Your Guide to Ramadan 2020

Are you ready to give Allah (swt) your best this Ramadan? Our Guide to Ramadan is packed with useful tips, supplications and practices based on the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Set yourself an ambitious target of how much Qur’an you’ll be reading, how many people you’ll be feeding, and how many nights you’ll wake for tahajjud this Ramadan. In the month of blessings, the reward for our good deeds and our Sadaqah are multiplied exponentially and our sins are forgiven. According to the hadith related by Ibn Abbas (ra):

The Messenger of Allah, (ﷺ) was the most generous of people and he was even more generous in Ramadan […] -Bukhari

As Muslims we strive to emulate the Prophet (ﷺ) in every aspect of our lives. The month of Ramadan is an even better time to do this since performing good deeds is made easier for the believer, and the reward for them is doubled. In another hadith, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” -Bukhari 

We’ve put together a checklist of ‘to-dos’ that will motivate, inspire and ensure you don’t miss out on any opportunity to reap the blessings and Baraka of this month. Read on to reap the blessings of Ramadan.

Feed the poor

The month of Ramadan is a good time to re-negotiate our relationship with food, and in doing so, remember those who are in want of it. We all know that many sahabah and prophets could not bring themselves to eat unless they shared their meal with a poor person. As Nafi (RA) narrated:

“Ibn ‘Umar never used to take his meal unless a poor man was called to eat with him […]”(Bukhari)

To translate this into these days of living with the coronavirus pandemic, we can adopt this beautiful practice by donating a meal each day to a needy cancer patient whose recovery depends on a healthy diet. Feed a Patient at Shaukat Khanum Hospital with each iftar and suhoor you partake in this Ramadan.

Dedicate time to the Qur’an

This Ramadan, since we are all going to be at home, we should be striving to read the whole Qur’an as many times as possible.  Even slow Arabic readers can dedicate time each morning before or after fajr to read more than usual. If you can’t read in Arabic, read the transliteration and translation. Download it onto your smart phone or mp3 player and listen to it throughout the day. The Prophet () said:

“The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.” –Ahmad  

Recite Salawat

Salawat is the invocation of peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (). There are numerous hadiths about the benefits of reciting Salawat, while its importance is highlighted in the Holy Qur’an as follows:

Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender! –Holy Qur’an 33:56

Give Charity and Forgive Others

Ramadan is the month of generosity and giving, both of which come in many forms. The rewards for giving charity in the form of Sadaqah are multiplied exponentially in this month. Meanwhile forgiving your brother/sister and humbling yourself to extend the olive branch of reconciliation is as much an act of generosity as giving to charity. In the hadith, the Prophet () said:

“Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.” –Sahih Muslim

Find out more

Adopt Prophetic Eating Habits

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was the best of mankind and his lifestyle is what all Muslims aspire to. We do so because following in his footsteps in every aspect of our lives ensures spiritual fulfilment and closeness to Allah (swt) and His beautiful messenger. But there’s a secondary motivation here for every Muslim; our bodies are a trust from Allah (swt) which we alone are responsible for.

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) used to eat clean, quality food and he ate little when he wasn’t fasting. Now, the month of Ramadan, with its lavish iftar tables, brings with it the temptation of binge eating but this is neither healthy nor in line with the Prophet’s sunnah. Moderation is key to a healthy diet and the prophetic tradition highlights this through the hadiths. For those of us who have trouble limiting ourselves, there is no better time to get used to eating less than in Ramadan when the days of fasting cause our stomachs to shrink by sunset.

The Prophet (ﷺ) is known to have said that if a believer must fill his stomach, then he/she should do so with ‘one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’ (Sahih)

Another hadith which elaborates this point is narrated by Nafi (RA), who relates Ibn Umar’s (RA) words after a poor man who had shared a meal with Ibn Umar (RA) had eaten to much:

‘O Nafi’! Don’t let this man enter my house, for I heard the Prophet saying, “A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food), and a kafir (unbeliever) eats in seven intestines (eats much food).” (Bukhari)

You can find more information and tips on how to embrace prophetic health this Ramadan by clicking here.

