Prepare your pre-Ramadan M.G.D list!

Assalamu’alaikum,

What is it – that if you get done BEFORE Ramadan – would make your Ramadan easier to handle?

Perhaps it’s that work project that you want to wrap up before Ramadan so you’re not stressed about it during Ramadan. Or maybe it’s preparing your home for Ramadan so you’re not worried about that when Ramadan begins. Or perhaps it’s finishing all the Eid shopping before Ramadan, so in the last 10 nights of Ramadan – you’re not hitting the malls!

How to setup your Pre-Ramadan M.G.D List

M.G.D stands for Must Get Done – and it’s a list of things that you want to get done before Ramadan to make your Ramadan run smoothly and you’re not stressed out about the little things that take away from the spirit of Ramadan.

To setup your personal pre-Ramadan M.G.D list, here’s what to do:

  1. Take a stock of everything you need to get done in various areas of your life (Spiritual, Work/School, Community, Family, Home, etc). Just dump everything on a piece of paper and don’t worry about ordering them or categorising them. The idea is just to capture them all.
  2. For every to-do you have on that list, ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Can I delete it? e.g. Do I really need to attend that conference in June? or can I cancel it? Do I really need to re-model my kitchen this summer? or can that wait?
    2. Can I defer it? e.g. Do I HAVE to finish this project at work before/during Ramadan, or can it wait till after Ramadan? Do I HAVE to plan my December vacation now, or can it wait? Do I need to do this extra semester now or can I defer?
    3. Can I delegate it? e.g. Can I hire someone to deep clean my house for one day so my house is ready for Ramadan/Eid instead of doing it myself? Can I hire someone to help me with preparing Eid gifts from now?
  3. Anything that does not pass the above three questions – goes into your M.G.D list.
  4. Now, it’s time to get specific and plan exactly when you’ll get certain things done from your M.G.D list, e.g.
    1. When will I get my dua list ready?
    2. When will I get my Eid shopping done for my children?
    3. When wil I get Eid Gifts for family/friends?
    4. When will I complete this project at work so it doesn’t run into Ramadan?
    5. When will I plan this community project I wanted to do in Ramadan so I hit the ground running in Ramadan.
    6. My car needs urgent service – when can I book it for service.
  5. Involve your family: This list is best prepared in a family setting with your spouse/children/parents so everyone is involved, but can also be prepared alone if you’re single or the only revert in your family.

Hope the above is clear.

The idea is to think through and anticipate what can be done before Ramadan and get it out of the way so you’re not stressed before/during Ramadan with errands/tasks you wished you got done before.

Source : ProductiveMuslim

 

Do not give up yet..

‘Standing in taraweeh (Ramadan night prayers) while everyone is weeping – except you. Your friends talk about how exhilarating fasting is for them – but all you feel is irritation; and that is if you feel anything at all. Your du`as (supplications) are just words you repeat – without heart.

What is the point of all of it? Your actions are robotic. Monotone. Without soul.

You wish you could be like that person praying next to you in taraweeh who sobs during every prostration. You want to be the one passionately pleading with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) with humility. Your hope is that you can be that person whose heart is broken before God.
You know what, though? You, too, are special to Allah (swt).

You who recites the Qur’an because you know it is good.

You who prays because Allah (swt) commanded you to.

You who attends lectures on Islam because you want to feel closer to Him.

The Prophet ﷺ told us that the person who recites the Qur’an and struggles with the recitation receives twice the reward: for their recitation and for their effort and struggle. He who struggles to be devoted in prayer gets twice the reward: for the parts that he was devoted, and for his struggle to stay focused.

As long as you are trying, Allah (swt) is with you.

The fact that you get up to pray qiyaam (night prayer) even though you feel nothing is appreciated by Allah (swt). When you mouth the words to your du`a even when your heart is numb, Allah (swt) knows how you feel. And you are rewarded for that. Do not think that this will go to waste.

Allah (swt) gets it.
Because you are not worshipping a feeling. You do not bow down solely for that ‘high’. You prostrate only to the Lord of the feelings and the One who is the Most High. You submit to Him – through your prayers, fasting and supplication – because you know you have a Merciful, Just, Appreciative, Forgiving God, Who has the power to give life to everything that is dead.

