Prayer Time

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All the praise and glorifications are due and belong to Allah Who has favored the month of Ramadan over all other months. He has specified the last ten nights with an enormity of rewards. He has incited (the slaves) upon particularizing the last ten nights by increasing one is striving in worship. Because they are the conclusion of the month and actions are based upon their conclusions. On the Authority of Aa’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) who said: “When the last ten nights would enter, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would stay up throughout the night, awaken his family, become intense (in worship) and tighten his mi’zar (lower garment).” [Agreed upon]

The pious predecessors held this great month and more so the last ten nights in high regard and strove to increase in and exert themselves in worship, seeking and hoping for the reward from their Lord and hence it is incumbent upon us to prepare ourselves for these important days of the year.

The last ten days of Ramadan houses a night that is better than a thousand months equal to 84 years of worship. The holy Qur’an emphatically declared this fact:

لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” (Al-Qadar: 3)

To maximize one's reward in the last ten days of Ramadan and taking full advantage of the immense spiritual benefits in them, one need to follow the following guidelines, which are all  deductions from the authentic sunnah of our beloved Prophet(peace be upon him);  who he himself was a leading example in worship in all times and specially in the last ten days of Ramadan.

1-Exert your utmost to keep awake for worship in the last ten days of Ramadan.  This can be done by engaging in Salaat, recitation of the Qur’an and supplications. In almost all Muslim Communities in the world, people pray together in a masjid where they listen to beautiful recitation of the Qur’an behind an Imam. Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from A’isha that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). A narration in Muslim states: "He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time."

2- Performance of I’tikaf in the Masjid (seclusion in the Mosque). Going into seclusion in the Mosque during the last days of the Month of Ramadan is undoubtedly one of the best ways of getting the best out of these extraordinary days. People in I’tikaaf get the opportunity and enough time to engage in different acts of worship. The holy Prophet used to do I’tikaf in these days in search and anticipation of the lailatul-qadr (night of decree). Aisha reported that the Prophet,salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and then his wives used to practice I`tikaf after him. [Bukhari]. Ibn Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on his soul) when enumerating the special favors of Allah to His fasting believers in the Month of Ramadan, mentioned the prescription of I’tikaf and the enormous benefits that it contains. He said:

“Allah prescribed i`tikaf for them, by which is intended that the heart is fully occupied with Allah, the Most High, concentrated upon Him alone, and cut off from preoccupation with the creation. Rather it is engrossed with Him alone, the One free of all defects, such that remembering Him, loving Him and turning to Him takes the place of all anxieties of the heart and its suggestions, such that he is able to overcome them. Thus all his concerns are for Him. His thoughts are all of remembrance of Him, and thinking of how to attain His Pleasure and what will cause nearness to Him. This leads him to feel contented with Allah instead of the people, so that prepares him for being at peace with Him alone on the day of loneliness in the grave, when there is no one else to give comfort, nor anyone to grant solace except Him. So this is the greater goal of I'tikaf" (Zaad al-Ma’aad fi hadyi khairi al `ibaab)

3- Seeking lailatul Qadar with ardent desire and hope. All the blessings of the month of Ramadan are in the last ten days, and the blessings of the last ten days of Ramadan are symbolized in the night of decree (lailatul-Qadr). It is a blessed night that witnesses the grand descent of angels including the arch-angel Gabriel (Jibreel)-peace be upon him-. It is a night that witnesses that spread of peace, tranquility and bliss until the appearance of dawn. Enough as a blessing for this month is the revelation of the glorious Qur’an in it. Allah, after describing the Noble Qur’an as an enlightening Scripture, said about the time of its revelation to point to the grandeur of that time (the night of decree):

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَٰرَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

We have revealed it on a Blessed Night-We have warned.” (Ad-Dukhan:3)

It is preferred to seek this night during the last ten odd nights of Ramadan, as the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam,, strove his best in seeking it during that time. We have already mentioned that the Prophet would stay up during the last ten nights, would wake his wives, and then would remain apart from them to worship.

Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet,salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said, "Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan ,' on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of the last ten nights of Ramadan (i.e. 21, 23, 25, respectively)." [Bukhari]


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