Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recommended Tips for the Last 10 Nights

Presented by: Sister Safiyyah

Below are just some tips on what is recommended for a Muslim to do during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
1. Take a Vacation for Allah

We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshipping and thanking our Creator.

If this is not possible at least take a few days off if you can. This can make it easier to stay awake at night to do extra acts of worship, not having to worry about getting to work the following day. This will also make I`tikaf easy.

2. I`tikaf

It was a practice of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the mosque for I`tikaf.

In I`tikaf one makes a spiritual retreat in the mosque all the time, performing various forms of dhikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salat, recitation and study of the Qur’an. One does not go outside the mosque except in case of emergencies. I`tikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.

3. Make This Special Du'a

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said:
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allahumma innaka 'affuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'anni' "

'Say: O Allah, You are Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.'"
[Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi].
4. Recite the Qur’an

Perhaps one can choose Surahs or passages from the Quran which one has heard in Taraweeh this past Ramadan to recite.

On attending a class for Qur’anic recitation, this is a great time to put one’s knowledge into practice.

5. Get Your Sins Wiped Out

Abu Hurairah quoted Allah’s Messenger as saying: “Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim].

6. Evaluate Yourself

Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done. This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah's sincere forgiveness when invoking Allah and supplicating to Him in these blessed nights.

7. Make Long, Sincere and Deep Du'as

One of the best times to do this is during the last part of the night.

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) quoted the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) as saying: “When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the lower heaven and proclaims: Is there anyone supplicating to Me, so that I grant his supplication? Is there anyone begging of Me for anything so that and I grant him his wish? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness, so that I forgive him?”
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim].
This means for instance, waking up one hour before Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) time to invoke Allah for anything and everything is something recommendable. This can be done using the Du`as (supplications) recorded in the Sunnah, but one is also allowed to say Du`a in one’s own language, with sincerity and conviction.

8. Have Iftar with the Family

If you've spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you'll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.

9. Take the Family to Taraweeh

Have your spouse and kids missed Taraweeh most of Ramadan because you weren't there to drive them to the mosque, which is too far away to walk to? If so, do all of yourselves a favor and bring everyone for Taraweeh in these last ten nights.

10. Attend the Du'a After the Completion of the Qur’anic Recitation

Almost all the mosques where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Qur’an in Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan will now be approaching the end of the task in these last ten nights. They may try to end on one of the odd nights and read the Du`a’ at the end of reading the Qur’an. Attend this particular night's Taraweeh prayer with your family. See if you can attend different mosques’ Taraweeh prayers the night they finish reading the Qur’an.

Dua Plan for the last 10 nights of Ramadan

Presented by: Sister Winnie

The last 10 nights will soon be here.  

If you haven’t been realising the blessings of this month, now is the time to dedicate yourself to these remaining days and focus on doing your best.  

If you have already been doing your best, go into overdrive now and finish out this month on a real high.  

If you’re in a lull, then, just regroup and refocus. The best is yet to come, in sha Allah.

Having a plan of Duas will in sha Allah, help you

Find time each night to read through your duas, praying sincerely to Allah, and from your heart, know that Allah, Most High, is listening to you and will respond.

Try to read some Dua’s in arabic, and the translation as well.  Remember though that you can make Dua in any language, as Allah is All-knowledgeable.

Here are some Dua’s which will in sha Allah, get you started if you don’t already have a list. Add in your own personal duas, and those for your family, friends and Ummah.  Top them all off with some Dua’s from the Qu’ran and Sunnah.  Finally, make the Dua from our “learn a dua” section over and over.  

