30 Days, 30 Deeds – Ramadan Challenge


islamopedia_41.pngThis Ramadan we at Islamopedia and the Wednesday Circle challenge you to complete 30 different good deeds for each day of the holy month. The idea being to encourage and instil new deeds in our lives that we can carry forward even after Ramadan is finished. And to make it even easier, we have done the hard work for you and made a list of 30 deeds that you can complete in this month.

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

wednesday_circle_whiteThe task is simple. Each day in Ramadan, take one deed from the list below and complete it. Once complete make a note of it so you don’t forget which deed you have done. The next day take another deed and so on until the end of the month. By the end of the month you should have a list of 30 deeds that you have completed in the month that you may not have otherwise done. Keep the list to hand and carry on doing those same deeds in the months after Ramadan as well insha Allah.

Simple as that.

Feel free to share with us how you get on to encourage the goodness and also encourage others to take part by sharing this challenge with friends and family.

Feel free to add to the list of good deeds or suggest your own deeds as well.

1. Recite and Read the Qur’an

“Recite the Qur’an. It will appear on the Day of Rising as an intercessor for its people.”

[Muslim] 

QuranRamadan is known as the month of the Qur’an and one of the beauties of Ramadan is that you hear the sound of Qur’an buzzing from the houses, the Masajid, from cars in the streets, to people reciting on public transport and so on.

Use this special month to rekindle your relationship with the Qur’an and make a concerted effort to also understand the book in addition to just reciting it.

Break down the Qur’an into bitesize chunks and recite a small portion at regular intervals in the day to make it easier to complete an entire khatm by the end of the month.

2. Pray all of your obligatory prayers and pray them on time

“So perform the prayer. Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.”

[Qur’an 4:103] 

Ramadan is a time when most people make a determined effort to complete their obligatory prayers along with their fasting. This is a good thing and should be commended. The challenge for you is to try and complete all of your obligatory prayers and pray them on time. If you can do this for 30 days, then surely you can carry this on for the rest of the 335 days of the year? Try it, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve and what you are capable of.

3. Pray your obligatory prayers in congregation

“Offering the prayer in congregation carries 27 times greater reward than offering it alone individually.”

[Bukhari, Muslim] 

Try at least on one of the days to complete all 5 of the daily prayers in congregation in the Masjid. This not only increases the reward for the prayer, but also brings the community together in the Masjid and helps build that brotherhood/sisterhood that is so essential to the preservation of our Deen.   

4. Give regular charity

‘Those who spend their wealth night and day, secretly and openly,- they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.’

 [Qur’an 2:274] 

Give regular charity in this month and help those that are less fortunate than you. Find 30 different causes / charities that you would like to help, and give a small donation to a different organisation every day of the month. This way you are helping out a diverse group of people and various different charities can benefit from your Sadaqa as opposed to just one or two organisations if you were to give a lump sum.

charity-fundraisingIf you have a large amount of Zakah to give, instead of donating that money to a charity for general causes, why not consider using that money to put into a long term project such as sponsoring an orphan for the duration of his/her young life, or building a house for a poor family in a poor country, or providing a watering well in places where these is shortage of clean and sustainable water.

We have to be more clever and savvy with our money and we should think about the various options available to us to make the best use of our Sadaqa and Zakah. See it as a business investment decision, but one not for this world, but the hereafter.

5. Teach someone something

“Indeed, Allah, the angels, the denizens of the heavens and the earth, the ants in their burrows, and the fish in the sea pray for blessings to come upon those who teach good to people.”

[Related by At-Tirmidhi]

Look at the skills set that Allah has blessed you with and use it to teach someone something that they did not know before. It could be something as simple as teaching a younger sibling to tie their shoe laces, to something as awesome as teaching someone a Surah of the Qur’an. Anything that benefits another Muslim is good enough, and you can teach people via face to face or even through your social media interactions, so the options are limitless!

6. Begin and Break your fast with Sunnah Foods

‘O messengers, eat of the good things and perform righteous acts. Surely I know what you do.’

