is an addition to that which Allaah has enjoined, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed.’ (Muslim)
- Not fasting if they missed Suhoor – Very Important
Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, this is a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal if you missed a few morsels of food? It’s not like you will die. Remember, obedience to Allaah overcomes everything.
- Saying the intention to fast ‘out loud’ or saying a specific dua to start fasting
The intention is an action of the heart. The Muslim should resolve in his heart that he is going to fast tomorrow. It is not prescribed for him by the Shari’ah to say out loud, ‘I intend to fast’,’I will fast tomorrow’ or other phrases that have been innovated by some people. All he needs to do is to resolve in his heart that he is going to fast tomorrow.
- Delaying breaking fast
Some people wait until the adhaan finishes or even several minutes after that, just to be ‘on the safe side’. However, the Sunnah is to hasten to break the fast, which means breaking fast right after the sun has set.
Aa’ishah said: This is what the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) used to do. (Muslim)
The Prophet (pbuh) 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 tawakkul on Allaah and break your fast exactly on time.
- Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted
The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast. The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler.’ (al-Bayhaqi, saheeh by al-Albaani). Instead of sitting down and making Dua at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Food is more important to them than the chance to have their sins forgiven or the fulfillment of their Duas.
- 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 (pbuh) 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. al-Bukhaari narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever forsakes ‘Asr prayer, his deeds are in vain.” (al-Bukhaari, 553). What is meant by “his deeds are in vain” means that they become invalid and will not avail him anything. This hadeeth indicates that in the case of one who does not pray, Allaah will not accept any deed from him, so the one who does not pray will not benefit at all from his deeds, and no good deeds of his will ascend to Allaah. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning the meaning of this hadeeth: “The apparent meaning of this hadeeth is that those who do not pray are of two types: those who do not pray at all, which renders all of their deeds invalid, and those who do not pray some days, which renders his deeds on that day invalid. So the loss of all good deeds happens to those who do not pray at all, and the loss of some deeds happens to those who miss some prayers.” From Kitaab al-Salaah, p. 65
- Not fasting because of exams or work
Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shari’ah 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 Allaah is much more important than ‘good grades’.
- 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. Mixing it with the intention of dieting is a form of Shirk.
- Fighting over the number of Raka’ah of Taraweeh
There is no specific number of rak’ahs for Taraweeh prayer, rather it is permissible to do a little or a lot. Both 8 and 20 are okay. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: ‘No one should be denounced for praying eleven or twenty-three (raka’ah), because the matter is broader in scope than that, praise be to Allaah.’
- Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th
Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan.’ (Bukhaari, Muslim).
May Allah Almighty accept our fasting and all our prayers and make us the dwellers of Paradise (Aameen).
Please include the entire Ummaah in your daily prayers (Especially the person, who wrote this awesome article).
Anas (Radhi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) say: “Allah the Almighty said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it.” [at-Tirmidhi, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal]