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Keeping Momentum: Preparing for the Last Ten Nights of Ramadan

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In ḥadīth Abu Hurayrah, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, the Messenger of Allāh, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever spends Laylat’l-Qadr in night prayer, out of belief and expecting his reward from Allāh, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhāri and Muslim]

This is the Night of Power:

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“The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” [al-Qadr 97:3]

In this night:

1. The Qur’ān is celebrated as it was revealed as guidance to mankind.
2. Good deeds are multiplied by one thousand months worth of worship.
3. The angels will descend to the first heaven in a beautiful procession.
4. Jibrīl, the Archangel and the leader of the angels, will lead the procession.
5. Tranquility will surround people and peace will fill their hearts until the rise of morning.
6. No one really knows the exact bargain and the immense reward Allāh is giving the worshipers during this night.

This night is for sure one of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan; the exact one was hidden from us to motivate us to do excellence throughout the entire season. It is a very short season but the most powerful of the entire year. Now, shouldn’t you get well prepared for it?

Here are ten tips to help you keep Ramadan momentum running through the last ten nights of Ramadan and beyond. Bismillāh.

1.  Keeping momentum means to start one first.

Obviously, if you want to keep a momentum running for the last ten nights of Ramadan, you need to have an existing one first. What have you done so far to gain momentum? Allāh subḥānahu wa ta‘āla says:

“And those who strive in Our (cause),- We will certainly guide them to our Paths:
For verily Allāh is with those who do right.” [al-‘Ankabūt 29:69]

This āyah explains your role in getting what you ask from Allāh, you start the effort and Allāh will make the path easier. In Ramadan you should have started a path of devotion that would result in a great momentum to help you get through the last ten nights. If you haven’t started yet, then you better begin with it right away. Establish the ‘ibādah that you want to continue during the last ten nights. Start this now.

2.  Remember that yesterday ended last night. Period.

What you have done in Ramadan so far has already been registered in your book of deeds. But every day is unique; it’s a new day and a new opportunity. Ma’qil ibn Yasar reported the Messenger of Allāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “There is no day that comes upon the son of Ādam that does not call: O son of Ādam! I’m a new creation, and will be a witness to your deeds, so make sure you do good, because when I’m gone, I will never return back.” And the night will say the same thing. (Abu Nu‘aym)

Therefore, treat every single day as if it was the only day of Ramadan and make sure to fill it with the best acts of goodness.

3. Never be satisfied. You can always do better.

Challenge your growth and keep it continuous. Keep looking ahead and it will motivate you to practice what your goal deserves. If you have done well, then you can do better, and if you have done better, then you can still do that which is best. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta‘āla says:

“The Day that He assembles you (all) for a Day of Assembly,- that will be
a Day of mutual loss and gain (among you)…” [Al-Taghābūn 64:9]

In explanation of this āyah Imām al-Qurtubi, raḥimahullāh, reported the ḥadīth of the Messenger of Allāh, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who said: “No one shall meet Allāh except with a feeling of regret. The wrongdoer for not doing good, and the good for not doing better.”

Never think that you have done enough. The last ten nights are yet to come.

4.  Don’t make your success a one time hit. Make it a journey and make it a story.

What got you thus far in Ramadan, in regard to your excellent work, won’t keep you there if you stop taking action. Don’t just live on the success you have already achieved, don’t do this forever. Remember that you cannot freeze the moment of success, and if you stop where you are, you will end up falling behind because time will not wait for you. So don’t just depend on your success, build on it.

When Ibn ʿAbbās, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, was asked about the secret of his success and how in such a short time he was able to gather so much knowledge at such a young age he said: “With inquisitive tongue and a comprehensive heart.” Ramadan is a journey of 29 or 30 days; therefore, walk through it steadily until the end.

5. Look for balance, set it up and keep it up.

In the process of achieving excellence in the last ten nights of Ramadan the nafs (your conscious self) gets tired and exhausted. Spiritual recreation is as important as spiritual development. ‘Ali, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, said, “These hearts get fatigued just like the body. Therefore, rejuvenate by seeking enjoyable acts of wisdom for it.” It is crucial to diversify your program for the last ten nights. Read the Qur’ān, pray qiyām, make lots of du‘ā’, engage in dhikr and then read nice books or just exercise. Keep a balance, a good balance.

6. Perform a self evaluation. Revisit your intentions, revisit your deeds.

Allāh subḥānahu wa ta‘āla says:

“O ye who believe! Fear Allāh, and let every soul look to what (provision) He has sent forth for tomorrow.
Yea, fear Allāh: for Allāh is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.” [al-Ḥashr 59:18]

You need to be aware of your investments for the ākhirah. It is important to check your balance every now and then. In Ramadan, revisit your program, check your progress, see what worked for you and what didn’t work and then make reasonable adjustments. The last ten nights of Ramadan are a season that deserves special attention, so make sure to give it the attention it deserves.

