The Origin of The Naming of Ramadan
The root of the word “Ramadan” comes from word “ra-mi-dha”, which means “hot”. Some said that they named the month with “Ramadan”, because when the Arabs wanted to choose names for months by replacing the previous names, they named it by the event occurred during the month. When the time of naming of a Particular month came, it exacted the time when the climate of the days was very hot. Thus they named the month with “Ramadan“.
The Virtues of month Ramadan
1. Ramadan is the month of Qur’an
Allah decreed, which can be translated as, “During the month of Ramadan the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance to the people…” (The Cow: 185)
2. Ramadan is the month of Forgiveness of sins
From the authority of Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him-, that The Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said:
“Whoever observes Saum (fasts) in the month of Ramadân with sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allâh, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari and Muslim)
3. A Month where prayers are granted and mankind are freed from the Hellfire
From the authority of Jabir Ibn Abdillah -may Allah be pleased with him-, that the Prophet – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Indeed, in each day of the month Ramadan, Allah will free some people out of Hellfire and each muslim has a prayer which must be granted.” (Narrated by Ibn Maja and Al Bazzar; the narrators are trustworthy)
4. A Month where the devils are chained, and the gates of the heaven are opened, and the gates of the Hell are closed
From the authority of Abu Huraira- may Allah be pleased with him-, that one day, the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- brought a good news to his companions, said: “There has come to you Ramadân, a blessed month, which Allâh, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it the gates of heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and every devil is chained up. In it Allâh has a night which is better than a thousand months; whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” (Narrated by Ahmad and An Nasa’i; classed sahih by Shu’aib Al Arnauth)
5. The rewards of performing ‘Umra in the month of Ramadan resembles the reward of Hajj
From Ibn ‘Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them both-, the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Perform ‘Umra when Ramadân comes, for ‘Umra in Ramadân is equal to Hajj (in reward).” (Narrated by Al Bukhari)
Weak (da’if) Hadith About Ramadan
“If only My slaves know (the secret of rewards) in the month of Ramadan, indeed they will wish that the whole year is Ramadan. Indeed, the heaven is adorned to welcome Ramadan year to year…” (Da’if At Targhib, hadith no, 596)
“O mankind, there has come to you a sacred month. A month where inside it exists a night which is better than a thousand month. Allah created the fasts in this month as an obligation and prayers in the night of this month as a voluntary deeds. Whoever performed one voluntary deed in this month the reward (value of reward) will be as an obligatory deed in other months…. This is the month which beginning is graces, the middle part is forgiveness, and the final part is the freedom from the hellfire...” (Adh Da’ifah, in hadith no. 871)
“Whoever abandon fasts for one day, in the month of Ramadan, without any reason that is permitted by Allah, he will not be able to replace it with a year-full of fasts, even though he perform it.” (Tamamul Minnah)
“When the first night of Ramadan comes, Allah will look at all His creations: and if Allah see His slave, Allah will not torture them forever. Every night, Allah has set free one million people from the hellfire.” (Adh Da’ifah, in hadith no. 299)
“The righteous deeds in the month of Ramadan will still be hanged between the heaven and the earth and are unable to ascend to Allah but by (the settlement) of zakat fitr.” (Adh Da’ifah, in hadith no.43)
Righteous deeds In the month of Ramadan
There are several deeds emphasized to be performed during the month Ramadan. Among them are compulsory, and the other are voluntary ones. Below are the details of them:
1. Ramadan Fasts
Allah decreed, “So those of you who live to see that month should fast it,” (The Cow: 185)
Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Islâm is based on (the following) five (principles):….(one of it is). To observe Saum [fasts (according to Islâmic teachings)] during the month of Ramadân.” (Narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim)
2. Tarawih Prayer
From the authority of Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him- , that The Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Whoever performed Salât (prayers) at night in it (the month of Ramadân) with sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allâh, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim)
It is advised to perform Tarawih pray in congregation, at the mosque. From the authority of Abu Dharr -may Allah be pleased with him-: The Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Whoever performed the tarawih pray in congregation until it has been finished, Allah will write down for him as (the reward) of someone who spent the entire night standing (in prayer).” (Narrated by Ahmad and At Tirmidhi; classed sahih by Al Albani)
3. Retreat in the mosque (I’tikaf)
Retreat in the mosque (I’tikaf) is ordered to be performed in the last 10 days of the month Ramadan. ‘Aisha -may Allah be pleased with her- said, “The Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him-used to practise I`tikâf in the last ten days of Ramadân till he died and then his wives used to practise I`tikâf after him.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
Narrated ‘Amra: ‘Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her- said, “The Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- used to practice I`tikâf in the last ten days of Ramadân and I used to pitch a tent for him, and after performing the morning Salât (prayer), he used to enter the tent.”
