PREPARING FOR THE LAST 10 NIGHTS OF RAMADAN
This is it, we have entered the most important nights of the year. In it is Laylatul Qadr, a night better than 1000 months. Any action done on this night will better than doing it for a thousand months.
A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said that “The Prophet (peace be upon him) would exert his best (in worship) during the last ten days (of Ramadan) more than at other times.” [Muslim]
So for those who haven't made the best out of the first 20 days of Ramadan, you still have a chance to redeem yourself. Don't look back to what has passed nor give up and lose hope. What's important is how you will end your Ramadan as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Verily deeds are according to their endings." (Al-Bukhari)
إنما الأعمال بالخواتيمSo what are some tips one can do to make the best out of these 10 nights:
1. Perform I'tikaf (Seclusion in Masjid)
For those who are able, spend your nights and days in the Masjid and focus on worshipping your Lord by performing various acts of worship like Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), extra prayers, recitation and studying of the Quran, du'a…etc. This was the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the last 10 nights of Ramadan.
The Prophet (ﷺ) used to observe I'tikaf every year (during Ramadan) for ten days; in the year in which he passed away, he observed I'tikaf for twenty days.
Don't get distracted. Avoid any social media activities and focus on worship only. If one is able to take days off of work without a problem, then he/she should. If one is unable, one can still perform I'tikaf for however long Allah makes it easy for him/her and one should also place the intention of I'tikaf every time he/she is to enter the Masjid. I'tikaf for women should also be done in the Masjids.
2. Make Lots of Du’a
Every night, have a portion of your time specifically for du'a. Pour out your heart to Allah asking Him for your every need in the life and next. Pray for yourself, family, friends and the whole Ummah. Don't forget to include the most important du'a in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged us to say in Layatul Qadr.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say: O Allah, You are the One Who Pardons and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' "(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
The transliteration of this Dua is "Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee"
3. Recite and Study the Quran
As much as you can, try to read and contemplate on the verses of the Quran. Layatul Qadr is the night in which the Quran was revealed. Choose your favorite reciter to listen to so that your tears flow from the awe of Allah's words. Allah is talking to you. Listen and take heed of what your Creator is telling you.
4. Give Charity Every Night
Imagine, if you give charity on the Laylatul Qadr, it would be better than if you have been given charity for 83 years !! Don’t miss this opportunity. Whether it’s an even or odd night, secure yourself by giving charity every night, even if it’s a small amount.
5. Remember Allah Much (Dhikr)
And what better way can you spend the nights remembering Allah by praising Him, glorifying Him, mentioning His Oneness, seeking His forgiveness, sending peace & blessings upon him Prophet…etc. Keep your tongues and hearts busy with the remembrance of Allah
6. Perform Night Prayers
Whether it’s the taraweeh or tahajjud, do not miss any of the night prayers in these last 10 nights. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stands in prayer on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
7. Get Enough Rest during the Day
Take a good nap during the day with the intention of it being for Allah’s Sake in order that you can wake up energized and ready to worship at night. There is no problem if one feels tired at night and needs some rest. But have your intention and make it a short nap so the great blessings of the night is not missed.
8. Stay off of Social Media
Unless you will be using social media to give Dawah and encourage people to do good for these 10 nights, then one should avoid social media completely as it can be a great distraction. You have the whole year to go on social media so just sacrifice these 10 nights and make the best out of them.
9. Encourage Others to Exert in Good Deeds
Wake your family up for prayer and encourage them to do good and seek this great opportunity of being forgiven and pardoned by the All-Mighty Allah.
A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]
10. Perform Other Great Deeds
Whatever good you can do during these night, don’t miss it.. Whether it’s honoring one’s parents, helping those in need, being kind and helpful to others, showing good character, giving dawah, passing out water or dates to break someone’s fasting….etc. whatever opportunity you have to do good, do it and don’t belittle any deed.
11. Have an Intention for Everything you do
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Actions are according to intentions , and everyone will get what was intended" (Al-Bukhari). Regardless of what it is that you will be doing in these nights, always set an intention that it's for the Sake of Allah. This simple act will multiply your reward. When you are taking a nap, have an intention that you are resting so that you can wake up energized and ready to worship Allah. If you are taking care of the kids, cooking, helping your parents out, studying for an exam...etc. set your intention. Remind yourself that taking care of your family is an act of worship. Studying to get a good education, is an act of worship. Before eating, have an intention that you are doing so to be healthy and energized to be able to stand up in prayers. Even when you are dealing and speaking to others, be the best in character. Renewing your intentions before engaging in these small actions can greatly multiply your reward.
May Allah accept from us Laylatul Qadr and give us the ability to excel in all goodness.