Including your heart.

You know you have a Nurturing, Patient, Generous, Subtle and Kind Lord who can bring back whatever is lost.

He can bring you back.

So to the heart that is numb: Do not give up just yet. Your heart is on a journey. You are first and foremost worshiping your Lord. And He has promised you:
“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” (Qur’an, 29:69)

As long as you are doing good, Allah (swt) will guide you and He is with you. Do you know what that means?

Allah (swt) being with someone means more care, honoring and preference for that person.

And you know what else? Allah loves what you do. He tells us:

“Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection.” (Qur’an, 19:96)

Allah will not only love you, but He will show that love for you. He will bestow His affection upon you, and your heart will feel it.

So keep trekking. Your heart will open – He is, after all, al-Fattah. Al-Fattah is He who opens whatever is closed; your heart included. You might wonder when and how, but just know that it will happen. It could be on the last night of Ramadan or it could be a month after Ramadan – your heart will open, God willing. The daily exercise you do might not look like much, but you will inevitably see the results if you persevere. Similarly, your good actions slowly chip away at what has been hardening your heart and, eventually, you will feel.

And if it gets too much, just talk to Allah (swt). Tell Him how you feel, and tell Him how you want to feel. Do it every night, and every time you feel empty. God is there; never underestimate your turning to Him. ‘Turning to Him’ does not just mean prayers and supplications; you can just tell Him what is in your heart.

On the Day of Judgment, you will be grateful for your perseverance and your hope in Him, because it will matter more than you will ever know. So push yourself and exert all the effort you can muster. The tiniest ray of light can brighten the darkest of places.’
Saima khalil

Push yourself to more Ibadah

A king calls you to his courtyard and offers to reward you for your great service.. He gives you 10 buckets that all look the same to you and says that one of those buckets is a special bucket that contains a special formula that whatever you put in would be multiplied by 1000 times.. He then gives you 10 gold coins..and asks you to place the gold coins in any bucket you want..

You sit down and think.. What should you do?..

Should you take a chance and put all 10 gold coins in one bucket and hope it’s the special bucket that will get multiplied 1000 times..?

OR should you place one gold coin in each bucket and you’ll know for certainty that at least one gold coin will be multiplied by 1000?

Obviously, the 2nd option is the safest and most surest way to success – why take risk with the first option?

For a lot of us, unfortunately, we take such risks with with Laylatul Qadr – we either put all our efforts into the 27th night, or just the odd nights, and unfortunately, that’s not the smartest strategy.

Here’s why:

  1. This is not how Prophet Muhammad PBUH made the most of his last 10 nights. The Prophet (PBUH) was consistent in his worship (to the best of my knowledge) throughout the last 10 nights.

  1. According to some scholarly opinion – the night of Power (or Laylatul Qadr) could occur on any of the last 10 nights (even though odd nights have a higher chance).

  1. Due to differences in calculations and moon sightings, sometimes there’s a risk that even though I think I’m taking it easy on an even night, it’s actually an odd night – so why take a chance?!

So how can you maximize your investment in the last 10 nights and make sure you achieve laylatul Qadr:

  1. Stay consistent – every single night

  1. Have a “minimum performance level” for each of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, e.g. You’ll not sleep unless you complete x number of Rak’aahs

  1. Do not miss obligatory prayers (Isha + Fajr) as a minimum at the masjid and do not sleep before praying Witr

  1. Give something in charity every night (could be as little as $1)

  1. Make dua for something you really care about every single night

Let’s not play the numbers game and end up regretting – push yourself during these last 10 nights to invest – even a little – in yourself and the hereafter; for the reward is beyond imagination (1000 months of worship!).

Lets Finish it Stronger!

Imagine an athlete who’s on a long distance run…he does really well throughout the race.. but then, few meters before the finish line, he decides to take a break and drink some juice and nap for a bit… what would we say to this athlete?! “Are you crazy?! Get up and finish the race!”

That athlete is us during these last days of Ramadan.. we’ve done so well for the last 25 days of Ramadan (in sha Allah!), and now with just a few days left.. we may start getting busy with Eid shopping and preparing for Eid.. or after the 27th night, we start relaxing about taraweeh prayers and Qiyam, thinking we’ve “made it” for the month..

