by Dr. Mateen Khan (Trenton, New Jersey)
The end is near! Stop daydreaming about iftar lassis and kunafa. Grab your Qur’ans. Straighten your kufis and tighten your hijabs. Head for the closest masjid. Ramadan is coming to an end! In these last days, I thought I would remind ourselves of a few things to accomplish:
Vacation in the masjid and receive a second, much greater vacation in the ākhirah. This sunnah mu’akkada1 was a habit of our Prophet (Allah bless and give him peace) during the last ten days of every Ramadan. Only Allah knows its reward. So great is this act that you can literally sleep2 the whole ten days and be rewarded for it.
Salāt ‘ala al-Nabi (aka darūd)
Is your lazy tongue just sitting there in your mouth doing nothing? Put it to work for your mutual benefit in the ākhirah. Recite darūd Ibrahīmīyyah3 or even as little as “Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad” and rack up points that will take care of your needs in this world and the next. Most importantly, gain a closeness with our Prophet (Allah bless and give him peace).
Recite the Qur’an morning and evening. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) said, “I saw my Rabb in a dream. I asked him, ‘O Rabb, what actions of your close ones (mutaqarribūn) bring them closest to you?’ He answered, ‘With my Qur’an, O Ahmad.’ I asked, ‘While understanding it or even without?’ He answered, ‘With or without understanding it.’”4 May Allah subhānahu wa ta’āla give us dreams like that!
The nights are short and the reward great. So stand up in salāh and call Allah subhānahu wa ta’āla. “Only those truly believe in our ayahs, who when reminded of them, fall into sajdah and praise their Rabb. Nor are they arrogant. Their sides are separated from their beds while calling upon their Rabb in fear and hope.”5
Allah subhānahu wa ta’āla understands your language. Ask Him in whatever language you’re comfortable. Ask Him for forgiveness and guidance. Ask Him for knowledge and well-being. Ask Him for anything and everything. Don’t know what to say? Ask Him what to say. Don’t have the time to make long du’ahs? Ask Him for the time. You see where I’m going with this… These are just a few things to remember in the remainder of Ramadan. Make a daily schedule with these activities included and you will be able to accomplish them, inshā-Allāh. We can develop these habits now, continue them afterwards and benefit from them in the hereafter. May Allah subhānahu wa ta’āla give us tawfīq!
1 Sunnah mu’akkadah is an emphasized, oft-repeated practice of the Prophet (Allah bless and give him peace). 2 NOT A RECOMMENDATION 3 This is the salāt/darūd we recite near the end of the salāh. 4 Mukhtasar Minhāj al-Qāsidīn by Ibn Qudāmah. 5 Surah al-sajdah: 15-16