As the last ten days of Ramadan approach us, we must come up with an action plan of maximizing the month’s blessings and rewards. And what better way to do that than to follow the practices of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and how he used to observe the last ten blessed days of Ramadan. His footsteps lead to the path of righteousness and ultimate blessings. So what did our Prophet (PBUH) do in the last quarter of Ramadan? Here are a few practices that he used to carry out:
1. According to Aisha (RA)
“The Prophet (PBUH) used to strive hard (in worship) in the last ten nights of Ramadan as he never did at any other time.” (Sahih Muslim, 7:1767)
He used to prepare himself to spend the last nights in constant worship, prayer, and supplication, seeking Allah’s (SWT) endless mercy, forgiveness, and blessings. The Prophet (PBUH) used to push himself extra hard and dedicate himself- mind, body, and soul- to Allah (SWT) during the last days. His worship’s intensity and frequency was not like other days of the year- it was much more.
2. In another narration, Aisha (RA) said:
“With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (PBUH) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers” (Sahih Muslim 2024)
He encouraged his family to follow suit- to sacrifice their sleep and spend those blessed nights in prostrating to the Almighty and seeking His good favor and refuge. He told them to engage in zikr (praise and remembrance of Allah (SWT) and prayer during the late hours, for the late hours of the night are most blessed.
3. Abu Hurairah reported:
"The Prophet would perform I'tikaf during the last ten (days) of Ramadan until Allah took him." (Al-Tirmidhi 790)
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) isolated himself from the world and observed Itikaf in the mosque during the period of the last ten days of Ramadan. Itikaf essentially entails separating yourself from all sorts of worldly distractions and re-orienting yourself towards the sole purpose of worshipping Allah (SWT) and praising Him in various forms and capacities. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) practiced this spiritual seclusion every year during the last days of Ramadan and he encouraged his followers to leave the world behind and devote their entire being to Allah (SWT).
4. According to another hadith:
“Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel used to meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Qur'an carefully together. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Gabriel” (Sahih Bukhari 3220).
The Prophet (PBUH) devoted his time in Ramadan in reciting the Holy Quran as much as could, especially in the last few days of Ramadan, to gain Allah’s (SWT) infinite favor.
5. Aisha (RA) is reported to have said that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
"Seek Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree) in the odd nights out of the last ten nights of Ramadan." (Sahih Bukhari, 9:202)
The messenger of Allah (SWT) used to seek Layla tul-Qadr, the night of decree, in the last ten nights of Ramadan. Lailat-ul-Qadr is more likely to fall on the odd nights of the last quarter of Ramadan and it is on this blessed night of decree where rewards of worship and Ibadaah are multiplied many times over by the Almighty. Allah (SWT) acclaims this night to be better than a thousand months (Quran 97:3). It is a night where sins are forgiven and mercy is showered by our Lord.
So schedule your last ten days of Ramadan in a way to maximize the blessings and rewards they have to offer- your Lord wants you to turn to Him, don’t keep Him waiting!