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A Guide to Ibadah During the Last Ten Nights of Ramadan

by in Ramadan on 21st March, 2024

As we come into the last ten nights of Ramadan, many of us will be reflecting on how our Ramadan has gone so far, possibly asking ourselves the  following questions:

Have I made the most of my Ramadan? Did I reach  the goals I set out before Ramadan? Have I prayed every Salah? Have I made the most of my time? And the list goes on.

And dependent on what the answers are to those questions, some may be humbly content with the progress they have made whilst others may feel they could have done more.

What is beautiful about the blessed month of Ramadan is that Allah (SWT) gifted us a special night in the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Night of Power which is ‘greater than a thousand months [of worship].’ (Surah Al-Qadr, 97:3).

What is the reason for this gift? The Prophet (ﷺ) was shown the lifespans of the previous nations which were hundreds to thousands of years, and the ones of his Ummah were such that they would pass away in their sixties and seventies. Upon learning this, he was concerned that his Ummah would not be able to compete with the previous nations, so Allah (SWT) gifted the Night of Power to his (ﷺ) Ummah for him.

Ziyad related to me from Malik that he had heard a man he trusted of the people of knowledge say, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was shown the lifespans of the people (who had gone) before him, or what Allah willed of that, and it was as if the lives of the people of his community had become too short for them to be able to do as many good actions as others before them had been able to do with their long lives, so Allah gave him Laylat al- Qadr, which is better than a thousand months.” (Malik)

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, ‘The lifespan of my nation is between sixty to seventy, and the least of them are those who surpass that.’” (Ibn Majah)

If we were to ponder on the magnitude of the verse ‘greater than a thousand months [of worship]’ then this could be interpreted as more than 83 years of worship,and in essence more than a lifetime. With these abundant blessings gifted to us from Allah (SWT) for the taking, there is no question as to why Muslims strive to find this blessed night, which is placed on one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadan.

From this, we know Allah (SWT) wants us to succeed when the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to say, ‘Do as many deeds as you are capable of doing, for Allah will not become weary (of giving you reward), but you would be tired (of doing good deeds).’ (Muslim)

He (ﷺ) also used to say, ‘The most beloved deed to Allah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small.’ [Muslim]

On knowing about this incredible gift, a renewed sense of purpose should be back on the cards again. A Muslim still has hope that it is not too late to finish Ramadan strong, to push hard to the end like a race.

On the authority of ‘Aishah (ra) who said, ‘When the last ten days (of Ramadan) started, the Prophet (saw) would tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard), he would give life to its nights (i.e. pray all night) and he would awaken his family (for prayers).’ (Bukhari)

In light of this beautiful narration, you will find below ten tips on how to elevate your worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan, so that when these 30 days pass, you will rejoice in knowing you tried your best insha’Allah.

This article has been sponsored by Muslim Hands UK. During the auspicious Best Ten Nights of Ramadan, you can utilise their automated giving service to support various charity pots, ensuring that your donations reach those who need them the most.

1. Don’t Waste Time

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months of worship, which means each second is equal to more than 24 hours of worship! Subhan’Allah! This includes limiting the amount of time you are spending on social media and being intentional with your goals. 

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, ‘There is no intelligence like planning.’ (Ibn Majah)

To give you a heads up on important dates in your planning, this year the final ten nights are estimated to begin at Maghrib on Saturday 30th March. Interestingly, in the UK the Easter school holidays begin on Friday 29th March (Bank Holidays: Good Friday and Easter Monday is 1st April) and the summer term begins Monday 15th April. Alhamdulillah, this means the last ten nights are all in this year’s Easter holidays, which is great especially for families with school children.

2. Give Charity

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was the most generous of people and was described in Ramadan as being, ‘more generous in giving charity than the blowing wind.’ (Muslim)

Muslim Hands Best Ten Nights donation tool ensures that you don’t miss out on the rewards of donating on the Night of Power. You can split your donations in the following three ways: (1) evenly across all ten nights, (2) give double on the odd nights and (3) even give double on odd nights and triple on the 27th night.

