- Dua for the crescent moon
- Dua for fasting
- Three Ashras
- First Ashra dua
- Second Ashra dua
- Third Ashra dua
- Laylat Al Qadr
- Personal Ramadan duas
The Holy Month of Ramadan in Dubai will be starting soon with the sighting of the crescent moon and will last for the next 29 to 30 days. It’s an extremely spiritual time for Muslim devotees with fasting being obligatory for every healthy Muslim during Ramadan from dawn till dusk. This is also the time for Muslims to practise abstinence from extreme emotions such as anger and not committing any immoral acts. Other acts of worship, like contributing to charity and reading the Quran, are also encouraged during the holy month.
Ramadan is divided into three Ashras (stages), each lasting ten days. In this post, we will cover the Ramadan duas (prayers) for each Ashra. This will include other common prayers for the holy month with their English transliterations and translations.
RAMADAN DUAS IN ENGLISH
RAMADAN DUA FOR SIGHTING THE CRESCENT MOON
Ramadan officially begins by the sighting of the crescent moon. The dua to recite after seeing the Ramadan moon is:
- Dua: “Allahuakbar! Allahumma, ahillahu ‘alaina bil-amni wal-imani was-salamati wal-Islami wat-taufiqi lima tuhibbu wa tardu. Rabbuna wa rabbukallah
- English translation: Allah is the greatest! O Allah, let the crescent moon loom above us in safety, faith, peace and Islam and bless us with the ability to succeed in all that you love and are pleased with. Our Lord and your Lord is Allah.
RAMADAN DUA FOR FASTING
Suhoor or the pre-dawn meal is a significant element during Ramadan as it is the last meal before the sun rises and the fast begins. The Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims break their fast at sunset.
Here are the Duas which Muslims recite before keeping and breaking the fast:
- Dua for Suhoor: Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri Ramadan
- English translation: I intend to fast tomorrow in this month of Ramadan
- Dua for breaking fast in Ramadan: Allahumma inni laka sumtu, wa bika aamantu, [wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu], wa Ala rizqika aftartu
- English translation: Oh Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You [and I put my trust in You] and I break my fast with Your sustenance.
RAMADAN DUAS FOR THREE ASHRAS
The month of Ramadan offers Muslims the chance to seek salvation with each Ashra representing its own form of recompense. There are three Ashras in Ramadan each of which has a separate dua. The first Ashra, or 10 days, represents mercy, the next forgiveness and the last salvation from the hellfire.
DUA FOR FIRST ASHRA
The first 10 days of Ramadan signify Allah’s mercy with the purpose to practice mercy towards other brethren. Here is a dua for first 10 days of Ramadan:
- Ramadan first Ashra dua: Rabbi ighfir warham wa anta khayrur raahimeen
- English translation: O my Lord! Forgive me and have mercy and You are the best, most merciful
DUA FOR SECOND ASHRA
The second Ashra is a time for forgiveness. During this stage, Muslims ask for Allah’s pardon and seek repentance from sins. The dua that can be recited during the second Ashra is:
- Dua: Astagfirullaha rab-bi min kulli zambiyon wa-atoobuilaiyh
- English translation: I ask for forgiveness from Allah, my Lord, from every sin I committed
DUA FOR THIRD ASHRA
The third and last Ashra ends on the 29th or 30th of Ramadan and holds special significance for Muslims since it represents protection from the hellfire. Additionally, the most important night of the Islamic calendar, Laylat-ul-Qadr, also falls during this time. The dua for the last 10 days of Ramadan is:
- Dua for third Ashra of Ramadan: Allahumma Ajirni minan naar
- English translation: O Allah, save me from the hellfire
DUAS FOR LAYLAT AL QADR
Known as the Night of Destiny, Laylat Al Qadr commemorates the night that the Holy Quran was first revealed to Prophet Mohammad. In addition to dikhr (remembrance of Allah) and recitation of the Quran, some Muslims perform I’tikaf, an Islamic practice including a period of staying in a mosque for a couple of days and devoting themselves to worship. The dua to be recited during Lalat Al Qadr is:
1 – Dua: Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu anni’
English translation: O Allah, You are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me
2 – Dua: Astaghfir ullah-alladhi la ilaha illa Huwal-Haiyul-Qayyumu, wa atubu ilaihi
