Ramadan Reminders: 10 Steps to Maximising the Last Ten Days of Ramadan (Important! Please read)
The last ten days of Ramadan are very precious indeed.
Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim). Aishah radhiyallahu anha reported that during the last ten days of Ramadan; the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). (Bukhari)
Aisha radhiyallahu anha also reported that 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 hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari)
So we need to tighten all of our belts especially in these last ten days and do as much as we can to thank Allah and worship him and ask him for forgiveness.
Here are some ways that we can all make the best of these precious last ten days of this most blessed month;
Recite the Qur’an abundantly
Both fasting and recitation of the Qur’an in Ramadan act as intercessors with Almighty Allah for the true believer who observes them.
In this respect, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said,
(Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede on behalf of Allah’s servant on the Day of Judgment. Fasting will say, “O my Lord! I prevented him from food and desires during the day, so accept my intercession for him.” And the Qur’an will say, “O my Lord! I prevented him from sleeping by night, so accept my intercession for him.” The intercession of both will thus be accepted.) [Ahmad]
This is the month of the holy Qur’an so we should strive to recite as much of it as we can especially during the last ten nights of Ramadan as there is a special merit to reciting the Qur’an in the nights of Ramadan. For indeed, the night brings an end to the busy daily affairs, the enthusiasm is roused and the heart and the tongue mount upon reflecting. And Allah is the one in whom we seek assistan
Anas radhiyallahu anhu reports that the prophet peace be upon him said: "Whoever reads the Quran, Allah grants that person ten good deeds for every letter. And for one who hears the Qur’an being recited, Allah grants a good deed for every letter, and such a person will be resurrected among those who will recite and ascend the stages of Jannat."
The reward for reading a letter of the Holy Qur’an in this blessed month is also very much increased so its 70 good deeds or MORE for reading just one letter so lets make the best use of these precious last few days and read as much of the Qur’an as we can!
Strive to gain forgiveness
One should strive and do their utmost to gain the mercy of Allah in these last ten days especially. If one leaves Ramadan without gaining the mercy of Allah then surely they are the most unfortunate ones and are the biggest losers in this world and the next.
Aishah radhiyallahu anha 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 pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ “
”Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee”/”اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).
Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger said: “Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
The best times to ask for forgiveness are just before the time of breaking ones fast and before suhoor (pre-dawn meal) after one reads the Tahajjud prayer. These are the times we should concentrate on repenting the most as these times duas are more readily accepted.
We should sincerely repent for past and present sins with the intention of not repeating them again and ask of Allah Ta’aala to help us prevent ourselves from doing them again and ask Allah to perfect our characters and to help us improve ourselves in everyway possible.
Help your parents
We should always be the best towards our parents at all times and not even say “uff” to them and in Ramadan and in particular the last ten days we should increase ourselves in helping our Parents and being the best towards them and making them happy and smile.
A man asked Prophet Muhammad “What kinds of deeds are best in the sight of God?” He replied, “To pray on time, to be good and kind to parents, and to struggle in the path of God" (Al-Bukhari).
The reward for being good and kind toward one’s parents was mentioned on several occasions by Prophet Muhammad (Saw), emphasizing that those who are obedient to their parents and to God also will be in the highest places in Paradise.
Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) mentions in Noble Qur’an;
”And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! Have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little." Noble Qur’an (17:23-24)
Prophet Muhammad (Saw) also indicated that the pleasure or anger of Allah is in the pleasure or anger of parents, and that Muslims who are kind to their parents earn forgiveness from Allah. The importance of gaining the pleasure of one’s parents was also emphasized by Prophet Muhammad (Saw) when he said that the earnest prayers of parents for or against their child are always answered by Allah.
So if our parents are angry or unhappy with us then how do we expect our fasts and deeds to be accepted? How do we expect to gain the mercy and forgiveness from Allah? Now is the time to ask our parents to forgive us for any wrongs we have done towards them and any unhappiness we have brought towards them and start from now to make them the happiest so that Allah may be the happiest with us.
