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Summary of question
What are the etiquettes and traditions of the month of Rmadhan?
question
What are the etiquettes and traditions of the month of Rmadhan?
Concise answer
The holy month of Ramadhan and fasting in this month have certain etiquettes, manners and conditions some of which are as follows:
1. Sighting the moon: One of the conditions of the month of Ramadhan is that the crescent of this month should be ascertained and sighted.
2. Having breakfast and sahari (meal served before dawn): It is one of the traditions of the month of Ramadhan to break your fast after sunset and eat something before dawn.  It is highly recommended to eat something at these two intervals and Muslims have been forbidden from fasting continuously for two days without breaking their fast or eating something before dawn.
3. Abundance of prayer, supplication, seeking forgiveness (istighfar) and giving charity: Another etiquette of this month is to engage in prayers, supplications, seeking forgiveness and giving charity as much as one can.
4. Fasting of the external and internal organs and limbs: Among the most important etiquettes of fasting is the observance of fast by our external and internal organs, i.e. all the senses and body organs should exercise self-restraint. It has been narrated in Tafsir al-Jami' on the authority of al-Kafi, Man La-Yahzuruhu al-Faqih, Tahzib from Muhammad b. Muslim that Imam Ja'far Sadiq said to him: "When you are fasting, your ears, eyes, tongue, hands, feet and body skin must also fast."
5. Attaching special importance to the fast of the last ten days of the month of Ramadhan: The last ten days of Ramadhan are specially important because the two important grand nights (Laylatul Qadr) are in this part of the month. As well, according to the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S), it is the time during which one may observe E'tikaf (seclusion from public life and engaging in prayer and worship in a mosque).
 
Detailed Answer
The holy month of Ramadhan and fasting in this month have certain etiquettes, manners and conditions some of which are as under:
1. Sighting the moon
 One of the conditions of the month of Ramadhan is that the crescent of this month should be ascertained and sighted. It has been narrated in Sunan al-Nabi on the authority of Sheikh Tusi's Al-Tahzib that what has been proven about the Messenger of Allah (S) is that he himself undertook the task of sighting and establishing the moon of the holy month of Ramadhan.[1]
2. Eating Iftari and Sahari
It is one of the traditions of the month of Ramadhan to break your fast after sunset and eat something before dawn.  It is highly recommended to eat something at these two intervals and Muslims have been forbidden from fasting continuously for two days without breaking their fast or eating something before dawn.
Sheikh Mufid says in Al-Muqne'ah: "It has been narrated from the Household of Prophet Muhammad (S) that eating Sahari is recommended even if he has to drink a sip of water." Then he says: It has been narrated that the best food stuffs that can be served for sahari are dates and 'qawoot' because the Messenger of Allah (S) used to eat them for sahari.[2]
There are narrations in Sunan al-Nabi regarding the normative conduct of the Holy Prophet (S) about iftari and sahari. It has been said that when the Prophet (S) wanted to break his fast, he would break it using halva, fresh date, sweets, milk and soaked meat. If none of these were available, he would break his fast with cold water.[3]
What is important about breaking fast and eating sahari is that the food which is served should be halal. It has been reported in Tafsir Rohul Bayan from some prominent religious figures as saying, "Breaking fast with halal food is more loveable than standing up [for prayer] during and night and it is forbidden for the sun of monotheism to shine on the heart of a person in whose heart there is a morsel of forbidden food. Hence, it is obligatory on the fasting individual to avoid eating forbidden food; because it is like poison that destroys the religion and tradition."[4]
3. Abundance of prayer, supplication, seeking forgiveness (istighfar) and giving charity: Another etiquette of this month is to engage in prayers, supplications, seeking forgiveness and giving charity as much as one can. It has been reported in Sunan al-Nabi:
In his book titled "Iqbal", Sayed b. Tavoos  cites from the second part of Tarikh Nishaburi that when the month of Ramadhan arrived, the color of the Prophet's complexion changed and his prayers increased and he invoked God a lot in his prayers and supplications. He was God-fearing.[5]
It has been narrated in Man La-Yahzuruhu al-Faqih that when the month of Ramadhan arrived, the Messenger of Allah (S) would set free all the captives and give something to every beggar.[6]
It has been reported in Kashful Asrar: "Muhammad Mustafa (S) said:
«من صام رمضان و قامه ايمانا و احتسابا غفر له ما تقدّم من ذنبه»
"Whoever observes the fast of Ramadhan and stands (in the voluntary night prayer of the month) out of faith and in hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."[7]
