Ramadan with the Salaf

A collection of reports about how Muslims of the earlier generations treated Ramadan, as reported by Ibn Abi Dunya in a variety of his books.


1. Anas b. Malik reports that when the month of Rajab entered upon them, the Prophet would supplicate in words, “O Allah, bless us (with plentifulness) in Rajab and Sha`ban, and allow us to live until Ramadan.”

2. Mu‘alla b. Asad said, “I heard Mu‘tamar say, ‘My father would wake up everyone in the house upon the entry of Ramadan and would say, ‘Rise!. Who knows you may not meet with another Ramadan after this.’’”

3. Ibrahim reported: “Aswad used to recite whole of the Qur’an every two days of Ramadan, and would sleep between Maghrib and `Isha (alone).”

4. Mujahid reports that ‘Ali al-Azdi would finish reciting the whole of the Qur’an every night of Ramadan and slept between Maghrib and ‘Isha (alone).

5.Abu Sa‘d the vegetable dealer said, “Myself and ‘Abd al-Rahman used to go about visiting several mosques in search of the best reciter of the Qur’an.”

6. Layth reported that Bilal al-‘Abasi used to lead them in Prayers in the nights of Ramadan reciting a quarter of the Qur’an every night and then leave them. The people would say, “This night you made it easy for us.”

7. Yunus reported, that Abdul Rahman b. Abi Bakr (the Prophet’s Companion), Sa‘eed b. Abi al-Hasan and Marwan al-‘Abdi used to lead them in (Taraaweeh) Prayers doing twenty Rak‘ah; and they would not do the Qunoot except in the second half of Ramadan, and, they would finish the Qur’an twice.

(Not doing the Qunoot meant that during the second half of Ramadan they would do the Witr with the congregation: Ed.).

8. Ibrahim said, “Those who stood up in Ttahajjud prayed at one end of the mosque, all by themselves, not following the Imam.” (i.e., the common people did their Taraaweeh and Witr with the Imam, but these people offered longer prayers, praying more than twenty Rak‘ah, and therefore, their Witr much later, and hence, did not pray behind the Imam: Ed.).

9. It is reported of Tameem al-Dari (a Companion of the Prophet) that in the night of Ramadan in which Laylatu al-Qadr was likely to occur, he would put on a cloak that he had specially bought for four thousand.”

10. Salt b. Bistam said, “Hammad b. Sulayman offered breakfast to fifty people in the month of Ramadan and when it was the previous night of `Eid, he would give them each a piece of cloth and a hundred (Dinar or Dirham) each.”

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