A Christian is asking, what do you do during the month of Ramadaan?
Allaah has singled out the month of Ramadaan with special virtues that are not present in any other month. It is the best of months. Allaah has the right to single out some months and nights and prefer them over others, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses”
Allaah has placed in the month of Ramadaan Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree), of which He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months”
i.e., worship on that night brings a greater reward than worshipping for a thousand months; this is by the great bounty of Allaah towards this ummah (nation – i.e., the Muslims).
Laylat al-Qadr occurs during the last ten nights of Ramadaan. Hence the Muslims strive hard in worship during these ten days more than at other times, seeking this blessed night.
With regard to what we Muslims do in Ramadaan, we seek to draw closer to Allaah and strive hard in worship. Various kinds of worship have been prescribed for us, by which we seek to draw closer to Allaah. These include the following:
This means refraining from food, drink, intercourse and sexual activity from dawn until sunset. We are not the only nation on whom God has enjoined fasting, rather there is no nation among the previous nations upon whom God did not enjoin fasting. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
2 – Prayers at night (Taraweeh)
Praying at night (qiyaam al-layl) has a great effect in purifying and reforming hearts, and is also a means of forgiveness of sin.
3 – Reading Qur’aan
Ramadaan is the month of the Qur’aan, in which the revelation of the Qur’aan to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) first began. Hence you will find the Muslims reading the entire Qur’aan during Ramadaan, and some of them read the entire Book once or twice, or more than that. The Muslim knows that reading a single letter of the Qur’aan brings a tenfold reward, and that reading a single page brings a thousand rewards (hasanaat).
4 – Charity and feeding the poor
Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous in Ramadaan.
Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged us to feed the poor and to give fasting people food to break their fast. He told us that the reward of the one who gives food to a fasting person to break his fast is equivalent to the reward of the fasting person, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.
5 – Supplication
Ramadaan is the month of supplication (du’aa’). It is mustahabb for the fasting person to make du’aa’, and the du’aa’ (supplication) of one who has fasted at the time of breaking the fast will not be rejected.
6 – I’tikaaf (“retreat” for worship)
This means staying in the mosque in order to devote oneself to worship of Allaah. It is Sunnah in the last ten days of Ramadaan, seeking Laylat al-Qadr.
7 – Allaah has enjoined a special charity to be given at the end of Ramadaan. This is called Zakaat al-Fitr, by means of which the fasting person offers expiation for any idle or obscene speech he may have uttered during his fast; it is also a means of feeding and helping the poor.
It is obligatory upon every Muslim, young and old, male and female. It is one of the ways of making people feel the unity, cohesion and mutual compassion of the Muslim community.
8 – Allaah has also enjoined that those who have fasted should offer the Eid prayer, as a conclusion to these good deeds that they have done during Ramadaan, and as a way of bringing them together to express their joy and gratitude towards Allaah.
The point is that the Muslim spends the month of Ramadaan in fasting, praying, offering night prayers (Taraweeh), remembering Allaah and reading Qur’aan, and has ended it with i’tikaaf and charity, as well as striving to uphold the ties of kinship and do good deeds, and spending a great deal for the sake of Allaah, and other righteous good deeds. Ramadaan is an occasion that is good for him, in which he does acts of worship and rids himself of the burdens of sin. On every night of Ramadaan Allaah frees people from Hell, overlooks their bad deeds and forgives their sins. Hence the month of Ramadaan is the most beloved of months to the Muslims, and they feel happy, joyful and content at this time, and they wish that the whole year was Ramadaan.
Perhaps if you visit an Islamic Centre, you will see for yourself the happiness and joy that the Muslims, young and old, feel during Ramadaan. This is due to the effects of worship and obedience, as stated above.
We ask Allaah to guide you to that which is good for you and will bring you happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.
And Allaah knows best.