Asking for Allah’s bounty and protection

Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire
Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil 'akhirati hasanatan waqina 'adhaban-nar
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
[البقرة :201]

Asking for guidance:

Our Lord! (they say), Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the Grantor of bounties without measure
Rabbana la tuzigh quloobana ba'da idh hadaytana wa hab lana milladunka rahmah innaka antal Wahhab
رَبَّنَا لاَ تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ
[8: آل عمران]

Asking for strength and patience (sabr) during tough times:

Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith
Rabbana wala tuhammilna ma la taqata lana bihi wa'fu anna waghfir lana wairhamna anta mawlana fansurna 'alal-qawmil kafireen
رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
[البقرة :286]

Trusting in Allah and Repenting:

Our Lord! In Thee do we trust, and to Thee do we turn in repentance: to Thee is (our) Final Goal
Rabbana 'alayka tawakkalna wa-ilayka anabna wa-ilaykal masir
رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
[الممتحنة :4]

Seeking health:

O Allah! Grant me health in my body. O Allah! Grant me good hearing. O Allah! Grant me good eyesight. There is no god but Thou.

(Allahoumma ghafini fii badani, Allahoumma ghafini fii samghi, Allahoumma ghafini fii basari,  La illaha illa ant).

To have good relations:

Ibn Mas’ud reported that the Prophet taught him to say this supplication: “O Allah, bring our hearts together and make our relations good. Guide us to the paths of peace and bring us out of the darkness and into the light. Keep us away from lewdness, both hidden and open. O Allah, bless us in our hearing and our sight, in our hearts, our wives and our offspring. Turn unto us, for You are the Oft-Turning, the Oft-Merciful. Make us thankful for Your blessings and complete it upon us.” (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.)
Source: Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 1, #161

Seeking knowledge:

The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) used to say: “O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from four things: Knowledge which does not profit, a heart which is not submissive, a soul which has an insatiable appetite, and a supplication which is not heard.
Source: Narrated Abu Hurayrah in Sunan Abu Dawud, hadith 614.

Comprehensive Dua seeking Allah’s help as well victory and guidance:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to supplicate Allah: “My Lord, help me and do not give help against me; grant me victory, and do not grant victory over me; plan on my behalf and do not plan against me; guide me, and made my right guidance easy for me; grant me victory over those who act wrongfully towards me; O Allah, make me grateful to Thee, mindful of Thee, full of fear towards Thee, devoted to Thy obedience, humble before Thee,or penitent. My Lord, accept my repentance, wash away my sin, answer my supplication, clearly establish my evidence, guide my heart, make true my tongue and draw out malice in my breast.”
Source: Abdullah Ibn Abbas, in Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith #595

Sources:  (this site has a great comprehensive write up on Duas and  also contains duas in spanish and french)

The I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan

Presented by: Sister Safiyyah

The I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan:
'Aisha reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, "Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan" [Bukhari]
I`tikaf is the seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of becoming closer to Allah. This was the practise of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) during the last ten days of Ramadan especially. He would do it during other months as well.
  • I’tikaf may be practiced in any mosque, as is evident in the Statement of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala):

“.........And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives); while you are in I’tikaf in the mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allah; so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear his Ayat (proofs, evidences and illegal things Allah’s set limits, orders ect.), to mankind that may become Al-Mittaqun (the pious).” (2:187)

  • I`tikaf has no specific time limit. It can be fulfilled by staying in the mosque with the intention of making i`tikaf for a long or short time.
  • I`tikaf is not restricted to men only, women also can do it (with the husband’s permission  
'Aisha (the wife of the Prophet) reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, 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]

I'tikaf for women:
Women can also do I'tikaf in the Masjid if the facilities are available to them as long as they have been given permission by their husbands.
There is a difference of opinion whether or not a women can do I'tikaf at home. The Hanbalis, some Shafi's & some Malikis say that a woman can only sit I'tikaf at the Masjid, whereas the Hanafi's, some Shafi's & some Malikis say it is permissable for a women to do I'tikaf at a designated place in her home because if her prayer is prefferred at home then surely her I'tikaf should also be preferred at home.
They state that a woman sitting I'tikaf at home can perform her domestic duties in her designated room for I'tikaf for eg. cooking, ironing etc. But it is best if she takes care of all her responsiblities si that she can devote as much time as possible to worship. She may not leave her desginated room unless it is necessery. The same rules apply to women sitting I'tikaf as they do for men. Even a women on her menses is permitted to sit I'tikaf at her designated place at home. She can do dhikr, dua, listening to Qur'an recitation & read, learn & ponder over the words & meanings of the Qur'an.

