By Shaykh Abdul Qayum

THE GREAT COMPANION of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Muadh ibn Jabal said on his deathbed: “O Allah, I used to have so much fear of you, now I am having so much hope in you. O Allah, you know that I didn’t love the life of this world to enjoy the flow of the river, neither to plant more plants or trees, but to thirst in summer days, the longer hours of qiyam al-layl, and to be part of the scholars’ circles of remembrance.”

OUR GREAT PREDECESSORS knew what a huge reward waits in the next Ramadan, they used to pray to Allah six months before Ramadan: “O Allah, since six months remain before the next Ramadan, please extend our lives so we can get the next one.” Remember, many of our beloved ones who were with us last Ramadan, they are no longer with us anymore. This Ramadan could be the last one in our life. Every slave of Allah who observes fasting for the sake of Allah, Allah will draw his face further from hellfire to the extent of a distance covering seventy years.

Look at the reward of the fasting person: Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Allah, the Exalted and the Majestic, said: ‘Every fasting is for Me, and I shall reward for it.’” [Sahih Muslim] Let us aim to get this great reward, and thank Allah for giving us the opportunity and enabling us to achieve this in Ramadan. Say: “in the bounty of Allah, and in His mercy, in that let them rejoice. It is better than what they accumulate.” {Qur’an, Surah Yunus, verse 58}.


Fasting is both physical and spiritual. The main objective of fasting is to attain taqwa in our life. Although abstaining from food, drink and sexual intercourse makes fasting valid, the real target of taqwa will be to achieve the spiritual aspect of fasting. It is clearly mentioned in the following two hadiths. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “When any of you is observing fasting, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor should he raise the voice, and if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him, he should say: ‘I am observing the fast.’” [Bukhari & Muslim].

A further strong message came in the following hadith: “If one doesn’t leave lies and false conduct, Allah does not need that he should abstain from his food and drink.” [Bukhari] So, to get the reward of the fast, one must abstain from all sorts of vices, such as lying, cheating, backbiting and using obscene language. That will make him attain taqwa (fear of Allah) in life, which is the main objective of fasting: “that you may become righteous.” [Qur’an, 2:183].


The Prophet ﷺ said "he who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan, with faith, while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven; and he who observes Qiyam al-Layl (tarawih/tahajjud) prayer during the month of Ramadhan with faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven." [Bukhari & Muslim]. We know, that the night is very short in Summer, many people will go to work in the early morning. It is not a must to pray all 20 or 8 raka’at. You can pray whatever you can. However, if one can complete with the Imam, that is very rewarding. The Prophet ﷺ said if a person continues in prayer with the Imam until he finishes he will be given the reward of a whole night’s prayer. [Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah].

Some of people leave the salah after 8 raka‘at, but then stay outside the Masjid and start talking, gossiping ,disturbing others inside the mosque and disturbing our non-Muslim neighbours. These things should be avoided.


Allah says: the month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for the people, with clear proofs of guidance and criterion [Surah al-Baqarah, 185]. The angel Jibreel used to come to the Prophet ﷺ to help him recite and revise the Qur’an every Ramadan. The Qur’an will say: “Oh my Lord, I stopped him from sleep, please accept my intercession for him.” And it will be accepted. Our great predecessors were doing many khatam (complete reading of the Qur’an) in Ramadan, should we not at least aim for one?


The Prophet ﷺ was more generous in Ramadan than the other months. Remember this Ramadan the plight of refugees and those who were affected from severe drought and famine – dying from hunger. Please help them, donate for them, so they can have food for suhoor and iftar. Don’t be annoyed when an appeal is made – it is a blessed opportunity for you from Allah. Donate for all good causes, your reward will be multiplied many times because of Ramadan.


Increase your attention to your ibadah (worship) in the last 10 days, and seek Laylatul Qadr.


Here are some general deeds that you could do to maximise your Ramadan, but these may not be applicable to everyone or possible in the current circumstance, however they are worth mentioning anyway.

Perform ‘Umrah in Ramadan, as it is equal to Hajj.” [Abu Dawood] and/or do I’tikaf (spending the last 10 nights of Ramadan in seclusion in the masjid); Perform ‘Umrah in Ramadan, which is as if you preformed Hajj in the companionship of the Prophet ﷺ . Ramadan is the month of du’a (supplication) and istighfar (seeking forgiveness). Allah says when talking about Ramadan and fasting: “When my servants ask you concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls
upon Me.” [Qur’an, Surah al-Baqarah, verse 186]

According to the hadith, a du’a made while fasting is accepted – especially at the time of breaking fast.

To maximise good deeds, we need to have a good plan and routine in the days and nights of Ramadan. As they say, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!

May Allah give us the tawfeeq (ability) and accept all our good deeds. Aameen.


Shaykh Abdul Qayum is the Head Imam and Khateeb at the East London Mosque since 1993, studied Islamic Sciences and ‘Ulum al- Hadith at the Madrasah Aliah, Bangladesh, and later in Riyad, Saudi Arabia under several notable scholars. He has a BA in Arabic Language & Literature and an MA in Applied Linguistics. He went on to lecture in Qur’anic Arabic at the International Islamic University of Malaysia.