Blessings of the month of Ramadan

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

The month of Ramadan is a blessed month for many reasons, so we must be sure to take advantage of all of its blessings. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed, in which the devils are chained, sins are forgiven, and good deeds are highly rewarded. There is a night near the end of Ramadan in which good deeds are worth a thousands months of worship.

Allah said:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

The month of Ramadan in which the Quran was revealed as guidance for people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. Whoever reaches the month, let him fast during it. Whoever is ill or on a journey, then fast an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship, and He intends for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that to which He has guided you, that perhaps you will be grateful.

Surat al-Baqarah 2:185

Because this is the month in which the Quran was revealed, it is highly recommended for one to focus on reciting the Quran much more than usual throughout Ramadan. Al-Rabia’ ibn Sulayman reported:

كان الشافعي رحمه الله يختم في شهر رمضان ستين ختمة سوى ما يقرأ في الصلاة

Al-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy on him, would finish the Quran sixty times in the month of Ramadan in addition to what he would recite in prayer.

Source: Manāqib al-Shāfi’ī lil-Bayhaqī 2/159

During the month of Ramadan, Satan finds it more difficult to mislead the Muslims. It becomes easier in this month for Muslims to perform good deeds and to ignore evil suggestions and bad thoughts.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

‏إِذَا دَخَلَ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِين‏

When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1899, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, the Prophet said:

إِذَا كَانَ أَوَّلُ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ صُفِّدَتْ الشَّيَاطِينُ وَمَرَدَةُ الْجِنِّ وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ النَّارِ فَلَمْ يُفْتَحْ مِنْهَا بَابٌ وَفُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ فَلَمْ يُغْلَقْ مِنْهَا بَابٌ وَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ يَا بَاغِيَ الْخَيْرِ أَقْبِلْ وَيَا بَاغِيَ الشَّرِّ أَقْصِرْ وَلِلَّهِ عُتَقَاءُ مِنْ النَّارِ وَذَلكَ كُلُّ لَيْلَةٍ

On the first night of the month of Ramadan, the devils are chained, the jinn are restrained, and the gates of Hellfire are closed and none of its gates are opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and none of its gates are closed. A heavenly caller announces: O seeker of good, come near! O seeker of evil, stop short! Allah will save them from the Hellfire and that is during every night of Ramadan.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 682, Grade: Sahih

Hِow are the devils chained in Ramadan? Scholars disagree over the modality of this “chaining” but it seems to be that, in any case, the increased worship of the believers during Ramadan has a protective effect. Al-Halimi commented on these traditions, saying:

يَحْتَمِلُ أَنْ يَكُونَ الْمُرَادُ أَنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَا يَخْلُصُونَ مِنَ افْتِتَانِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ إِلَى مَا يَخْلُصُونَ إِلَيْهِ فِي غَيْرِهِ لِاشْتِغَالِهِمْ بِالصِّيَامِ الَّذِي فِيهِ قَمْعُ الشَّهَوَاتِ وَبِقِرَاءَةِ الْقُرْآنِ وَالذِّكْرِ

It could be interpreted to mean the devils are not free to tempt the Muslims as they are at other times because they are preoccupied with fasting, which suppresses desires, recitation of the Quran, and remembering Allah.

Source: Fatḥ al-Bārī 4/114

The month of Ramadan is blessed since Muslims can receive forgiveness for their sins due to their prayers and fasting out of sincere faith. We can have all of our sins forgiven in this month as long as we avoid major sins, as major sins like murder and theft require specific repentance and restoration of the rights of those who were violated.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

الصَّلَوَاتُ الْخَمْسُ وَالْجُمُعَةُ إِلَى الْجُمُعَةِ وَرَمَضَانُ إِلَى رَمَضَانَ مُكَفِّرَاتٌ مَا بَيْنَهُنَّ مَا اجْتُنِبَتْ الْكَبَائِرُ