Hadiths on Itikaf Sahih Bukhari:

Virtues of the Last Ten Nights and Laylat-Al Qadr

Presented by: Sister Safiyyah

Though all parts of Ramadan are full of blessings and rewards, the last ten days hold a special status reflected in the recommendations and practices of the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and his companions.
  1. Increasing worship in the last ten nights of Ramadan
It is mentioned that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) would stay up during the last ten nights, would wake his wives and then would remain apart from them in worship.
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 radiyallohu’ anha narrated that with the start of the last ten days of Ramadhan, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e work hard) and used to offer Salat (prayer) all the night, and used to keep his family awake for Salat.
About the night of Qadr:
  • It is the night when the Qur'anic revelation (the Final and seal of all messages) started  
  • It is the night when the light, that would illuminate mankind to the end of life, started
  • It is the night when every matter of ordainment is decreed

In Surat ad-Dukhan:
Allah says what can be translated as :

We sent it (this Qur'aan) down on a blessed Night.
Verily, We are ever warning (mankind of Our Torment).
Therein (that Night) is decreed every matter of ordainment.
Amran (i.e. a command or this Qur'aan or His Decree of every matter) from Us.
Verily, We are ever sending (the Messenger).
(As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. [44:3-6]

In Surat al-Qadr:
Allah says what can be translated as :
Verily! We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Decree (Lailatul-Qadr).
And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is?
The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.
Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (ie. Jibreel [Gabriel]) by Allaah's Permission with all Decrees,
Peace! until the appearance of dawn." [97:1-5]

Narrated Abu Huraira
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) said, “Who ever observes Saum (fast) in the month of Ramadhan with sincere faith and hoping for the reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood the night of Qadr with sincere faith and hoping for the reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
A person who misses the blessed night of Laylatul-Qadr is a deprived person since Laylat-Al-Qadr is the greatest night of the year, as Arafat is the best day of the year. Therefore it is recommended that the Muslim who is eager to be obedient to Allaah 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.

When is Laylat-Al Qadr?
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, radiyalloahu 'anhu, said: The Prophet came out intending to tell us about Lailatul-Qadr, however two men were arguing and he said: "I come out to inform you about Lailatul-Qadr but so and so, and, so and so were arguing, so it was raised up, and perhaps that is better for you, so seek it on the (twenty) ninth and the (twenty) seventh and the (twenty) fifth.'[Bukhari]
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.
Therefore, the Muslim should seek out Laylat-Al-Qadr in the nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan and if he is too weak or unable to seek it out in all the odd nights: the night of the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth.
Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) said, "Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan ,' on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of the last ten nights of Ramadan (i.e. 21, 23, 25, respectively)." [Bukhari]
Aisha radiyallohu’ anha narrated that Allah’s messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) said, “Search for the night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan.”

Be Sincere, quality not quantity…
Sisters, our righteous predecessors used to exert maximum effort in perfecting their acts of worship and had grave concerns regarding their acceptance or rejection. ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib warned: “Have a greater concern for the acceptance of your deeds than you do for the amount of deeds you have performed. Do not you hear the saying of Allaah: ‘Indeed, Allaah accepts only from the righteous” (Al Maa’idah: 27).
Fudhaalah ibn ‘Ubayd said, “To know that Allaah has accepted a single act of righteousness from me would be dearer to me than this world all that it contains.” Therefore, let us be sincere in our deeds so that they be accepted and not miss this opportunity in the remaining blessed days of Ramadhan when the gates of Jannah are open and the Gates of Jehennem are closed.

We pray to Allah All Mighty, Most Merciful, Glorified and Exalted be He (subḥānahu wa ta'Ala) to hasten us to do good deeds in these last ten days of Ramadhan and accept our repentance. And may Allah Almighty accept our worship and devotions and bless us this Ramadan by witnessing Laylatul-Qadr.