Religion Desk | dhaka24.net:
Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and engage in the spiritual reflection of Allah is one of the most easily identifiable aspects of the religion.
A companion once asked the Prophet Muhammad what deed he could do to attain entrance to paradise. The prophet advised him to fast. But this hadith (verified saying of the Prophet Muhammad) goes on to say that just hunger and thirst alone will not yield spiritual enlightenment and reward. The act of sincere prayer and worship must accompany it. With this in mind, here are ten prayers one can recite during Ramadan to become closer to God.
One of the best ways to pray for Muslims during Ramadan is to follow along with this 30 Day Prayer Guide. Otherwise, the five prayers below are an excellent way to get started. Here’s how you can pray:
The Prayer of Fasting Intention
With most things in Islam, like going for the spiritual pilgrimage of Hajj or even praying the five daily prayers, fasting starts with making a du’a, or prayer, for intending to fast, which is called the niyyat. This prayer serves as a notice to God that you intend with your heart and soul to fast during Ramadan for His pleasure. It can be done once before the month begins, or it is recommended to be done every morning at suhoor, the pre-dawn meal before fasting begins.
The Prayer for Breaking the Fast
One of the first prayers I ever learned was the one all Muslims recite when they break their fast. I was barely four (and of course not fasting) when I learned it. And it was my job at iftar (the fast-breaking meal at sunset) to recite this out loud, after which the fasting members of my family would break their fast with a date. Fasting does not end unless this prayer is recited:
“Allahuma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu wa ‘ala rizq-ika aftarthu.”
Prayer for Forgiveness
Ramadan is a time when Muslims are told through the Qur’an and in hadiths that God will absolve them of their sins if they engage in sincere worship and repentance. The following prayer is a good one to recite during Ramadan to ask for Allah’s forgiveness:
“Allahumma inni as’aluka birahmatika al-lati wasi’at kulli shay’in an taghfira li.”
There are infinite prayers that Muslims recite during Ramadan–ones from the Qur’an, ones from hadiths, and others that companions of the Prophets and Islamic scholars recited. But a special type of prayer exclusive to the month of Ramadan is Taraweeh prayers, which are special prayers said at night after breaking fast with physical movements akin to those Muslims do during their five daily prayers.
Prayer for Second 10 Days of Ramadan
This prayer, which is from the Qur’an, was recommended by the Prophet Muhammad to be recited as much as possible during the second 10 days of Ramadan for maximum rewards and forgiveness of sins.
“Allahumma innaka afuwun tuhibbul afuwa faafu anna.”
Prayer for the Third 10 days of Ramadan
This particular prayer was recommended by the Prophet Muhammad to be recited during the last 10 days of Ramadan as much as possible. It beseeches God to forgive us because God is indeed the best at forgiving humans for their mistakes.
“Astaghfirullaha rabbi min kulli zambin wa atabu ilaih.”
Prayers on Laylat Al Qadr, or Night of Power
As beneficial all prayers are during Ramadan, any prayers recited on Laylat Al Qadr, or “The Night of Power,” receive the most reward. Laylat Al Qadr is one of the holiest nights of Ramadan. It falls on the night of one of the odd days during the last 10 days of Ramadan and is widely believed to fall on the 27th fast of the month. The night is commemorated as when the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of the Qur’an.