Dear brothers and sisters, we are now at the pinnacle of the blessed month of Ramadhan. We have reached the final 10 days and nights of this month, of which one of the nights is worthy of extra worship and consideration.
The imam reminded us of the following hadith which is translated to say:
Seek it (Lailat-ul-Qadr) in the last (ten nights). If one among you shows slackness and weakness (in the earlier part of Ramadan), it should not be allowed to prevail upon him in the last week.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the time where we begin to feel the sadness of this VIP guest leaving us for another year. Only Allah SWT knows if we will be here to witness another Ramadan and so we need to make on final push in the remaining days to do all we can for our souls.
In these last 10 days we have the Night of Power or Night of Decree. It is mentioned in the Glorious Quran and the imam referenced it in the reminder today.
In Sura Al-Qadr, Allah SWT tell us:
Indeed, we have sent the Quran down during the Night of Decree
And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?
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.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Night of Decree, which is in one of the last ten nights has the potential for providing us with the reward of 1000 months. That’s about 83 years worth of reward.
To put that into some sort of perspective, that exceeds the average life expectancy of people living in the UK today. Therefore, logic dictates for any rational person to pursue this reward with all their worth.
It’s also worth mentioning that conventionally we think this as being the 27th night. Usually this is the busiest time of the month as far as attendance for the night prayer is concerned. However, there is no evidence to say that it is this night or any particular night in the final ten and so we should treat each night as if it is the potential Night of Decree.
The final ten days should be regarded as the home-straight, a final push to achieve the most that can be achieved in this month. Some people perform itikaaf in this period of Ramadan, which is where one remains in the masjid over the last 10 days to really lock out the outside world and perform focused worship to Allah SWT. But for those of us who are unable to do this, we can still benefit greatly from the remaining days of this month.
So in preparation for this grand finale, here is a checklist of 5 things that we can all do to make the remaining days of Ramadhan work to our advantage:
Firstly, make every moment count. Whether it is in prayer, remembrance, charity or good deeds. These are the days which we should push these habits to another level.
Secondly, get a Quran and recite as often as you can. There is immense reward for each letter that is recited and there is more reward for those of us who struggle and strive to recite, more than those who are fluent in being able to recite. Alongside that try to ponder over the verses, download or obtain a translation if need be and reflect.
Thirdly, this is the time to get your past sins forgiven. So repent to Allah SWT with sincerity in these final days and inshAllah the repentance of all His sincere creation will be accepted. Make your supplications to Allah SWT detailed, lengthy and without restriction. Allah SWTs favours upon us are limitless and so therefore so should be what we ask of Him. And pray for one another because it has been narrated that whatever we pray for our brothers and sisters in Islam, the angels repeat that supplication for us.
Fourthly, encourage each other to come to the masjid. We are all aware of the challenge of praying the night prayers in this month. Sleep becomes a much sought-after commodity during the month of Ramadhan and it is easy to lapse as the clock runs out on this month. Remind yourself and one another that this is the week in which the Night of Decree will occur insh’Allah and so what’s another week of worship compared to a lifetimes worth of reward?
Fifth, it’s to give to charity if you haven’t done so already. Make small consistent acts of charity in these remaining days so that you are guaranteed to have done it in the Night of Power and therefore insh’Allah have it registered and magnified in reward.
Alongside this, we ought to be mindful that this is the final week in which we ought to have our Zakat-ul-Fitr paid. This is an obligatory charity on all and the value is £4 per person. It needs to be distributed to the poor, not just collected, prior to the Eid prayer and so use the collection at the back of the main hall to get this task completed.
Dear brothers and sisters, I’ve often used the analogy of the car service to explain this month. Once again, the month of Ramadan is like an annual service done on a car but one that is done on our hearts and our soul.
With this month now nearing it’s end, now is the time to step up in the efforts before the celebration of Eid. The effort we put in now will serve us well over the next 11 months until the next Ramadan as well as in the next life insh’Allah.