[Qur’an 23:51]

Sunnah FoodTry to incorporate within your Iftar and Suhur food items taken from the Sunnah of our blessed Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This can include foods like dates, cucumbers, melons, figs, honey, olives  and so on. Try to also carry this forward beyond Ramadan, and incorporate in your daily diets the food items that have been specifically mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

 

7. Make abundant Du’a

“Supplication is worship itself.”

[Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi]

hands-duaThere is no better time to make Du’a than in the month of Ramadan. Make Du’a for yourself, make D’ua for your family, make Du’a for your relatives and friends, make Du’a for the Ummah at large and make Du’a for all of the living and the deceased.There is no shortage of what Du’as can be made. A good thing that is helpful is to have a pre-prepared Du’a list that you can read from and look at when making Du’a so that you do not forget anyone or anything.

8. Qiyam Al-Layl

‘And for a part of the night, keep vigil therewith as a supererogatory [devotion] for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy station.’

[Qur’an 17:79]

Stand for a portion of the night in prayer to your Lord. Those able to pray the Tarawih prayers will be classed as having performed Qiyam Al-Layl (standing in the night), but even after the Tarawih spend a few more minutes in praying the Tahajjud prayer and add that onto your bag of good deeds too. The virtues of the Tahajjud prayer are many, but one of the greatest blessings is the fact that at that time Allah (SWT) comes down to the lowest heaven seeking to listen to His slaves on the Earth and anything asked at that time is seldom refused.

9. Attend gatherings of Dhikr / Knowledge

“When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, Sakinah, or tranquillity descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.”

[Muslim]

In Ramadan there are many of these gatherings that take place in the local Masjids and community centres. Seek them out and take part in them and be from amongst those who bask in the meadows of paradise.

The benefits of attending gatherings of Dhikr and Knowledge are well known and many. Even those that happen to be passing by and just sit down at the back without intending to be part of the gathering are included in those that Allah (SWT) mentions in the Heavens and grants forgiveness to.

10. Increase in your Islamic Knowledge

‘Say: ‘Can those who have knowledge and those who do not be alike?’ So only the wise do receive the admonition.’

[Qur’an 39:9]

Spend some time this Ramadan to increase and improve in your Islamic Knowledge. Maybe read a book, attend a class, do a distant learning course, watch lectures on youtube, anything that helps you to improve your knowledge and thereby improving the quality with which you worship Allah.

11. Contribute towards building a Masjid (or the running of one)

 

‘Whoever builds a Masjid seeking by it the Pleasure of Allah, Allah will build for him a similar place in Jannah.’

[Bukhari] 

One of the best forms of charity is to contribute towards the building of a Masjid where people can come together for prayers and other community functions in a safe and warm environment. The benefits of such a charity is that you will get the reward for every single person that benefits from visiting the Masjid and all the prayers that are prayed in the Masjid for as long as the Masjid is standing, which could be for over 100s of years in well established areas.

Look around at the various Masjid appeals that come to you this year, and find one that is close to your heart, and make a meaningful contribution towards it based on your income and ability. 

12. Contribute towards feeding the fasting Muslims in poorer places

“Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.”  

[Tirmidhi] 

feed the fastingAnother great cause that one can contribute towards is to help feed the fasting Muslims in poor countries or even poorer areas of your own country. In the UK there has been a surge of people visiting soup kitchen and food banks because they can not make ends meet, I am sure a proportion of these people are probably Muslim and therefore we don’t need to look far to help poorer Muslims to break their fasts.

I know that some of the larger Mosques and Organisations organise Iftar gatherings for homeless people and Soup kitchens and the like in Ramadan. Seek these out and either help them by donating food or money or help them by volunteering your time and possibly even your cooking skills.

13. Pray all of your Sunnah Prayers

“Allah will build a house in Heaven for whoever is diligent in observing 12 Sunnah Rak’at (as follows): 4 Rak’at before and 2 after the Dhuhr (Midday) Prayer, 2 after the Maghrib (Sunset Prayer), 2 after the ‘Isha’ (Evening) Prayer and 2 before the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer.”

