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 What You Are Required To Do In Ramadan?

We should realize that Allah made Saum (fasting) obligatory on us as a way for us to worship Him: and for the fasting to be acceptable and beneficial, we should observe the following conditions:

* It should be understood that here, like in all other Islamic undertakings, the intention must be made clear that this action is undertaken in obedience to Allah, in response to His command and out of love for Him.

1. Performing the other acts of worship and duties is most important, and Salat in particular, without which no other act of worship is accepted by Allah. Praying in congregation is a great aspect in our religion. Everyone should attend: its reward is twenty seven times greater than that which is performed individually. The Prophet (peace be on him) was just about to burn the houses on those who did not attend the congregational prayers.
2. Refraining from bad behavior such as lying, cheating, music, smoking, backbiting and slandering others to create animosity among them. The Prophet (peace be on him) said: "No slanderer shall enter the Jannah."
3. To be extraordinarily cautious in using the senses, the mind and, especially, the tongue; to abstain from careless and gossipy chats and avoid all suspicious motions.
4. A fasting person preserving the purity of the fast should not be involved in talking behind others, intrigues, aspersions, vilifications, lies, altercations, name-callings and swearing as well as perjuries.
5. The Prophet (peace be on him) further said in an authentic Hadith : Fasting is a shield; so when it is a day of fasting one should not indulge in obscene behavior or glamour, or shout about; if any one quarrels with him or engages him in fight, he should say: `I am fasting`.
6. Fasting does not mean merely abstaining from eating and drinking the things that break fast. In this sense Allah`s Messenger (peace be on him) has also said in an authentic Hadith: " Whoever does not give up lying speech (false statements) and acting on those lies and evil actions etc., Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his Saum (fasting)".[ See Fath Al-Bari, Vol.5, page 18] (3:127-OB)

Desirable Acts:

* It is desirable for all Muslims to strive during this holy month of Ramadan with all kinds of worship like supererogatory prayers, reciting Qur`an with meditation and understanding; most frequently reciting Tasbih (Tasbih means to recite ( Subhan Allah: Allah is glorified)), Tahlil (Tahlil means to recite (La ilaha illa-Allah : There is no God except Allah)), (Tahmid Tahmid means to recite (Alhamdulillah : All praise is to Allah)), Tabkir (Takbir means to recite (Allahu-Akbar : Allah is the Most Great)), Istighfar (Istigfar means to repent and seek forgiveness before Allah for the past sins of the repentant person either by reciting th formulae described in Ahadith or with any words in his own language, sincerely and humbly), and other supplications as mentioned in Shari`ah. A Muslim should also enjoin others for good deeds and prevent from forbidden acts; and also call upon people to Allah. He should also be more sympathetically to the poor and needy persons and strive to do good to the parents, and relatives; render hospitality to neighbors and attend the patients etc. This is in line with the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be on him) "…… Allah sees ( in this month) your competitions ( for good deeds) and so He boasts to the angles about you: Show Allah what is better (than this) by yourselves; verily, the wretched are those debarred from Allah`s Rahmah (grace)."

* The Prophet (peace be on him) is reported to have said: " Whoever wants the approachment of Allah in this month (Ramadan) by any of his good deeds is like the one who performs obligatory prayer in other months. And whoever performs an obligatory prayer in this month is like the one who performs seventy obligatory prayer in other months."

The Prophet (peace be on him) also said: " Umrah in Ramadan is like Hajj" - or he said - "like Hajj with me".

There are numerous Ahadith and Traditions which prove the legitimacy of competing and contesting in the various forms of good deeds in the month of Ramadan.