Narrated by At-Tabarani:
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah the Almighty covers you with blessings, for He sends down mercy, decreases sins, and answers prayers… In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves.”
The last 10 days of Ramadan are crucial in Islam, particularly because of Laylat al Qadr. Allah the Almighty releases people from Hell every day in the month of Ramadan, especially in the last 10 days of Ramadan and during Laylat al Qadr.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who establishes Laylat al Qadr, believing in Allah and anticipating the reward of it (to be released from Hell fire), Allah the Almighty will erase his sins and will not punish him in Hell fire.”
Therefore, it is strongly advised for all Muslims to establish the night of Laylat al Qadr. Remember that good deeds are accepted by Allah the Almighty under two conditions: 1.) the deed must be done for Allah’s sake only and 2.) it must be done according to the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ. Even with Laylat al Qadr’s importance, it is preferable to do all kinds of good deeds, based on your ability. If you can pray extra, do it. If you can pay charity, do it. Here is some advice for getting the most out of the last 10 days of Ramadan.
Increase Your Duaa
It is also favorable to increase your duaa (supplication) in the last 10 days of Ramadan. Paraphrasing a bit here, Aisha (May Allah be Pleased with Her) once asked the Prophet ﷺ what she should ask Allah for on the last 10 days of Ramadan and he taught her this duaa:
“O Allah, You are The Forgiver. O Allah, You are The Generous. O Allah, You love to forgive, so forgive me from all my sins.”
Increase Your Charity
Although charity should be increased in the month of Ramadan, it is favorable to increase the amount of charity in the last 10 days of Ramadan in particular. This is a great time to contribute your Zakat al Fitr if you haven’t already.
Remember that Days Start at Sunset
This is a very common mistake that people make. Most people are familiar with the Hadith that states that Laylat Al Qadr could be on the odd-numbered days of the last 10 days of Ramadan, but there’s a caveat people may not know or forget entirely. This means that you have to pay attention to the even-numbered days—this is because the date on the Islamic calendar changes at sunset, not at midnight as in the Gregorian calendar. For example, the night of the 19th would be after sunset on the 18th. Many people don’t realize this!
It is favorable to do Itikaf in the last 10 days of Ramadan based on the authentic Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Itikaf means staying in the masjid all day for Allah’s sake and reciting Qur’an, making tasbeeh and so on without leaving the masjid, except for special circumstances like going to buy food to eat or any emergencies that may arise.
Establish the Night
Besides praying the Taraweeh after Isha, it is preferable and strongly advised to establish the night. This is also known as the Tahajjud prayer. This is essentially praying extra after Taraweeh, later into the night. If you plan on praying Tahajjud prayers, remember NOT to pray the Watr until AFTER the Tahajjud prayer. Just pray an extra rakaa at the end of your Taraweeh to make it four rakaas instead of three.
Remember that life is temporary and there is a better life waiting for you. Also remember that Paradise doesn’t come easy: you have to earn it. Ask yourself: If I die now, will I be from the people of Paradise or Hell fire? If your answer is “No,” why not take this chance to change that? All of us need to do more to win Paradise and the last 10 days of Ramadan is the perfect time to act. May Allah reward all of us Paradise and let us have a happy Ramadan and a happy Eid!
Also, massive thanks to my dad, a former Imam, for helping me out with this article!