Enlivening the Last Ten Nights of Ramadan with Worship
It was narrated on the authority of ‘Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said, “When the last ten days of Ramadan would come, the Prophet 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-Bukhari and Muslim]
It was also narrated on the authority of ‘Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said, “The Messenger of Allah would strive his utmost (in prayer and worship) during the last ten [nights of Ramadan] much more than he did at any other time.” [Muslim]
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, , would wake up his family (at night for prayers and worship) in the last ten days of Ramadan. [At-Tirmithi: Hasan Saheeh]
According to another version narrated by Ahmad, “When the [last] ten [days of Ramadan] would come, the Messenger 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, , used to strive in worship. Even though Allah The Almighty had forgiven for him his earlier and later sins, the Prophet, , strove his utmost during the last ten days of Ramadan much more than he did at any other time.
Second: The Prophetic guidance during the last ten days of Ramadan 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 Ramadan. So, if the people's habit is to remain sleepless at night in Ramadan, 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 of Ramadan, in prayer and Thikr as much as possible, because this was what the Prophet, , 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 Ramadan, are exceptional.
Sixth: The wisdom behind striving one's utmost in prayer and worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan is to seek the night of Al-Qadr; and it is out of the Mercy of Allah 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.