Friday, August 10, 2012

Ramadan 2012 – Day 20, the Final 10 Days

The last ten days of Ramadan are extra-special days. The belief is that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to worship more during these last ten days, even praying all night. So many Muslims dedicate more time to prayer on the last 10 days of Ramadan. If I have this right, prayer and doing good deeds at this time gives greater rewards in Heaven than at any other time. I had texted some friends last night to see what was happening and one of them responded after 11pm saying, “Praying”.

Some Muslims do a kind of 10-day spiritual retreat known as “Itikaf”. The time is spent worshiping, performing extra prayers, and reciting the Qur’an. Some Muslims practically live in the mosque for those 10 days and I've heard that some Qataris book vacation time from work to perform Itikaf. Many mosques will remain open for 24 hours a day so people can perform Itikaf.

There is also a belief that during the last 10 days of Ramadan there is a special night known as Laylat Al-Qadr. Prayers during Laylat Al-Qadr are worth 1000 months of prayer (Qur’an, sura 97:3). However it is not known ahead of time which night of the last 10 of Ramadan that Laylat Al-Qadr falls on (I am a bit confused on this point as I'm not sure how then people determine after-the-fact which night it was). This also encourages people to devote themselves to prayer on the last 10 nights, so they don't miss Laylat Al-Qadr.

Not all Muslims perform Itikaf or do extra devotions at this time. Some of my Muslim friends are, but not all.


Hadith of the Day

Of course Laylat Al-Qadr is in the Hadiths . . .

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's messenger (peace be upon him) said, "whoever establishes prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain a loss for words than all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Belief)

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