Mistakes During This Auspicious Month Of Ramadaan.
Many people make a number of mistakes during this auspicious month. Whatever the reason, the outcome is the same: a violation of Islamic teachings in a matter of worship. This is serious, since matters of worship in Islam are established and defined by the sacred texts.
Neglecting Congregational Prayer
Many people increase their worship in Ramadaan and frequent the mosques more that usual. However, some people fall short during this month of their observance of congregational prayer and neglect the mosque. This is a mistake, for there is a hadith that reads: “Whoever hears the call to prayer but does not hearken to it, then he has no prayer.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi (217))
Backbiting & Rumour-Mongering
Speaking badly about other people is a way to seriously compromise one’s fasting. Rasulullah (SAW) defined backbiting in the following way:
He said: “Do you know what backbiting is?”
They said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.”
He said: “It is to mention about your brother something that he would dislike having mentioned about him.” (Sahih Muslim (2589))
Someone enquired: “O Messenger of Allah! How do you see it if what I said about him is true?”
He replied: “If what you said about him is true, then you have backbitten him. If what you said about him is false, then you have slandered him.” (Sahih Muslim (2589))
Another evil is to spread what people say about each other in order to bring about problems. This rumour-mongering also includes divulging secrets and exposing people’s faults
Speech and Bad Manners
Abu Hurayrah relates that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Whoever does not abandon false speech and acting falsely, then Allah has no need of his abandoning food and drink.” (Sahih al-Bukhari (1903))
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Fasting is a shield, so the one who fasts should avoid obscene speech and ignorant behaviour. If someone abuses him or starts to fight with him, he should reply by saying: ‘I am fasting. I am fasting’.” (Sahih al-Bukhari (1795))
Ibn Hajar writes in Fath al-Bârî (4/105)]:
The hadith means that the fasting person should not respond to the one who abuses him with the same kind of behaviour. He should restrain himself by saying: “I am fasting.”
Laziness and Listlessness
Some people take the Ramadaan fast as an excuse for laziness. In this, they behave in stark contrast to the ways of our Pious Predecessors, who had no qualms with working hard in Ramadan and even rallying to the defence of the faith. They definitely did not become lax in their regular, daily worship. Indeed, they would increase their religious observances in this month.
Some people justify their laziness with the weak hadîth that reads: “The sleep of the fasting person is worship.” If, for the sake of argument, we assume that the hadith is authentic, it does not justify laziness. It certainly does not pardon the practice of those who sleep all day in Ramadaan and then spend the nights in feasting and merriment. The hadith refers to the normal sleeping habits of the person, like the person’s usual daily nap. This normal sleep helps invigorate the person for further acts of worship. It is necessary for a person to capitalize on the opportunity for blessings that the month of Ramadaan has to offer. A Muslim should strive to the utmost to earn Allah’s reward during this month, keeping in mind that there is no guarantee of his living to see another Ramadaan.
Excessive Eating and Drinking
Some people spend their nights in Ramadaan filling their stomachs with all types of food and drink, sometimes indulging in delicacies that they do not ever eat outside of Ramadaan. This practice, without doubt, contradicts the very essence of Ramadaan and the wisdom behind our fasting.
It is related from al-Miqdâm b. Ma`di Yakrib that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The human being does not fill up any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for a person to eat just enough to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then he can fill a third with food, a third with drink, and leave a third for air.” (al-Tirmidhi (2380))
How can a person learn to subdue his base impulses and desires through fasting, when he makes up for it all by indulging his every whim at night, eating even more during Ramadaan than he does during the rest of the year? In some places, people have a custom of storing food and reserving it for Ramadaan, so that they consume in Ramadaan the quantity of food that would usually take them months to eat. We all know that the purpose of fasting is to rein in our passions and break our desires in order to grow in piety. If we allow our hunger to build in strength from dawn to dinner time only to then indulge our hunger with greater gusto, this merely magnifies the pleasure of eating. It strengthens our passions more than if we had been left to our normal eating patterns.
Some people seem to think that their bad tempers are excused because they are fasting. They allow their anger its full spectrum of expression, saying the most horrible things and doing the most preposterous deeds. A fasting person needs to adorn his fast with magnanimity and good manners. He should remind himself that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The strong person is not the one who can wrestle someone else down. The strong person is the one who can control himself when he is angry.” (Sahih al-Bukhari (5763) and Sahih Muslim (2609))
Abandoning Fasting Without an Excuse
Abandoning a Ramadaan fast without a valid excuse is a major sin. A person who falls into this sin must repent sincerely and earnestly to his Lord. He must also make up the days that he missed later. He must also provide a meal for a poor person for each day that he missed if he is financially able to do so. Fasting is one of the five pillars of the religion of Islam. A person who openly abandons the Ramadaan fast should be rebuked for doing so and not left to be a bad example for others.
Staying Up Late
This is a mistake if it leads to bed consequences. Some people stay up late at night and then sleep through the Fajr prayer. Some even sleep through the Zuhr and `Asr prayers. If they force themselves to get up during the day, they can suffer extreme fatigue on account of it. If they are employees, their performance at work suffers. Such people need to keep cognizant of the blessings of this month that they lose out on because of these consequences.
“Inshallah may we learn from these mistakes and refrain from them ,Aameen”