Itikaf in Ramadan,Take a vacation for Allah
We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshiping and thanking our Creator. If this is not possible at least take a few days off if you can. This can make it easier to stay awake at night to do extra Ibadah, not having to worry about getting to work the next day.
It will also facilitate doing Itikaf.
It was a practice of the Prophet to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the masjid for Itikaf.
Those in Itikaf stay in the masjid all this time, performing various forms of zikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salat, recitation and study of the Quran. They do not go outside the masjid except in case of emergencies, therefore, they sleep in the masjid. Their families or the masjid administration takes care of their food needs. Itikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.
Make this special Dua
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, 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.’ “(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi). The transliteration of this Dua is “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee”
Recite the Quran
Perhaps you can choose Surahs or passages from the Quran which you have heard in Tarawih this past Ramadan to recite. If you attend a class where the recitation of the Quran is taught, this is a great time to put your knowledge into practice.
Reflect on the meaning of the Quran
Choose the latest Surah or Surahs you’ve heard in Tarawih and read their translation and Tafseer. Then think deeply about their meaning and how it affects you on a personal level.
Get your sins wiped out
Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger said: Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven. [Bukhari and Muslim). Don’t just pray using the shorter Surahs that you know. Try to make your prayers longer, deeper and meaningful. If you are familiar with longer Surahs, read the translation and explanation and then pray reciting these Surahs, carefully reflecting on the meaning while you pray.
Even if you are only familiar with the shorter Surahs, read the translation and explanation beforehand, and then pray reflecting on the message of the Surahs. This is a good way to develop the habit of concentrazion, even in regular prayers, where many of us tend to be fidgety and/or easily distracted.
Make a personal Dua list.
Ask yourself what you really want from Allah. Make a list of each and everything, no matter how small or how big it is, whether it deals with this world or not. Allah loves to hear from us. Once this list is ready, you can do three things:
- Ask Allah to give you those things
- Think about what actions you have taken to get those things
- Develop a work plan to get those things in future.
Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done.
Attend the Dua after the completion of Quran recitation
Almost all Masjids where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Quran in Tarawih prayers in Ramadan will be completing their recitation in these last ten nights. They may try to end on one of the odd nights and read the Dua at the end of a reading of the Quran. Attend this particular night’s Tarawih prayer with your family. See if you can attend different Masjids’ Tarawih prayers the night they finish reading the Quran.
Finish reading a book on the Prophet
Read about the Prophet’s life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah’s sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built one sacrifice.
Narrated Abu Salama: I asked Abu Sa’id, and he was a friend of mine, (about the Night of Qadr) and he said, “We practiced Itikaf (seclusion in the mosque) in the middle third of the month of Ramadan with the Prophet . In the morning of the 20th of Ramadan, the Prophet came and addressed us and said, ‘I was informed of (the date of the Night of Qadr) but I was caused to forget it; so search for it in the odd nights of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. (In the dream) I saw myself prostrating in mud and water (as a sign). So, whoever was in l’tikaf with me should return to it with me (for another 10-day’s period)’, and we returned. At that time there was no sign of clouds in the sky but suddenly a cloud came and it rained till rain-water started leaking through the roof of the mosque which was made of date-palm leaf stalks. Then the prayer was established and I saw Allah’s Apostle prostrating in mud and water and I saw the traces of mud on his forehead.”[Sahih Bukhari 233]
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