My dear brothers and sisters,
Assalaamu 'alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakaatuh,
Starting tonight, May 2nd, 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 make every effort throughout Ramadan, there is no doubt that these last 10 nights are special and deserve more attention. Aisha (RA) said: "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 wake his family for prayers."
Here is a great tip to implement. Think about three simple acts of worship and do them every night for the last ten nights to be sure to catch Laylatul Qadr. For example, if you can give $100 in charity (or whatever amount you are able), divide by ten and give ten dollars each night so that one of the nights will be multiplied by more than a thousand months. The same applies to prayer, reading the 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. We know that it falls in the last ten nights and most likely on an odd night. So to ensure that we catch it, we should strive harder on all of them. The prophet (SAW) 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 not accept such an offer? Remember to make dua' all through 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 issue that should be addressed during the last days of Ramadan is paying our Zakatul Fitr. Zakat ul Fitr is an obligatory charity that must be paid by the end of each Ramadan. It is a means of cleansing to the one who gives and a sign of love to the one who receives. The cost of this charity is determined by the price of a staple food and will be $10 per person this year. It must be paid in the name of yourself and all who are under your care in your house. Payments can be made at the North East location, Downtown location, or online at iisc.ca and must be made before the 28th of Ramadan so that it can be given to those in need in a timely manner before Eid.
As Ramadan comes to an end, we must remember that the grand celebration of Eid al-Fitr follows it. This is one of two celebrations that we celebrate as Muslims, so let's make it a special day for our families to remember. Plan from now on the activities you want to do together and the gifts you will give. And remember, your best clothes are all ready for the day! Insha Allah, we shall send an email closer to the exact date of the places and times of the Eid prayer.
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 worship Him again. Aameen.
Was salam ‘alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakaatuhu
Director, Islamic Information Society of Calgary