The Last 10 Days of Ramadan | Abrahamic Religions | Monotheistic Religions

THE LAST TEN DAYS OF RAMADAN BY YAQEEN UL HAQ AHMAD SIKANDER

The glorious Ramadan is the month full of blessings and bounty of Allah. Ramadan is a month of mercy for the believers. It is a month in which a person gets a noble chance to free himself from the shackles of material things like food, drink and sex in order to get exalted to a much higher spiritual level. Ramadan is the month which brings spring season and bloom to life and provides tranquility to the soul. The human body is not just flesh but it also possesses a soul. So in Ramadan, the body is deprived to uplift the soul. Ramadan helps us to discover our inner self which remains buried in our materials pursuits of this world. The month of Ramadan teaches us virtues of Sabr (patience), Shukr (gratitude), Ithaar (self-sacrifice), Rahmah (mercy), etc. Whole of the month of Ramadan is meant for fasting and devoting oneself to worship in order to attain much higher benefits both in this world and the hereafter. But the last phase (i.e. the last ten days) of Ramadan are most important and have got a special significance of their own due to many reasons and factors. Moreover Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has also laid great emphasis on the status of these last ten days in terms of both words and actions. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other times. [Muslim, 1175, from ‘A'ishah (RA)]. In al-Sahihayn it is reported from the Hadith of ‘A'ishah (RA) that when the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Prophet (SAW) would stay up at night, wake his family and gird his loins. [Al-Bukhari, 1920; Muslim, 1174] Muslim added: he strove hard and girded his loins. ‘The phrase "girded his loins" is a metaphor for his preparing himself to worship and striving hard in worship, more than usual. It has the meaning of "rolling up one's sleeves" to worship (i.e. getting ready to make a great deal of effort). It was also said that it was a metaphor for keeping away from women and abstaining from sexual relations. The words "stay up at night" may mean that he spent most of the night in worship, or that he did not stay up for the entire night, but he did that at the times of ‘Isha' and Suhur, and other times, in which case it would mean that he stayed up for most of the night. The phrase "and wake his family" means that he would wake his wives to pray qiyam. It is known that he (peace be upon him) used to wake his wives all year round, but he used to wake them to spend part of the night in qiyam. But when he woke his wives during the last ten nights of Ramadan, this was more persistent than at other times of the year. (Quoted from a fatwa by Shaykh Salih Al Munajjid).

And it’s during these last ten days that a person can observe I’tikaf, an act of extreme worship in which a person secludes himself in a Masjid and entirely devotes his time for worshipping and spiritual enlightenment. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself used to observe I’tikaf and seek Laylatul Qadr in the last ten days and nights of Ramadan [Al-Bukhari, 1913; Muslim, 1169]. Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that Muhammad (SAW) said, (about him who engages in i’tikaf), “that he is safe from sin and he also gets that reward which everyone (outside I’tikaf) gets for pious deeds.” (Ibn Majah). So the above given references reflect the virtues and importance of these last ten days and even the Prophet (SAW) attached great importance to these and strived hard in worship during these special times. So every Muslim should follow this example of Muhammad (SAW) and not waste any time during these days and nights. And again among the virtues of these nights is that Laylatul Qadr is among them. About Laylatul Qadr, there is a whole chapter in Qur’an which reads as follows: "Verily, We have sent it (this Quran) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril] by Allah's Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn." [Noble Quran 97:1-5]. Further, the Glorious Qur’an mentions: "Ha-Meem. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] By the manifest Book (this Quran) that makes things clear. We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. As a Command (or this Quran or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers), (As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the AllKnower." [Noble Quran 44:1-6]. Allah sent down the whole Qur’an in Ramadan on Laylatul Qadr from Lawh-e-Mahfooz (Preserved Tablet) to the lowest heaven called Bayt-ul-Izzah (House of Honour). And this was confirmed by many companions of Prophet (SAW) and many Salaf– including Ibn ‘Abbas, Qutadah, Sa'id ibn Jubayr, ‘Ikrimah, Mujahid and others – that the night on which the Quran was sent down was Laylat al-Qadr. According to the Glorious Qur’an, the Laylatul Qadr is the night of Decree (44:4) and during this night the destinies of creatures are ordained along with many other matters. So Allah has called it Laylat al-Qadr, because of its great value and high status with

Allah, and because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during this night. For it is the night of forgiveness, as it was reported in al-Sahihayn from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (SAW) said: "Whoever stays up during Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven." [AlBukhari, 1910; Muslim, 760]. So everyone among us must strive hard during these last ten days of Ramadan and earn the good pleasure of Allah. May Allah accept our fasting and prayers and help us to remember Him always. The Glorious Qur’an mentions, “And you (O reader!) Bring your Lord to remembrance in your (very) soul, with humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in mornings and evenings; and you be not of those who are unheedful” (Chapter 7, v205). (Yaqeen Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander is a student at International Islamic University Malaysia. He can be reached at http://www.yaqeenulhaq.info or can be mailed at yaqeen@ymail.com )

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