Enlivening the Last Ten Nights of Ramadhaan with Worship

It was narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, that she said, “When the last ten days of Ramadhaan would come, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to tighten his lower garment belt, spend the whole night in prayer and worship, and wake his family (at night for prayer and worship).” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

It was also narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, that she said, “The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would strive his utmost (in prayer and worship) during the last ten [nights of Ramadhaan] much more than he did at any other time.” [Muslim]

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would wake up his family (at night for prayers and worship) in the last ten days of Ramadhaan. [At-Tirmithi: Hasan Saheeh]

According to another version narrated by Ahmad, “When the [last] ten [days of Ramadhaan] would come, the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would wake his family (at night for prayer and worship) and tighten his lower garment belt. It was said to Abu Bakr ibn ‘Ayyaash (the sub-narrator), ‘What does ‘to tighten the lower garment belt’ mean?’ He said, ‘To keep aloof from women.’” [Ahmad]

Benefits and rulings

First: The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to strive in worship. Even though Allaah The Almighty had forgiven for him his earlier and later sins, the Prophet,sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, strove his utmost during the last ten days ofRamadhaan much more than he did at any other time.

Second: The Prophetic guidance during the last ten days of Ramadhaan is to spend the whole night in prayer and Thikr (remembrances and mentioning Allah), and keep aloof from women.

Third: It is recommended to awaken the family to perform night prayer during the last ten days of Ramadhaan. So, if the people’s habit is to remain sleepless at night inRamadhaan, as is the case these days, let it be spent in prayer and Thikr, and not in amusement and play.

Fourth: It is permissible for the man to enjoin and obligate his family and children to perform supererogatory deeds, in which it is due upon them to obey him.

Fifth: It is recommended to spend the whole night, during the last ten days ofRamadhaan, in prayer and Thikr as much as possible, because this was what the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did as indicated from the Hadeeths’ apparent meaning. The narrations concerning the prohibition to stand the whole night in prayer are understood to apply to doing it regularly throughout the year. However; the nights which have special excellence, like the last ten days of Ramadhaan, are exceptional.

Sixth: The wisdom behind striving one’s utmost in prayer and worship during the last ten nights of Ramadhaan is to seek the night of Al-Qadr; and it is out of the Mercy of Allaah The Almighty upon His servants that He Included it in these last ten nights: had it been any of the nights in the whole year, people would have suffered great hardship seeking it, and most of the people would have missed it