Devotional Acts on the First Night and Day
Islam and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have devoted special attention to the first night and day of Ramadhan and confirmed a number of matters to be done on this night and day, the most important of which are the following:
Watching the New Moon
Authoritative traditions narrate that the Holy Prophet (S) and his Household (‘a) used to watch for and welcome the new moon of the month—a procedure that has become one of the highly regarded recommendable acts. In this respect, many supplicatory formulas reported from the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (‘a) have been mentioned for this procedure. However, the forty-third supplication of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah may be presented as the most magnificent formula in this respect.(mafatih al jinan page 215)
On the first night of Ramadhan, it is recommended to perform the ritual bath and ceremonially purify oneself by immersing oneself in a flowing river or pouring thirty handfuls of water on the head.
Visiting Imam Husayn (‘a)
It is also highly recommended to perform visitation of Imam Husayn (‘a) this night from close (at his holy shrine) or by reading his ziyarah from a far.
The supererogatory prayers of Ramadhan should be started this night. Another two-unit prayer, in each unit of which Surah al-Fatihah and Surah al-An’am (No. 6) are recited may be offered. Upon accomplishment, it is recommended to beseech Almighty Allah’s protection against fears and ailments.
Many supplicatory formulas have been reported to be read on the first night of Ramadhan. One of these is the supplication reported by Ibn Tawus from Imam al-Jawad (‘a). This supplication begins with the following statement: O Allah, O He Who controls the management of all affairs, and has power over all things!
The two Du’a' al-Jawshan al-Kabir and Du’a' al-Hajj supplications are also reported to be read on this night.
All the previous devotional acts for the first night of Ramadhan are also performed on the first day of Ramadhan, although with some different formulas for prayers and supplications, except watching for the new moon and visiting Imam Husayn (‘a).