(Part – 1)
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said when the month of Ramadan began, “Verily, this month has presented itself to you. There is a night within it that is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of all good. None is deprived of its good but that he is truly deprived.” (Sunan Ibn Mājah 1644)
As the month of ‘Ramadan’ comes to an end, I am reminded about the resolution I took at the beginning of this month. (Read here about it) I always believed that one needs to take change one step at a time and not over burden themselves with too many goals. There is plenty of time and a continuous, everlasting change needs to be well practiced and implemented. So, taking that one goal that I had set for myself, it is time to analyse if I was able to achieve it or not.
For many of us, these past 20 days must have been a success and they might have achieved 100 percent result. But for others, we were able to achieve only 50 percentage result with the goal we set for ourselves or less. But the good news is that there is still time. The last ten nights can still do wonders and here is one more chance for us to get that goal 100 percentage imbibed in our system.
There is nothing that stops us from focusing on making this goal a reality even as ‘Ramadan’ comes to an end. We don’t need to stop. We can keep pushing ourselves and trying till we finally achieve what we want to achieve. Trying to attain the ‘the night of decree’ is one such goal. If we missed to make the most of the first two nights, then remember there are eight more days left and so, there is still hope that we can give our best in these blessed nights.
Ibn Abbas (RA) reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said regarding the Night of Decree, “It is a calm night, neither hot nor cold, and the sun arises on it red and feeble.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Khuzaymah 2049)
- Planning worship schedule – It is necessary to decide what time suits us best to indulge in ‘ibadah’ (worship) during these nights. If someone is a night person, then they can sit after ‘Isha’ (night prayer) and recite Quran and practise ‘zikr’. Whereas for early sleepers, it is best to awake an hour early than their usual ‘suhoor’ time and practise the same. As for overachiever, they can stay awake throughout these nights and earn maximum reward.
Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Whoever attends evening prayer on the Night of Decree has taken his share of reward from it.” (Al-Muwaṭṭa’ 707)
- Countering setbacks – We need to be aware about our setbacks and plan solutions to overcome them during these nights. For example, if staying awake the entire night leads to missing ‘Fajr’ then it must be avoided. No form of worship is more important than the prescribed compulsory ones. Similarly, if consumption of too much food leads to drowsiness, avoid doing so. Learning what habits are holdings us back from giving our best during these nights and finding solutions to overcome them is extremely important.
- Be ready to push your limits – Make a note that sleep and energy deprivation is a common phenomenon in ‘Ramadan’. One of the purpose of ‘Ramadan’ is to teach us how to adjust in less – less food, less sleep, less energy. It is something we need to prepare ourselves for, mentally. ‘Ramadan’ acts as a training ground and we need to be ready to feel mentally exhausted and physically drained if we want to make the most of these last ten nights.
- Keep your supplications ready – Have all your ‘duas’ – Quranic, Sunnah based and personal ones ready to be read during these nights. Last minute ‘duas’ might not help you cover all that you want to ask Allah (swt). It’s always best to write or record them, so as to make them easily accessible.
Aisha reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is the Night of Decree, what should I say during it?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and generous. You love to forgive, so forgive me.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī: 3513)
- Take care to avoid distractions – From social media to any kind of events, incidents that happen around us, you will need to be careful that nothing disturbs your schedule. These nights are too precious to be lost to anything. Avoid indulging in any sort of ‘iftar’ parties, long phone calls / chats and any sort of medium that takes us away from the remembrance of Allah (swt).
- Tell yourself you can – Decide, plan, and act on your goals for the last 10 nights. Pray to Allah (swt) for victory towards achieving your goals and keep at it till you achieve it. Start now and don’t stop trying until you achieve it.
- Observe I’tikaf – For some of us, it is possible to practise ‘itikaf’ but for others it might not be so. Even if we cannot practise it in the prescribed way, we can always observe all aspects of it and benefit from the process. We can always decide not to waste our time talking, discussing or debating on any worldly issue and dedicate our time only to ‘zikr’, Quran recitation and prayers. We can indulge in all forms of worship and interact with people only when absolutely necessary. We can try to combat anger issues during this phase and try to implement anger management tools through this process. For example, trying to communicate with our children through signs or messages rather than directly asking them to do chores or homework. Ignoring all disturbance that is happening around the house or outside by confining ourselves to worship.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would seek spiritual retreat in the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan, until Allah Almighty caused him to pass away. His wives continued to perform the retreat after him. (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2026, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1172)
(Do let us know if you were able to achieve your goal this Ramadan in the comment section below)