4. Zakat al Fitr
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar -may Allah be pleased with them both- Allâh’s Messenger made it the payment of one Sâ` of dates or one Sâ’ of barley as Zakât-ul-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old; and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer ‘Eid . (One Sâ’ = 3 kilograms approx)
5. Reciting The Qur’an
“During the month of Ramadan the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance to the people with Clear Signs of the true guidance and as the Criterion (between right and wrong). So those of you who live to see that month should fast it, and whoever is sick or on a journey should fast the same number of other days instead. Allah wants ease and not hardship for you so that you may complete the number of days required, magnify Allah for what He has guided you to, and give thanks to Him.” (The Cow: 185)
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbâs -may Allah be pleased with them both- : The Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadân when Jibril (Gabriel) visited him, and Jibril used to meet him on every night of Ramadân till the end of the month. The Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- used to recite the Noble Qur’ân to Jibril, and when Jibril met him, he used to be more generous than the fair wind [sent by Allâh with glad tidings (rain) in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds.].” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
6. Increasing worships in the month of Ramadan
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbâs -may Allah be pleased with them both-: The Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadân when Jibril (Gabriel) visited him, and Jibril used to meet him on every night of Ramadân till the end of the month. The Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- used to recite the Noble Qur’ân to Jibril, and when Jibril met him, he used to be more generous than the fair wind [sent by Allâh with glad tidings (rain) in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds.]. (Narrated by Al Bukhari)
Innovations during the month of Ramadan
1. Ceremony to welcome Ramadan
Usually held at 2 or 3 days before the beginning of Ramadan, it mainly consists of a banquet, followed by a preaching from a chaplain.
2. Uttering the intention of ramadan fasts for a month in one occasion
All scholars has agreed that pronouncing an intention is an innovation, because the rightful place of an intention is in one’s heart, and not in his words.
3. Reciting soorah Al An’am in one rak’ah, particularly in the last rak’ah of tarawih pray in the seventh day
This innovation derived from a weak hadith, as explained by Ibn Hajar.
4. Uttering remembrance in congregation after every 4 rak’ah in tarawih prayer
This widely spread innovation in Indonesia has no basis at all
5. Uttering remembrance in congregation after witr pray
It is when the Imam loudly recites the du’a after performing the witr prayer, followed by the congregation altogether.
6. Performing tarawih pray after magrib prayer
This is an innovation created by the Rafidhah due to their hatred toward Umar Ibn Khattab. Sheikh Al Islam, when he was asked about the ruling of performing tarawih prayer after the maghrib prayer, answered: “What appropriating the sunna in this matter is to perform it after the isya prayer. This is agreed by all companions of the prophet and the scholars…” (Taken from Majmu’ Fatawa, 23:119)
7. Performing salat Al Qadr
It is a 2-rak’ahs prayer, performed in congregation, after the tarawih prayer on the night which is believed (by those who perform it) as the Night of Al Qadar. After that, at end of the night, there is another 100-rak’ahs prayer in congregation to perform. This is termed as “prayer of qadar”, because it is performed on the night which is believed as the Night of al Qadar.
8. Reciting all of the verses of prostration in one rak’ah
Al Hafizh Abu Shamah said, “Some people make innovation by collecting the verses of sujood (verse upon which the reciter and the listener of it are suggested to do a voluntary prostration), to be read on the night they complete the recitation of the Qur’an, and in the tarawih prayer. They perform the sujood tilawah (prostration upon hearing the verse) in congregation in every verse of prostration that they read.” (Taken from Al Ba’its ‘ala Inkaril Bida’ wal Hawadith, page no. 83)
9. Reciting all verses that contains prayer (du’aa) in it in one rak’ah
Some Imam collected verses that contain du’a to be read in the last rak’ah of tarawih prayer, thus the rak’ah becomes longer that the previous ones.
10. Tashir: The shouting to wake people up, saying, “Sahur… sahur…”
There are a lot of ways to wake people up to have their sahur meal (a meal to eat before the dawn breaking for one intends to fast), and it differs from a region to region. Some used to repeatedly beat the beduk, a traditional drum made from the skin of a cow, others used to scream around, or traveling around the village and sounding several musical instruments, etc. But all of these practices simply go against the guidance of the prophet’s companions and the jurists.
11. The Gathering to memorize the Nuzul Al Qur’an
The 17th of Ramadan is believed to be the date when the first part of the Qur’an be divinely revealed to the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah may be upon him. Thus, some believers used to celebrate the day by commemorating the Qur’an Revelation (Nuzul Al Qur’an). Despite their beliefs, this is an innovation, since there is even no single narration from the companions which told that they used to perform such event. Together with the fact that they are the most knowledgeable of the Qur’an, and the time of it’s first being revealed, those who love it the most, and the greediest of rewards compare to the rest of mankind.
12. Celebration of khatam (a period where someone has completed the recitation of 30 parts of the Qur’an)
Be haste in reading the Qur’an as many as one could do, is a suggested and virtuous deed in the month Ramadan. But it does not mean that one is allowed to innovate after they complete their recitation, where they used to gather to perform du’a altogether, or to hold a banquet to celebrate it.
13. Paying the zakat fitr (obligatory charity) with anything beside food staple
According the Prophet’s guidance, zakat fitri (the obligational charity at the end of month Ramadan) should be paid by food staple, not by money or by other substituting means.
Article of www.whatisquran.com