Worship Plan to Maximise the Blessings of Ramadan

Subhanallah! Such immense rewards are to be gained during Ramadan. We must do our best to use the time effectively.

The following is a possible worship plan for Ramadan. It should be adjusted according to our own circumstances and schedule.

Suhoor

  • Wake up and eat Suhoor

Tahajjud

  • Perform Wudhu and Pray 2 Rakah Tahiyyat-ul-Wudhu
  • Pray Tahajjud

“The best of prayers after the prescribed prayers is prayer in the depths of the night, and the best of fasting after the month of Ramadan is fasting the month of Allah, Muharram.” [Muslim]

  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Make Dua

Fajr

  • Pray Fajr
  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Make Dua
  • Recite Morning Adhkar – Supplications/invocations for remembrance said in the morning

“Oh believers, remember Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) often, and give Him glory at the dawn and in the evening.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:41)

  • Recite the Qur’an, contemplating and pondering over the words of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))

Between Fajr and Dhuhr

  • Pray Salaat al-Ishraq – This is a Nafl two-rak‘ah prayer that is offered after the sun has risen and become high.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak‘ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and Umrah” [Tirmidhi]

  • Pray Salaat al-Duha – This is a Sunnah prayer, a minimum two-rak‘ah prayer that is also offered after the sun has risen and become high.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “Whoever offers two rak‘ahs of Salaat al-Duha, all his sins will be forgiven even though they are as much as the foam of the sea.” [Ibid]

  • Work or complete daily tasks or spiritually beneficial tasks
  • Rest

Dhuhr

  • Perform Wudhu and Pray 2 Rakah Tahiyyat-ul-Wudhu
  • Pray Dhuhr
  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Make Dua
  • Recite the Qur’an, contemplating and pondering over the words of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))

Between Dhuhr and Asr

  • Continue with work or complete daily tasks or spiritually beneficial tasks
  • Rest

Asr

  • Perform Wudhu and Pray 2 Rakah Tahiyyat-ul-Wudhu
  • Pray Asr
  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Make Dua
  • Recite Evening Adhkar – Supplications/invocations for remembrance said in the evening

“Oh believers, remember Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) often, and give Him glory at the dawn and in the evening.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:41)

  • Recite the Qur’an, contemplating and pondering over the words of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))

Iftar

  • Make Dua
  • Eat Iftar

Maghrib

  • Perform Wudhu and Pray 2 Rakah Tahiyyat-ul-Wudhu
  • Pray Maghrib
  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Make Dua
  • Recite the Qur’an, contemplating and pondering over the words of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))
  • Pray Salaat al-Awaabeen – This is a Nafl 6-rak‘ah prayer that is offered after Maghrib.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “Whoever prays six rak’ahs after Maghrib and does not say anything bad in between them, will have a reward equal to the worship of twelve years” [Tirmidhi]

Isha and Tarawih

  • Perform Wudhu and Pray 2 Rakah Tahiyyat-ul-Wudhu
  • Pray Isha and Tarawih
  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Make Dua
  • Recite the Qur’an, contemplating and pondering over the words of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))
  • Rest

List of Spiritual Things to Do

Try and incorporate some of the activities below into your daily routine:

  • Make Dhikr and Istighfaar (seek Allah’s (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) pleasure and forgiveness)
  • Make Dua
  • Recite the Qur’an, contemplating and pondering over the words of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))
  • Memorise verses of the Quran
  • Read at least one page of Tafseer of the Qur’an
  • Read a book or listen to lecture regarding Islamic knowledge
  • Pray Salaat Al-Tawbah – The Prayer of Repentance.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and prays two rak’ahs, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, but Allaah will forgive him.” [Abu Dawood]

  • Pray Salaat Al-Tasbih – The Prayer of Forgiveness.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “O my uncle! Shall I not give you a gift? Shall I not show you something by means of which Allah will forgive your sins, the first and the last of them, the past and recent, the unintentional and the intentional, the small and huge, the secret and open? The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) then taught him the Salaat Al-Tasbih. Furthermore he advised him that it be offered daily, if possible. If not, then every Friday or once a month or once a year or at least once in one’s life time. [Abu Dawood]

Ramadan Mubarak! May Allah shower his blessings and grant you forgiveness in this holy month. May he accept all our fasts and ibadah. Ameen.

