Divine Gifts in the Last Ten Days of Ramadan
We are in a month of munificent goodness, great righteousness and abundant blessings. It is praised abundantly in the Noble Book of Allah The Almighty and the Hadeeths of His Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ). It is the month of the Quran and goodness, and the month when people return to their Lord in a unique and matchless manifestation of faith.
This month is granted a privilege that is not granted to any other month, which is ten blessed days – the last ten days when Allah The Almighty sends His bounty upon His slaves by saving them from Hell. Thus, we should make the best use of them by means of the following:
– Observing I’tikaaf (staying in seclusion for worship) in one of the two Holy Mosques or any other mosque if you cannot observe I’tikaaf in the two Holy Mosques. I’tikaaf is very important for those who devote themselves to the Lord and get rid of many endless worldly engagements. When someone observes I’tikaaf, he refrains from many issues in which he usually indulges. This is witnessed and widely known. If one cannot observe complete I’tikaaf, he should stay in one of the two mosques or spend long hours in it or in any other mosque.
– Reviving all or most of the night by prayers and dhikr (remembrance of Allah The Almighty). With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ), used to keep his family awake for the prayers, pray all night and tighten his waist belt (i.e. did not approach women). Praying at night is a great opportunity for whoever is engaged in worldly affairs –the majority of people– and cannot perform Qiyaam (voluntary night prayer); so the least thing people can offer in the last ten days of Ramadan is increasing Qiyaam and reviving the night. It is very strange that some righteous people are in one of the two Holy Mosques but they do not pray except eight Rak‘ahs (units of prayer) depending upon some proofs. They have forgotten that the Companions and the predecessors performed long prayers with many Rak‘ahs and they were the first generation which knew Islam and applied its rulings in the best way. The state of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ), was known to them, along with the interpretation and understanding of his noble Hadeeths in the nearest possible meanings and the best interpretations.
– We should not forget that the last ten days include a night that is the greatest night in the whole year namely the Night of Al-Qadr (Night of Divine Decree), which is better than a thousand months. How great is this divine bounty! The one who wastes it has wasted something great. The majority of Muslim scholars agree that this night is one of the odd nights in the last ten nights of Ramadan. Some scholars adopt the opinion that it is the night of the twenty-seventh day. Ubayy ibn Ka‘b, may Allah be pleased with him, swore that it is the night of the twenty-seventh day as mentioned in Saheeh Muslim.
– Increasing reading, reflecting on and understanding the Quran along with increasing Thikr. There is no doubt that these days are the right time for this.
– It is very strange that in spite of the great virtues and ample rewards, some people like to spend their vacations that coincide with the last ten days, abroad. Hence, they are deprived of great benefits. What they will do abroad except spending their time in picnics and recreation at a time when recreation is pointless? Rather, this time should be devoted to worship. A wise person is he who directs his capacities and time to benefit the most from these days of happiness.
– We should not forget in these ten days that we have brothers in the trenches of Jihaad (striving in the cause of Allah The Almighty). The enemies have surrounded them and they are suffering from great calamities. We should not forget them, even if the least we can do is to make sincere supplication from a heart devoted to Allah The Exalted and charity. In this way, we will be the first to win its reward. Lastly, we should not forget the poor and the needy, especially when ‘Eid is approaching.