[Tirmidhi] 

The virtues of praying the Sunnah prayers after the Fard is well known. However due to the busy lifestyle that some of us have and due to work and family commitments sometimes it is difficult to pray all of the Sunnah prayers. Other times it is out of sheer laziness and heedlessness that we do not observe the Sunnah Prayers.

Make a concerted effort this Ramadan to pray all of the Sunnah prayers before and after the obligatory Salah to take the great benefits that come with it. Remember that the early generations used to complete an action on the basis that it was a ‘Sunnah’, whereas we use the same excuse to abandon a good deed only because ‘it is just a Sunnah.’ How different is our thought process compared to that of the early generations, Subhan Allah!

14. Visit the Sick 

‘Visit the sick and ask them to supplicate for you because the supplication of a sick person is accepted and his sins are forgiven.’

[At-Tabarani] 

Seek out a sick relative, friend, neighbour and go and visit them and spend some time with them. If you can not find anyone, then visit a local hospital or hospice and visit the sick there, maybe even take some gifts with you to distribute and put a smile on someone’s face. Seek out the Du’a of the sick for their Du’a is accepted and will bring you benefit in your life and hereafter. 

15. Send prayers upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

‘Indeed God and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who believe, invoke blessings on him and invoke peace upon him in a worthy manner.’

[Qur’an 33:56]

It should be a daily practice for us that we send regular prayers upon our blessed Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This should be more so the case at special times such as the month of Ramadan and other special times during the year.Take some time out after prayers or at other times during the day to send prayers upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and to remember him and the blessings that he has brought into our lives.

16. Smile and bring a Smile to the face of another

“After obligatory rites, the action most beloved to Allah is delighting other Muslims.”

[At-Tabarani] 

Smiling is a great attribute of a Muslim. We are always smiling no matter what the situation because we believe there to be good in every thing that Allah has planned for us. Smile, as it is contagious. Even if you smile at a grumpy person or a person having a bad day, most of the times you will find the your smile brings a smile on their face and for that short second they may feel a moment of happiness that was brought about by your smile. Keep smiling and never give it up.

17. Recite Ayatul Kursi after every Fard Salah

“Whoever reads “Ayatul-Kursi” [Qur’an 2:255], after every obligatory prayer, nothing prevents him from entering Paradise except death (i.e. that he is still alive).”

[An-Nasa’i, Ibn Hibbaan]

This is something that is very easy to do, and takes very little time to do it in, but the reward for doing it is immense and great. Make it daily habit to recite Ayatul Kursi after every obligatory prayer because the reward for doing so is entry into Paradise.

18. Do something to support an Orphan

“The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together to illustrate.

[Sahih Bukhari] 

Helping an Orphan is again one of the best deeds that one can do. For those of us that know the blessings of having parents that are alive and with us, we can only imagine what is it like to live without one or both of your parents, especially if you are a young child.

You can help Orphans in many ways, from Orphan sponsorship to buying them gifts to writing them letters and just being their friend. Find the means that suits you the most and do something to bring a smile upon the face of an Orphan. 

19. Make sincere Tawbah

“Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant when he turns penitently towards Him than one of you would be on finding the lost camel.”

[Sahih Muslim] 

What better time to make Tawbah and seek forgiveness from the One than in the blessed month of Ramadan when Allah forgives sins and frees people from the Hellfire. Think about all of the major sins that you have committed in your life and make a since Tawbah from them seeking His forgiveness and pardon. Also vow never to return to any of those sins in the future. Remember the conditions for a successful Tawbah are as follows:

  1. You have to leave off the sin that you were committing
  2. You should show remorse and regret for having committed the sin
  3. You have to vow never to return to that sin
  4. If you have hurt or upset or taken something from another human being in the process, then you have to seek forgiveness from them also
  5. You have to seek, sincerely, forgiveness from Allah (SWT)

20. Give a loved one a gift

“Give each other gifts and you will love each other.”

[al-Adab al-Mufrad] 

Give gifts this Ramadan to loved ones and those afar. The giving of gifts increases love for one another and brings people closer together. It helps strengthen ties of kinship and can be a way of mending arguments and disagreements.

