As we enter the last ten days and nights of Ramadan for this year, the following is a short reminder of how significant the last third of Ramadan is and why any opportunity to increase one’s quantity and quality of worship should be seized.
Ai’shah, may Allah be pleased with her, relates, ‘On the onset of the (last) ten, the Messenger of Allah would tighten his waist belt, stay awake the night and wake up his family.’1 Muslim also relates, ‘The Messenger of Allah would strive in the last ten in a manner he would not do so in other times.’2
The phrase ‘tighten his waste belt’ has been interpreted to mean intensifying one’s worship of Allah or abandoning sexual relations at night for this period, which is also indicative of a heightened level of devotion to Allah ta’ala.
It is for this reason that I’tikaf has been legislated. It is reported that The Prophet would observe I’tikaf during the last ten nights of Ramadan up until he died.3 To retreat and seclude oneself within the confines of a mosque allows one to remain free from all manner of distractions. A believer has the opportunity to transcend such heights brought about by words of remembrance, supplication, recitation of Qur’an, prayer, and seeking of forgiveness and salvation.
Patience is key to the good of a Muslim’s journey in this world and its strengths are called for in Ramadan, especially during the last ten days and nights. Will you strive and give that extra measure? Will you plead before Allah as you know you need to? Is it not amazing to see one who having no belief in Allah strive for what he aspires with all his might without relent? Surely, our faith must be weak if such a person can endure so much more than we can endure when we claim belief in Allah, love of Him, fear of Him and hope in Him! One of the greatest ways to obtain patience is through conviction; if one knows of what Allah has prepared for His righteous slaves and really believes it, not just on a superficial level, this will enable a person to bear all for what he covets and desires.
These last ten nights contain a night better than the lifespan of anyone of us, ‘The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.’4 How is it possible then to not give our all? Al-Nakha’i said, ‘Good works performed on this night are better than those performed consistently for a thousand months.’ Have we not read that the Prophet has said, ‘Whoever spends the night of al-Qadr in prayer, having iman in Allah and seeking His reward, will be forgiven all of his past sins’? So take the opportunity to seek this great night this Ramadan, not the next one as there is no guarantee you will be around to see it. Let us all try not be amongst those about whom the Prophet said, ‘Whoever is deprived of its good is surely deprived!’
I ask Allah through His most beautiful names and most high attributes to grant us the divine accord to worship Him benevolently and to forgive us our past sins in this month and may Allah shower His blessings upon the ummah. O Allah you pardon much and you love to pardon, so pardon us.
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3. Al-Bukhari and Muslim
4. Surah al-Qadr 97:3