English translation: I seek forgiveness from Allah, being that there is no god except He, who is living, eternal and I turn towards Him in repentance
3 – Dua: La hawla wala quwwata illa billah
English translation: There is no power nor strength except that gained through Allah
4 – Dua: La ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz zalimin
English translation: There is no deity except You, exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers
5 – Duas: AllahumMaghfirlee walil mu’mineena wal –mu’minat wa lil-muslimeena wal muslimat
English translation: O Allah! I ask for your forgiveness and for the forgiveness of believing men and woman and the Muslim men and women
PERSONAL PRAYERS IN RAMADAN
In addition to the aforementioned Ramadan duas, these prayers can also be recited as Tasbeeh prayers during Ramadan. Tasbeeh is any verse which is repeatedly recited to glorify Allah. Here are some good duas for Ramadan that can be recited during the holy month:
1 – Dua: Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum! Bi rahmatika astagheeth
English translation: O the ever living one! I seek help by your mercy
2 – Dua: Allaahumma inni audhu bika min sharri ma ‘amiltu, wa min sharri ma lam a’mal
English translation: O Allah! I seek protection from You from the evil I have committed and the evil that I have not done`
3 – Dua: Rabbi irhamhuma kama rabbayanee sagheera
English translation: My Lord! Bestow on them (parents) Your mercy as they did me when I was young
4 – Dua: Allahuma ‘innee as ‘aluka fi’lal-khayraat wa tarkal-munkaraat wa hubbal masakeen
English translation: Oh Allah! I ask you to help me in the performance of good deeds, abandon bad deeds and the love of the poor and needy.
5 – Dua: Allahumma ashfi mardana wa mard al muslimeen
English translation: Oh Allah! Heal and cure our sick and the sick Muslim believers
This brings us to an end of our list of common Ramadan duas that can be recited during the Islamic month of fasting.
A healthy Ramadan
- Fasting when pregnant
- Traditional Ramadan foods from around the world
- BNF blog: to fast or not to fast - Ramadan and diabetes
How does fasting affect the body?
- During fasting hours when no food or drink is consumed, the body uses its stores of carbohydrate (stored in the liver and muscles) and fat to provide energy once all the calories from the foods consumed during the night have been used up. The body cannot store water and so the kidneys conserve as much water as possible by reducing the amount lost in urine. However, the body cannot avoid losing some water when you go to the toilet, through your skin and when you breathe and when you sweat if it is warm.
- Depending on the weather and the length of the fast, most people who fast during Ramadan will experience mild dehydration, which may cause headaches, tiredness and difficulty concentrating. However, studies have suggested that this is not harmful to health, provided that enough fluids are consumed after breaking the fast to replace those lost during the day. However, if you are unable to stand up due to dizziness, or you are disoriented, you should urgently drink regular, moderate quantities of water – ideally with sugar and salt – a sugary drink or rehydration solution. If you faint due to dehydration, your legs should be raised above your head by others, and when you awake, you should urgently rehydrate as outlined above.
- For those who would normally consume caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee during the day, the lack of caffeine during the fast may initially lead to headaches and tiredness. This may ease over the course of Ramadan as the body adjusts to going without caffeine during the day.
- Once the fast is broken, the body can rehydrate and gain energy from the foods and drinks consumed. Having not eaten for a long period, you may find it helpful to eat slowly when breaking the fast and to start with plenty of fluids and low-fat, fluid-rich foods (see suggestions below).
- Drinking plenty of fluids, as well as consuming fluid-rich foods, such as fruit, vegetables, yogurt, soups and stews, is very important to replace fluids lost during the day and to start the next day of fasting well hydrated. Salt stimulates thirst and so it’s a good idea to avoid consuming a lot of salty foods. The pre-dawn meal, suhoor, provides fluids and energy for the day of fasting ahead, so making healthy choices can help you to cope better with the fast (see suggestions below).
