Common Mistakes Made During Rmadan
Most Muslims who fast Ramadan focus on the benefits and rewards of it.
But in doing so, we often make mistakes that instead of adding to our
experience actually detract from it. Mistakes that can make us
commercialize Ramadan as so many other religions have commercialized
their sacred days. Insha Allah the following serves as a reminder to
myself first and to all Muslims. May Allah help us to spend our time
wisely this Ramadan and help us to avoid these mistakes. Aameen!
1. Taking Ramadaan as a ritual
For many of us Ramadaan has lost its spirituality and has become more
of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like
a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that
its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil….we forget
to make dua, forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and ask Him to save
us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that’s
Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
‘Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person
to who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said,
‘Aameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that
person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but
he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, ‘Aameen’.
Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person in
whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon
you,’ and I said, ‘Aameen.” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Saheeh by
2. Too much stress on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadaan revolves around food.
They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking
about only food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Quraan 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
(Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) ‘
3. 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 or
Tahajjud or even read Quraan. This is the month of mercy and
forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!
4. 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 (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) 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. 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.
5. 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.
6. Wasting time
The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time, so much so that
Allaah calls this month ‘Ayyamum Ma’doodaat’ (A fixed number of days)..
Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We
should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allaah so
that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of
us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still,
watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subha an Allaah! Trying
to obey Allaah by DISOBEYING him!
7. 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 all kinds of impermissible things without
realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and
drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allaah.
‘O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed
for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)’
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) 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)
8. Skipping Suhoor (sehri)
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing.'(Bukhaari, Muslim).
And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘The thing that
differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the
Book is eating suhoor.’ (Muslim)
9. 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 what Allaah
has prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion,
and the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
‘Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed.’ (Muslim)
10. Not fasting if they missed Suhoor
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. We should resolve in our heart
that we are going to fast tomorrow. That is all we need. It is not
prescribed by the Shari’ah for us to say out loud, ‘I intend to fast’,
‘I will fast tomorrow’ or other phrases that have been innovated by
some people. Also, there is no specific dua to be recited at the time
of starting the fast in the correct Sunnah. Whatever ‘dua’ you may see
on some papers or Ramadaan calendars, etc. is a Bid’ah.
11. Delaying opening 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 open the fast, which means opening the fast the moment the
sun sets. Aa’ishah (RA) said: This is what the Messenger of Allaah (Sal
Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to do. (Muslim)
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘The people will
continue to do well so long as they hasten to open the fast.’
Inspite of the above Hadith being so clear, the Azaan in many of the
mosques is given 5 minutes after sunset. You can check the newspaper
everyday and see the exact time of sunset that is mentioned there. You
can also check it on the net and then check for yourself when the Azaan
Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock,
calendar, etc. and then have tawakkul (trust) on Allaah swt and break
your fast exactly on time.
12. Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up
Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast
and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they
miss Maghrib. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet
(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) was that once he broke his fast with
some dates, he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the
prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.
13. 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 (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) 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 frying samosas,
talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think
about it….Is food more important than the chance to have your sins
forgiven or the fulfillment of your Duas.
14. 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 (Sal Allaahu
Alaiyhi wa Sallam) 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.
‘Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.’ (Bukhaari)
15. Fasting and not wearing Hijaab
Not wearing the Hijaab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim
women. (See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijaab
certainly takes away enormously from the rewards of fasting, even if
does not invalidate it.
16. Not fasting because of exams or work
Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah 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’. Besides, if you will
fulfill your obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allaah will
make it easy for you and help you in everything you do.
‘Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide
for him from where he does not expect, Allaah is Sufficient for
whosoever puts his trust in Him.’ (Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)
17.. 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 Allaah alone.
Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of
18. 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 (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa
Sallam) said: ‘Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the
last ten nights of Ramadaan.’ (Bukhaari, Muslim).
19. Wasting the last part of Ramadaan preparing for Eid
Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadaan preparing for
Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and
Lailatul Qadr. although, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)
used to strive the hardest during the last ten days of Ramadaan in
worship (Ahmad, Muslim) and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for
Eid, buy before Ramadaan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadaan
to the max..
Aa’ishah (RA) said: ‘When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of
Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper
(i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives),
stay awake at night and wake his family.’ (Bukhaari and Muslim).
20. Iftaar parties
Although inviting each other for breaking fast is something good and
encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish ‘Iftaar parties’
with all sorts of disobedience to Allaah, from flirting, mixing of the
sexes and hijaab-less women, to show-off and extravagance, to
heedlessness to Salaah and Taraweeh.. Some even resort to music and
It’s not too late to rectify ones mistake and do good for the sake of Allaah.
[15:49] Inform My servants that I am the Forgiver, Most Merciful.
"0, My Lord! I have wronged my soul a great wrong, and none forgiveth
sins save Thou alone. Then forgive me and have mercy on me. Verily,
Thou art the oft Forgiving, and most Merciful."