Striving Hard, Competing for Good Deeds in Ramadaan
by Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah)
"All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.
It is legislated for all the Muslims to strive hard in the various types of worship during this noble month. They should strive to pray voluntary prayers and recite the Qur`an with reflection and thinking. They should increase the glorification of Allaah [saying 'SubhanAllaah'], declaring Allaah's right to be worshiped alone [saying 'La illaaha il Allaah'], praising Him [saying 'Al-Hamdulillaah'], declaring His greatness [saying 'Allaahu Akbar'] and seeking His forgiveness.
They should say legislated supplications, command the good, forbid the evil, invite to Allaah, be generous to the poor and needy, strive to be kind to parents, keep good family ties, honor the [Muslim] neighbor, visit the sick, and other types of good deeds.
This is due to the Prophet's (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) statement: Allaah looks at your competing for good works during it and He proudly tells the angels about you all. Therefore, show Allaah goodness from yourselves. For verily, the wretched person is the one who is deprived of Allaah's Mercy during it (Ramadaan). [Majma 'uz-Zawa'id 3:142; Kanzul-'Ummal no. 23692.]
This is also due to what is reported from him (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) that he said: Whoever draws near to Allaah during it (Ramadaan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times. [Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887*]
This is also due to his (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) statement in the authentic hadith: An 'Umrah performed during Ramadaan is equal to a performance of Hajj - or he said - a Hajj with me. [Al-Bukhari (no. 1863) and Muslim (no. 1256).]
The ahaadeeth and narrations that prove the sanctioning of competing, and being aggressive in performing the various acts of goodness in this noble month are numerous.
Allaah is the one Who is asked to help us and the rest of the Muslims to do all that contains His Pleasure and to accept our fast and standing for night prayer. We ask Him to correct our situations and protect us all from the deviations of trials and temptations. Likewise, we ask Him to make the leaders of the Muslims righteous, and unite their word upon the truth. Verily, Allaah is the Guardian of that, and He is capable of doing it."
Source: Fataawa Islamiya, pp. 220-221
* Declared "Very Weak" by Shaykh al Albaanee in Mishkat ul-Masabih # 1906