Maximizing Ramadan

[Following is an article based on the transcript of Shaykh kamaluddin Ahmed db’s talk  listen to the audio clip]

                                        يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿١٨٣﴾ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ

(O you who have believed decreed upon you is fasting, as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous, a limited number of days) (Al-Baqara 2:183-184 )

In the noble Quran the month of Ramadan is described as having limited, counted days.

In a hadith it is stated regarding Ramadan : “A month, the beginning of it is mercy, the middle of it is forgiveness and the end of it is protection against fire  “

The first ten days, about which has been said that it is a Mercy from Allah All Mighty, has already passed. Now we are in the middle 10days which is  for  forgiveness from Allah All Mighty. But, the most special are the last ten days, because

  1.  They are deliverance from Hellfire
  2.  They have the 5 odd nights
  3.  They have the Night of Power
  4. They have aitekaaf ( to retreat for a  particular time period in the worship of Allah)

Maximum Grace, favor and Blessings of Allah All mighty is put in these last 10 days. So much so that this is a discussion among Scholars of Hadith on one hand and discussion among scholars of islamic spirituality on the other hand that the first 10 days of zulhijjah and the last 10 days of Ramadan – which of them have the most Grace and favor of Allah All Mighty. About the nights, there is no doubt that the nights of Ramadan have the most Grace, Mercy, blessings. As far as the days are concerned – which one has more that is difference of opinion – maybe the 10 days ofzulhijjah may have more Grace. Although, we are not trained to feel like that. Because, we feel Ramadan so much; most people hardly feel zulhijjah as such unless we are actually on hajj. [Thats to show one for future, since they are coming in 3-4 months that how much power those first 10 days of zulhijjah have – equal to or perhaps more than the last 10 days of Ramadan.]

1. ‘Itekaf

These last 10 nights, one should maximize by sitting in Itekaaf (secluding oneself in the worship of Allah All mighty). Ideally one should be sitting for 10-days Sunnah Itekaaf. If one cannot sit 10 whole days for Sunnah itekaaf because one is working or due to any other reason, one should try to spend the weekends in the Mosque. If one can’t spend 10, spend 9 days; If one can’t spend 9, spend 8 days; If one can’t spend 8, spend 7 ! If one can only spend the nights, spend the nights; If one can’t spend the nights, spend the days! However much itekaaf one can do in the Mosque, one should try to do it. One should try to spend the maximum amount of these 10 days  in itekaaf, if one can’t spend all 10.

2. Night Worship

Those nights one should spend in worship as much as one can. Sleep after Fajr(morning prayer) or one can sleep one hour in the night if one wants to, but one should try to give life to those nights. One should be up in those nights – do some sunnah of qiyam ul layl,  tahajjud salah [even if it means repeating the same 10surahs that one knows 2-3 times during one     Rakaah , some long  qiyam; some long rukuh; some long sajdah(prostrating) ; some long دعا(prayer) to Allah Allah mighty- one should spend in worship, those last 10 nights. As much worship as one can do – salat ul tasbeeh, any qaza salah  , Reciting Qur’an, seeking forgiveness for one’s sins, sending peace and blessings on the prophet (May peace and blessings be upon Him), muraqba (Remembering Allah Almighty in one’s spiritual Heart), any other masnoon aamaal (Recommended deeds), tasbeehaat– one should try to maximize.

3. Deliverance from Hellfire

The most important thing that one should do in these last 10 days of Ramadan: – is to get oneself saved from the Hell fire . This is through dua  and through tauba (repentance). The whole month of Ramadan, but specially the last 10 days are for dua and tauba. Make as many dua as one can. Make as much taubah as one can.

One has to begin that by viewing self as worthy of hellfire 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 ungratefulness, due to our evil glances. So one has to feel that even the first 20 days of Ramadan weren’t enough to pull me out and I’m entering the 21st of Ramadan as somebody who is worthy of Hell fire. And if one feels like that, one has 10 days chance to put his/her plea in front of Allah Almighty to take them out from the Hell Fire , at least for the next year; Take their name off from the list of people destined for the Hell Fire  at least for the next year.

 Original recipients of this hadith were the companions ( May Allah Almighty be pleased with them all), That First ten days are a Mercy; second 10 days are a Forgiveness and last 10 Days are deliverance from the Hell Fire. The companions wouldn’t have thought that this must be for the later Muslims! That’s not how the companions were. Anything the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon Him) said, they thought it was for them.

These last 10 days are a test of one’s sincerity and perseverance. One should try to make as much dua  for one another as one can,  spend these last 10 days as strongly as one can.

The month of  shawwal is another test

When Allah Almighty takes Ramadan away. All the Satans are let loose; all the doors of Hell are opened again;  normal routine goes back – one goes back to university; one goes 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, is out of the 12 months how one spends  Shawwal (10th month of lunar islamic calender)- that may be based on how one spends Ramadan. But, one month that one wants to spend well, its Shawaal. Because that will be the month in which one either preserve or lose the light  that one got in the month of Ramadan – specially those of us who will go back to universities and classes. One has to keep up his/her ‘amal, zikr(remembrance), Qur’an, salah (prayer). Ones who will go back to fulltime job as opposed to half time that is another big test for them.

That is why Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) made a Sunnah of fasting the 6 days of Shawaal. There are  many reasons for it. One reason is that, when one fasts in Shawaal, it  brings back all the memories of Ramadan. It  brings the whole spirit of Ramadan in the month of Shawaal.

The last 10 days of Ramadan and the first 10 days of Shawaal –  one should try to spend to the best of one’s ability. Then if Allah All mighty wills it and if one does that, it is enough to get  isteqaamat (perseverance).  isteqaamat  (perseverance) means that one has a full tank and one keeps it full.

So, in the last 10 days of Ramadan, one fills up the tank. And if one spends the first 10 days of Shawaal keeping it full, Allah willing Allah All mighty will let one keep it full for the rest of the year.

One just has to show  10 days of   isteqaamat (perseverance), 10 days of husool e fayz (attaining Grace and Mercy), 10  days of hifaazat e fayz (protection of Grace and Mercy) and Allah All mighty will give one isteqaamat (perseverance). For only 20 days for 365 days in a year.

Then one should make a lot of dua and alot of  istaghfaar (repentance) for deficiencies in the month of Ramadan and dua for acceptance that Allah All Mighty accept our fasts  taraweeh,  aitekaaf, dua and then one has to keep at it in the month of Shawaal; keep at it in the first 10 days of Shawaal. Allah willing, Allah All Mighty will have Mercy.

Listen to other talks by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed db on Ramadan & Last 10 days:

Understanding the Night of Power (27th Ramadhan, 2011)

Importance of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

Fading Away of Ramadan

Understanding Aitikaaf

Rules of Aitikaaf

Ramadan – Limited days




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