- While iftar meals are often a time for celebration, with families and friends coming together to break their fasts, it’s important not to go overboard when eating during Ramadan. Consuming a lot of deep fried, creamy and sweet foods may actually cause you to gain weight during Ramadan. Ramadan can be a good time to make changes to improve the balance of your diet that you can sustain in the longer term. For more on a healthy diet click here.
- The changes to eating habits and lack of fluids during the day may cause constipation for some people. When you can eat and drink, consuming plenty of high fibre foods, such as wholegrains, high fibre cereals, bran, fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, dried fruit and nuts alongside plenty of fluids may help to ease constipation as well as doing some light physical activity, such as going for a walk after iftar.
Is fasting good for health?
- Results from studies on the health effects of Ramadan fasting are mixed, probably because the length of the fast and the weather conditions experienced vary depending on the time of year and the country where the fast is being observed. Some studies have found that people who are overweight or obese lose weight and body fat during Ramadan (although they tended to put this weight back on after Ramadan). If you are overweight and would like to lose weight and keep it off, then making plans to maintain a healthy diet and get active when Ramadan is finished may help you sustain any weight lost due to fasting.
- Some small studies have looked at the effect of Ramadan fasting on factors like blood cholesterol and triglycerides (fat in the blood) and found a short term improvement in some cases although some studies found no effect. There have also been some small studies that suggest that Ramadan fasting may have a short term beneficial effect on the immune system. In both cases, the results of studies have been mixed and so more research is needed to confirm these results.
What to eat and drink at iftar and suhoor
- Iftar – when first breaking the fast go for plenty of fluids, low fat, fluid-rich foods and foods containing some natural sugars for energy (avoid consuming a lot of foods or drinks with added sugars). Below are some examples:
- Drinks – water, milk, fruit juices or smoothies – water provides hydration without any extra calories or added sugars. Drinks based on milk and fruit provide some natural sugars and nutrients – these are also good to break the fast but avoid drinking a lot of drinks with added sugars after breaking the fast as these can provide too much sugars and calories.
- Dates – traditionally eaten to break the fast since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, dates are a great way to break the fast as they provide natural sugars for energy, provide minerals like potassium, copper and manganese and are a source of fibre. You could also try other dried fruits such as apricots, figs, raisins or prunes, which also provide fibre and nutrients.
- Fruit – a traditional way to break the fast in South Asian cultures, fruit provides natural sugars for energy, fluid and some vitamins and minerals.
- Soup – traditional in many Arab countries, is a light way to break the fast and provides fluid. Traditional soups are based on a meat broth and often contain pulses, like lentils and beans, and starchy foods like pasta or grains, providing
- Nutrients and energy.
- After breaking the fast – meals vary between different cultures and traditions but try to make sure the foods you eat provide a balance of starchy foods, including wholegrains where you can, fruit and vegetables, dairy foods and protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs and beans, as shown by the Eatwell Guide. For example you could have a range of curries including fish, meat, vegetables and pulses, served with rice, chapattis and yogurt, and this would include all of the key food groups within the Eatwell Guide.
- After a long fast it’s natural to want to treat yourself but try to keep the amount of fatty and sugary foods and sugary drinks you have to a small amount. Remember that you only have a relatively short time each day to eat and drink to provide your body with all the essential nutrients and fluids it needs to be healthy, so the quality of your diet is especially important during Ramadan.
- If you can, once you have had a chance to digest your food, you could try doing some light exercise such as going for a walk. If you attend Taraweeh prayers (special night-time prayers for Ramadan) in the evening, perhaps you could walk all or part of the way there.
