“The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.“[97:3]
The long days, the hot weather. Thirsty, hungry and tired, but we have somehow managed to sail past 20 days of Ramadan. As we enter the last 10 days, I thought I would compile a short list of things we can do to make the most of it and how to go about achieving them, as a lot of us due to modern lifestyles end up struggling to make the most of our time in this blessed month.
What’s so special about the last 10 days?
I won’t go into detail as there are hundreds of articles out there that cover this. Put simply the significance of the last 10 days of Ramadan is that the night of power, Laylatul Qadr, when the first verses were revealed to Prophet Muhammad SAW, falls on one of these days, or nights rather.
Narrations of the Prophet SAW point towards the night falling on one of the odd nights, with one particular night standing out as being the most likely, the 27th. However the Prophet SAW never told us for certain which night it falls on, in order that we seek it every night in the last 10 days. The essence of the uncertainty is that it leads us to devote our time to Ibadat in the hope that we attain barakah by searching for the night of power.
Although much emphasis has been put on the single night of Laylatul Qadr, the last 10 days as a whole should not be discounted. The Prophet SAW would put extra endeavor into worship and he SAW told us that the last part of Ramadan brings emancipation from the fire of Jahannam.
Let’s get going!
Now if you have spent most of Ramadan, not doing much in the way of Ibadah, do not worry, there is still 10 days left for redemption and what better way to redeem yourself than to devote your time to worship during this final period.
If you are working, try and take a few days off so you can put your time & effort into Ibadat. Going to work can be pretty draining, waking up in the morning with very little sleep, the travelling and then of course the actual work will drain you of your energy and you will end up feeling lethargic and fatigued in the evening which will impact your willingness & your concentration when engaging in acts of worship, as a result you will slack and procrastinate. So book a few days off if possible, and maximise your time. Remember this day only comes once a year, so make a few little sacrifices here & there.
What should I be doing?
Let’s keep it simple. There are three basic forms of worship you should revolve yourself around in. They are:
- Salah (Prayer) – If you always just pray the minimal Fard, offer all Sunnah & add Nafl prayers into your regiment. If you usually struggle to pray all your 5 daily Salah or don’t normally read at all, please make the effort to offer all the minimal Salah, make the intention to get into the habit of reading all of them. Try and attend all prayers at the Masjid to pray in Jamaat. A lot of us barely sleep during the period after Taraweeh and before Suhoor. So rather than playing around on your phones waiting for Fajr, just make the effort and go stand in Qiyyam and offer Tahajjud prayers. Salah is the very basic here, so the more you are able to read, the better, particularly at night!
- Quran Recitation – There’s not really much to say here, open up the Quran and read. If you are struggling, read the theme around a Surah and pick a few that take your interest. Supplement this by reading the tafsir & ponder on how it applies to your life and life as a whole, there are many lessons & guidance to be taken from the Quran. It also sometimes helps to have a change of scene, if your room is full of too much distraction or the wrong vibes, go to another room or place, where you will feel more at tranquil.
- Dua (Repentance and Supplication) – Make a list of things in your life that you seek and make supplication for it. Don’t be selfish & stop just there, make dua for your family members, your friends, those around you. Last but not least make dua for the Ummah, as it is in need of it as much as we are individually.
Repent, repent and repent! Think back through the past year or so since the last Ramadan and all the sins you have committed, all the bad deeds, reflect, ponder and ask for forgiveness. Our Rabb loves those who seek forgiveness, and there is no sin the most Merciful will not forgive.
Few other tips
- Get the family involved in acts of worship & other activities. Get together in the living room with everyone, place a few mats on the floor and read the Quran as a group, take turns to read verses. Read & reflect on the tafsir with each other. Create a sense of occasion, by doing regular tasks differently, it will motivate everyone & make it feel special.
- Learn something new, read the Seerah and learn the life of our beloved Nabi SAW. There are 24 hours in a day, let’s be realistic, you won’t be able to spend all of this time praying Salah, reading Quran, making Dua. So spend some time in between during the day doing auxiliary activities to compliment the main. Remember also, what you do during the day counts towards your deeds, it’s not just about the nights.
- Do not start thinking of Eid or shopping for clothes, it is still Ramadan! The Sunnah for Eid is to wear your best clothes, not new clothes.
- Social media – If you’re addicted to your social media, deactivate your accounts for the 10 days and uninstall any apps if you find yourself struggling. Make a commitment to stop using it publicly if needs be, it will make sure you don’t go back on your word.
- If you are feeling tired, take a nap, take breaks between activities, relax – don’t overdo it or overburden yourself, otherwise you will run out of steam and your activities will soon turn into robotic rituals without much actual thought or substance going into them.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with goals, keep it simple, keep it specific to key practices and focus on those key tasks at hand, don’t let yourself stray onto one activity after another without properly accomplishing any of them just so you can tick them off the list.
- Giving to charity – Don’t just randomly donate a wad of cash to charity, spend a short amount of time reading about a project, so that you develop a bond with it, donating online for example often turns a deed into quite a detached ritual. Sometimes it’s also better to give money back home to family or relatives who are poor, the reward is twice too as it is counted as upholding ties of kinship.
- Do not just wait for the 27th night or even the odd nights. This date is not a certainty. Had the Prophet SAW wanted us to devote time to only one specific night, he would have told us what that night was from the beginning. Rather the whole 10 days is there for you to devote your time to.
If there is one thing you cannot miss out on this year, it’s this. Do not waste this opportunity, look at your life, look at your past year since last Ramadan, by the grace and mercy of Allah you made it alive to see another Ramadan, thank Allah for all that he has given you & seek his forgiveness in all that you have erred. I pray that Allah SWT accepts all our good deeds, our repentance and accepts all our duas.
Written by @ibnsabeel for AscendingStairways.com