Just like we’d think it’s insane for an athlete to take a break before the finish line.. it also doesn’t make sense for us to relax and take it easy in these last few days/nights of Ramadan – rather we should go full blast to the best of our abilities and finish strong!

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us that actions are judged by their ending [Bukhari] – so we should aim to end strong.

Few Practical Tips:

Be extra vigilant of your energy, time and focus in these last 5 days.

Defer/Delegate anything not important or not urgent till after Eid.

Encourage your family/friends to make the most of these last few days and compete with each other to do good.

We started this Ramadan race together – let’s finish it strong together.. Bismillah!

Source: Productivemuslim.com

“Tonight, and every night for the next ten nights, no matter your past, talk to Allah about your life. Vocalize all your hopes and fears, the worries that keep you up at night and the joys that you are thankful for that make you smile everyday.

Don’t think about the things you’ve done that might make you feel like you’re not worthy of His love. Because you are. Remember, Allah is just as accessible to the sinful person as He is to the righteous and pious person.

Take advantage of these final days of Ramadan: they don’t have to only signify the end of a month; they can, if you let them, signify the beginning of the rest of your life.” – Abdul Nasir Jangda

10 ways to Maximize the Last 10 Days of Ramadan

The last 10 days of Ramadan are the most blessed & we should increase our Worship & Devotion:

Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim).

Aisha (Ra) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, & used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari)

So there is still time for us to redeem ourselves in the last 10 blessed days of Ramadan. We must NOT miss this opportunity otherwise we will regret it forever. We should strive to seek out night of power which is hidden in one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, particularly in the odd numbered nights.

So this is our chance to get closer to Allah & to gain his mercy and forgiveness of ALL of our past and present sins! Therefore we should put everything into the last 10 nights & know that we will get so much more in return. But if we waste these nights then we will regret it FOREVER!

The following are 10 ways which we can maximize these blessed nights:

1. Sitting I’tikaf in the last 10 days

I`tikaf is the seclusion and staying in the Masjid with the intention of becoming closer to Allah by doing constant remembrance, glorification and worship of Allah. I’tikaf is a great Sunnah:

Aishah (RA) reported that the Prophet (Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam):“Used to perform i’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah the Mighty & Majestic, took him.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Abu Said reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:“Whoever makes I`tikaf with me is to make I’tikaf during the last ten [nights].” (Bukhari)

Women can also sit I’tikaf

Women can also sit I’tikaf at the Masjid with husbands permission. There is a difference of opinion whether she can sit I’tikaf at home. The Hanafi madhab states a woman can sit I’tikaf at a designated place in her home.

Nawafil I’tikaf:

If a person cannot sit I’tikaf for the full 10 days & nights then they should try & sit I’thikaf on as many days & nights as they possibly can.

They can make intention of doing Nawafil I’tikaf everytime they enter the Masjid so a person will be rewarded for the duration of their stay in the Masjid as long as they did not commit any sins or indulge in idle talk.

Immense rewards for sitting I’tikaf

Ali Ibn Hussain (RA) narrates from his father that Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “He who observes the ten days I’tikaf during Ramadhan will obtain the reward of two Hajj & two Umrah.”(Bayhaqi)

Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) reported that Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Whosoever for Allah’s sake did even one days i’tikaf, Allah would keep him away from Jahannam by trenches.” (Tabarani)

What an amazing opportunity for us to gain such immense & abundant rewards aswell as closeness to Allah. We can also take this opportunity to strengthen & boost our imaan (faith) for the rest of the year.

2. Schedule & Monitor Daily Worship

What better way to maximise our worship during the last 10 days of Ramadan than to plan & schedule our time so that we can spend it as effectively as possible. By setting ourselves daily targets we can ensure that we are more likely to achieve them.

Below are links where you can download an hourly scheduler where you can set yourself hourly worship targets & schedule your daily worship. There is also a daily worship check where you can check & monitor your daily worship throughout the last ten nights:

1. Worship check for the last 10 days

Ramadan Planner.pdf

2. Last 10 days hourly worship scheduler

http://dc388.4shared.com/img/2BNat9v…Time_Table.pdf

3. Exerting oneself in worship during last 10 night’s

We should make more effort during the last 10 days:

Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim).

