Author: Noor Suleiman
If we think of Ramadan in terms of a spiritual boot camp, then the last ten nights are the nights you’re all in. You’re in the trenches of worship – the end is near, but the stakes are oh-so-high. In Islam, these are the holiest nights of the entire year. I like to imagine it’s like being on a game show in one of those clear tubes where cash is just raining down on you, and you have 60 seconds to grab as much of it as you can.
The barakah (blessings) are there for the taking.
That’s how I like to think of Ramadan – and the last ten nights in particular. Rewards in Ramadan are multiplied by 70, but the reward for worshipping on Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power, when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet (saw) is equal to doing that same action for about 83 years, or 1,000 months.
The goal of Ramadan is to learn self-restraint, to build our taqwa and get as many rewards and blessings as we can (while also seeking forgiveness for our tresspasses and sins) – and in the process, build a stronger connection to Allah (S). A spiritual recharge. But in these last ten nights, the goal is to worship God as we’ve never worshipped before, in hopes of witnessing Laylatul Qadr and be forgiven of all our sins.
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Allah (S) says in the Quran,
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: 97:3-5]
Imagine – if you were to pray during that night, it’s as if you spent 1,000 months in prayer. If you were to read Quran on that night, it’s as if you spent 1,000 months doing nothing but reading Quran. If you were to ask for forgiveness on that night, it’s as if you spent 1,000 months asking God for forgiveness! Now, imagine if you were to do all that and more on that night? Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet (S) said:
“Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever spends the night of Laylat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
This is the night of power. The night in which you can seek forgiveness for all your sins, big or small. The night when you can surrender your heart to Allah (S) and ask, beg, for anything and everything you want. While we don’t know what specific day it falls on, we do know is that it falls on the last ten nights of Ramadan, most likely (but not necessarily) an odd night.
Writing this post alone is motivating me to do my best in these last ten nights of Ramadan. As a working mom of a toddler and a seven-month-old, I haven’t been able to double up on my ibadah this month, and that’s ok. I’ve come to terms with the fact that nurturing my little family ismy ibadah. I know that God sees all the struggles, and not everyone has the capacity to worship at the level of a young person in college with not many responsibilities or someone further advanced in their years, perhaps retired and free of the responsibilities of work and children.
Knowing all that, I can’t help thinking, what about me? What about my spiritual health, my connection with God? That’s what Ramadan’s all about right? To reboot, disconnect and reconnect, right? While I can’t make my daily obligations go away, and I end my days bone-tired, I feel the need and desire to make an extra effort to try and worship as much as I can (whatever that looks like) in these last ten nights. What are a few nights of the year, if it means building my connection with Allah (S), rebooting my spirituality and potentially gaining me forgiveness of my sins? How am I to go the rest of my year chugging along without anything to help me refresh?
I need this. We ALL need to be forgiven. We all need Allah (S)’s mercy – unless you’re a literal angel or pure innocent. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but in the midst of our online conversations about being understanding of everyone and everything, we’ve somehow lost our ability to say, “No, you need to buckle down and just do this. Sacrifice. Reprioritize. Do the hard work.”
I need it. You need it. As an ummah, we need it. Let’s recenter Allah (S) in our lives. It’s ten nights out of the entire year, guys. We can do it.
But again – life doesn’t stop! I’m not saying drop all your responsibilities for the next ten days. But I am saying, stop coasting. Do more than what you are doing right now. If you haven’t prayed at all during the night, get a few rakaa‘s in. If you haven’t read any Quran, read a few pages a night. If you can go all out, amazing. If you can’t, then make sure to do something, anything.
May Allah (S) allow us all to witness Laylatul Qadr, and may He write us amongst those who are forgiven of all their sins. May he grant us all Jannah. Ameen.
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