Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Last Ten Days of Ramadan

We've been fasting for over twenty days now and it's going great. People get worn out, what with school and work. I guess what keeps some of us going in the final stretch is the abundance of rewards found in the last third of the holy month.

These last ten days are the days of forgiveness. We ask for God's forgiveness for anything we've done. The cool thing is, God loves to forgive, and if we ask sincerely, we will be forgiven. It's encouraged to say this supplication in the final ten days, "O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me."

On one of the last ten days there's a night called Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power. Any worship on this night is equal to the worship of a thousand months. Most people don't even live more than a thousand months. So it's equal to continuous worshiping God day and night for more than your entire lifetime. It comes every year so multiply that by how many years you live... I stink at math, so I can't calculate. But I know it's a lot of reward.

One specific thing some people do during these last ten days are they take a break from work or school, if possible and live in the masjid {Muslim house of worship} for the last ten days, called I'tikaf. Men go the the masjid and women can stay at home. It doesn't have to be the full ten days, but it really cleanses your mind and soul if you can do the whole ten days. I haven't done this before, but I'm thinking about doing a day or even half a day tis year. You can even do it for a few hours.

Those ten days go into worship like doing extra prayers, reciting the Qur'an, memorizing the Qur'an, asking God for His blessings and Mercy upon us, etc. You don't even physically have to do anything. I'm going to add that talking to others is usually minimal unless needed. Talk to God. Just reflecting on yourself and trying to figure yourself out counts as worship. Reassessing your position with God and as a human being and reflecting about how to become better works.

Other things people try to do or increase in last ten days are:

1. Ask for forgiveness. Muhammad {Peace be upon him } said, "Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven." {Bukhari and Muslim}.

2. Ask of God. Ask, ask, and ask some more. He gives, gives, and gives. Ask for Paradise. Ask for a car. Ask for a good job. Ask for a spouse. Ask for chocolate cake. Just ask. 

3. Pray extra prayers. The best time to pray is the last third of the night. God bestows His blessings the most during this part of the night. It's difficult wake up before dawn, but there's a huge amount of reward in it. And the fast that you're getting up from your sleep for God draws Him nearer to you.

4.   Since the Qur'an is in Arabic, we also try to read the translation so that we can understand what's going on when we read. I mean this, of course, can be done any time. But it's also good to do this during the final ten days of Ramadan.

5. Memorize the Qur'an and supplications.

6. Just remember that God is always there. People usually praise God or do some sort of remembrance. This can be done any time, seriously. Like while your driving, or brushing your teeth. Or working. Any time. 

7. Worship doesn't mean sitting in a corner praying. It can be in the from of helping people out, picking up trash or even a smile. Anything can be turned into worship with the intention of doing something good for God's sake. 

3 comments:

Constructive Attitude said...

Ask for chocolate cake. hahaha.

:)

Muslim Girl said...

Love this, jazak'Allah for the reminder!

P.S. "Ask for chocolate cake?"

Done.

AL said...

=) thanks for the motivation

p.s. the silhouette looks kind of like your mom =) hehe