Aisha (RA) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) & used to pray all the night, & used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari)

The last ten days & nights of Ramadan are the most blessed. Therefore we should exert themselves in worship even more during each of the last 10 days and nights, particularly the last ten odd numbered nights: 21, 23, 25, 27, 29.

By worshipping the last 10 nights we would be most likely to catch the night of power & gain the reward of over 83 years of worship! Subhanallah thats longer than the average human life expectancy!

4. Reciting Qur’an abundantly

What better time to recite the Qur’an than in ones of the very nights it was revealed – The Night of Power.

Therefore we should increase our recitation even more during the last ten days & nights. The pious predecessors used to increase the amount of Qur’an they recited during the last ten days & nights.

Remember: The reward for reciting each letter of the Qur’an during Ramadan is 700 hasanah or more. Subhanallah!

So we should make a target during the last 10 days using the scheduler provided above in point 4 and put down a target of how much Qur’an we will recite each day & night. We should try & aim to complete the Qur’an at least once if not more by the end of the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Along with recitation we should also read & learn the meanings of the Qur’an. We should contemplate & ponder over the verses & implement what we read & learn into our daily lives.

Note: We should try & recite Surah Ya-sin everyday particularly after Fajr time. We should also recite Surah Mulk before we going to sleep & Surah Kahf every Jumma. Other very rewarding Surahs we can recite much of are Surah’s Zilzalah, Al Kaafirun & Al Ikhlas

Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas & Anas Ibn Malik (RA) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi 2818/A)

5. Nawafil (Voluntary) prayers

What better way of drawing closer to Allah during the last 10 days of Ramadan than by praying the voluntary prayers:

Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:

….And My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, [Bukhari]

Does anyone want the company of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in Jannah? Then increase in praying the Nawafil prayers:

Rabi’ah Ibn Malik al-Aslami reported that the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam said: “Ask (anything).” Rabi’ah said: “I ask of you to be your companion in paradise.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Or anything else?” Rabi’ah said: “That is it.” The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam said to him: “Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., Nawafil prayers).” (Muslim)

The reward for praying fard prayers outside of Ramadan is the greatest a Muslim can gain but in Ramadan we get the same reward for praying a Nawafil prayer. Subhaanallah! What other time of the year are Nawafil prayers rewarded equal to that of a fard prayer?

Therefore we should strive to pray as many Nawafils as possible during the last 10 days & nights of Ramadan, so that we can get closer to Allah & gain the company of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in Jannah. On top of that each Nawafil prayer carries the reward of a fard prayer!

Sunnah & Nawafil prayers to pray during last 10 days:

1. Pray 12 Raka’ahs of Sunnah daily: – 2 Sunnah of Fajr, 4 Sunnah & 2 Sunnah of Dhuhr & 2 Sunnah of Maghrib

Umm Habibah Ramilah bint Abu Sufyan (RA) narrated she heard the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying: “A house will be built in Paradise for every Muslim who offers twelve units of Prayers other than the obligatory ones in day & night, to seek pleasure of Allah.”(Muslim)

2. Salaatul Duhaa (Can be prayed from 20 mins after sunrise up until 20 minutes before Dhuhr begins)

So we should remain seated after Fajr prayer & recite the Qur’an or do Dhikr up until 20 minutes after Sunrise & pray Salaatul Duhaa. If not then we can pray it anytime before midday.

‘Salat al-Dhuhaa consists of 2 – 12 Rakaats & it is preferable to perform 8 Rakaats.’ (Raddul Mukhtaar vol.1 pg.505)

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said:Whoever prayed twelve rakaats (before midday), then Allah will, as a reward, prepare a palace of gold for him in Paradise. (Mishkat, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

3. 4 Sunnah, 2 Sunnah & 2 Nawafil of Dhuhr

Umm Habibah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever sticks to the habit of offering four rak`ahs before Noon Prayer & four rak`ahs after it, Allah will shield him against the Hell-Fire.” (Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhi)