7. Make your goals public. Thrive under pressure.

When you plan for the last ten nights of Ramadan; try to share your plans and thoughts with someone you trust. This way you put yourself under pressure and force yourself into achieving what you have already announced. Set a goal for i‘tikāf or for a longer qiyām at night for instance. Your goals are like non-official nadhr you vow to take on. You vow to do something to Allāh, so do it. Failing to fulfill a nadhr results in a penalty in this dunya but failing to fulfill your goals result in a painful feeling of guilt and regret.

Allāh subḥānahu wa ta‘āla says about the people of the ākhirah:

“Lest the soul should (then) say: ‘Ah! Woe is me!- In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allāh.’” [al-Zumar 39:56]

8. Focus on benefits and reward. Allāh is Most Generous.

Don’t focus too much on the effort exerted to achieve an act of worship; this will cause negative feelings towards it. Instead, focus on the reward you will receive for achieving this goal and fulfilling your vows to Allāh. Stop thinking how difficult it is to stay in the masjid for ten nights away from everything; think how rewarding that is for you, by gaining peace in seclusion and witnessing the last ten nights of Ramadan and possibly Laylat’l-qadr while engaged in full acts of worship.

When ‘Ā’ishah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha complained to the Prophet, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, about the difficulty of Ḥajj, he replied: “Your reward is as great as your suffering.” That does not mean to expose yourself to difficulties and hardships in order to get greater reward.  On the contrary, you should avoid excessive hardships. However, if while doing something things become harder, then you should show patience.

9. Do your deeds with iḥsān (excellence). Do not cut corners.

Allāh subḥānahu wa ta‘āla says:

“He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is (aḥsanu) best in deed:
and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.” [al-Mulk 67:2]

This āyah clarifies the meaning of excellence and success. The purpose of creating this life and death is to try people to see who will act in the best way and who will be excellent in his or her deeds.

In ḥadīth Shaddad ibn Aws, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, the Messenger of Allāh, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allāh ordained iḥsān (perfection) to be observed in everything.” [Muslim]

When you offer something, offer it with excellence as much as you can. Cutting corners might please you, but it won’t please Allāh subḥānahu wa ta‘āla. Start an act of worship with excellence; start it right and finish it right.

10. Follow the rule of the snowball. Roll it down a hill, start small and end great with full force.

Little good deeds that are continuous are better than great deeds that are temporary and interrupted. Abu Hurayrah, raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu, reported the Messenger of Allāh, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The most beloved deeds to Allāh are the most continuous even if they were little.” [Bukhāri]

Start with one thing at a time and then with little of everything and then build on it. Diversify your acts of worship and make the little things grow big over time.

Follow this recipe for the last ten nights of Ramadan and by the end of the month you will have great momentum that will keep you rolling past the month of Ramadan for the rest of the year inshā’Allāh.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Sh. Yaser Birjas is originally from Palestine. He received his Bachelors degree from Islamic University of Madinah in 1996 in Fiqh & Usool, graduating as the class valedictorian. After graduating, he went on to work as a youth counselor and relief program aide in war-torn Bosnia. Thereafter, he immigrated to the U.S. and currently resides in Dallas, Texas. He is also an instructor at AlMaghrib Institute, where he teaches popular seminars such as Fiqh of Love, The Code Evolved, and Heavenly Hues.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Bilal Ibn Saeed Ahmad

    August 20, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Jazak Allah shiekh for the timely reminder. May Allah subhana wa taala accept our deeds and duas and forgive any shortcomings in this month. Ameen.

  2. Yasmin

    August 20, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Jazakallah Khair! This was just what I needed to keep my motivationg going through the end of this blessed month!

  3. Safia Farole

    August 21, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    Very beneficial. Jazakallhi Khair shaykh Yaser.

  4. n

    August 21, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    these articles are very deep and wonderful.

  5. Cartoon Muslim

    August 21, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    let’s get this snowball rollin inshAllah!

  6. Amad

    August 21, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    jazakallahkhair… wonderful as always mashallah!

  7. Amina

    August 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    JazakAllah Khair Shaykh. This article was amazingly written maashaAllah.

  8. HadithCheck

    August 22, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Jazaka Allah khair Sheikh Yaser. I just want to point out that the following 2 ahadith are not authentic.

    1) This one is Fabricated:

    “There is no day that comes upon the son of Ādam that does not call: O son of Ādam! I’m a new creation, and will be a witness to your deeds, so make sure you do good, because when I’m gone, I will never return back.” And the night will say the same thing.

    Sheikh Al-Albani rahimahullah has classified this hadith as fabricated in his Silsila Da’ifa, # 5649.

    2) This one is Very Weak:

    “No one shall meet Allāh except with a feeling of regret. The wrongdoer for not doing good, and the good for not doing better.”

    Sheikh Al-Albani rahimahullah has classified this hadith to be very weak in his Da’if Tirmidhi, # 2403.

  9. Mariam E.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Asalamu Alikum

    Wonderful, mashaAllah. Jazakum Allah khayr shaykh Yaser.

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