I hope all of my followers who are observing Ramadan’s fasts are going well. Can you guys believe that we’re already halfway done? There’s something so bittersweet about this blessed month coming to an end. Many of you have asked me to write about how to keep your spiritual momentum up to par, especially when you’ve gotten over the Ramadan hype, and the month is coming to a close. I believe it’s incredibly important to reach your spiritual potential not only during the beginning but at the end of the month as well. And I think we all know the importance of staying steadfast on that route — Laylatul Qadr.
“The Night of Determination is better than a thousand months, for in it the angles and the spirit descend, by their Lord’s command, to finish every task.” [al-Quran 97:3-5]
The blessed night of Laylatul Qadr can be found in any of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, which mean that these nights are the most important and blessed nights of the Islamic year. In turn, we all should increase our devotion to Our Lord during the last third of this month. I thought it would be fun to create a schedule that we all can follow together throughout these days. I call it “The Laylatul Qadr Challenge.” This way, not only will you be able to maximize the last 10 nights of Ramadan, but we can all gain the immense rewards during these blessed nights together.
The following is a possible ibadah (worship) routine for the last 10 nights of Ramadan. It should be adjusted according to your local time.
9:00-9:30pm: Break fast with dates, fruits and water and pray Maghrib (3 ra’kaat fard, 2 rak’aat sunnah). Afterwards, try getting in as many sets of 2 ra’kaat nawafil (voluntary) prayers as you can. The blessings for praying voluntary prayers in Ramadan is huge, so definitely don’t miss out on this opportunity.
9:30-10:15pm: Eat a light dinner, and avoid eating heavy or fried foods. The lighter and healthier you eat, the more energy you will have to perform your prayers. During this time, don’t forget to volunteer to help your parents clean up the kitchen. That it a reward on its own, subhan’Allah.
10:15-10:30pm: Prepare for Isha prayers. Try your best to attend your local masjid to pray.
10:45-12:00am: Pray Isha and taraweeh prayers. Whether you do them at home or your local masjid, the blessings are still enormous.
12:00-12:30am: Prepare for worship until Fajr. What I normally do after performing fresh wudu, is I fill up a large bottle up with water and bring a bowl of fruit up to my room with me. Staying hydrated and eating light is key to keeping your energy up and your stomach down. The key is to stay focused. Try not to procrastinate during these last 10 nights.
12:30-1:30am: Recite Qur’an with translation. The book that I’m using for translation is The Journey Through the Quran by Yahiya Emerick. While reading, reflect on what the Book of Allah is saying. This is your one-on-one time with Allah — use it wisely.
1:30-2:00am: Find an intriguing Islamic lecture to watch. This not only is a good way to relax, but you’re still learning and contemplating about your religion.
2:00-2:30am: Pray nafl salah. Take your time with sujood during this prayer. Sujood is the best and most vulnerable position we can be in during prayer. Afterwards, recite the Laylatul Qadr dua which was given to Aisha (RA) by the Prophet (S): Allahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni’ (O’ Allah, You are the One Who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me).
2:30-3:15am: Prepare for tahajjud prayers. Memorize the translations of the surahs that you will recite, and then begin praying. Actually knowing what you are reciting in your prayers brings a special type of peace to the soul.
3:15-3:40am: Eat suhoor. I normally chow down on 2 eggs, a date, and a tablespoon of yogurt.
3:40-Fajr: Commit the last 30 minutes of the night to dua. This is your chance to pour your heart out to Allah (SWT). Enhance your duas by calling Him by His beautiful 99 names. Ask for forgiveness, mercy, and the wellbeing of yourself and the people close to you. Ask for anything your heart desires, and don’t forget to praise Allah for all the blessings and lessons He has taught you, and insh’Allah He will accept each and every one of your duas.
Try and repeat this schedule every night for the last 10 days of Ramadan. I would love to hear how this went for you all. May Allah (SWT) not only enable us to make the best of these nights, but have us witness the glorious Night of Power, Laylatul Qadr. Ameen.
DISCLAIMER: Dose of Deen(a) is a personal blog feature and is in no way a religious or legal reference. For any matters involving Islamic law, please contact your local Imam.