The five prayers, Friday to Friday, and Ramadan to Ramadan will be expiation for the sins between them, so long as major sins are avoided.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 233, Grade: Sahih

In another narration, the Prophet said:

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 760, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

It is highly recommended to perform the congregational prayer at night (salat al-tarawih). Those who performed these and other extra voluntary prayers during Ramadan will have their sins forgiven.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever stands in prayer during Ramadan due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 759, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

The month of Ramadan is blessed since the virtue of fasting is magnified, even though it is already a great virtue. Fasting benefits us by improving our devotion, self-control, and compassion for the poor. Fasting for the entire month is meant to instill the philosophy and values of fasting within us as a regular spiritual practice.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

قَالَ اللَّهُ كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ لَهُ إِلاَّ الصِّيَامَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ‏ وَالصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَصْخَبْ فَإِنْ سَابَّهُ أَحَدٌ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي امْرُؤٌ صَائِمٌ وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَخُلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ يَفْرَحُهُمَا إِذَا أَفْطَرَ فَرِحَ وَإِذَا لَقِيَ رَبَّهُ فَرِحَ بِصَوْمِهِ

Allah Almighty said, ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except for fasting. It is for Me and I will reward it.’ Fasting is a shield, so when one of you fasts, he may not be obscene or boisterous. If someone insults him or fights him, let him say: Indeed, I am fasting. By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the breath coming from the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than the scent of musk. The fasting person has two moments of relief he enjoys: when he breaks his fast he is joyful, and when he meets his Lord he is joyful for his fasting.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1904, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, the Prophet said:

‏قال اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَتْرُكُ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ وَشَهْوَتَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي الصِّيَامُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ وَالْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا

Allah Almighty said, ‘He abandons his food, drink, and desires for My sake. Fasting is for Me and I will reward it, a single good deed up to ten times the like of it.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1894, Grade: Sahih

And in another narration, the Prophet said:

كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ الْحَسَنَةُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلاَّ الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي

Every deed of the son of Adam is multiplied, a single deed as ten times the like of it up to seven hundred times. Allah Almighty said, ‘Except for fasting, as it is for Me and I will reward it. He leaves his desires and his food for My sake.’

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1151, Grade: Sahih

Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ لِلَّهِ عِنْدَ كُلِّ فِطْرٍ عُتَقَاءَ وَذَلِكَ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ

Verily, Allah has people He redeems at the time of breaking fast, and that is during every night.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 1643, Grade: Sahih

The month of Ramadan is blessed since during it occurs the Night of Decree (laylat al-qadr), in which worship for one night is better than worship for a thousand months. This is an extra special night in which we should strive in prayer, supplication, remembrance, and worship. Whoever strives in worship on this night will receive tremendous rewards and have their sins forgiven.

Allah said:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

Verily, We sent the Quran down during the Night of Decree. What will make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace is therein until the emergence of dawn.

Surat al-Qadar 97:1-5

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever stands in prayer during the Night of Decree due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 760, Grade: Sahih

In another narration, the Prophet said:

فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا قَدْ حُرِمَ

Allah has made a night during Ramadan that is better than a thousand months, so whoever is deprived of it is truly deprived.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 7148, Grade: Sahih

The exact date of the Night of Decree is unknown to us, but it occurs on some day during the last ten nights of Ramadan. The wisdom of not knowing the night encourages us to strive hard in worship during all of the last ten days. Even if we miss it due to illness or another reason, perhaps Allah will reward us for our intention to seek it.

