Making Ramadan’s Last 10 Nights Your Best EVER

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Ramadan is a blessed month of fasting, prayer and spiritual reflection. As the month enters its second half, Muslims around the world prepare for the final days of Ramadan – the blessed last 10 nights.

These last 10 nights are incredibly special, and see us all increase our acts of worship in all their forms. 

The purpose of much of this is to seek as much reward as possible from Allah (SWT) and to to gain them by observing the greatest night of the year: Laylatul Qadr. 

Why are these nights so special, and what is Laylatul Qadr?

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is described in the Quran as, “better than a thousand months” (97:3). 

Any virtuous action done on this night is better than that action done for one thousand months.

The sheer enormity and scale of this reward is hard to fathom, but the nature of Allah’s description here is intended to turn our minds to its greatness.

For this reason, this is the time in which Muslims exert themselves plentifully, going above and beyond to seek divine reward. This is built on the legacy of our tradition, and the actions of our master Muhammad (ﷺ) who set the example for us in this regard. 

Our mother Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) said, “The Messenger of Allah would combine both prayer and sleep (at night) during the first 20 (days of Ramaḍān). But when the last ten days arrived, he would exert himself in worship and stay away from his wives” (Ahmad).

The last ten nights of Ramadan  are for intensive worship. Just as the Messenger (ﷺ) used to cut himself off from people and perform i’itikaf in the masjid, we too should try to increase disproportionately in our worship versus other times of the year. While it isn’t always easy as mothers, wives and carers, it’s the intent that counts and the desire to make it better and more special in terms of our efforts. 

Along with ourselves, we should have a deep concern for the spiritual well-being and upliftment of our families. The atmosphere in the home during these days, and especially the nights, should be decidedly different.

Our mother Aishah also said, “When the last ten days of Ramadan arrived, the Prophet would tighten his waist belt (stay away from his wives/strive hard), spend the night in worship, and awaken his family” (Bukhari).

And while this worship was like this in the last 10 nights generally, it was especially the case on odd-numbered nights. 

She also related that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Look for Laylatul Qadr on an odd-numbered night during the last ten nights of Ramadan” (Bukhari).

And the reward for this striving? It is said with words that bring the eyes to tears and the heart to one’s mouth with emotion and longing. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven” (Agreed upon).

This is the nature of the opportunity that presents itself. So how do we get there, and how do we make these 10 nights of Ramadan our best nights of this Ramadan? 

Let go of the baggage of the first part of Ramadan

For many of us with the responsibilities of families, children and care-giving, Ramadan may be dotted with lament. 

In some cases, you may have barely felt Ramadan. Suddenly, the final stretch is ahead of you and you can’t help but regret all you could have done and wished you could do. 

There are only ten nights left. How can you make the most of them? Will you be able to do anything special at all? This feeling often chips away at us. 

But instead of lamenting what you’ve missed, focus on what you can reap

Imagine these last ten nights are the month of Ramadan all over again. The excitement you felt when it first entered, the goals you had when you knew it was coming—transfer those emotions and adjust that plan into these final nights. 

And why shouldn’t you? After all (as we described in the section above) the Prophet didn’t say that the reward of striving for the last ten nights was limited to those who also strove for the first 20! 

Allah (SWT) is Most Generous, and All-Knowing. He knows our individual predicaments and situations, and if we’ve been unable to make the most of Ramadan for valid reasons, these are not things he holds against us!

So enter the last ten with a desire to turn a leaf, to let go of the past, and to open your heart to truly grasp what is coming up. 

Your heart needs time to absorb contemplating the greatness of Allah. It needs space to breathe in spirituality and exhale purification. It needs to let go of negative emotion and lament. So embrace the opportunity on offer without any of this baggage, insha Allah!

Start afresh with the intention to make them your BEST ten nights!

With this in mind, make the intention sincerely that these will be your best ten nights of this Ramadan, and perhaps of any Ramadan to date, if you can manage it! 

There is a saying that a person who fails to plan, plans to fail. 

So create for yourself a plan based on sincere, deep intention. But that intention must come first. You can’t just leap into list-creation. You must engage your heart and your mind in the intellectual and emotional task of immersing yourself in intention. In stepping back, feeling that desire in your heart that this will be different for you. 

So do it. Challenge yourself. Take a deep breath, and commit to yourself internally that you will make this the best of the month! Make the intention for these nights to be special and transformative.

And remember what’s on offer, once again: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven” (Agreed upon).

Is that not worth intending for? SubhanAllah! 

Your action plan – HOW to make them the best

Almost any virtuous action done in these auspicious nights will be great. But here we’ve tried to pick key acts and methods to those actions that are especially important at this time. 

It’s not about just doing those actions, it’s doing them as part of that intention we mentioned above, and doing them earnestly and concertedly. So here’s one way to go about it, and some important things to keep in mind!

1 – Genuinely switch off to the extent possible

We take breaks from various parts of our life from time to time. We take a break from work. Sometimes from certain activities. 

These blessed ten nights are the time to focus on worshipping and thanking our Creator.

