The last ‘ashra of Ramadan is the ‘ashra of salvation from Hell-fire. It is in this ‘ashra that Laylat al-Qadr occurs as well. Allah SWT has said regarding this night, “The night of Qadr is better than a thousand nights.” [Qur’an, Surah Al Qadr]
‘Aa’ishah (r.a.) has said that, “When the last ten days of Ramadaan came, the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) would stay up at night and would wake his family up, and would abstain from marital relations.” [Bukhaari, Muslim]
During these last ten days Rasool Allah (s.a.w.w.) used to observe I’tikaaf. He did observe it, initially, in the first ‘ashra and then the second ‘ashra but finally when he (s.a.w.w.) was told that Laylat al-Qadr falls in the last ‘ashra, then onwards he observed it in the last ‘ashra.
During I’tikaaf one should devote themselves completely to the remembrance of Allah SWT. Men should observe it in the Masjid while women may observe it in the Masjid or a room in their house which is specifically used for ‘Ibaadah. For necessary requirements one may leave the masjid/place of I’tikaaf and return upon fulfillment of the need.
‘Aa’ishah (r.a.) said: “He (Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.w.)) would not enter his house for anything except for a need when he was observing i’tikaaf.” [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim]
The person must refrain from all worldly matters and marital relations. ‘Ibaadah must be done along with maintaining ourselves.
‘Aa’ishah (r.a.) said: “The Prophet (s.a.w.w.) used to lean his head towards me when he was observing i’tikaaf in the mosque, and I would comb his hair, when I was menstruating and I would wash it.” [al-Bukhaari, Muslim]
The Night of Decree (Laylat al-Qadr) is a night of great blessings.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) said: “Whoever stays up and prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
One should refrain from all bidah (special celebrations held for this night). Anything that has not been proven from Qur’an or Sunnah should be avoided. The Prophet (s.a.w.w.) has just told and taught us to do ‘Ibaadah on this night. One of the best du’aas that may be recited on Laylat al-Qadr is that which the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) taught to ‘Aa’ishah (r.a), which is: “Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa’affu ‘anni (O Allah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).” [Tirmidhi]
We should aim to do as the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) did and reap the benefits of the Sunnah. The Mssenger’s (s.a.w.w.) way is the best way as it is the way of Mustaqeem.
Insha’Allah, if the above was not achieved this year we should aim to achieve it next Ramadaan. It is such a pleasure to see young sisters observing I’tikaaf at the Masaajid. May Allah SWT reward them for their efforts, ameen!
May Allah SWT accept our Ramadaan, ameen!