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Deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) during the last ten days of Ramadan

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to do specific deeds during the last ten days of Ramadan that he did not do at any other time of the same month. My Muslim brother and sister, we will mention the guidance of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) during the last ten days of Ramadan.

Deeds of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) during the last ten days of Ramadan:

Firstly: ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other time.” [Muslim]

He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) also used to stay awake, spending the night in prayer, supplicating Allah Almighty, seeking His forgiveness, and the like, as it was narrated that ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “When the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) ¬would stay up at night, wake up his family (to pray), strive hard, and tighten his waist belt.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Her phrase, “tighten his waist belt,” is a metaphor for keeping away from women (i.e. abstaining from sexual relations) and occupying himself with worship.

The mother of the Believers ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, also said, “The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to mix the (first) twenty (days of Ramadan) with prayer, fasting, and sleeping. However, when the last ten came, he strove hard and tightened his waist belt.” [Ahmad]

Secondly: The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) during the last ten days of Ramadan, used to wake up his family for prayer, thikr (remembrance of Allah Almighty), and supplicating Him. He was keen on making the most of these special, blessed nights, as it was narrated that ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “When the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) would stay up at night, wake up his family, strive hard, and tighten his waist belt.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to knock at the door of Fatimah and ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them, during the night, saying, “Do you not get up to pray?” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Thirdly: The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to observe i‘tikaf (ritual seclusion in the mosque) during the last ten days of Ramadan, as it was narrated that ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to observe i‘tikaf for ten days every Ramadan, and in the year in which he passed away, he observed i’tikaf for twenty days.” [Al-Bukhari]

Doing i‘tikaf means staying in the mosque to worship Allah Almighty. It is one of the recommended acts affirmed by the Book of Allah Almighty and the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ). In this effect, Allah Almighty says (what means): {And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques.} [Quran 2: 187]

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to observe i‘tikaf for ten days every Ramadan, and in the year in which he passed away, he observed i’tikaf for twenty days.” [Al-Bukhari]

Allah Almighty prescribed i‘tikaf so that a Muslim individual can be away from anything that might divert his heart from worshiping Him, the Almighty.

Therefore, one who observes i‘tikaf should occupy himself with thikr, reciting the Quran, praying, worshiping, and avoiding all worldly matters that cannot help him.

Fourthly: The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) used to seek Laylat Al-Qadr (the Night of Decree) during these last ten nights. Allah Almighty named this night thus because it has great value, honor and status to Him, the Exalted. Also, it is because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during this night, and the decrees of Allah Almighty are decreed and written down on this same night.

Allah Almighty has given this night special characteristics that make it unique:

1- It is the night in which the Quran was revealed. The Quran implies guidance to all of humanity and their happiness in the life of this world and the Hereafter. It is the everlasting miracle. Allah Almighty says (what means): {Indeed, We sent the Quran down during Laylat Al-Qadr (i.e. Night of Decree).} [Quran 97: 1]

2- Allah Almighty described it as being better than a thousand months (i.e. more than eighty years). Allah Almighty says (what means): {Laylat Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.} [Quran 97: 3]

3- Allah Almighty described it as being blessed (i.e. has many blessings and goodness), as Allah Almighty says (what means): {Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night.} [Quran 44: 3]

4- On this night, the angels and Ar-Rooh descend, meaning that many angels descend on this night because it is so blessed that they come down when Allah’s goodness, blessings and mercy come down.

Ar-Rooh is Jibreel (i.e. Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, who is specifically mentioned in this manner as a sign of respect for him and showing his great status. Allah Almighty says (what means): {The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.} [Quran 97: 4]

5- This night is described as peace (i.e. it is safe) because Shaytan (Satan) cannot do any evil or cause any harm on this night. It is also safe for the believers from all fears because many people are saved in it from Hellfire and punishment, as Allah Almighty says (what means): {Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.} [Quran 97: 5]

6- About it, Allah Almighty says (what means): {On that night is made distinct every precise matter.} [Quran 44: 4]

This means that on Laylat Al-Qadr, the decrees are transferred from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth to the (angelic) scribes who write down the decrees of the (coming) year including life spans, provisions and what will happen to the people and the like. The saying of Allah Almighty (what means): {On that night is made distinct every precise matter} means the perfect and most correct Commands of Allah Almighty, which have no misguidance, defects, foolishness, or falsehood for they are the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.

