Sleep is for the weak… this week.

One of my fondest memories of Ramadan 2019 apart from the lack of a global pandemic was the nightly Qiyam-ul-Layl at the Slacks Creek Masjid. After Taraweeh we would head home for a break, get the kids to bed and I’d head back to the Masjid for the 10:30 PM Qiyam session. I’ve attended Qiyam programs at various Masjids over the years but what made this special was the fact that the Imam was focused more on quality than quantity.

We would pray 2 Raka’ah in just under an hour but would only cover a few pages of Quran so the recitation was slow, steady, and absolutely transcending. Prolonged Ruku and Sujood forced us to look inward, to reflect, to appreciate. 

This year we have an opportunity to create memories in our own homes. Don’t let the virus steal this from you too. These are the nights to exert ourselves. Perhaps our own recitations won’t be as captivating or melodious as our favourite Imam’s but that’s no reason to miss out on Qiyam during these Blessed nights. 

Whether from memory or holding the mus’haf, loudly or in small whispers, pray at night and make the most of these nights. For this week, sleep is truly for the weak. Not only was this a practice of the Messenger (S.A.W) during these nights, it is much needed during these chaotic times we live in. We need the dua to ease our current situation and we need the peace and tranquility to overcome the mental burden of these challenging times. 

May Allah accept our efforts and grant us the reward of Laylatul Qadr. Ameen. 

The seeds of Laylatul Qadr…

Children can’t fully comprehend the magnitude of Laylatul Qadr and don’t fully appreciate the fact that it is equivalent to 1000 months of worship. A child doesn’t yet understand the idea of pleasing the Almighty or earning such rewards for the hereafter so we need to make our discussions more relatable for them. 

Based on the conversations we’ve had this week, below are a few topics to help get them excited:

The magnitude of Angels that descend on the night of Qadr – more angels descend than there are grains of sand on this earth. WOW!

The majesty of Angel Jibreel who also descends on this night – a good segue into the story of revelation and the Quran.

Being able to ask Allah for anything that they want – encourage open communication with you and Allah. My heart melted when I told my 6-year-old daughter about making dua on this night and she reminded me that she makes dua with mummy every night before bed. Say Masha Allah!

The concept of Qadr and divine ordainment can also be tricky for a child to grasp so be mindful of this. By linking Qadr to dua, we can instill in them a habit of communicating with Allah and also an understanding that everything happens with His permission and by His decree. 

Bonus rewards – we should be encouraging our kids to do good deeds throughout the year but remind them of the extra points they can earn in these Blessed nights.

We came across an awesome Laylatul Qadr story this week which described the extra rewards as ‘when our parents really want us to have something, so they make it super easy for us to earn it. Like if they say, “you can have a new bike for Eid if you pick up that tissue from the floor.”‘ Love this! Check out the book here.

Kids are pure and innocent so the idea of repentance and forgiveness won’t appeal to them. 83 years or 1000 months don’t mean much to a child but by making the occasion relatable and exciting, we will plant the seeds that will one day lead to a greater appreciation for this amazing night. 

5 tips from an 8-year-old for the last 10 nights of Ramadan…

As we drove to Taraweeh a few nights ago, my son asked me if he could accompany me to Taraweeh prayers more often during the last 10 nights of Ramadan. I was impressed and I wasn’t sure how to respond since he’s at school this year and I wouldn’t want to make a commitment I couldn’t follow through on. I told him it was a great idea and that we could think about it over the next few days.

This got us talking about the significance of the last 10 nights of Ramadan and Layaltul Qadr which we discussed in detail when he memorised Surah Al-Qadr a few years ago. He has an excellent understanding for his age so I gave him some homework to come up with a few tips for kids to benefit from the last 10 nights of Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr. 

These are 5 tips from an 8-year-old on how to benefit from the last 10 nights of Ramadan:

  • Read the Quran and revise surahs every night
  • Go for Taraweeh prayers as often as possible
  • Read Ramadan Stories 
  • Give charity at the Masjid every night
  • Don’t waste time watching tv and playing video games

I was pretty impressed with the list so I told him I would share it. May Allah bless him. 

Easy and simple tips from the mind of an innocent kid who doesn’t have the burden of guilt, societal pressure or judgement. 

I pray you and your families benefit from these special nights and have a productive end to this blessed month. Ameen. 

Ramadan endgame…

When we become neglectful during Ramadan, there’s always the promise of redemption in the last ten nights. Once we reach the last third though, there’s less room for error. We’re in the endgame now. 

Our faith is diverse and flexible so everyone’s worship is somewhat unique to there own circumstances. Fluctuating levels of faith also make it difficult for a one-size-fits-all approach so these last 10 nights could mean different things to different people. 

Where ever you’re at with your worship, no matter your level of faith right now or the number of missed opportunities over the last 20 days… there is always room for improvement, there is always hope in the boundless mercy of our Lord. 

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” – Sunan Ibn Majah.

My game-plan for the last ten nights of Ramadan:

Quran before bed: I usually read Quran after Fajr and Asr so I’ll be adding some time at night to increase my recitation. 

Nafl prayer before bed: My post-Taraweeh time has been less productive recently so I’ll be adding Nafl prayers to increase my worship at night. 

Nightly charity: Small amounts regularly will allow you to maximise rewards and also create a habit of being charitable.

Check out My10Nights to automate your donations and ensure you don’t miss the opportunity of giving in charity on Laylatul Qadr. Many Masjids now have tap and pay facilities making it quick and convenient to donate every night.

Consistency is key because we’re at the tail end of the month, it won’t take too much for us to burn out. Small acts done regularly and consistently over the next 10 nights will allow us to end this blessed month on a high while also creating a few good habits with which to leave Ramadan with.

Whatever your gameplan, I pray you have a blessed end to Ramadan. May we be among those who find and achieve the blessings of Laylatul Qadr.