Khutbah Title: Virtues and Characteristics of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

By Sheykh Sa‘eed ibn ‘Ali ibn Wahf Al-Qahtaani

 

First Khutbah :

All praise is due to Allah, The Almighty; we praise Him, ask His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allah The Almighty from the evil of our souls and the consequences of our evil deeds. No one can mislead a person whom Allah, The Almighty, guides, and no one can rightly guide a person whom Allah, The Almighty, misguides. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah Alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is His slave and Messenger, and upon his household and his companions and those who follow them in the best way until the day of Resurrection.

O servants of Allah! Fear Allah, The Almighty, Who says (what means): {O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].} [Quran 3: 102]

 

O Believers!

Be grateful to Allah for His great blessings and favors that cannot be counted nor enumerated. Amongst such blessings is extending our life to witness the blessed month of Ramadan while many people are denied it. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

•   {And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.} [Quran 14: 34]

•   “And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran 16: 18]

•   {And whatever you have of favor - it is from Allah.} [Quran 16: 53] 

If you thank and be grateful for Allah, The Almighty, with your actions, words and hearts, He will increase you from His favors, generosity, guidance and gratefulness. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.”} [Quran 14: 7] 

O Servants of Allah! In the near past days, we welcomed Ramadan with great happiness and joy. Days have passed until most of it has ended. Some people have done well really in the past days. They fasted the day, spent nights in prayer, recited Quran, gave charity, and gave up

committing sins and misdeeds and surely they will get the great and ample reward. Still, they should do more in the remaining days of the blessed month of Ramadan. Some others have done ill. They undermined the real meaning of fasting, abandoned performing prayer at night, stayed awake at night on idle talk, wasted their money and refused to spend it for good purposes, abandoned reciting the Noble Quran and did not spend their money in charity. In spite of all this, Allah, The Almighty, Who is the Possessor of Great Bounty and Ample Generosity, accepts the repentance and forgives the sins of the one who turns to Him with repentance and regret. Allah, The Almighty, has made the last ten days of Ramadan an opportunity for those who did well in the beginning of the month to increase his good acts and for those who did ill to regain what he has missed and make the utmost of such ten days in doing the acts of worship and all what may bring him closer to Allah, The Almighty.

Characteristics and Virtues of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan:

1- Quran was sent down in the last ten days of Ramadan during the Night of Al-Qadr. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

•   {Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree.} [Quran 97: 1]

•   {Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].} [Quran 44: 3]

This is one of the greatest virtues of the last ten days of Ramadan that Allah, The Almighty, sent down such great light to bring people from the darkness (of disbelief) to the light (of belief), from ignorance to the light of the knowledge and faith. This Nobel Quran is actually a cure, guidance and mercy for the believers and healing for what is in the breasts. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Say, "In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy - in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate."} [Quran 10: 58]

2- Amongst the other characteristics of the last ten days of Ramadan is the Night of Al-Qadr. That is because worship during this night is equivalent to worship performed for a period of one thousand months. This means that worship during it is better and more virtuous than worship performed in eighty-three years and about four months. This is a great virtue for those whom Allah, The Almighty, guides to it. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Indeed, We sent the Quran down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.} [Quran 97: 1-5]

There are many virtues of the Night of Al-Qadr. Amongst them are:

1- On it, Allah, The Almighty, sent down the Noble Quran which implies the guidance and eternal happiness of people in this life and Hereafter. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

•   {Indeed, We sent the Quran down during the Night of Decree.} [Quran 97: 1]

•   {Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night.[Quran 44: 3]

2- On it is made distinct every precise matter. The affairs of that year are dispatched from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth (i.e. the Preserved Tablet) to the angels who record the decrees: who will live, who will die, what provision people will be given, what will happen until the end of that year, every matter of ordainment is decreed, and it cannot be altered or changed.

