The virtue of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan and the desirability of devoting oneself to worship in them

30/08/2010| IslamWeb

‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “When the last ten days (of Ramadan) would begin, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would tie his lower garment (Izaar) tight, stay up at night, and wake his family (to offer acts of worship).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The wording of this reported by Muslim is as follows, “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would strive hard in worship in the last ten nights (of Ramadan) in a way that he would not do at other times.”

Her saying,“When the last ten days would begin, he would tie his lower garment (Izaar) tight” indicates him paying much heed to those days and striving hard in worship during them. Scholars hold two different opinions concerning the interpretation of tying the lower garment (Izaar) tight: the first is that this is a metaphor for striving hard in worship; and the second is that it is a metaphor for keeping away from his wives and this is the opinion of Sufyaan Ath-Thawri  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him as well as Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him.
“Stay up at night” refers to engaging in praying and doing other acts of worship instead of sleeping, which is a form of death.
“And wake his family” means that he would wake them up and urge them to pray a lot at night.
Waking one's family to pray Tahajjud (voluntary night-prayers) is a recommended act and is even more so in the last ten days of Ramadan for the great virtue of such nights. It is a great opportunity that every Muslim and his family should make the best of and not miss. The last ten days are the conclusion of this blessed month and what counts in deeds are how they end: It was narrated that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “Indeed, what counts in deeds are their end.”
Striving hard in these ten days should not be in a specific kind of worship, rather it should be in all different acts of worship such as praying, giving charity, reciting the Quran, mentioning Allah The Almighty and the like.
Scholars have mentioned that the last ten days of Ramadan are better than the first ten days of Thu’l-Hijjah. They are the best days of the year as a whole and they include the Night of Al-Qadr, which Allah The Almighty has made better than a thousand months. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “Whoever stands (in prayer at night on) the Night of Al-Qadr out of faith and hoping for reward from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Saheeh (Authentic)]
It was authentically narrated that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "O Messenger of Allah, if I witness the Night of Al-Qadr, what should I say?'' The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), replied: “Say: ‘O Allah, indeed You are the Oft-Pardoning, You love to pardon, so pardon me.”
Scholars have said that it is recommended in such nights in which the Night of Al-Qadr is more likely to be to take a bath, wear nice fragrance and wear clean, appropriate clothes as prescribed in the Friday and ‘Eed prayers, and it is in fact prescribed to wear one’s finest clothes when performing every prayer as Allah The Almighty Says (what means):{Take your adornment at every mosque.} [Quran 7: 31]
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Allah has more of a right over you to be adorned for Him.” As a matter of fact, outward adornment will never be complete except by adorning the inside as well by turning to Allah The Almighty in repentance and purifying one’s soul from the filth of sins as the adornment of the external part of the person while the filth of sins exists within will be to no avail. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O children of Aadam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best.} [Quran 7: 26]
No one will be successful in imploring the King in seclusion unless he is him who has adorned and purified his outward appearance as well as his inward reality, for Allah The Almighty knows what is secret and that which is even more hidden than that. Allah The Almighty does not look at your outward appearance; rather, He looks at your hearts and deeds. So whoever stands before Him should adorn his outward appearance by wearing the appropriate clothing and his inward reality by wearing the clothing of righteousness.