Mother of the Believers, Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
“With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” [Bukhari]
We’re fortunate that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla has blessed us with the last ten nights of the holy Ramadan. It is a rare opportunity for all Muslims to worship Allah Almighty during this time. Pray to Him for His forgiveness, mercy, and blessings! This is also a high time for every Muslim to give offerings to the needy and the poor. Keep fast, observe Itikaf and if one can afford, perform Umrah.
Laylatul Qadr: “better than a thousand months” (97:3).
The last ten days of Ramadan are also important because of Laylatul Qadr. This sacred night falls during this period. In Islamic tradition, Laylatul Qadr has many names that manifest its grandeur and sanctity. It has been called the Night of Decree, Glory, Power, Value, Destiny and the Night of Measures. The Holy Quran explains the immense value of this most sanctified night in Surah Al-Qadr:
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” [Qur’an: 97:1-5]
Allah (SWT) chose Laylatul Qadr to begin the revelation of the Holy Quran. It is thus a very special night that has no comparison. To worship Allah (SWT) on this night is equal to 84 years of worship. In other words, worship on this night is worth the whole life. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever prays on Laylatul Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla didn’t tell us which specific night is Laylatul Qadr. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked the Muslims to search for this blessed night in the odd nights of the last ashra. It means any of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th nights can be Laylatul Qadr. A Muslim will always be busy in seeking Allah’s mercy during these nights by uttering:
“Oh Allah, truly you are The Pardoner, you love to pardon, so pardon me.”
This is the supplication (dua) that Allah’s last Prophet told to Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her). She asked: “O Messenger of Allah if I come to know the night of decree, what should I say during it?” The Holy Prophet replied: “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu.”
The last 10 days of Ramadan are also the best time to observe Itikaf in Masjid. This is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). In Itikaf, a Muslim spends his time in silent meditation. He offers extra Salat and recites the Holy Quran. He spends his most time in performing zikar-e-Ilahi (the remembrance of Allah (SWT)).
It is worthwhile for every Muslim to recite and reflect on the meaning of the great message of Allah (SWT). There is no specific time for it. But it is rewarding in Ramadan and even more during its last ten days. Allah (SWT) wants his followers to ponder over His blessings and His commands. Understanding the Holy Quran helps us understand our duties. We can examine our deeds and analyze them in the light of the Holy Quran. We can repent on our misdeeds and make resolutions to act upon the orders of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla.
Performing Umrah in Ramadan is the most rewarding. During the last ten blessed days of Ramadan, it is even more rewarding. The Holy Prophet said:
“Umrah (minor pilgrimage) in Ramadan is akin to Hajj with me [in terms of reward].” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This is the reason that every Muslim wish to pay a visit to the Holy Makkah during this great time. To manifest true faith and devotion to Allah (SWT), it is a golden opportunity for every Muslim. To make it easier, many travel agencies offer a variety of budget Umrah packages. See the special Umrah offers of Qibla Travels. Plan to spend these best days of the year in Holy Makkah and Medina and gain the best reward. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla bless us with good health to make the best of the last ten days of the holy Ramadan. (Ameen!)