21. Seek from Allah His Paradise, and seek refuge from the Hellfire 

‘He who asks Allah for Paradise three times, Paradise says: “O Allah! Admit him into Paradise.” He who seeks refuge from the Hell-Fire three times, the Hell-Fire says: “O Allah! Give him refuge from the Hell-Fire.”‘

[Al-Tirmidhi] 

FireOne of the best times to seek Paradise and seek protection from the Hellfire is in the month of Ramadan because it is in this month that Allah rescues people from the Fire and enters them into Paradise. Constantly ask Allah to grant you paradise and by the same token constantly seek from him protection and refuge from the Hellfire. 

22. Visit the Masjid frequently

“Whosoever goes to the Masjid and returns back from it, purely for the sake of Allah, Allah the Almighty will prepare an abode in Jannah for every time he goes and comes back.”

[Muslim] 

Ramadan is the best month to frequent the Masjids because they are always buzzing with worshippers and there is always something going on. For those that have the luxury of living next to a large Masjid will attest to the fact that the vibe you get from the Masjid in Ramadan is completely different and surreal to other times in the year. Add to that the fact that virtually all Mosques have long Tarawih prayer facilities and many even carry out congregational Tahajjud prayers to encourage their congregation to get involved in the night prayer. Make use of the Masjid in this month and be a frequent visitor to the House of Allah.

23. Visit friends and relatives and honour the guests that visit you

“Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should honour his guest. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should maintain ties of kinship. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak well or be silent.”

[Agreed upon – Riyadh As-Salihin]

Ramadan is also the time to visit friends and relatives. Many people organise Iftar gatherings in their homes for family and friends. Take advantage of these and do not be among those who choose to stay at home while their family are out visiting guests.

I read a post on Facebook about the virtue of having guests in the home, and although I wasn’t able to find a source for this, I think the meaning of the story is true and beneficial and therefore am choosing to repost it below:

Guests in your house 

A woman came to the Prophet (saw) and complained to him about her husband that he invites too many guests and she has become weary from preparing food for them and hosting them. The Prophet (saw) did not answer and the woman left. 

Sometime later the Prophet (saw) called the woman’s husband and said, “I am your guest today.” The man was so happy he went home and told his wife “the Prophet of Allah (saw) is our guest today.” His wife was ecstatic and spent time and effort and used every bit of food to prepare for the arrival of the Most Honored Guest, the Prophet (saw).  

After the amazing joy of hosting the Prophet (saw) generously the Prophet (saw) told the man, ‘tell your wife to watch the door from which I leave your home.” 

So the wife watched the door from which the Prophet (saw) left her home and saw all kinds of creatures, scorpions and other harmful creatures leaving the house behind Prophet (saw) upon which she fainted due to the immense manifestation and greatness of what she had witnessed. 

When she came to the Prophet (saw), he said to her, “this is what happens when the guest leaves your home, with him all kinds of harm, trials and tribulations and harmful creatures depart from your home, and that is the wisdom behind being generous to one’s guest and becoming weary doing so.” 

The house in which the guests are frequent and many is a house which Allah loves. There is nothing better than the ‘open house’ for the young and the old. In such a house descends Allah’s mercy and blessings from heaven. 

The Prophet (saw) said, “If Allah wants good for a people, He sends them a gift.” They asked “what kind of gift, oh Prophet of Allah (swt)?” He said, “the guest comes with his own provision, and leaves with the sins of the people of the house.” So my beloved, know that the guest is the way to Paradise. The Prophet (s) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day must be generous with his guest.”

24. Make abundant Dhikr of Allah

‘the ones who believe and their hearts are peaceful with the remembrance of Allah. Listen, the hearts find peace only in the remembrance of Allah.’

[Qur’an 13:28]

Make this month a month of Dhikr. Make abundant Dhikr and keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah. If you keep your tongue constantly busy in the remembrance of Allah, then you will find that soon enough your heart will follow suite insha Allah.

25. Read!

‘Read with the name of your Lord who created (every thing), He created man from a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the most gracious, who imparted knowledge by means of the pen. He taught man what he did not know.’

