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  1. Jazakallah Kheyr for the eye opening article
    I have a few questions concerning this issue that is causing debate and might clear leaning too much on either pragmatic or spiritual camp

    How did the Swahaba and those righteous people before us perform their fast?
    Did they stop working?
    Did there commitment in doing maximum acts of worship during Ramadhan ever stop them from fulfilling their duties in the best and most productive manner?

    • Wslmz Very good article

      I think its about finding a right balance during fasting. In the time of the Prophet (saw), a battle took place during Ramdaan, if I am not mistaken and they fought and won. I think the West will always try to bring down the Muslim and say what a bad thing fasting is, but we must try to find a balance and make people aware that Islam can go hand in hand with today’s fast paced life.

      In South Africa, where I am from, people actually work better during fast and get more things done and plus since there is no lunch, people can take a a nap after thur :)

  2. Assalamu alaykum. Jazakallah for sharing this article. I just want to say that during Ramadhan, one can be spiritual as well as productive. Personally I am more productive and also spiritual. It’s only a matter of focus and will.Bissalam

  3. I am not an Islamic Scholar but as a fellow Muslim, from my own knowledge and assertion, they were first and foremost dedicated to Allah swt and learning from the prophet saw, therefore they were able to cope with the challenging climate in the middle east in fasting in Ramadan. They also underwent greater trials and and tribulations than us.

  4. I completely agree with you bro faris. the main question is- how can I be the best version of myself-spiritually, physically, socially, mentally. May Allah grant us a holistic understanding of islam. Ameen. :)

  5. I guess our perception of what taqwa is – is the key to solving this issue. If we (for example) get paid for doing 40 hours/week’s worth of work, then working from 9-5pm (even if it means missing prayers at masjid and doing salah at work and not spending that time in daura-e-Quran/etc) is fulfilling our obligation –> fardh.

    And if we are doing taraweeh [even 8 rakah, so we come home early and sleep] and are not able to get up before suhoor to do looong ibadah, because we have work that day, we can think of taraweeh as night prayer and not fret about neglecting the pre-suhoor prayer.

    There has got to be a balance, based on our own circumstances. Otherwise nothing will get done and all we are going to be left with is bitterness and frustration that we let a whole month of blessing go by because we thought too little of the stuff we could have consistently done to gain rewards.

  6. A matter of extremes, which is far from what Islam teaches. It is saddening that even within the Muslim community, differences in opinions and preferences despite its permissibility, is still debated. Islam definitely teaches us to have discipline and balance on every aspect of our lives resulting to productivity. To choose to do more acts of worship and leave work for this month of Ramadan should not be condemned. For Who sustains us in everything is worth leaving work. May Allah reward them for their efforts. To choose to keep up with their work life with less time for taraweeh or Quran recitation should not be an issue. May Allah reward them as well for fulfilling their life responsibilities given by Allah to them while doing their obligations to Him. Allah knows best.

  7. I completely agree with Abu Productive that each one of us should strive to better ourselves spiritually,physically and socially.That is the key in getting maximum benefit out of Ramadan.I also believe that we should not narrow the meaning of taqwa.But having said that,I will be cutting down my working hours this Ramadan as I am self employed. At the same time,my husband who works as a software professional will be working his usual 9-6 hours. But,I know for sure that he is far more spiritual person than me.So, I believe the issue is more about keeping the Ramadan spirit alive in whatever situation we find ourselves in.Allah knows best ..and may we all have a blessed and fulfilling Ramadan this year..Insha Allah

  8. On what purpose was the survey of this institute done?Is this relevant for Muslims only?-Also Christiins do fast,and Otters.Who depends in vis coffe or cigarette in the morning should get rid of this addiction,anyhow this will work only for a very limited time a cold shower will have the same effect.-So why consider Ramadan different from other months in respect of productivity?The Battle of Badr took place in Ramadan the companions fasting!Forget about the ideas of being less productive and you will see the results!Why stress yourself about Ibada!Everything lawful could be Inbada!Cut down opulent meals and big parties then you will have more time to concentrate on Quran recitation and prayers.-Drinking a lot of water will keep you going well during the daytime,especially in the summer,in winter hours of fasting are very much reduced anyhow so that you are able to enjoy your meals at our regular time.-What I want to say is why making such a great fuzz about the matter?All the year is worship time but we should bear in our minds that Ramadan is special with it blessings of Allah and special rewards,and fulfilling Allahs command to fast is to submit to Him whether we like it or not because of hardship.In striving for Allah benevolence there is no further discussion .That is what Prophet Muhammad and the companions did.