3- The greatness and exaltedness indicated in the interrogation of the saying of Allah, The Almighty: {...And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?...} [Quran 97: 2]

4- Allah The Almighty described it as being blessed, as He Says (what means): {“Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night.”} [Quran 44: 3]

5- Allah The Almighty described it as being better than a thousand months, as He Says (what means): {“The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.”} [Quran 97:3].

6- On this night, the angels and the Spirit [Jibreel (Angel Gabriel)] descend, “i.e., many angels descend on this night because it is so blessed, and the angels come down when the blessings and mercy of Allah The Almighty come down.

7- This night is described as peace and safe until the emergence of dawn because there is much safety from punishment and torture due to the righteous deeds of the slaves of Allah The Almighty.

8- Whoever performs voluntary prayers on it, out of sincere faith and in the hope of getting reward from Allah The Almighty, his earlier sins will be forgiven for him. 

9- Whoever witnessed it and strived hard in worship on it seeking the pleasure of Allah, The Almighty, has attained all of its goodness and whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of all of its goodness as it was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. Allah, The Almighty, has a night therein which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” 

It was also narrated that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Ramadan started and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be

upon him, said: ‘This month that has come has in it a night which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of all of its goodness and none is deprived of its goodness except the truly deprived.” 

10-        Allah, The Almighty, revealed a Chapter concerning this night which will be recited until the Day of Resurrection, in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree…”} [Quran 97:1]

3- Amongst the other characteristics of the last ten days of Ramadan is that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to strive very hard in spending their nights in prayer and doing other good deeds during them. Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported: “When the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would stay up all night, wake his family, strove hard and gird his loins.”   Girding his loins referred to him striving hard in worship and it was said that this referred to him abstaining from sleeping with his wives.

 

‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with him, also reported: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other times.” 

 

 

 

Striving hard in worshipping Allah during these Nights includes all the different acts of worship such as performing prayer, reciting the Noble Quran, Thikr (i.e. Remembrance of Allah, The Almighty), Duaa‘ (supplication), charity and the like. What really indicates the great virtue of the last ten days of Ramadan is waking the family for prayer and Thikr. Amongst the forms of the great deprivation is to see many people waste the hours of these days and nights in markets and the like and to stay up late at night and when the time of Al-Qiyaam becomes due, they sleep. Really, this is a great loss. Accordingly, truthful Muslim individual should strive hard in such blessed ten days for we do not know, perhaps this time will never come again, for 'the spoiler of pleasures,' i.e., death, which must come to all men, may come and snatch him and his life will end. Also, if one strives hard in worship, he may get one of the great blessings of Allah, The Almighty, that will make him happy in this life and the life to come.

4- Amongst the other characteristics of the last ten days of Ramadan is observing the noble worship of I‘tikaaf which refers to seclusion in the mosque for the purpose of worshipping Allah, The Almighty. It is proved by the Noble Quran and honorable Sunnah.

Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {…And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques…} [Quran 2: 187]

It was narrated that ‘Aa‘ishah, the Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would observe I‘tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah took his soul, then his wives observed I‘tikaaf  after he was gone.” 

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, also narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would perform  I‘tikaaf every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he stayed in I‘tikaaf for twenty days.”   

Another wording of this Hadeeth reads: “Jibreel (i.e. Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, used to repeat the recitation of the Quran with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, once a year, but he repeated it twice with him in the year he died. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to stay in I‘tikaaf for ten days every year (in the month of Ramadan), but in the year of his death, he stayed in I‘tikaaf for twenty days.” 

Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, said what is meant by the twenty days is the middle and the last ten days. 

Its meaning is also substantiated by the Hadeeth reported by Abu Sa‘eed, may Allah be pleased with him, in Saheeh Muslim.

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, used to practice I‘tikaaf in the middle ten days of Ramadan and once he stayed in I‘tikaaf till the night of the twenty-first, he, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever was in I‘tikaaf with me should stay in

I‘tikaaf for the last ten days, for I was informed (of the date) of the Night (of Qadr) but I have been caused to forget it. So seek it in the last ten nights and in the odd ones of them.” 