- Suhoor – drink plenty of fluids, choose fluid-rich foods to make sure you are well hydrated for the day ahead and go for starchy foods for energy, choosing high fibre or wholegrain varieties where possible as these can help keep you feeling fuller and can aid digestion, helping to prevent constipation. Below are some examples:
- Oats - these are wholegrains and you could choose porridge, which will also provide fluids as it’s made with milk or water, muesli
- with milk or yogurt or overnight oats. You could experiment with fresh or dried fruit, nuts or seeds as toppings.
- High fibre breakfast cereals – these provide plenty of fibre and are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, providing extra nutrients. Because they are consumed with milk, you also get fluid and nutrients like calcium, iodine and b vitamins from the milk.
- Starchy foods like rice, or couscous – you could try rice pudding with fruit or experiment with couscous or other grains with dairy or fruit. If you go for savoury dishes at suhoor then it's a good idea make sure these are not too salty or they may make you very thirsty during the fast.
- Yogurt – this can be a good food to include at suhoor as it provides nutrients like protein, calcium, iodine and b vitamins and also contains fluid. You could combine it with cereal and fruit as in the examples above.
- Breads – go for wholegrain options as these provide more fibre, for example wholemeal toast or chapattis. Avoid combining bread with salty foods like hard cheese, or preserved meats. You could try nut butters (without added salt), soft cheese, or banana. As bread is fairly dry, make sure you drink plenty of water or other fluids alongside or you could have fluid-rich foods such as a lentil soup, which is a traditional food at suhoor in some countries.
Fasting with diabetes
- Much research has been done on the health implications of fasting for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes tends to be particularly prevalent in people of south-Asian and black African descent, many of whom may be Muslim. There can be a risk of dehydration and hypoglycaemia, for those with diabetes who observe the fast, especially in the spring and summer when days are longer and warmer.
- It is permissible in Islam for those with a health condition such as diabetes not to fast. However, Ramadan fasting has great spiritual significance for Muslims and many with diabetes do choose to fast. Whether to fast or not is a personal decision for each individual. If you are diabetic and are planning to fast it’s advisable to visit your doctor or healthcare team to talk about how to manage your condition while fasting.
Traditional Ramadan foods from around the world
Below are some examples of foods eaten in different Muslim countries during Ramadan:
“A soup called ‘Chorba’ which is made with tomatoes, vegetables, vermicelli and lamb neck is a traditional way to break the fast, served with borek, which are fried filo pastries with a variety of fillings, like spinach and cheese and lamb and potato. After this, we usually have a range of salads and sometimes stews with bread and we’ll often have ‘laham lalou’ for dessert, which is a mixture of different dried fruits, cooked with fresh apple or pear and spices. For suhoor, a traditional meal in Algeria would be couscous, mixed with sultanas and buttermilk”
“We have many different traditional soups and freshly pressed juices for iftar in Lebanon. Something very specific to Ramadan is called ‘qamr id-deen’ which is a fruity snack made of dried ripe apricot juice, made into a sheet and cut into pieces. I remember it as a sweet, tasty treat – similar to fruit leathers that are popular today. It can also be mixed with water and orange blossom water to make a delicious drink”
“In Bangladesh we have different traditional drinks to break the fast including lassi, wood apple juice and Isabgol husk (a type of psyllium) drink. It’s also traditional to break the fast with seasonal fruits like watermelon, mango, guava and jackfruit. Main dishes can include meat and fish with rice but also a lot of vegetarian dishes like peazu made with blended pink lentils or masoor dal, aloo chop (potato cakes with green chilli) and kichiri, made with rice, lentils, onions, garlic and ginger. We normally also have these dishes for suhoor but some people prefer chapatis with lentil soup.”
“We would often break the fast with dates and milk, tamr hindi (tamarind juice) and also sobia (coconut juice). Traditional iftar dishes include green salad and different dips to start and then sambusak (pastries with different fillings, like cheese or meat), mahshi (stuffed vegetables), moloukhia (a type of green leafy vegetable, cooked and often served with chicken) different types of kebab and rice. For suhoor, a traditional dish would be ful madammas – a warm dip made with broad beans, and also eggs, cheese and bread.”