The Holy Prophet (S) in the Sermon of Sha'baniyah: Do raise your hands at the time of Namaz (Prayers) as it is the best time for asking His mercy. When we invoke at such times, we are answered by Him, when we call Him, He responds, and when we' ask for anything it is accepted by Him. O' People! you have made your conscience the slave of your desires, make it free, by invoking Him for forgiveness Your back is breaking under the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate before Him for long intervals and make it lighter. Do understand it fully well that Allah has promised in the name of His Majesty and Honour that He will not take to task such people who offer Namaz in this month, and perform 'sajda' (prostration) and will guard their bodies against the Fire of Hell, on the Day of Judgment… Whosoever recites, in this month, only one 'ayat' (verse of the Holy Quran) he will be rewarded in a manner as if he had recited the full Quran, in other months."[8]
4. Fasting of the external and internal organs and limbs
Among the most important etiquettes of fasting is the observance of fast by our external and internal organs, i.e. all the senses and body organs should exercise self-restraint. It has been narrated in Tafsir al-Jami' on the authority of al-Kafi, Man La-Yahzuruhu al-Faqih, Tahzib from Muhammad b. Muslim that Imam Ja'far Sadiq said to him: "When you are fasting, your ears, eyes, tongue, hands, feet and body skin must also fast."[9]
It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that he said: Fasting is not only an abstinence from eating and drinking. Jesus' mother said: "I have vowed to observe fast for God, the Compassionate." That is, I will not open my mouth except for praising God. If you observe fast, you should protect your tongue, lower your gaze, do not quarrel and envy. The Messenger of Allah (S) heard one of his ladies swear at one of her servants while fasting. The Prophet (S) asked for food to be brought for her and she told her: "Eat the food."
"I am fasting", said the lady.
The Messenger of Allah said to her, "How do you say that you are fasting and you swore (at the servant). Fasting is not only about abstaining from shutting your mouth to food and drink."
Imam Sadiq (A.S) said: Whenever you are fasting and you abstain from eating and drinking, you should also shut your ears and eyes to prohibited and indecent things, do not quarrel, do not hurt your servant with your tongue and do not lose the composure and calm characteristic of a fasting individual. Beware so that your fasting day is not like every other day.[10]
5. Attaching special importance to the fast of the last ten days of the month of Ramadhan:
The last ten days of Ramadhan are specially important because the two important grand nights (Laylatul Qadr) are in this part of the month. As well, according to the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S), it is the time during which one may observe E'tikaf (seclusion from public life and engaging in prayer and worship in a mosque).
It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (A.S) that he said: "Whenever the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadhan arrived, the Messenger of Allah (S) would tie his waist, avoid approaching his wives, stay awake at night and make himself ready for worship.[11]
In "Da'aim", it has been narrated from Imam Ali (A.S) that he said: "The Messenger of Allah (S) used to collect his bed during the last ten days of Muharram, tie his waist for worship and when the twenty third night set in, he would keep his household awake. He would sprinkle water on the face of anyone who felt drowsy. Likewise, Lady Fatima Zahra (S.A) would not allow anyone to sleep on that night and he would give them little food to eat and would start preparing herself earlier in the day to stay awake at night. She said: "Deprived is he who remains deprived from the blessings of this night."[12]
 

[1] Tabatabai, Muhammad Hussein, Sunan al-Nabi (S), Fiqhi, Muhammad Hadi, p. 302, hadith 343, Islamiyah Bookstore, Tehran, seventh edition, 1378
[2] Ibid, p. 295, hadith 333.
[3] Ibid, p. 294 – 301.
[4]  Alusi, Tafsir Rohul Bayan, vol.1, p. 296. The Arabic version of the report is as such:
قال ابو سليمان الداراني قدس سره لأن أصوم النهار و أفطر الليل على لقمة حلال أحب الى من قيام الليل و النهار و حرام على شمس التوحيد ان تحل قلب عبد في جوفه لقمة حرام و لا سيما في وقت الصيام فليجتنب الصائم أكل الحرام فانه سم مهلك للدين و السنة.
[5] Tabatabai, Muhammad Hussein, Sunan al-Nabi, p. 300, hadith 336.
[6]  Ibid, p. 296, hadith 335.
[7] Meibudi, Kashful Asrar wa Iddatul Abrar, vol.1, p. 488 and 489.
[8] Sheikh Saduq, Amali, Kamra-e, p. 94 and 95.
[9] Boroujardi, Sayed Muhammad Ibrahim, Tafsir al-Jami', vol.1, p. 300, Sadr Publications, Tehran, sixth edition, 1366 (1987).
[10] Behbudi, Muhammad Baqir, Selection of Al-Kafi, vol.3, p. 134 & 136, Scientific and Cultural Publications, Tehran, first edition, 1363 (1984).
[11]  Tabatabai, Muhammad Hussein, ibid, p. 301 and 302, hadith 342.
[12] Ibid, p. 296, hadith 36.
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