7- Allah Almighty forgives the previous sins of the one who stays up and prays during this night out of faith and in hope of earning the reward from Him, as the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Whoever stays up during Laylat Al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

8- Allah revealed a complete soorah (a chapter of Quran), which will be recited among people until the Day of Resurrection, concerning this night.

In which night will Laylat Al-Qadr be?

It will be in the month of Ramadan because Allah Almighty revealed the Noble Quran in it, and He, the Exalted, said that He revealed the Quran in the month of Ramadan, saying (what means): {The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran…} [Quran 2: 185]

It will be in the last ten days of Ramadan, as the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Seek Laylat al-Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is more likely to be one of the odd-numbered nights as the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Seek Laylat al-Qadr in the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari]

It is more likely to be in the last seven days, meaning the night of the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh, or the twenty-ninth for the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Seek it in the last ten nights, and if any of you are weak or unable to do so, then let him not miss the last seven.” [Muslim]

Also, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “It seems that your dreams agreed that it is one of the last seven nights so let whoever wants to seek it seek it in the last seven nights.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is most likely to be on the night of the twenty-seventh. It is the opinion of the majority of the scholars because of the hadith narrated by Ubay ibn Ka‘b, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he said, “By Allah, I do know which night it is. It is the night in which the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) commanded us to pray (qiyam). It is the night the morning of which is the twenty-seventh.” [Muslim]

Also, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Laylat Al-Qadr is the night of the twenty-seventh.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawood]

Ibn Hajar, An-Nawawi, and some other scholars may Allah have mercy upon them viewed that Laylat al-Qadr changes and does not come on a specific night each year. Thus, it may be on the night of the twenty-seventh one year while on the twenty-fifth in another according to the Will and Wisdom of Allah Almighty, for the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadan when there are nine days left, seven days left, or five days left.” [Al-Bukhari]

The wisdom behind concealing this night is that Allah Almighty wants His slaves to strive in seeking it and strive hard in prayer, thikr, and supplication so that they may draw closer to Him, the Exalted.

Signs of Laylat Al-Qadr:

There are signs by which Laylat Al-Qadr is known that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) mentioned:

The first sign: It is a pleasant night that is neither hot nor cold, as the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Laylat Al-Qadr is a pleasant night, neither hot nor cold, and in the following day the sun rises red and weak.” [Ibn Khuzaymah]

The second sign: Light and brightness will be great, and hearts will be happy on this night, more than on any other night. The wind will be calm, and no meteors will be seen in it, for the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Laylat Al-Qadr is a bright night, neither hot nor cold, in which no meteors are seen.” [Ahmad]

The third sign: The sun will rise on the following morning having no (visible) rays (i.e. it will be pure), unlike what it is usually like on other days for the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “On the morning following Laylat Al-Qadr, the sun rises, not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up.” [Muslim]

What should a Muslim do in it?

One should stay awake in it to perform Tahajjud (night prayer), for the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Whoever stays up during Laylat Al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

One should also do a great deal of supplication on this night, especially the supplication of ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, when she asked the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) “If I witness Laylat Al-Qadr, what should I say in it?” He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Say, O Allah, You are Forgiving and Generous, and You love forgiveness, so forgive me.”

Moreover, one should do a great deal of reciting the Quran, thikr, and seeking forgiveness. O you, may Allah have mercy upon you, strive hard in seeking this night for this is the due time for seeking it, and beware of negligence for it implies all loss.

In conclusion:

O Allah, include us among those who fasted this month properly, attained the goodness of Laylat Al-Qadr, and attained the great reward. O Allah, guide us to make the most of goodness, raise our degrees, and render us successful in this month with a great share, You hear and are responsive, O, Most Merciful of the merciful. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) and his household and his Companions.

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