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

الْتَمِسُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ يَعْنِي لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ فَإِنْ ضَعُفَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَوْ عَجَزَ فَلَا يُغْلَبَنَّ عَلَى السَّبْعِ الْبَوَاقِي

Look for the Night of Decree in the last ten nights of Ramadan. If one of you is weak or unable, then do not be overcome by the remaining seven nights.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1165, Grade: Sahih

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, reported:

كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ

When the last ten days of Ramadan arrived, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would tighten his belt, spend the night in worship, and awaken his family.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2024, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, Aisha said:

يَجْتَهِدُ فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ مَا لَا يَجْتَهِدُ فِي غَيْرِهِ

The Prophet would exert himself in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan more so than any other time.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1175, Grade: Sahih

It is highly recommended for one to perform a spiritual retreat (al-i’tikaf) inside the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan, to help us strive in worship. This practice can ensure that we will not miss the blessings of Ramadan or the Night of Decree in its final days.

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, reported:

النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ يَعْتَكِفُ الْعَشْرَ الْأَوَاخِرَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ حَتَّى تَوَفَّاهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ثُمَّ اعْتَكَفَ أَزْوَاجُهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would seek spiritual retreat in the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan, until Allah Almighty caused him to pass away. His wives continued to perform the retreat after him.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1172, Grade: Sahih

And Al-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الِاقْتِدَاءَ بِالنَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي الِاعْتِكَافِ فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيَنْبَغِي أَنْ يَدْخُلَ الْمَسْجِدَ قَبْلَ غُرُوبِ الشَّمْسِ لَيْلَةَ الْحَادِي وَالْعِشْرِينَ مِنْهُ

Whoever intends to follow the example of the Prophet in retreat during the last then night of Ramadan, he should enter the mosque before the setting of the sun on the twenty first night.

Source: al-Majmū’ Sharḥ al-Muhadhdhab 6/501

In general, we want to utilize the blessings of this month to do good deeds and improve ourselves overall. Besides prayer and fasting, Muslims want to greatly increase their other good deeds, especially reciting the Quran, but also giving in charity and forming new habits based upon the Sunnah.

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ القُرْآنَ فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدُ بِالخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ المُرْسَلَةِ

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was the most generous of people and he was even more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel would meet him. He would meet him every night of Ramadan to study the Quran. Thus, the Prophet would be more generous than a nourishing wind.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1902, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi 

Ibn al-Qayyim writes:

وَكَانَ مِنْ هَدْيِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ الْإِكْثَارُ مِنْ أَنْوَاعِ الْعِبَادَاتِ فَكَانَ جِبْرِيلُ يُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ فِي رَمَضَانَ وَكَانَ إِذَا لَقِيَهُ جِبْرِيلُ أَجْوَدَ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ وَكَانَ أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ وَأَجْوَدَ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ يُكْثِرُ فِيهِ مِنَ الصَّدَقَةِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَتِلَاوَةِ الْقُرْآنِ وَالصَّلَاةِ وَالذِّكْرِ وَالِاعْتِكَافِ

Among the Prophet’s guidance in the month of Ramadan is to increase all kinds of acts of worship. Gabriel would teach him the Quran during Ramadan. When he met Gabriel, he would be even more generous with good, more so than a nourishing wind. He would be the most generous of people and his generosity during Ramadan included many acts of charity, kindness, recitation of Quran, prayer, remembrance, and spiritual retreat.

Source: Zād al-Ma’ād 2/30

And Al-Nawawi writes:

قَالَ أَصْحَابُنَا وَالْجُودُ وَالْأَفْضَالُ مُسْتَحَبٌّ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ وَفِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ أَفْضَلُ اقْتِدَاءً بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَبِالسَّلَفِ وَلِأَنَّهُ شَهْرٌ شَرِيفٌ فَالْحَسَنَةُ فِيهِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ غَيْرِهِ

Our scholars said that being generous and performing favors are highly recommended during Ramadan, specifically during the last ten nights. By doing so, we emulate the example of the Prophet as well as our predecessors. This month is honored and good deeds performed in this month are more blessed than they are at any other time.

Source: al-Majmū’ Sharḥ al-Muhadhdhab 6/424

We ask Allah to allow us to reach this blessed month and to benefit from its virtues in this life and in the Hereafter.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.