Cooking as an Act of Worship

Yes, cooking can be an act of worship and a source of Barakah (blessings).

Those of us who are in the kitchen cooking need not feel like we are missing out.

Cooking, whether it is for yourself or for your family and loved ones, presents an excellent opportunity to gain extra rewards.

All that is required is some effort, the right intentions and sincerity in our actions.

Below are some tips on how we can turn cooking into an act of worship.

  • Perform Wudhu according to the Sunnah – Wudhu really focuses your positive energy and cleanses you inwardly as well as outwardly. It washes away every minor sin and keeps Shaytan away.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “When a Muslim servant of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) performs ablution and he washes his face, the sins which the eye committed by looking are washed off with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, the sins which were committed because of the touch of the hands are washed away with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet, the sins which were committed by the walking of the feet are washed off with the water or with the last drop of water until he comes out from that ablution cleansed from every sin (minor)” [Muslim]

  • Niyyah (intention) – All acts of worship must be done with the intention of seeking nearness (qurbah) to Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)). When you are cooking, have the intention of cooking solely for the sake of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)). Having the right intentions will increase the sincerity in our worship and enable us to earn greater rewards for every good deed we do, even if it is an everyday task like cooking.
  • Start with Bismillah (In the name of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))) – By invoking Allah’s name not only will that activity be blessed but Shaytan cannot take part in it.
  • Dhikr of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) was asked, “Which of the servants of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) is best in rank before Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) on the Day of resurrection?” He said: “The ones who remember him much.” I said: “O Messenger of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)), what about the fighter in the way of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))?” He answered: “Even if he strikes the unbelievers and mushrikin with his sword until it broke, and becomes red with their blood, truly those who do Dhikr are better than him in rank.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi]

The following are Dhikr that you can try reciting whilst cooking:

Tasbeeh – Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)))

Tahmeed – Alhamdulillah (All Praise belongs to Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)))

Takbeer – Allahu Akbar (Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) is most Great)

Tahleel – Laa ilaaha illallah (There is none worthy of worship except Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)))

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him))  said: “In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s glorification is an act of charity. Every utterance of praise of Him is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Greatness is an act of charity…” [Muslim]

Astaghfirullah (I seek forgiveness of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)))

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “If anyone constantly seeks pardon, Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud]

La Hawla Wa La Quwwata illa BillAhil Aliyyil Azeem (There is no power and no strength except with Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)))

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) said: “La Hawla Wa La Quwwata illa BillAhil Aliyyil Azeem is a door from one of the doors of paradise. Whoever reads this an angel descends to give good health/brings a cure for that person” [Tirmidhi]

Astaghfirullah al-’Azeem al-lazi la ilaha illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum wa atubu ilaih (I seek the forgiveness of Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) the Almighty, beside Whom there is no other god, and I repent to Him)

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him))  said: “Whoever says Astaghfirullah al-’Azeem al-lazi la ilaha illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum wa atubu ilaih will be forgiven even if he fled from the battlefield.” [Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi]

Subhaan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhaan-Allahil-Azhim ((Glory and praise be to Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)), glory be to Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He))the Almighty))

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him))  said: “Two words which are light on the tongue and heavy in the Balance, and beloved to the Most Merciful: Subhaan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhaan-Allahil-Azhim.” [Bukhaari, Muslim]

  • Recite Durood –  recite as much of Durood-e-Ibrahim as you can. This is the Durood that is recited towards the end of Salah. Or the shortest Durood is: Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallim.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him))  said: “He who sends a single Durood upon me, Almighty Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) rewards him ten times and ten good deeds are recorded in his book of good deeds”. [Tirmidhi]

  • Make lots of Dua as it is a form of worship and you will get rewarded for it.

The Prophet Muhammad (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him))  said: “Dua is worship.” [Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi]

  • Listen to Quran recitation – Listening to the Quran enables you to perfect your recitation of the Quran, help you revise what you have memorised, and constantly remember Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) in your heart and mind.
  • And finally, say Alhamdulillah when you have finished cooking and give thanks to Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) in abundance as Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) blessed you with the ability to cook and provide nourishment to your loves ones

And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ” [Surah Ibrahim 14:7]

May Allah (subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)) reward you for the eagerness to do good and righteous deeds. Ameen.