Give Sadaqah Jariyah

This is a lasting charity from which the giver will continue to reap blessings and rewards even after he/she has passed away. There a various forms of Sadaqah Jariya but it always involves an act of charity that will benefit others over a number of years. Educating a child; installing a well; building a facility that provides an ongoing public service like a mosque, school or hospital are forms of Sadaqah Jariya. The Prophet () said:

“When a man passes away, his good deeds will also come to an end except for three: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased)” –Sahih Muslim

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Give Zakat

Did you know that Muslim communities in the past paid their Zakat before Ramadan so that the poor could spend the holy month with ease and without worry? The Arabic word ‘Zakat’ literally means ‘to cleanse’ or ‘that which purifies.’ As the third pillar of Islam, Zakat is an obligatory charity and mandatory for all Muslims whose income and/or savings are above a set minimum amount (Nisab). The Prophet () said:

“Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I am Allah’s Messenger (), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the Zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.” –Sahih Bukhari

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Ask Forgiveness

Ramadan is a month of blessings when the reward for our good deeds is multiplied by 70, and our sins are also forgiven. It is the best time in the Islamic calendar to seek forgiveness. According to a hadith reported by Aisha (ra), the Prophet Muhammad () advised her to pray as follows on the Night of Decree (Laylat al-Qadr):

Allahumma innaka `Afuwwun TuHibbul `Afwa Fa`fu `Annii.

“O Allah, you are pardoning and generous. You love to forgive, so forgive me.” –Sunan al-Tirmidhī

Give Fidyah

Fidyah is for people who have a valid reason for not fasting, like illness, pregnancy or old-age. It involves paying to provide another’s daily sustenance for every fast that they miss.

Fast a certain number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. –Holy Qur’an 2:184

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I’tikaf at Home

One of the Prophet’s () practices was to observe I’tikaf on the last ten days of Ramadan. I’tikaf this year is something more of us can perform in our homes. We can use the last ten days of Ramadan to connect with Allah and to strive harder in worship with our families at home. As narrated in the hadith:

“’A’isha (ra) reported that when the last ten nights began Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) kept awake at night (for prayer and devotion), wakened his family, and prepared himself to observe prayer (with more vigour).” –Sahih Muslim

You can find more tips and hadiths about this with our 10 reasons to do more in the last 10 days of Ramadan guide here.

Do your Night Prayers

Also known as Tahajjud, the voluntary Night Prayer is usually performed in the last third of the night (although it’s time extends between Isha and Fajr). There are numerous hadiths about the excellence of the Night Prayer but performing it in the month of Ramadan comes with greater blessings. The Prophet () said:

“Whoever stands in the night prayer during Ramadan out of faith and
seeking his reward, then all of his previous sins will be forgiven.” –
Muslim; Sahih Bukhari

Give Fitrana

Zakat ul-fitr, also commonly known as ‘Fitrana’, is the compulsory charity paid by every Muslim at the end of Ramadan. It is a way for Muslims to give thanks that they were able to complete the month of fasting. It is important that Fitrana reaches the poor in time for Eid. According to the Hadith, Ibn Umar (ra) reported:

“Allah’s Apostle made it incumbent on all the slave or free Muslims, male or female, to pay one Sa’ of dates or barley as Zakat ul-Fitr.” –Sahih Bukhari

Find out more


For 25 years Imran Khan Cancer Appeal has turned your Zakat into a life-line of healing for Pakistan’s poorest. For 25 years we’ve borne the trust and confidence of donors seeking transparency while performing the obligation of Zakat. By the will of Allah, we’ve administered Zakat long enough to bear witness to its healing power. Through it we’ve changed the face of cancer care in Pakistan. Find out More

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