[Following are highlights from Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed’s advice on maximizing the last ten days of Ramadan – listen to the audio clip]
كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
Hadith: Awwaluhu Rehmah; wa Awsatuhu Maghfirah; wa Aakhiruhu itqun min-an-Naar
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Allah swt in the Qur’an-e-Karim Described this month of Ramadan as
that these are limited; counted days.
The first Asharah, about which has been said that it is a Mercy from Allah swt, has already passed. Now we are in the middle of the 2nd Ashrah which is the ashrah of Maghfirah – forgiveness of Allah swt. But, the most special is the last ashrah, the last 10 days because:
– It is deliverance from Hellfire
– They have the 5 odd nights
– They have laylatul Qadr
– They have itekaaf
Maximum Fazl, Faiz and Barakaat of Allah swt is put in these last 10 days. So much so that this is a discussion among Muhadiseen on one hand and discussion among Mashaikh on the other hand that the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah and the last 10 days of Ramadan – which of them have the most Fazl of Allah swt.
About the nights, there is no doubt that the nights of Ramadan have the most fazl, Karam and Barakah. As far as the days are concerned – which one has more that is difference of opinion – maybe the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah may have more Fazl. Althought we are not trained to feel like that. Because, we feel Ramadan so much; most people hardly feel Dhul-Hijjah as such unless we are actually on Hajj. [Thats to show you for future, since they are coming in 3-4 months that how much power those first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah have – equal to or perhaps more than the last 10 days of Ramadan.]
These last 10 nights, one should maximize by sitting in Itekaaf. Ideally one should be sitting for 10-days Sunnah Itekaaf. If one cannot sit 10 whole days for Sunnah itekaaf because you are working or due to any other reason, try to spend the weekends in the Masjid. If you can’t spend 10, spend 9 days; If you can’t spend 9, spend 8 days; If you can’t spend 8, spend 7 ! If you can only spend the nights, spend the nights; If you can’t spend the nights, spend the days! However much itekaaf you can no in the Masjid, you should try to do it. Try to spend the maximum amount of those 10 days that you can spend in itekaaf, if you can’t spend all 10.
2. Night Worship
Those nights you should spend in ibadah as much as you can. Sleep after Fajr or you can sleep one hour in the night if you want to, but you should try to give life to those nights. You should be up in those nights – do some sunnah of Qiyam-ul-Layl, Tahajjud Salah[even if it means that you have to repeat the same 10surahs that you know 2-3 times during one rakah], some long qiyaam; some long rukooh; some long sajdah; some long dua to Allah swt – you should spend in ibadah, those last 10 nights. As much Ibadah as you can – Salaat-ut-Tasbeeh, any qaza salaah, tillawat-e-Qur’an, istighfaar, durood salawaat, Muraqaba, any other musnoon a’amaal, tasbihaat – you should try to maximize.
3. Deliverance from Hellfire
The most important thing that you should do in these last 10 days of Ramadan: itqun min-an-Naar – is to get oneself saved from the fire of Jahannum. This is through dua and this is through Taubah. The whole month of Ramadan, but specially the last 10 days are for Dua and Taubah. Make as many duas as you can. Make as much Taubah as you can.
And you have to begin that by viewing yourself as mustahiq-un-Naar i.e. we have actually become as such that we have earned the fire of Jahannum due to our sins, due to our hypocrisy, due to our naqadri, due to our budnazri..so we have to feel like that.. that even the first 20 days of Ramadan weren’t enough to pull me out and im entering the 21st of Ramadan as somebody who is mustahiq-un-naar. And if you feel like that, you have 10 days chance to put your plea in front of Allah swt to Take you out from the Fire of Jahannum – atleast for the next year; Take your name off from the list of people destined for the Fire of Jahannum atleast for the next year.
Imagine Syeddina RasoolAllahi sallallahu ‘alaihe wassalam said that to Sahaba-e-karaam. Original recipients of the hadith were the Sahaba-e-Karam radillahu ta’ala anhum ajmaeen, that First ten days are a Mercy; second 10 days are a Maghfirah and last 10 Days are deliverance from the Fire of Jahannum. The Sahaba wouldn’t have thought that this must be for the later Muslims! thats not how the Sahaba were. Anything the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wassalam said, they thought it was for them. These last 10 days are a test of our ikhlaas, istaqamat. Try to make as much duas for one another as you can. Spend these last 10 days as strongly as you can.
The month of Shawwal is another test
When Allah swt Takes all those things away. All the Shayateen are let loose; all the doors of Jahannum are opened again; your normal routine goes back – you go back to university; you go back to work – everything goes back the way it was. No more fasting; no more taraveeh; no more dars. Everything is gone! that is a very big test. Infact that is the real test. The real name of the game, if you ask me, is out of the 12 months how you spend your Shawal – that may be based on how you spend your Ramadan. But, one month that you want to spend well, its Shawaal. Because that is hifazat-e-noor i.e. that will be the month in which you either preserve or loose the noor that you got in the month of Ramadan – specially those of you who will be going back to your universities and classes. You have to keep up your ‘amal, zikr, qur’an, salah…those who will go back to fulltime job as opposed to half time that is another big test for you.
That is why Rasool Allah sallallahu alaihi wassalam made a Sunnah of fasting the 6 days of Shawaal. there are many many reasons for it. One reason is that, when you fast in Shawaal, it will bring back all the memories of Ramadan. It will bring you to the whole spirit of Ramadan in the month of Shawaal.
The last 10 days of Ramadan and the first 10 days of Shawaal – you should try to spend to the best of your ability. Then inshaAllah, if you do that it is enough to get istiqamat.
Istiqamat means that you have a full tank and you keep it full.
So, in the last 10 days of Ramadan, you fill up the tank. And if you spend the first 10 days of Shawaal, even just the first 10 days keeping it full, inshaAllah Allah Ta’ala will Let you keep it full for the rest of the year. You just have to show 10 days of istiqamat. 10 days of husul-e-faiz; 10 days of hifazat-e-faiz and Allah swt will Give you istiqamat. 20 days for 365 days in a year!
Then we should make a lot of dua – make lots of istighfaar for our deficiencies in the month of Ramadan and dua for qubooliyat that Allah swt Accept our fasts, taraveeh, itekaaf, duas and then you have to keep at it in the month of Shawaal; keep at it in the first 10 days of Shawaal. InshaAllah, Allah swt Karam keray ga.
Listen to other talks by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed db on Ramadan & Last 10 days: