How do you take full advantage and benefit from the last part of Ramadan?
Though all parts of Ramadan are full of blessings and rewards, its last ten days hold a special status reflected in the recommendations and practices of the Messenger of Allah and his companions. I will focus here on three major practices of the Prophet and his companions during these days.
1-Praying in the last ten nights of Ramadan
|Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Aishah that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). A narration in Muslim states: “He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time.”
Aisha reported that with the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard), pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]
2-Performing I`tikaf in the Masjid (seclusion in the Mosque)
|Before going to the essential part of this last section, let us stop by one of the great imam of ahl Assunnah wal jama`ah and one of the greatest revivers of the Da`wah and the methodology of the Salaf, Shaikhul-Islam Shamsuddeen Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, who will give us a brain storming admonition.
He says (rahimahu Allah) in Zaad al Ma`aad fi hadyi khairi al `ibaab :
I`tikaf is the seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of becoming closer to Allah. This was the practice of the Prophet during the last ten days of Ramadan especially. He would do it during other months as well.
Aishah reported that the Messenger of Allah used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say,
Abu Hurairah said:
Aishah reported that the Prophet used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and then his wives used to practice I`tikaf after him. [Bukhari]
`Aishah also reported that the Prophet :
Al-Bukhari records from Abu Said that the Prophet (S) said:
This Sunnah of the Prophet has been abandoned by many Muslims and it is worth reviving it in this era.
Sayyid Sabiq says in Fiqhus-Sunnah :
Ya’la ibn Umayyah said:
One who is performing Sunnah (like in Ramadan) i’tikaf (i.e. not the obligatory one that is made after a vow) may end his i`tikaf at any time, even if it is before the period he intended to stay.
Aishah related that if the Prophet intended to make i’tikaf, he would pray the morning prayer and begin it. One time he wanted to make i`tikaf during the last ten nights of Ramadan, and he ordered his tent to be set up. Aishah reported:
The fact that the Messenger of Allah ordered (his and) his wives’ tents to be struck down and (he himself left and) asked them to leave the i`tikaf after they have made the intention for it shows that they discarded the i`tikaf after they had begun it.
It is preferred for the one who is making i`tikaf to perform many supererogatory acts of worship and to occupy himself with prayers, reciting the Qur’an, glorifying and praising Allah, extolling His oneness and His greatness, asking His forgiveness, sending salutations on the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and supplicating Allah – that is, all actions that bring one closer to Allah. Included among these actions is studying and reading books of tafsir and hadith, books on the lives of the Prophets, upon whom be peace, books of fiqh, and so on. It is also preferred to set up a small tent in the courtyard of the mosque as the Prophet did.
Permissible Acts for the Mu`takif (the Person Performing I`tikaf)
The following acts are permissible for one who is making I’tikaf:
Actions that Nullify the I`tikaf. If a person performs one of the following acts, his i`tikaf will be nullified:
I`Tikaf Is Not Restricted To Men Only, Women Also Can Do It :
Dear Sisters! when reading this do not forget the modesty and the hijab of the wife of the Prophet that you should observe if you intend to perform i`tikaf.
3-Seeking Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree)
Allah says in what can be translated as :
and in Surat ad-Dukhan :
A Person Who Misses Laylatul-Qadr Is Really A Deprived Person!
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said
One who misses this blessed night then he has missed much good for no one misses it except one from whom it is withheld. Therefore it is recommended that the Muslim who is eager to be obedient to Allah should stand in prayer during this night out of Eemaan and hoping for the great reward, since if he does this, Allah will forgive his previous sins.
What Happens To The Person Who Witnesses Laylatul-Qadr? And What Should One Do?
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said :
It is recommended to supplicate a lot during this night, it is reported from our mother Aishah , that she said:
When is Laylatul-Qadr ?
It is preferred to seek this night during the last ten odd nights of Ramadan, as the Prophet strove his best in seeking it during that time. We have already mentioned that the Prophet would stay up during the last ten nights, would wake his wives, and then would remain apart from them to worship.
Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet said,
However if the servant is too weak or unable, then he should at least not let the last seven pass him by, due to what is reported from Ibn ‘Umar, who said:
This explains his saying:
It is known from the Sunnah, that knowledge of the exact night upon which Lailatul-Qadr falls was taken up because the people argued, ‘Ubaadah ibn as- Saamit, , said:
Some of the ahadeeth indicate that Lailatul-Qadr is in the last ten nights, while others indicate that it is in the odd nights of the last ten, so the first are general and the second more particular, and the particular has to be given priority over the general. Other ahadeeth state that it is in the last seven – and these are restricted by mention of one who is too weak or unable. So there is no confusion, all the ahadeeth agree and are not contradictory.
The Muslim should seek out Lailatui-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten: the night of the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. If he is too weak or unable to seek it out in all the odd nights, then let him seek it out in the odd nights of the of seven: the night of the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth And Allah knows best.
What are the signs of laylatul-Qadr?
Allah’s Messenger described the morning after Lailatul-Qadr, so that the Muslim may know which day it is. From Ubayy, , who said:
Abu Hurairah , said:
Ibn ‘Abbaas, radhiya Allahu ‘anhuma, said: Allah’s Messenger said:
We pray to Allah to bless us this Ramadan by witnessing Laylatul-Qadr.
Source: TheMuslimLink – Staff