How our pious predecessors observed Ramadan – II

How our pious predecessors observed Ramadan – II
  • Publish date:01/08/2010
  • Section:Our Salaf
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Recitation of the Quran:

The month of Ramadan is the month of the Quran. The Salaf used to pay particular attention to the Book of Allah, and angel Jibreel (Gabriel) used to study the Quran with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) during Ramadan. 'Uthman Ibn Affaan, may Allah be pleased with him, used to complete reciting the Quran once each day. Some of the Salaf also completed the Quran in their Qiyaam prayer every three nights. Others completed it every seven days, while some others completed it every ten nights.


They used to recite the Quran during prayers and at other times. During Ramadan, Ash-Shaafi'i used to complete reciting the Quran sixty times, excluding prayer times. Al-Aswad used to complete reciting the Quran every two nights. Qataadah regularly completed the Quran within seven nights, while during Ramadan, he completed it every three nights, but in the last ten days of Ramadan, he completed it every night.

When Ramadan came, Az-Zuhri left studying the Hadeeth and study circles with scholars and he concentrated on reciting the Quran from the book (i.e. not from memory). Also, when Ramadan came, Sufyaan Al-Thawri left all other acts of worship and concentrated on the Quran. Ibn Rajab said that it was reported from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) that the Quran may not be completed in less than three days by those who recite it constantly. As for the blessed times such as Ramadan, especially during the nights of expecting the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) or when in holy places such as Makkah for those not inhabiting it, it is recommended that the recitation of the Quran be increased in order to benefit from the blessings of the time and the place. This is the opinion of Ahmad, Is'haaq and others among the distinguished scholars. As we indicated earlier, the actions of other scholars also support this view.

Weeping during the recitation of the Quran:

It was not reported from the Salaf that they used to chant the Quran like poetry without pondering and understanding (its meanings); rather, they were moved by the Words of Allah, and they in turn changed the hearts of others with it. 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: 'Recite (the Quran) to me.' Then I said, 'How can I recite to you when it was revealed to you?' The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: 'I like to hear it from someone else."' 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood said, "I recited the Quran from the Chapter An-Nisaa' until I reached the verse that says (what means), "So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness?" [Quran 4:41]. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, 'That is enough.' I turned to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and found his eyes flooding with tears."'

It has been reported that Ibraaheem Al-Ash'ath said, "One night, I heard Fudhayl Ibn Ayaadh reciting this verse of the Quran, repeatedly as he wept, " And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs", [Quran 47:31] but he kept on saying the words of Allah, 'And We will test your affairs', then he would say, 'And You will test our affairs? If You test our affairs, You will disgrace us and expose our secrets. Indeed if You do that, You will destroy us and punish us,' and he would continue crying!

Anticipating of the Night of Decree:

Allah the Almighty Says (what means): "Indeed, We sent the Quran down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months." [Quran 97:1-3] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "He who observes the Night of Decree with sincere faith and hope for the reward of Allah will have his past sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to look out for the Night of Decree and commanded his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, also to look out for it. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to wake up his family members during the last ten nights in the hope that they would succeed in meeting the blessed night (in worship).

It has been reported that some of our predecessors among the Companions and their successors used to take a complete bath and use perfume during the last ten nights (of Ramadan) in anticipation of the Night of Decree, which has been highly honored by Allah. So one should make up for what he has missed by observing the Night of Decree, as it is reckoned from one's age. Good deeds undertaken in this night are better than (the deeds of) a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its benefits has indeed been much deprived.

How our pious predecessors observed Ramadan – I

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