  9. I would agree balance and being proactive and positive are the key during Ramadan. It’s important to seek continuous improvement in our understanding and practice of our deen. Farz duties come first, and built around that should be our work, family time, reviving the sunnah and helping others which are also important acts of ibadah. Spiritual reform should go along with that as as means for long term barakah inshaAllah.

  10. Are there ahaadiith concerning increasing acts of worship during ramadhan? Increase qur’an recitation? And is there ahaadith for someone to refuce working hours? Please can someone answer?

  11. Jazakallahu khairan for demystifying the contention. its such a beneficial article requiring several re-reading.

  12. Before to go for a Debate something regarding Islamic religious aspect, we should always check for in Qur’an and from life of Rasoolullah (sal). As you said Abu Productive, the Ramadan is mostly concerned on taqwa which is clearly mentioned in the qur’an. An that is the only verse mentioned in the qur’an about this month. And if we see the life of our beloved Rasoolullah (sal), there are many examples for his physical and social productivity on the month of Ramadan. Battle of Badr, Building of khandaq to protect the city etc.. So it can be clearly understand that the month is not only on spiritual side, but it’s all about taqwa (righteousness) for this life & next.
    Jazakallah khair!!

  13. Agree with Abu Productive and this shows that both sides have lack of islamic knowledge especially on foundation of ISLAM(five pillars of islam) the aim of Fasting is attaining Taqwaa ,You can’t attain Taqwa while you hiding your self in a cave praying , fasting ,sleep ,giving charity as muslim you need to get your self outside and dealing with world in good of manners and sabra order to attaining Taqwa and on other side of pragmatic camp they are the real failures here. Instead of waste there are time and energy they need first learning their deen and biography of Prophet Muhammad ,Islam is deen of BALANCE on both spiritually ,physically and socially

  14. MashaALLAH…. beautiful write up…. indeed … all we need to do is look back into the lives of Sahabas… when Ramadan came.. every thing went on regular.. work .. trade… diplomatic relations … etc… Madina continued functioning as a hustling bustling city… :)

  15. I get the feeling that this was written by a young person in good health without too many responsibilities – for instance, someone for whom sleeping is a choice, or eating healthfully means they’re going to have loads of energy.

    It doesn’t address those of us who are already working at maximum capacity the other 11 months of the year, are already doing our best to try to be in good health and are already making those ‘disciplined choices’, and for whom fasting is a genuine difficulty on a physical level. For me. at this phase in life, fasting is more about being humbled by my incapacity and my inability to do the things that are easier otherwise – not about being more productive.

  16. Abu, Thanks for starting this debate. I believe we can be more productive during the month of Ramadan, there are number of reason’s, one is that our concentration level goes higher, also everyone is different, some are more towards spirtual and spome pragmatic, but why we always view Non-Muslim and Western world view to judge our actions. Blessing’s of Allah (swt) are far better and as you rightly pointed out Surah of Quran about Taqwa, we should follow that and we cannot go wrong. Our criteria should always be Sunnah of Rasool (swt) and guidance of Allah (swt).
    One more question I have, why is it that every good thing now a days from Muslim scholar’s are Muslims is coming at the end with a follow up course and and it’s never free?

  17. Salam alaykoum salam wa rahmatoulllAhi wa barakaatouhou
    The thing is about the broad definition of taqwa
    We have to understand that taqwa is about everything in this life as well as in akhirah then will know how to be productive spiritually physically and socially the whole year not only in the bless month of Ramadan

  18. Assalamu Alaikum,

    Jazkallah Khairan.
    I believe it is about being able to balance the two, to be both spiritual and productive. In Nigeria where am from people actually work productively during the Ramadan, it doesn’t change your schedule at all, you work same hours, you only close an hour earlier because you don’t go for lunch.

  19. Assalamualaikum I think it depends on focus and prioritizing what’s more important at the same time one cannot be only spiritual and not work or not be engaged into worldly activities which are related to work as long as they are halaal. my point is being spiritual , and productive , in the sense of deen and profession in Ramadan is possible it depends on focus and also time. Time is one thing that we cannot get back so if we can give our time and use the advantage of the small breaks we have if we are in the case of work, trust me it will work out. The small 5 minute break you have can actually help you learn a lot of things. Time , is essential in Ramadan and how we use it. So never underestimate the power of 5 minute.