If you work, try to take time off. If you don’t, try to modify your responsibilities in a way that you remove the non-essential during this period, and genuinely carve out time for worship in the forms mentioned below (and others that you can manage!).

This will allow you to switch off from the dredge of the dunya to truly engage in the matters of the hereafter. 

2 – Have a plan for each night and get physically prepared

As well developing a (written) plan for the ten nights, have one for each night. It doesn’t need to be an essay – just a written set of bullets is more than sufficient. 

Things that you will aim to get done every single night, and goals even for the day (e.g. reciting a certain portion of Qur’an). 

Why is this important? To get you focused on what you can do, so that there are discrete actions you can get through, with a sense of achievement and purpose. This is crucial in creating a heightened sense of imaan (faith) through which you literally feel the barakah (blessing) of the great nights.

As for physical preparation, it is important to be and feel “the part” – this means putting on clothes that are comfortable but also nice. It means feeling clean, smelling pleasant and being ready to present yourself to your Creator in a way that is befitting. 

This part of worship is sometimes overlooked, but is a necessary and important part of creating the mindset to get the most out of your exertion.

3 – Your Qur’an plan: make it sustainable

The Qur’an must be a crucial part of your ten nights plan. You need to make it sustainable – so the portion of recitation, reflection or revision needs to be such that it can be something you look forward to, rather than treat as a chore to get through. 

A key part of this is tadabbur (reflection) and understanding of what you have recited. It is therefore critical to engage in actual engagement with the meaning of the Qur’an, not just its recitation. 

While doing a khatm (completion) of the Qur’an is ideal over the course of Ramadan, if this becomes a chore done without thought, try to incorporate a portion of actual understanding and reflection, rather than onlyrecitation.

4 – Your voluntary charity – do it intentionally

To give Sadaqah (charity) is among the most powerful acts of worship, as the Prophet (SAW) said “Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire” (Tirmidhi).

Ramadan, almost literally, is the month of giving. 

In a famous hadith in Sahih Muslim, we learn that “the Prophet (ﷺ) was the most generous of people in charity, but he was generous to the utmost in Ramadan…giving charity like the blowing wind”!

And he also stated (ﷺ), “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be their charity” (Tirmidhi).

It is crucial to incorporate something of charity into your daily last ten nights routine. Whether it be a few dollars or hundreds, the crucial part is to give it mindfully, with intention, that you are petitioning Allah through this deed to extinguish your sins. So build this into your list, and do it knowing you are performing one of the great acts in our deen!

5 – Your Zakat – get the compound rewards!

For many people, Ramadan is also the month of Zakat. 

But have you ever thought why? When, in fact, the hawl (one year period) can theoretically be made to start and end any time of the year?

It’s because people want the extra reward, as we discussed in the hadith above. Muslims for centuries have made Ramadan the month of Zakat by giving whatever they owe of their Zakat obligation during this blessed month, hoping for greater reward from Allah. 

You should do the same. If you qualify as a Zakat giver, try to give your Zakat in these blessed ten days to maximise the multiplier effect of rewards in these days.

6 – Qiyam – the BEST deed for Laylatul Qadr!

We’ve already mentioned the incredible rewards on offer in the last ten. But it’s worth pondering over the hadith we reflected on above: 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven” (Agreed upon).

Qiyam (standing in night prayer) is one of the best acts of worship. It combines reciting and reflecting on the Qur’an, praising and remembering Allah, du’a, and turning to Him in repentance. 

It is an act wherein we worship Allah with the tongue, body and heart simultaneously. And if done with that engaged intention, it is a powerful act whose reward is thus very understandable. 

So during these ten nights, plan to do a certain amount of qiyam each night. Even if you do not have a lot of Qur’an memorised, aim to recite what you can, even if it is repeating the same surahs!

7 – The ultimate du’a for these nights

Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), “If I know which night is the Night of Qadr, what do you think I should say during it?” He (ﷺ) replied,

  اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُعَنِّي

O Allah, You are the Ever-Pardoning, the Generous; You love to pardon so pardon me (Tirmidhī).

This is a du’a that has been emphasised through the Sunnah and throughout our scholarly tradition as one to make dozens if not hundreds (if not thousands!) of times during these great nights. So make it plentifully, intending to ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness each time! 

8 – Not forgetting other virtuous deeds

There are no doubt other great, virtuous acts you can do in these blessed nights. Try to get the reward of performing them by doing them in whatever way you can. These can include:

  • Ensuring you spend some quality time with your children, siblings, and parents.
  • Asking forgiveness of those you may have wronged, or not be on the best terms with.
  • Using the ten days as a chance to memorise some new du’as that you make in your worship – it is a fantastic opportunity to commit to memory those that you may have not quite have memorised (because they are long, or for other reasons). This is the best time to do so! 

By acting on some of the levers above, you are likely to maximise your chances of making the most of these blessed nights. Wherever you get to, remember to do it with sincere intention, with your heart fully in it and with your mind focused. Even if that is lesser in amount but greater in the concentration you are able to muster!

We ask Allah (SWT) to accept our deeds in this month, and make it a month of renewal, focus and reconnection for us all. 


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