Do much Superogatory Prayers (Nafil)
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “The first thing that the people will be called to account for on the Day of Resurrection will be the prayers. Our Lord will say to the angels although He knows better: ‘Look into the salah of my servant to see if he observed it perfectly or been negligent in it. So if he observed it perfectly it will be recorded to his credit, but if he had been negligent in it in any way, Allah would say: See if My servant has any supererogatory prayers. Then if he has any supererogatory prayers, Allah would say: Make up the deficiency in My servant’s obligatory prayer with his supererogatory prayers.’ Thereafter all his actions will be examined in like manner." (Abu Dawud)
I’ll further write about Nafil prayers in another post.
Increase in Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah)
We should glorify Allah night and day, especially in these last ten days of the blessed month of Ramadan. Remembering Allah much through acts of dhikr brings much peace and tranquillity to the heart. It also gives us a sense of taqwa (fear of allah), a consciousness that makes us realise that Allah Almighty is ever near and that we should always strive to please Him.
”…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (13:28)
”Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue." (29:46).
Make much D’ua
We should be very busy in D’ua as much as we can especially in the last ten days and nights of the blessed month of Ramadan. How unfortunate is the one who does not make use of these last ten nights to supplicate to his lord.
We find many reassurances throughout the Quran for those who make Dua.
Allah the Exalted, has said: “And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer" (Quran 40:60), "Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret" (Quran 7:55), "When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me" (Quran 2:186), "Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering." (Quran 27:62)
Aisha radhiallaahu anha said, “No believer makes D’ua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated.”
In fact, it is a gaining Allah’s displeasure and anger to never make Dua, “Whosoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him." [Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]
So let us occupy ourselves in much Dua especially the times when it is most readily accepted like just before we break our fasts and also at Tahajjud time. Thos who do not make the best of this opportunity has surely lost out greatly.
Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an;
”When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me." [2:186] The place of duaa is so high to Allah, that the Prophet had said: "Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than du’a."[Sahih al-Jami` no.5268].
He also said: “The most excellent worship is du`a." [Sahih Al-Jami` no. 1133]
Seek out Laylatul Qadr
So valuable is this Night of Qadr that the Quran devotes a special surah to
it “Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months” [97:3]
This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The most authentic account of the occurrence of the Night indicates that it can occur on any one of the last ten, odd numbered nights of Ramadan. We should strive to stay up at least on the odd nights of the last ten days because if we pray on these nights then surely we would have caught this most powerful night and this would mean we would have a reward of 83 YEARS OF WORSHIP!
Want all your life’s previous sins forgiven?
Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu anhu narrated that the Messenger -peace be upon him- said: “Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylat ul-Qadr out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have ALL of his previous sins forgiven." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Assess and evaluate yourself and make the changes for the rest of the year!
While the practice of fasting during Ramadan is widely followed, the instruction about self-evaluation has largely been forgotten.
Self-evaluation means to assess where you are in life, set goals for the future, and think of what you can do to get there. The process of self-evaluation makes you pro-active in directing your life. Unless we take the initiative our lives will be shaped by circumstances.
We need to assess ourselves and since this month made us prevent ourselves from doing many of the sins we may usually do why should we go back to those sins now that we have stopped or reduced them?
Let us continue with the good habits that we have gained and acquired in Ramadan and take them with us throughout the rest of the year.
If we continue the rest of the year with the evil we committed before Ramadan then know that we are risking the acceptance of all of our fasts and good deeds because Ramadan is not merely just for abstaining from food and evil for just one month but is a time to train ourselves to change for the better in everyway so that we may become god fearing and pious and continue that way the rest of the year.
We should strive to continue the good we have done in Ramadan throughout the year and discontinue the evil that we left before Ramadan and NEVER go back to it.