Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims across the world.
In Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an, and fast from food and drink during the sunlit hours as a means of drawing closer to Allah and cultivating self-control, gratitude, and compassion for those less fortunate.
Ramadan is a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation with a heightened focus on devotion, during which Muslims spend extra time reading the Qur’an and performing special prayers.
In fact, during the period of Ramadan, the reward for every good deed is multiplied by 70.
The significance and place of Ramadan is never lost on any Muslim.
As important as the period is, however, the last 10 nights of the Ramadan is considered even more significant as they are full of greater rewards and blessings.
Firstly, the holiest and most blessed night, Laylatul Qadr, is likely to occur on one of the odd nights on the last 10 nights of Ramadan and the reward of worship on this night is better than the worship of a thousand months of worship, equivalent to a person’s lifetime put together. Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Decree or Night of Power, is one of the most sacred nights in the Islamic calendar. It was the night in which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and falls within the last ten nights of Ramadan.
It is also believed to be the night in which Allah shows great mercy to His creation and the night in which one’s fate is decreed.
Allah says in the Qur’an, “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months,” (Qur’an, 97:3).
This means that when a good deed is performed on Laylatul Qadr, it is as if that deed has been performed for more than 1,000 months.
The exact date of Laylatul Qadr is unknown, although it is thought to occur on an odd night in the last 10 days of Ramadan (e.g. the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27 or 29th night). The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Seek it in the last 10 days, on the odd nights,” (Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim).
Secondly, the last ten nights of Ramadan are nights of intense prayer, acts of worship and Qur’an recitation.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would stand in prayer during the last ten nights of Ramadan, praying for forgiveness. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever prays on Laylatul Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven” (Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim).
Also, many Muslims choose to spend the last 10 days of Ramadan in seclusion (i’tikaf), where one solely focuses on worshipping Allah and refrains from involvement in worldly affairs. It is a time to reflect, increase worship and to increase one’s religious knowledge, seeking closeness to Allah.
The sunnah is to remain in i’tikaf for 10 days but as a minimum it can be 1 day and 1 night. I’tikaf is a great opportunity to reconnect with Allah in solitude. It is also a time to implement good religious practices which can be carried on throughout the whole year. I’tikaf traditionally takes place in mosques, or you can set up a place of seclusion in your home for dedicated worship.
The last 10 days of Ramadan are an opportunity to gain multiple rewards by giving sadaqa to those in need for the sake of seeking the pleasure of Allah.
The rewards of giving sadaqa during Ramadan are multiplied by 70 and the reward for any righteous act during Laylatul Qadr is equivalent to having performed the same act for over 83 years. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said “Sadaqa extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire,” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).
He also said that Allah offers relief on the Day of Judgement for those who give sadaqa: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be their charity,” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).
As we inch closer to the end of the Ramadan, we urge all Muslims to be steadfast and stay the course for the greater reward that Allah will bestow on all who stay true to the tenets of Islam.