4. 4 Raka’ahs Sunnah of Asr

The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi wa sallam) said:“May Allaah have Mercy on the one who offers four (Raka’ahs) before ‘Asr prayer.”(Abu Dawud)

5. Two Raka’ahs Sunnah after entering Masjid

Abu Qatadah (RA) narrated the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as saying: “If any one of you enters a mosque, he should pray two rak`ahs before sitting.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

6. Tahiyyatul Wudu – 2 Raka’ahs Sunnah after doing Wudu (Ablution)

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying to Bilal (RA): “Tell me about the best of your deeds (i.e. one which you deem the most rewarding) since your embracing Islam because I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal (RA) replied: “I do not consider any act of mine more rewarding than that whenever I make ablution at any time of night or day, I perform Prayer for as much as was destined for me to do.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)”

7. The MOST REWARDING Nawafil Prayer of all is Tahajjud

Allah Most High said: “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, & (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” (Qur’an, 17: 78-79)

Imam Abu Sa’id al-Khadimi said, “There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that among the best of virtuous acts is the night vigil prayer.”[al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]

The scholars derived the following in regards to Tahajjud from the Qur’an & Prophetic Hadiths:

1. The minimal night vigil prayer is 2 Rakaats. [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]

2. Its optimal recommended amount is 8 Rakaats, because this was the general practice of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]

3. Lengthier recitation of Qur’an is superior to a larger number of Rakaats prayed. [Durr al-Mukhtaar, Radd al-Muhtar]

If one has not memorized much of the Qur’an then one should recite whatever they know or recite Surah Ikhlas 3 times after Surah Faathiha in each rakah to gain reward of reciting entire Qur’an.

4. It is recommended to start the night vigil with two short Rakaats, because of the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “If you get up for night prayer, start with two short Rakaats.” [Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawud]

We should pray Tahajjud every night in the last 10 nights for one of those nights could be Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). If we cannot do all 10 nights then we should at least try to pray Tahajjud in as many nights as we possibly can particularly in the odd numbered nights: 21,23,25,27,29.

We should wake up a little earlier for Sehri, make Wudu & pray a minimum of 2 Raka’ahs of Tahajjud but try to aim for at least 8 Raka’ahs.

Abu Hurayrah (RA), related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth & proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, & I grant his supplication? Who is that who begs Me for anything & I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, & I forgive him?(Bukhari, Muslim).

The last third portion of the night is the most blessed & dua’s are readily accepted at this time. So by praying Tahajjud it gives us the best opportunity to get closer to Allah & to make sincere dua, repenting for our sins past & present & to crying & asking of Allah for whatever we want.

If we cannot cry due to the hardness of our hearts then we should at least make the face as if we are crying. Just as a mother tends to her baby quicker & more promptly when it is crying in the same way Allah tends to his servants quicker when they are crying.

Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) was asked, “I cannot pray at night.” He said, “Your sins have prevented you.”

6. Excessive Remembrance of Allah

We should increase our remembrance of Allah during the last 10 days of Ramadan, keeping our lips moist in his glorification & praises.

Surely we will have utter regret in the hereafter for each second wasted without remembering Allah:

Mu`adh Ibn Jabal (RA) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The People of Paradise will not regret anything except one thing alone: the hour that passed them by in which they made no remembrance of Allah.” Narrated Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-iman (1:392 #512-513)

The highest rank in Jannah are for those who remembered Allah the most:

Abu Sa`id (RA) narrates the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked, “Which of the servants of Allah is best in rank before Allah on the Day of resurrection?” He said: “The ones who remember him much.”I said: “O Messenger of Allah, what about the fighter in the way of Allah?” He answered: “Even if he strikes the unbelievers & mushrikin with his sword until it broke, & becomes red with their blood, truly those who do Dhikr are better than him in rank.”(Ahmad, Tirmidhi, & Bayhaqi)

What better time to start remembering Allah more than during the blessed last 10 days od Ramadan.

The following are 11 Dhikr, supported by Hadith that we can recite throughout last 10 nights:

Note: We should try & aim to recite each of these 10 Dhikr a 100 times each which makes a total of 1000 a day minimum.

1. Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee – Recite this abundantly during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

2. Subhaanallah

3. Alhamdulillah

4. Allahu Akbar

5. Laa ilaaha illallah

6. LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH-HIL ALIYYIL ADHEEM

7. Asthaghfirullah-halladhee Laa ilaaha illa-huwal Hayyul Qayyuumu Wa athoobu Ilay

Or short version: Asthaghfirullah

8. SUB-HAAN’ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM’DIHI SUB-HAAN’ALLAH-IL ADHEEM

Or short version: SUB-HAAN’ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM’DIHI

9. Subhāna-llāhi, wa-l-hamdu li-llāhi, wa lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa-llāhu akbar. Wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā bi-llāhi-l-aliyyi-l-azīm

10. Lā ilāha illā-llāhu waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu lahu-l-mulku wa lahu-l-ḥamdu yuhyi wa yumītu wa huwa ḥayyu-llā yamūtu abadan abada, ḏū-l-jalāli wa-l-ikrām, biyadihi-l-khayr, wa huwa alā kulli Shay-in qadīr

Or the shortened version:

Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer

11. Radeetu billahi Rabban Wa bil Islami deenan Wabi Muhammadin Nabiyyan

We should also recite much of durood e Ibrahim which is the durood that is recited towards the end of Salaah.

Or the shortest durood is: Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim

7. Making Excessive Dua

Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:

“When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me.” [2:186]

The place of Dua is so high in front of Allah, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim) has said: “Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than Dua.” [Sahih al-Jami` no.5268].

Allah loves repentance & loves those who turn to him in sincere repentance, so repent unto him sincerely as much as possible:

Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance… (Qur’an 2:222)

Many of us rush our Dua’s & quite often our hearts are not present whilst we are making dua to Allah. That is why we lose out on much of the benefits & blessings of Dua. Therefore we should not let our minds wonder whilst in Dua & we should concentrate more, making sure our hearts are present whilst asking of Allah. Whilst we are in dua we should imagine Almighty Allah in front of us & so we should humble ourselves in front of him in a state of meekness & humility.

It may also help if we made a list of what we want to ask Allah during our dua’s. We can then refer to this list as a reminder so that we can cover everything we need to ask him, which may help in making our Dua’s longer & more sincere. This is because we will not always remember everything we want to ask Allah unless we note it down & refer back to it when we need to.

The times when Dua’s are most accepted during the last 10 days are:

1. The third portion of the night shortly before sehri ends. 2. Whilst fasting. 3. Between Asr & Maghrib. 4. Just before fast opens. 5. On Jumma before & after khutba. 6. Between Adhan & Iqamah. 7. After Qur’an recitation. 8. The Night of Qadr 9. Whilst it is raining.

Let us not be of those who pass by Ramadan without gaining any forgiveness:

Rasullullah (sallahu’ ‘alaihi wasallam) said: …the angel Jibra’il appeared before me & said: Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan & let it pass by without gaining forgiveness…’Upon that I said: ‘Amin.’ (Al-Bukhari, Al-Tabrani)

What better opportunity to make long & sincere dua’s to Allah than in the last 10 days & nights of Ramadan. If we make dua every night then we may be lucky enough to have made dua in the night of power where all dua’s are accepted.

8. Practising the Sunnah

Following the Sunnah is a command from Allah:

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Quran & the Sunnah), Allah will love you & forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran: 3:31)

Almighty Allah says: “There certainly is an excellent example in Allah’s messenger for he who fears Allah & the last day & remembers Allah abundantly” (al-Ahzaab 21)

By following the Sunnah in every aspect of our daily lives, everything we do will become worship, even going to the toilet, having a bath, dressing & undressing etc.

Annas (RA) reports the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised: “Whoever cherishes my Sunnah, indeed he cherishes me & whoever loves me will be with me in Jannah.” (Tirmidhi: 2678: Ibid)

We should practise & implement the Sunnah throughout the last 10 days of Ramadan for eg the Sunnah’s of awakening, using miswak, of eating, drinking, going to the toilet, before sleeping etc. Then EVERYTHING we do during the last 10 days of Ramadan will become worship & immense reward!

REMEMBER: Doing voluntary good deeds in Ramadan carries the reward of FARD! Subhanallah!

