Welcome To Ramadaan, Invest Heavily In It

By Ishaaq Muhammad Jaamiu
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Ishaaq Muhammad Jaamiu

Before now, there have been calculations, speculations and permutations that this year Ramadaan shall commence on Monday or Tuesday. With the sighting of the moon in the evening of Sunday, the astronomical calculations, intellectual permutations and analytical speculations have been put to rest. AlhamduliLlaah Rabbil'aalamiin.

The word Ramadaan comes from the root word *Ramada* which literarily means *to burn*. Imaam Qurtubi said: *"it was named Ramadaan because its good deeds therein serve to burn the sins of people "*

Now that the holy month of Ramadaan, the month of fasting, charity and Qur'aan reading and recitation, have begun, how articulate are your plans to actualize its laudable acts of 'Ibaadah? How prepared are you to its bumper harvest as it begins to wind up gradually? And, how conscious and meticulous are you in striving to make it one of your best Ramadaans?

For this year 1445 Ramadaan fasting, here are the fasting and iftaar hours in different countries: The shortest fasting period will be in the city of Porto Montt in Chile, where Muslims will fast for 12 hours and 44 minutes, while Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, witnesses the longest fasting hours at 17 hours and 26 minutes.

The number of fasting hours depends on the latitude, with countries closer to the North Pole experiencing longer fasting hours, and vice versa.

In the case of Arab countries, Moroccan capital,Rabat, records the longest daytime and fasting hours at approximately 14 hours and 23 minutes.

The fasting hours in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, will be 14 hours and 14 minutes, while in Muscat, Oman, it will be 13 hours and 53 minutes. In Abu Dhabi,United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is also 13 hours and 53 minutes, and in Saudi Arabia,it will be 13 hours and 56 minutes.

In Amman, Jordan, fasting hours will be 14 hours and 11 minutes, in Syria 14 hours and 13 minutes,in Libya 14 hours and 18 minutes, and in San'aa', Yemen,it will be 13 hours and 39 minutes.

The first day of Ramadaan will have the shortest fasting hours in most Arab and Islamic countries, gradually lengthening until the end of the month. Thanks for the scientific knowledge with which Allaah blessed the world and thereby making what are ordinarily far to be drawn near.

Having a plan to attain the goal of Ramadaan is not only necessary but sacrosanct. Commit such plan into writing to be better coordinated, and let it remain as your journey guide. In fact, a well structured time table throughout the blessed month will do its owner a great favour after all.

Program your daily sleeping time, and strive to keep it up. Also, have a daily waking up time. Make use of alarm if needed. You can have a shower as convenient as possible so as to freshen up.

Let your night 'Ibaadah be patterned in line with the Sunnah of the Prophet, salaLlaahu 'alayhi wasallaam. The following four actions should be maintained throughout: Your 2, 2, 2, 2 & 3 = 11 Raka'aat Nawaafil, recitation of the Qur'aan with contemplation, chanting of some 'Adhkaar, and raising your hands to Him in request for your needs. These are to be necessarily followed with your Sahuur (early dawn meal).

Prepare to observe Salaatus-Subh as prompt as stipulated in the Islamic jurisprudence. Go to the Masjid with a copy of the Qur'aan. Observe your Raka'tal-Fajr upon entering the Masjid, make brief Du'aa' and continue your Tilaawah till 'Iqaamah is said.

After Subhi prayer, chant your post-salaah and morning 'Adhkaar, continue with your Tilaawah or Muraaja'ah, and observe your Salaatud-Duha/'Ishraaq before leaving the Masjid.

While going about your daily activities, keep your tongue busy with 'Adhkaar while at workplace at all time.

Ensure that you observe your daily obligatory prayers throughout Ramadaan in the Masjid, and in the congregation. Try to be in the Masjid for every Salaah before 'Adhaan or immediately after the 'Adhaan so as to be able to observe the suprerogatory prayers (Sunanur-Rawaatib).

If you have the opportunity, take a short nap (observe siesta) between Zuhr and 'Asr. This will really enhance your activeness and productivity for the remaining hours of the day.

Don't miss your daily evening 'Adhkaar. You can have it after 'Asr or after Maghrib. Chant your evening 'Adhkaar preferably before leaving the Masjid. Just like the Qur'aan recitation, ensure that your 'Adhkaar at all times, is chanted with presence of mind and contemplation. If you are going for Tafsiir session, don't go there to while away time or sleep.

Eat moderately during Sahuur and 'Iftaar. Break your fast with fresh dates, dry one if you can't get fresh, water or other fruits - in that order. Do Sadaqah with at least a date everyday.

Observe your 'Ishaa' and Taraawiih in congregation. Purify your intention throughout the month and never be impressed or deceived by your acts of worship. Keep your worship secret, as much as possible, between you and your Lord.

Ensuring that the quality of your Qur'aan recitation is preserved, is preferred to the quantity of Qur'aan you recite. Create time to make use of translated versions of the Qur'aan and reflect on what you read if you don't understand Arabic language.

Sisters should plan their time well so that frivolities will not take most of their time. As much as you will be rewarded for cooking for the household, it should not be the only one major thing that would consume your precious time.

Avoid anything that would deprive you of reaping the benefits of Ramadaan. Shun long watch of television, listen only to useful things on radio, don't be distracted by social media, Ramadaan should not be an excuse to oversleep or overeat, stay less in market places, ludo, dice, draft and other meaningless funs and amusements should be jettisoned. Your focus should be Allaah and Allaah alone.

Before I conclude, while we wine and dine in ease and comfort, the 2.4 million Gazan Muslims awoke to bombardment, searching through the rubble of destroyed homes for survivors and bodies. They barely eat something tangible for sahuur, nor do they have hope of living till 'iftaar, and what to break their fast with. May Allaah forgive us for not doing up to expectations, and reward them for sacrificing their lives and comforts for a project we all lay claim to. Consider it a point of duty to remember them in your prayers almost every time.

May Allaah accept us and our acts of 'Ibaadah, and make this Ramadaan one of our best.

'Ishaaq Muhammad Jaamiu writes from Osogbo, Osun State. 1st Ramadan 1445 (11 March 2024).