You’ve probably been getting tons of messages telling you how to make the best of the last 10 precious nights of Ramadan and the most anticipated Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power/Decree). But instead of getting motivated, you get overwhelmed and feel that the goals and plans you are reading about are unrealistic given your circumstances. You feel like you cannot measure up to what everybody else is doing, so you just feel like giving up completely, even though there are still a few nights left.
This article is to tell you: “Do NOT give up, and do NOT get overwhelmed!” You can still make your best of the remaining nights- even if it’s just one night left.
Our Prophet says:
“Make things easy and do not make them difficult, cheer the people up by conveying glad tidings to them and do not repulse (them).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The fact that you are living and witnessing these nights now in-and-of-itself is a MAJOR blessing from Allah to you. Remind yourself of that. He chose you to be among those who witness these nights, receive the major multiplied rewards and nearness that come with seeking Him earnestly, humbly and sincerely during these nights.
This is not to tell you to relax completely or settle for less. Rather, this is to encourage to do your own sincerest effort and to know that Allah appreciates all efforts done mindfully and sincerely for His sake.
So, if you feel that your busy schedule or distracting lifestyle have left you with a sense of regret about Ramadan and the last nights so far, then here are some manageable tips to help you find your heart, revive what’s left of Ramadan and graduate this Ramadan with a sense of joy and gratitude instead of regret.
Refresh the Prerequisites of Success: Intention, Faith, and Hope for Rewards
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan” and according to the Hadith of Qutaibah, the Prophet said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer (Qiyam) out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins, and whoever spends the night of Lailat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
“It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” [Qur’an 1: 5]
Eliminate Distractions Wisely
This will give you space, peace, and room for clarity. These are nights of peace, “Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” [Qur’an 97: 5]
Engage with the Qur’an Mindfully as Per Your Capacity
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree.” [Qur’an 97:1]
“The Most Merciful. Taught the Qur’an.” [Qur’an 55: 2]
Indeed in that is a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while he is present [in mind]. [Qur’an 50: 37]
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The Best & Easiest Dua Has Been Announced. Maximize on Using it!
O Allah, You are the Pardoner and You love to pardon, so pardon me. (Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni)” [Related by the five Imams]
There are many blessings in making this dua:
- First of all, it is a sign that you love Allah because Allah says in the Qur’an “Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an 3: 31]
- You get rewards for reviving a sunnah and following the Messenger of Allah .
- You follow the right etiquette of making dua. Many people start making their duas right away asking Allah for what they want, while the best way to make dua is to send peace and blessings upon the Messenger , then praise Allah , and then ask for what you want. This dua shows that you’re following the Messenger which is a form of gratitude to Allah, and it reminds you of praising Allah and calling Him by His Names and Attributes. So, it is a beautiful form of worship that gathers many blessings and rewards at once in just a few eloquent words.
- Pardoning has a vast meaning that many people might not be aware of. If Allah pardons us, we will not carry the guilt of sin or the feeling of regret or the worry of not being accepted. If Allah pardons us, He removes the bad deeds and replaces them with good ones. If Allah pardons us, He facilitates for us the best routes to take in this life and the best results in the next. If Allah pardons us, we become among those who are nearer to Him. If Allah pardons us, He blesses us more generously in this life and the next.
Aim for Doable Nightly Prayers
What if, for some reason, you are unable to do i’tikaf or catch the night prayers at the masjid as you want and as others are doing? The answer is, do your best within your own capacity.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As:
The Prophet said: If anyone prays at night reciting regularly ten verses, he will not be recorded among the negligent; if anyone prays at night and recites a hundred verses, he will be recorded among those who are obedient to Allah; and if anyone prays at night reciting one thousand verses, he will be recorded among those who receive huge rewards. [Sunan Abi Dawud]
Pray qiyam in whatever capacity you have. Just do pray at night. Allah says in Surat Al Muzzamil:
“Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words.” [Qur’an 73: 6]
And He says:
“Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an 73: 20]
“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Qur’an 29: 69]
Remember Allah Standing, Sitting or Lying on Your Sides
And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. [Qur’an 4: 103]
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, indeed whoever You admit to the Fire – You have disgraced him, and for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. Our Lord, indeed we have heard a caller calling to faith, [saying], ‘Believe in your Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord, so forgive us our sins and remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous. Our Lord, and grant us what You promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, You do not fail in [Your] promise.” [Qur’an 3: 190-194]
Remembering Allah , even though it is easy and convenient, but it is a highly rewarded form of worship.
Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Purity is half of iman (faith). ‘Al-hamdu lillah (all praise and gratitude belong to Allah)’ fills the scales, and ‘subhan-Allah (how far is Allah from every imperfection) and ‘Al-hamdulillah (all praise and gratitude belong to Allah)’ fill that which is between heaven and earth.” [Riyad as-Salihin]
So saying ‘AlhamduliAllah’ fills the scales. Imagine saying AlhamduliAllah repeatedly and filling up your scales all night or saying ‘subhanAllah and alhamduliAllah’ and filling what is between the heaven and earth with good deeds!
So, do not waste time sitting silently, engage in the remembrance of Allah, speak to Him, praise Him, seek His forgiveness, and get the spiritual cleansing and immense rewards of these effortless, yet therapeutic acts.
Purification of the wealth helps purify the self
The word zakah carries the same letters for the word tazkiyah (purification). Giving out in charity is a means of purification. Allah says:
“[He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself. And not [giving] for anyone who has [done him] a favor to be rewarded. But only seeking the countenance of his Lord, Most High. And he is going to be satisfied.” [Qur’an 92: 18- 21]
So, do give out in charity as much as you can with this intention. There are many trusted causes that you can donate to even online (but remember point 2 of not wasting time online except for what’s necessary), or you can feed an orphan or someone who’s poor, needy or fasting… the doors of charity are many, and the rewards of charity reflects on your spiritual and physical health.
Additionally, of course, do not forget to give out Zakatul Fitr before Ramadan ends, before Salatul Eid!
These are all manageable actions, insha’Allah, that you can incorporate within your capacity while being sincere and hopeful.
So, to recap, what you can do is:
- Have faith and hope for rewards
- Eliminate distractions and aim for “Me and Allah” time between Maghrib and Fajr
- Engage with the Qur’an mindfully and with an open heart
- Maximize on making the best and easiest dua for these nights
- Pray night prayer within your capacity
- Remember Allah standing, sitting and on your sides
- Give zakat and give in charity with the intention of purification
If you are overwhelmed with regret over what has passed you of Ramadan, then pray the tawbah prayer and renew your intention to do your own best in the remaining nights –even if it’s just one night left, it could, in fact, be Laylatul Qadr and Allah can give you unlimited rewards and open the best doors for you in this life and the next. So keep going with hope.
The Plan Ahead
Most importantly, do not intend to relapse after Ramadan, this might actually negatively affect everything you’re doing. Allah knows and sees our intentions. We’re opening a new page with Allah these days, the rest of the book should not be empty! It is not about making a temporary superficial commitment, but an eternal one. Ramadan is not an event or a season. The Night of Qadr that you might witness actually decides what will be decreed for you for the rest of the year. So, show Allah that you want to transform your life to the best. Doing our best should be a lifetime endeavor. So, make the intention of continuing whatever progress you make after Ramadan as well. This is the whole point: to get the right motivation to keep going for the rest of the year.
There are many opportunities all around you. Take any that suits you. But by all means, keep making consistent actions even if small. The Prophet says that Allah says, “If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ [Sahih Al Bukhari]
We urge you not to give up or lose hope or waste a wide-open opportunity in these nights to ask Allah to help you transform your life and aim for the best in this world and the next.
Now tell us, which acts are your planning to continue after Ramadan? Let us know in the comments.