Today is the 19th Ramadhan 1435 and as part of our Ramadhan Activities we have been learning about the virtues of the Last Ten Nights of Ramadhan.
Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah:
“The month of Ramadan is superior to all other months, and the last ten nights are superior to the other nights.”
(Zad-ul Ma’ad, 1/70)
We read about the behaviour of the Messenger of Allah, sall’Allahu alayhi wasalam in the last ten nights with explanation from Shaykh Uthaymeen, rahimahullah:
Taken from the Shaykh’s Explanation of Riyaadus-Saaliheen
On the Authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said: “When the last ten nights would enter, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) would stay up throughout the night, awaken his family, become intense (in worship) and tighten his mi’zar (lower garment).” (Agreed upon)
What is intended here is: The last ten nights of Ramadaan. Mi’zar is: the Izaar. Meaning: to withdraw from women. And it is said that the intended meaning is: Girding himself up for worship. It is said: “I tightened my mi’zar for this matter.” Meaning: I girded myself and secluded myself for it.
The author (an-Nawawee) may Allah have mercy upon him, said in what he has transmitted from ‘Aa’ishah the daughter of Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq, may Allah be pleased with them both, concerning the state of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) during the last ten nights of Ramadhaan, that when he entered the last ten nights he would tighten his mi’zar, stay awake throughout the night, intensify his worship, and gird himself upon it, prayer and peace be upon him.
It has already preceded concerning the preceding Hadeeth that he(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)used to stand in the night until his ankles would become swollen and that he would stand more than half the night or half the night or one third of the night. As for in the last ten nights of Ramadhaan, he would stand the whole night, meaning he would stay awake for the entire night, prayers and peace be upon him, in worship. However, with the breaking of the fast after the setting of the sun, dinner and the ‘Ishaa prayer, and the things which he, (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) saw as a means of nearness to Allah the Mighty and Majestic. The meaning of it is not that he would spend the entire night praying. The evidence is that Safiyah bint Huyay ibn Akhtab used to come to him, (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and he would speak to her. However everything which he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) would do during those nights it was a means of nearness to Allah the Mighty and Majestic; either the prayer, preparing for the prayer, or other than it.
In this is an evidence that the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) would stay awake for all of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan, but he would not stay awake for other nights besides them. Meaning, he would not stand until the morning except in the last ten nights of Ramadhaan; and that was in search of Laylatul-Qadr, and it is a night that is in the last ten nights of Ramadhaan; particularly, in the last seven from it. This is the night in which Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, decrees what will be within that year. It is as Allah said: “…better than one thousand months.”(al-Qadr 97:3) So he would stay awake for it. “Whoever stands on Laylatul-Qadr out of eemaan and seeking the reward from Allah, then forgiven for him is that which has preceded of his sins.”(Al-Bukharee)
Then the author, may Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned the meaning of the statement: “…tighten his mi’zar.” From them (the scholars) is he who says: It means to abandon women; because he was in a state of I’tikaaf. Women are not permissible for the one doing Al-I’tikaaf; as the Exalted has said: “And do not have sexual relations with them while you are in a state of I’tikaaf in the mosques.” (al-Baqarah 2:187)
And from them (the scholars) is he who says: Rather, it means seriousness and girding one’s self upon righteous action. Both matters are correct. For the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) would not come to his family in the last ten nights of Ramadaan because he was in a state of I’tikaaf. He would also tighten his mi’zar, strive hard and gird himself (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) upon good. This is from the types of struggling against the soul. So it is obligatory that the person struggle against his soul in the virtuous times so that he uses them in obedience of Allah.
Translated by: Raha Batts
My son wrote about what he learned from this in his Ramadhan Notebook.
At the same time I have been preparing a Moon Phases activity for my younger girls to countdown the last ten days to Eid. I came across a similar activity on line some time ago but I can’t find it now so I have recreated it.
The girls will cut out and glue down one moon phase each day until the end of Ramadhan. When they reach the last moon phase they will know that we will be looking for the crescent of Shawwal which tells us that the next morning will be Eid.
This is what the activity looks like. You can download the file to make your own countdown HERE.