Q) I offer you my congratulations on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan. At the beginning of Ramadan, I committed myself to a complete reading of the Holy Qur'aan, but unfortunately I wake up at 6 a.m. and I come back home at 5:30 p.m.. After breaking the fast I feel exhausted, so I sleep until 10 p.m., then I stay up until sahoor, feeling half asleep, and I sleep around 12 o’clock so that I will be able to get up in the morning. What should I do?
A) Praise be to Allaah.
We congratulate you on the occasion of this blessed month and we ask Allah to help us to remember Him and give thanks to Him and to worship Him properly.
What is required of the Muslims is to combine the best interests of this world and the Hereafter. He is not the one who ignores this world and spoils his worldly affairs on the grounds of focusing on the Hereafter, and he is not the one who focuses on this world and turns away from the Hereafter.
Rather his aim in this world is to take provision from it for the Hereafter, because this world is not the place of eternal abode; rather it is a place through which a person passes and will inevitably depart from it to the Hereafter.
The wise believer is the one who prepares for that move. Hence when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked: Who is the smartest of people and the one who is most resolved? He said: “The one who remembers death most and the one who makes the most preparations for it.” Narrated by al-Tabaraani and classed as hasan by al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (4/197); also narrated by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id (10/312). Al-‘Iraaqi said in Takhreej Ahaadeeth al-Ihya’ (5/194): Its isnaad is jayyid. It was also mentioned by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Targheeb (1964).
So it is essential to prepare for the day of departure to the place of final abode. We ask Allah to join us together under His mercy.
So the Muslim has to combine effort for this world and effort for the Hereafter. Man needs accommodation, money, clothing, food and drink to keep his body alive, but he also needs sound faith, prayer, fasting, remembrance of Allah (dhikr), reading Qur’aan, treating people kindly and so on in order to keep his heart and soul alive.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Answer Allaah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) calls you to that which will give you life” [al-Anfaal 8:24].
So the Muslim needs to read the Qur'aan in Ramadan and at other times.
He should have a daily portion of the Holy Qur'aan so that he can complete the Qur'aan -- at most -- once every 40 days.
But in Ramadan he is required to do more than that, because it is the best season for acts of worship and reading Qur'aan. “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan” [al-Baqarah 2:185].
You can set aside from your day an hour for reading more than two juz’ of the Holy Qur'aan, then you will complete it two or three times during the month. You can make use of that time that you spend commuting and let the Mus-haf be the companion that never leaves you, and you will find that you have completed the Qur'aan a number of times within that short time, if you persist in doing that. You could also make an agreement with your boss to reduce working hours, even if your salary is reduced as a result, and Allah will compensate you with something better. Or you could take time off during the last 10 days or part of that time. What matters is that you should strive to make the most of this blessed month to the best of your ability. The opportunity is still available and there are some days left. We ask Allah to help us to obey Him.
If you cannot reduce your working hours or take time off for a few days, then you have to make the most of your time to the best of your ability. If Allah knows that you would be keen to read the Qur'aan were it not for your work, then He will reward you in accordance with your intention.
May Allah help you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.
And Allah knows best.