[Qur’an 96:1-5]

BooksThe command to read was the very first command given to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) even though he was not of those that could read and write. This shows the sheer importance of this command and the desire for us to be people of knowledge.

Pick up a book this Ramadan and aim to finish it by the end of the month and then continue you this effort outside of Ramadan by continuing to read and increasing in your knowledge. One of the traits of successful people is that they are well read and read into a varying array of subjects to broaden their understanding.

26. Show kindness to your Parents (or those they loved)

Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) said, “If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him.” He was asked, “Even if they wrong him?” “Even if they wrong him” he replied.

[Bukhari – Adab Al-Mufrad] 

Many of us take our parents for granted. Use this Ramadan as a time to show kindness to them and to do something nice for them. This could be something as small as helping out with the grocery shopping, or helping clear up and washing up after Iftar, to maybe buying them a small gift and so on.

For those that have unfortunately lost their parents, the way in which you can continue to honour your parents is by visiting and assisting those that they were close to and those that they loved. Take a moment and do something nice for your parents.

27. Avoid getting Angry

“The person who is strong is not strong because he can knock people down. The person who is strong is the one who controls himself when he is angry.”

[Bukhari – Adab Al Mufrad] 

Most of us are prone to getting angry in Ramadan due to the lack of sleep and the lack of food in our system. Being tired and hungry can make us cranky and moody and sometimes we end up blowing the roof top due to it. Anger is the root cause of problems in a lot of families and if we can learn to control ourselves and our Anger then it would go a long way in abating some of the problems we may face at home.

Ramadan is a time to learn and discipline the Soul into self restraint. Use it as a training ground to control your emotions and your anger. Try to go an entire day without getting angry, and if you succeed then continue that to day 2 and 3 and so on.

28. Avoid doing bad deeds

“Perhaps a fasting person will get nothing from his fast except hunger and thirst, and perhaps a person who prays during the night will get nothing from his prayer except sleeplessness.”

[Related by Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majah]

One of the most saddening things is to see people in the month of Ramadan engaged in wrong actions while in a state of fasting. Sometimes you walk past a group of young people and all you hear are profanities emanating from their mouths. You see old people sitting in Cafés gossiping away. Sometimes you find people fighting and arguing in the streets.

Remember the ultimate purpose of Ramadan is to make you a better Muslim and a better human being. Use the month of Ramadan as a training session to improve yourself and make yourself better. Give up any bad actions that you have been doing and replace them with something good and whatever you do, do not waste your month away by engaging in bad deeds whilst in a state of fasting.

29. Do something nice for your Neighbours

“Jibril kept on recommending that I treat my neighbours well until I thought that he would order me to treat them as my heirs.”

[Bukhari – Adab Al Mufrad] 

Use Ramadan as a time to engage with your Neighbours. Exchange food and gifts with them. If they are not Muslim, then use it as an opportunity to teach them about Ramadan and Eid. Maybe even invite them around for Iftar, take them along to the Mosque. The options are limitless.

30. Use the Miswak to brush your Teeth

‘Siwaak cleanses the mouth and pleases the Lord.’

[Sahih Bukhari]

Miswak-600x6001One of the last actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) before he passed away was to use the Miswak to clean his teeth. The benefits of the Siwak are so well known that even non Muslim companies are starting to use and sell it as an alternative to conventional toothbrushes and cleaning methods.

All of us get a little bad breath from fasting. Why not use the Miswak to clean your teeth when doing Wudu and getting rid of some of that odour from your mouth. Try it and you may be surprised at the result that you continue using it even after Ramadan.

We hope and pray that you find the list above beneficial and useful. If you do, then please do share with your friends and contacts. Most of the deeds have been derived from our Box of Good Deeds, which is another tool that you can use to increase the amount and the various type of deeds that you complete in this blessed month.

Keep us in your Duas

 

The Islamopedia and Wednesday Circle Team

Sha’ban 1438

Advertisements

One thought on “30 Days, 30 Deeds – Ramadan Challenge”

Comments are closed.