My dear brothers and sisters, Assalaamu 'alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakaatuh, Starting tonight the June 25h, we are in the last ten nights. With the onset of this auspicious event I wanted to share some words of advice with you. While we should strive hard during all of Ramadan there is no doubt that these last 10 nights are special and deserve a bit more of our attention. Aisha (RA) that With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (SAW) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder), pray all the night, and keep his family awake for the prayers Here is a great tip to implement. Think of three easy acts of worship and do them every single night for the last ten nights so youre guaranteed to catch Laylatul Qadr. So example if you can give $100 in charity (as little as you can), divide by ten and give ten dollars each night so that one of the nights will be multiplied by a thousand months. The same can be done with prayer, reading Quran, dhikr etc. One of the greatest blessings in these nights is that one of them will be Laylatul Qadr. The exact date of this night is unknown. What we do know is that it falls in the last ten nights and most likely on an odd night. So in order to insure that we catch it we should strive harder on all of them. For the prophet (saws) has said Whoever stands (in prayer) during the Night of Al-Qadr with faith and expecting reward (from Allaah), he will be forgiven for his previous sins. Allahu Akbar! Who could pass up an offer like that? Do not forget to make dua through out the last ten nights as well. 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: 'Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' The transliteration of this Dua is "Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee"
Another important matter that we should take care of during these last days of Ramadan is to pay our Zakatul Fitr. Zakatul Fitr is an obligatory charity that is to be paid at the end of every Ramadan. It is a means of purification for the one paying and to help feed the poor. The cost of this charity is calculated from the price of food and will be $10.00 per person this year. It your responsibility to pay on behalf of those under your care (such as a spouse or child). Payments can be made at the Edmonton Trail location, the 8th and 8th or online at iisc.ca and must be made before the 28th of Ramadan. As Ramadan comes to a close let us not forget that it is followed by the great celebration of Eid al-Fitr. This is one of two holidays that we celebrate as Muslims so let us take the opportunity to make it special, and a day to remember for our families. Plan out from now which activities you would like to do together and what gifts you will give out. And don't forget to have your nicest clothes ready for the day! Insha Allah, we will send out an email closer to the date the exact time of the Eid prayer (will be organized at the Calgary Soccer Center). I pray Allah accepts our fasts and our prayers during this month, keeps us steadfast on his path, and allows us the opportunity to live till next Ramadan to reap from its blessings. Aameen. Was salam alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakaatuhu Navaid Aziz Director, Islamic Information Society of Calgary