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The Last Ten Days of Ramaḍān

July 29, 2013

The month of Ramaḍān is a blessed month full of virtue from beginning to end. However, the last 10 days of the month of Ramaḍān hold greater virtue than the rest of the days of the blessed month.This can be deduced from the fact that the Prophet ﷺ would make a point to perform i‘tikāf during these last 10 days, and evidently increase in his worship.

 

‘Ā’ishah رضي الله عنها narrates that during the last 10 days [of the month of Ramaḍān], the Prophet ﷺ would tie up his lower garment, spend the night in prayer, and awaken the members of his household [encouraging them to do the same]. (Al-Bukhārī) [1]

 

The scholars of ḥadīth have mentioned two meanings of the term ‘tie up his lower garment’: one being that the Prophet ﷺ would not go near his wives during that period, and the other being that he would exert more effort in worshipping Allāh عز وجل. The latter would therefore be similar to the English phrase ‘rolling your sleeves up’, which is used to show a person being totally focused and prepared for the task at hand.

 

I would just like to draw the attention of the readers to a few particular actions related to these 10 days:

1. I‘itkāf

I‘tikāf means secluding oneself in a masjid, with certain conditions.

 

‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنهما narrates that the Prophet ﷺ would sit in i‘tikāf during the last ten days of the month of Ramaḍān. (Al-Bukhārī)[2]

 

One of the reasons that have been mentioned for sitting in i‘tikāf is that it makes it easier to acquire and benefit from Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power). Although there is no fixed date on which Laylatul-Qadr actually falls, the scholars are of the opinion that it is a night which falls in the odd nights of the month of Ramaḍān, and in particular the odd nights of the last 10 days, i.e. 21st, 23rd,etc.

 

The idea of i‘tikāf is that one stays in the masjid engaging in ‘ibādah and worshipping Allāh جل جلاله, leaving aside all worldly engagements for that duration. If this is done in the correct manner, a person would have spent the last ten days of the month of Ramaḍān in one of the most beloved places to Allāh: the Masjid, and spent them worshipping Him, which again is the best way to spend time. This will also result in him having spent Laylatul-Qadr in worshipping Allāh تعالى, the virtue of which is narrated by Imām Al-Bukhārī on the authority of Abū Hurayrah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet ﷺ said:

 

“Whosoever spends Laylatul-Qadr in worship[ing Allāh] with belief and hope in reward, will have his previous sins forgiven.”[3]

 

Whoever wishes to perform this great deed of i‘tikāf should first become familiar with its conditions and the rulings related to it.

2. Laylatul-Qadr

 

 The actual date on which this great night falls is unknown. However, through analysing all the verses of the Qur’ān and the aḥādīth related to it, the scholars have guided the Ummah in trying to acquire its benefits. This guidance has been mentioned above, in the section titled ‘I‘tikāf’.

 

Allāh تعالى has revealed a whole sūrah in respect of this night. He says in the Qur’ān:

 

“We have sent it [the Qur’ān] down in the Night of Qadr. And what may let you know what the Night of Qadr is? The Night of Qadr is much better than one thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend in it, with the leave of your Lord, along with every command. Peace it is till the debut of dawn.” (97:1-5)

 

There are many virtues that we learn from this sūrah, but I wish to point out three to the readers. One of the virtues of this night is that the Qur’ān was revealed in it. Another virtue is that it is better than a thousand months, meaning that any act of ‘ibādah performed on this night will be better than performing it for a thousand months. The third virtue is that the Angels of Allāh descend frequently during this night, which indicates to the magnitude of Blessings and Mercy of Allāh عز وجل descending, as the Angels descend in great numbers with the Blessings and Mercy of Allāh.

3. Spending in the Path of Allāh تعالى

 

Out of the many good deeds that we can perform on virtuous days and nights, one which seems to be neglected often is spending in charity. My teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat ḥafiẓahullāh advises that we should set aside an amount of money specifically to spend during these last ten days of the month of Ramaḍān. Out of this amount, we should be particular in spending equal amounts daily/nightly. By doing so, we will most definitely have spent some money on Laylatul-Qadr, the reward of which will be multiplied manifold, inshā’Allāh.

 

A point worth nothing is that any deed performed on Laylatul-Qadr, be it charity, ṣalāh or any other, will be rewarded by Allāh جل جلاله with its original reward also, and then the virtue of Laylah-al-Qadr will be an added bonus. The reward for sincere charity has been stipulated by Allāh as a minimum of 700 rewards, with the promise of more “…and Allāh multiplies [the reward] for whom He wills.” (2:261) The actual reward therefore could reach a staggeringly eye-watering amount!

4. Tahajjud

Tahajjud is another great act of worship. Unfortunately, the notion among the majority is that it is only for the extremely pious Muslims, whereas this is very far from reality. Tahajjud is a great deed which can be performed by every Muslim, be he/she religious or irreligious. It is a very virtuous deed, and one which, although voluntary, was and is practiced by many pious personalities.

 

These days, when the time between ‘Ishā and suḥūr is very short, the opportunity to perform Tahajjud at its most preferred time presents itself. We should make the most of this opportunity, especially in the last ten days of Ramaḍān.

 

Abū Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “When half the night or two thirds of it pass, Allāh تبارك وتعالى descends to the heaven closest to earth and calls out, ‘Is there any asker who can be given, is there any supplicant whose prayer can be accepted, is there any seeker of forgiveness who can be forgiven?’ until dawn breaks.” (Al-Bukhārī)[4]

 

We learn from this that at the time of Tahajjud, Allāh is eagerly awaiting the prayers of his servants so that he may accept them. The night then being a night of Ramaḍān adds virtue to this, and we therefore need to value these moments.

 

Let us all roll our sleeves up in these final ten days of the blessed month, and take the many rewards on offer by performing good deeds – in particular the ones highlighted above - and stay away from Allāh’s displeasure.  May Allāh عز وجل accept all our humble efforts in this month, and may He grant us life, Īmān and health to witness the blessings of Ramaḍān for years to come. Āmīn.

 

 

 

[1] روى البخاري قال: حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ أَبِي يَعْفُورٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الضُّحَى، عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا، قَالَتْ: «كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا دَخَلَ العَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ، وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ»

 

[2] روى البخاري قال: حدثنا إسماعيل بن عبد الله، قال: حدثني ابن وهب، عن يونس، أن نافعا، أخبره عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما، قال: «كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يعتكف العشر الأواخر من رمضان»

 

[3] روى البخاري قال: حدثنا أبو اليمان، قال: أخبرنا شعيب، قال: حدثنا أبو الزناد، عن الأعرج، عن أبي هريرة قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «من يقم ليلة القدر، إيمانا واحتسابا، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه»

 

[4] رواه الإمام البخاري رحمه الله قال: حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، وَأَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الأَغَرِّ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: " يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ يَقُولُ: مَنْ يَدْعُونِي، فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ، مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ

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