Amidst a flurry of anticipation, Ramadan begins and we throw ourselves headlong into worship: fasting, reciting the Qur’an, praying Taraweeh, and doing as many more good deeds as we can.
Then, all too soon, the full moon appears in the sky, the month is half over and our thoughts inevitably turn to the last ten days of Ramadan.
‘A’isha (RA) reported that, during the last ten days, the Prophet (SAW) would exert himself in worship more than at any other time of the year (Muslim). However, for many of us, by the time the last ten days come around, we may find ourselves actually slowing down, leading to an unfulfilling ten days.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips to help you make the most of these blessed days and nights.
1. Make an intention
Remind yourself of the importance of the last ten days of Ramadan. Make a sincere intention to truly exert yourself and increase in worship, just as the Prophet (SAW) used to do. We know that actions are by intentions so, by making a specific intention to do your best, you are setting yourself up to make a true effort and earn the reward for the intended good deed.
2. Make a plan
It can be easy to watch the last ten days slip away without truly benefiting, especially if fasting fatigue has set in, or you are preoccupied with planning for Eid. Take some time to think about what you would like to accomplish in those days. Review each day, adjusting your goals as the days go by. InshaAllah, if you make a realistic plan and set smart goals, you will achieve more than you ever thought possible in this blessed period.
3. Clear the decks
Simplify, simplify, simplify. In these precious remaining days, strip each day back to its bare essentials. If you can take time off work, do so. If you can delay deadlines, do so. If you can plan your more demanding social obligations for earlier in the month, do so. Even if you can’t avoid spending time with work, chores, or other responsibilities, make every second count by keeping your Quran close by, playing Quran recitations, or listening to beneficial lectures.
These ten days should be reserved for worship and the true essentials of life. Anything else should be put on hold. It might be a good idea to unplug from social media during this time to minimize distractions. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok… There are all great sources of information, communication, and entertainment, but there comes a time when these social networks become intrusive. If you find that you are scrolling through Tiktok videos more often than you are picking up a Quran, you may be in need of a social media detox. Let everyone know that you’ll be offline for the last ten days and stay true to your word. Your worship routine is sure to benefit.
5. Team up
Don’t try to go it alone. Enlist the help and support of your family and friends to make these ten days a time of striving for the Akhirah. Share reminders about the last ten days and discuss ways in which you can help each other stay on track. By this time, many of us may find our strength and enthusiasm starting to wane, so this is the ideal time to provide support and encouragement.
6. Get ‘Eid prep out of the way
It is easy to allow preparing for Eid to negatively impact your time at the end of Ramadan. When you become busy with planning festivities, buying gifts, etc, your mind is preoccupied with what are, let’s face it, Dunya-related concerns. Don’t let Eid prep steal your blessings during these last few days. Make a concerted effort to plan your celebrations ahead of time: decide what you will be doing early and send out invitations, make bookings, shop for gifts, whatever it is you need to do before the month draws to a close.
7. Strive, strive, strive
If you have found your energy lacking as the month draws to a close, now is the time to pull it back. You know the rewards of these ten days; you know that you may not live to see the next Ramadan. So make a sincere effort to push yourself, to fight against fatigue, and go that extra mile. Eat for strength and take power naps in the day so you can worship at night. That way, when the new moon of Shawwal appears, you can finally relax, secure in the knowledge that you gave this blessed month your all, and are ready to enjoy the blessings of Allah (SWT) on the days of Eid.
May Allah (SWT) accept it from us and you!