At this point, we should ponder over our ibadah. How much importance do we attach to it in Ramadan? How many nafl do we perform? As for fardh deeds, we observe how numerous people who after having eaten sah’ri get back into bed with the result that the Fajr ‘salaah is neglected. Many perform it, but not with Jamaa’ah. It gives the impression that we give thanks to Allah for the food we had eaten for sah’ri by not performing the most important fardh or by not performing it with Jamaa’ah. Such a ‘salaah has been termed defective. Rasulullah (SAW) said that “There is no ‘salah for those near the musjid except in the musjid”.

In the Kitab ‘Mazhaahire Haq’ we find that there is no reward for the ‘salah for persons who do not perform ‘salah with Jamaa’ah without any valid reason or excuse.

Similarly, in numerous cases at the time of iftar (boeka) Maghrib ‘salah is missed, and many who do not come to the musjid miss the Takbeer at the beginning or miss the first raka’ah. Many people hasten to get over the Taraweeh ‘salah early and even perform the ‘isha’ ‘salah before the time of ‘Isha’ commences. (Some do not pay any attention to ‘salah even in Ramadan.)

That is the way we look after our very important fardh ‘salaah in Ramadan. Sometimes in the process of performing one fardh, three others are destroyed. How often do we see even the time of Zhuh-r ‘salah going by because we are asleep, while the time of A’sr goes by because we are too busy buying, selling, or cooking to prepare for iftar.

If such is the case with the faraa’idh, then we can imagine how much less importance is given to the nafl actions. One finds that because of sleep, the time of ‘salaatul Ishraaq (after sunrise) and ‘salaatul Dhuhaa (before noon) go by.

Then what about ‘salaat Awwaabeen (just after Maghrib)? Here we find ourselves busy with If’tar and when thinking about Taraweeh after about an hour this ‘salah too is wasted. Further, we find that for ‘salaatul Ta-hajjud the time is the same as that for sah’ri with the result that this too goes by. One may make a thousand excuses for not finding time for these nawafil. These are all excuses for not performing these ‘salah.

We see that there are many who do find the time to do all these ‘ibadahs during these precious moments. I personally observed my ustaaz Maulana Khalil Ahmad during many Ramadan. He was a weak sickly person and of advanced age but in spite of these drawbacks, he used to read one and a quarter juz of the Qur’an in nafl namaz after Maghrib. Thereafter he used to have meals for about half an hour. After performing all other necessities in preparation for Taraweeh ‘salah he used to stand in Taraweeh for about two and a half hours when he was in India, and when he was in Madinah Munawwarah the duration was three hours.

Thereafter he used to sleep about two or three hours (according to the season). Then he used to again recite the Qur’an in Tahajjud ‘salah until about half an hour before Fajr. Then he ate sah’ri. From that time until Fajr he remained busy with reading the Qur’an or reciting of wazifas. With the greyness of dawn, he performed Fajr ‘salah, thereafter he remained in meditation (muraa-qabah) until Ishraaq. Having performed Ishraaq he used to write his famous kitab, ‘Baziul Majhood’, commentary on Abu Dawood. Then he normally attends to letters and dictating replies up to mid-day. Then he used to rest up to Zhuh-r ‘salah. Between Zhuh-r and A’sr he used to recite the Qur’an.

From A’sr Namaaz until Maghrib he used to be busy with tasbeeh and answering the queries of those who visited him. When he completed ‘Baziul Majhood’ then part of the morning used to be spent in tilaawah and studying some monumental religious works, especially Baziul Majhood and Wafa al Wafa. This was his daily program for nafl ‘ibadah throughout the year.

In Ramadan however, he used to spend a bit more time in his ibadah, making the rak’aats longer. For the ordinary person to observe the special programs the other pious elders had for Ramadan would be difficult. Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmoo-dul Hasan (Rahmatullah alaihi) used to remain in nafl ‘salah from after Taraweeh until Fajr, while also listening to the Qur’an recited by various huffaazh one after the other.

Maulana Shah Abdurraheem Raipuri (d 1963) remained busy with tilaawah (recitation) of the Qur’an day and night through Ramadan. There used to be no time for attending to correspondence or meeting visitors. Only his special ones were allowed to wait on him after Taraweeh for a short period while he drank a cup of tea.