Reviving the Sunnah:

Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (Tirmidhi)

The following free E book contains complete daily Sunnah’s & dua’s from waking up in the morning until going to sleep at night:

Download Beautiful Daily Sunnah’s

http://dc395.4shared.com/img/XI7Ox9I…unnah-s-of.pdf

9. Repentance of past & present sins

We should cry & beg of Allah to give us his mercy & forgiveness especially in the last 10 blessed nights of Ramadan. If we leave Ramadan without gaining the mercy of Allah then surely we are of the most unfortunate and amongst the biggest losers in this world and the next.

Best dua for gaining mercy & forgiveness in the last 10 days & nights:

Aisha (Ra) said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: “Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, & Tirmidhi).

Stand in prayer to gain forgiveness for all sins

Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Best opportunity for forgiveness of past & present sins:

This is our best opportunity to gain forgiveness of our past ans present sins. Forget the past now, lear from it & take lessons from it. What matters is NOW. So ask of Allah everynight epecially in the odd numbered nights for mercy & forgiveness.

When we make Dua we should imagine Allah is watching us and so we should call on him like a begger, crying to him. If we can’t cry due to the hardness of our hearts then we should at least act & make the face like we are crying. We should ask of Allah sincerely with remorse & intention not to repeat such sins again for forgiveness of our past & present sins.

10. Seeking out Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)

{By the manifest Book (the Quran) that makes thing clear. We sent it (this Quraan) down on a Blessed Night (i.e. the Night of Qadr) in the month of Ramadaan..(The Smoke 44:2-5)

So valuable is the Night of Qadr (Power) that the Quran devotes a special surah to it: “Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months” [97:3]

This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The most authentic account of the occurrence of the Night indicates that it can occur on any one of the last ten, odd numbered nights of Ramadan, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29. It may also occur on any of the even nights.

Therefore we should strive to stay up & worship on all of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. If we can’t do that then we should at least worship on the odd numbered nights of the last ten days. If we still can’t manage that then let us pray on whatever nights we can, minimum on the 27th night.

There is NO doubt that if we pray on all of the last ten nights of Ramadan then we will catch this auspicious night & gain the rewards of over 83 YEARS OF WORSHIP! Subhaanallah! Most do not live upto such an age!

The following dua should be recited as much as possible during the last 10 nights of Ramadan:

Aisha (RA) said: I asked the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said Say:

“Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee

Trans: ‘Say: O Allah, You are pardoning & You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ “ (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, & Tirmidhi).

Forgiveness of past & present sins on Laylatul Qadr

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu`Alayhi Wa sallam) said: “Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylat ul-Qadr out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have ALL of his previous sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Conclusion

As we fast approach the end of Ramadan we must evaluate ourselves & think to ourselves what we have learnt about ourselves & what good habits we have acquired and what evil and bad habits we have left behind.
We must NOT stop doing the good we aqcuired throughout Ramadan as soon as it finishes. We should continue reciting the Qur’an & making long sincere dua’s. We should continue guarding our eyes, ears, tongue and privates away from sin & harm. We should continue to strive to please Allah & get closer to him. We should continue to make effort on our imaan (faith). We must NOT let go of the good habits we acquired & instead go back to our old ways again.

Allah knows our intentions and what is in our hearts and If we go back to the way we are before Ramadan then how can we expect our good deeds and efforts to be accepted? The very purpose of Ramadan is that doing good becomes easier & so it gives us a wonderful opportunity to be able to train ourselves to become better & stronger Muslims. It enables us to let go of the bad habits & to acquire good ones instead. It enables us to strengthen our imaan (faith). Best of all it enables us to get closer to Allah

If we leave all of the good we acquired as soon as Ramadan ends then we will in effect just throw away our Ramadan & risk our good deeds & efforts not being accepted.

This is our chance to change our lives for the better FOREVER. So we must NOT miss this opportunity for we may not be alive next Ramadan.
Therefore let us continue the good we acquired during Ramadan throughout the year & never go back to our old ways.

May Allah enable us to make the necessery changes this Ramadan and for us to continue that way throughout the year. Ameen.

Source : http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?301466-10-ways-to-Maximize-the-Last-10-Days-of-Ramadan