The reason the Best Ten Nights tool puts emphasis on donations towards the odd nights, especially the 27th is from the following hadith narrations:

On the authority of ‘Aishah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, ‘Search for the Night of Power in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.’ (Bukhari)

On the authority of Mu‘awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (ra) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said concerning the Night of Power, ‘The Night of Power is the twenty-seventh (night of Ramadan).’ (Abu Dawud)

If it is the Night of Power, donating £10 would be like donating £10 for over 83.3 years or over 29,500 days (83.3 x 355 lunar days of an Islamic year) – or if we are talking figures, it is as though you have donated over £295,000! So splitting your donations to ensure you don’t miss this blessed night is a must! You can also diversify your donations by choosing from the following five funds: (1) Gaza Emergency Fund, (2) Zakat Fund, (3) Where Most Needed Fund, (4) Water Fund and (5) Iftar Fund.

3. Befriending the Qur’an by Listening and Reading

Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an and other scripture revelations like the Scrolls of Ibrahim (AS), the Torah and the Gospel were also revealed in Ramadan [Ahmad] to serve as guidance for mankind.

A person gets ten rewards for reciting each letter of Arabic in the Qur’an (Tirmidhi) and there are approximately 327,792 letters in the Qur’an – which means massive rewards are on offer! Beautifully, the Qur’an is divided into 30 Juz, correlating with the 30 days that Ramadan is made up of, making it possible to aim to read one Juz a day. Each Juz is divided into two Hizb and each Hizb is divided into quarters to make the Qur’an easier to read so you can reach the milestone of completing the Qur’an.

You may ask, is there a preferred time to read the Qur’an? Yes, especially at the time of Fajr as Allah states,

‘Establish prayer from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night; and hold fast to the recitation of the Qur’an at Fajr (dawn), for the recitation of the Qur’an at Fajr is witnessed.’ (Surah Al-Isra 17:78)

4. Pray Tahajjud before Suhoor

When you wake up for Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal), wake up early enough to also pray the Tahajjud prayer (which literally means ‘avoiding sleep’) – minimum 2 x 2 rak‘ahs nafl prayer before Fajr.

It is a unique blessing for this Ummah that we have a pre-dawn meal before we commence fasting and the Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Take the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor), for indeed there is a blessing in it.’ (Bukhari)

The last third of the night before Fajr is truly a blessed time, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

‘Our Lord, Blessed and Exalted be He, comes down every night to the nearest Heaven when the last third of the night remains, saying, ‘Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to him? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?’ (Bukhari)

Seeking forgiveness from Allah at this blessed time is further emphasised in the Qur’an that Allah’s true servants are those who ‘(those) who are patient, truthful, obedient, and charitable, and who pray for forgiveness before dawn’ (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:17)

5. Perform the Night Prayers

These are called Taraweeh, which literally means to take rest and take pauses between each two units of prayer.  There is immense barakah associated with performing qiyam al lail (night prayers) during Ramadan. Praying in the Masjid in congregation multiplies your reward by twenty-seven times (Bukhari). Additionally, one is encouraged to engage in Dhikr between each set of four units of prayer.

The blessing of Ramadan this year is that the fasts are shorter and the nights are longer than previous years. Hence, you can make the most of the nights in worship by doing a variety of worship as it is difficult to sustain one act of worship.

6. Perform Itikaf

Try to perform Itikaf in your local masjid in the last ten nights or a few days that you are available to do so. Women have the option to do this in their homes in a specified room.

On the authority of ‘Aishah (RA) who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to practise ‘Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, ‘Search for the Night of Power in the last ten nights of Ramadan.’’ (Bukhari)

7. Don’t eat too much and keep hydrated

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, ‘A human being does not fill any container that is worse than (his) stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. But if this is not possible, then a third for his food, a third for his drink and a third for his breath.’ (Tirmidhi)

Try to opt for wholesome foods including fruit and vegetables and keep hydrated with plenty of water. Movement is also key so we can look after our bodies as they are an amanah, a trust placed in us by Allah (SWT), and caring for our bodies and our health is a beautiful way to please our Creator. The Prophet (ﷺ) advised us that,

‘Indeed, your body has a right over you.’ (Bukhari)

For ideas for engaging in exercise and earning great rewards, you can check out Muslim Hands event Walk For The Children Of War.

8. Make Du‘a and Dhikr

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Du‘a is the essence of worship.’ (Tirmidhi).

Making du‘a during the last ten days should not be taken lightly and therefore preparing a list is important, even jotting these down with a notepad and pen.

Du’a is like a conversation with Allah (SWT) in which we put our needs before Him and ask His help in resolving our problems. Du’a not only allows us to submit to Allah (SWT) but it is also a form of worship and a way to build our relationship with our Creator.

The benefit of making du‘a is famously mentioned in The Noble Qur’an, 

When My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided.(Surah Al Baqarah 2:186)

It is profound to note that this verse appears directly after the verse that commanded the fasting of Ramadan. Scholars therefore have said there is a direct connection between fasting and making du‘a and we should use every opportunity to make du‘a during this blessed month, especially in the last ten nights.

The Prophetic Du‘a for these nights is,

Allahumma! Innaka ‘Afuwwun Karimun tuHibbul-‘Afwa fa‘fu ‘anni

“O Allah! Indeed, You are the Generous and Pardoning One. You love to pardon, so pardon me!” (Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (ﷺ) also advised us in Ramadan to make the following du‘a, ‘You should ask Allah for Jannah and ask for refuge in Him from Jahannam.’ (Ibn Khuzaimah)

9. Work on Your Character

The primary mission of the Prophet (ﷺ) was to teach us how to be people of good character, ‘I have been sent to perfect good character.’ (Muwatta). The traits of good character include modesty, courage, forgiveness, generosity and kindness .

Tools to improve your character can include studying the Seerah of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the life of the Sahabah (RA) to understand how they lived a life of righteousness. Being conscious of the types of people you surround yourself with as they can have a huge influence on you either positively or negatively. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said ‘Verily, the parable of good and bad company is that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. The seller of musk will give you perfume, you will buy some, or you will notice a pleasant smell. As for the blacksmith, he will burn your clothes, or you will notice a bad smell.’

So in the last ten nights, reflect on how you dealt with certain situations, did you strive to be more patient, avoid anger, and lend a helping hand, among other virtues.

10. Finish strong

The Prophet (ﷺ) split Ramadan into three equal parts,

‘And it is a month, the first of which is mercy, its middle is forgiveness and its last (part) is freedom from the Fire.’ (Mishkat al-Masabih)

We want to finish strong to attain this eternal freeing from the hellfire inshaAllah. Even if we have had a poor start to Ramadan we must push ourselves down to its last week as the Prophet (ﷺ) advised,

‘Seek it in the last ten (nights), i.e. the Night of Power. If one of you shows slackness and weakness (in the earlier part of Ramadan), it should not be allowed to prevail upon him in the last week.’ (Muslim)

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzi (RH) said, ‘When the race horse knows that it is nearing the end of the track it exerts all of its effort to win the race. Do not allow the race horse to be more clever than you. For verily deeds are judged by their conclusions. So if you didn’t do so well with welcoming Ramadan then perhaps you will do better in bidding it farewell.’

This is based upon the advice of the Prophet (ﷺ) who said, ‘Indeed, deeds are only (judged) by their endings.’ (Bukhari)

We pray for a good end as we strive for Paradise and its delights, ‘whose seal is musk, so let those who want to compete for that, compete!’ (Surah Al-Mutaffifin 83:26)

We pray that Allah (SWT) accepts all our worship this Ramadan and that we emerge with all our sins forgiven, Ameen!

Amaliah Team

Amaliah Team

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