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, observed I‘tikaaf during the first ten days of Ramadaan, then he observed I‘tikaaf during the middle ten days and then said: “I observed I‘tikaaf during the first ten days seeking this night, then I observed I‘tikaaf during the middle ten days. Then someone came and said to me that it is in the last ten days, so whoever among you wishes to observe I‘tikaaf let him do so.” So the people observed I‘tikaaf with him. Then he, peace and blessings be upon him, added: “I have seen in a dream that it is in an odd night.”

It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel (i.e. Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, visited him, and Jibreel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, used to recite the Noble Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). 

I‘tikaaf means keeping away from people so that one may dedicate himself to worshiping Allah, The Almighty, in any mosque seeking the virtue of the reward of I‘tikaaf from Allah, The Almighty, and witnessing the Night of Al-Qadr. It is impermissible for one in I‘tikaaf  to exit the mosque, save for the express purpose of fulfilling a natural inevitable necessity, such as urination, excretion and fetching food and water for himself, if there is no one else to bring it to him and he cannot satisfy in the mosque.

I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Satan. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Indeed, We sent the Quran down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.} [Quran 97: 1-5]

O Allah, bless us with the Noble Quran, benefit us with its signs and wise remembrance. I say these words of mine and I ask Allah The Almighty to forgive me, you and all Muslims from all sins. Seek His forgiveness and turn to Him with repentance for He The Exalted is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful. 

The Second Khutbah:

All praise is due to Allah The Almighty and the best outcome is for the righteous. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah Alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is His slave and Messenger. Peace and blessings be upon him, his household, his companions and those who follow them in the best way until the day of Resurrection.

O servants of Allah, strive hard in worshiping Allah, The Almighty, and single out such blessed ten days with more striving in seeking multiple and doubled rewards in such nights. Seek the Night of Al-Qadr that the last ten days of Ramadan are characterized with as the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “I was informed (of the date) of the Night (of Qadr) but I have been caused to forget it. So seek it in the last ten nights and in the odd ones of them.”  

In the Hadeeth narrated on the authority of ‘Aa‘ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Seek the Night of Al-Qadr in the odd nights out of the last ten nights of Ramadan.”

There is absolutely no doubt that the Night of Al-Qadr is in the last ten days of Ramadan and to be more accurate it is in the odd-numbered nights for the Hadeeth narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be

upon him, said: “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan,' on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of the last ten nights of Ramadan (i.e. 21, 23, 25, respectively).”

In another wording, he, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “It is in the last ten nights of the month (Ramadan), either on the first nine or in the last (remaining) seven nights (of Ramadan),”

It may also occur in the even-numbered nights for it was reported by Al-Bukhaari on the authority of Ibn Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Search for it on the twenty-fourth (of Ramadan).”

Actually, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other times. As for the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, they also used to strive very hard in worship during them. Therefore, it was narrated that ‘Aa‘ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is Night of Al-Qadr, what should I say on that night?’ He, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Say: Allahumma Innaka ‘Afuwwun Tuhibbu Al-Afwa F’afu Anni (O Allah! You are forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me). 

Truthful and sincere worshiper should strive hard in all the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan and get the great reward of them. Allah, The

Almighty, has made the Night of Al-Qadr hidden as a form of showing mercy to His servant in order to: increase their rewards if they strive hard in worship during such nights, test His servants so that the truthful in seeking it may be distinct from others because the one who is keen to get something truthfully has to strive hard in getting it.

After this, send peace and blessings upon the best of humans; our Prophet Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah. May Allah be pleased with his companions; Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan, ‘Ali and all other companions!

O Allah, Give honor to Islam and to the Muslims!

O Allah, Humiliate polytheism and the polytheists!

O Our Lord, Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire!

O Allah, guide us in spending the Night of Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and with the hope of earning reward, O The Owner of Majesty and Honor!

O Servants of Allah!

{Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.} [Quran 16: 90]

Finally, remember Allah The Almighty and He will surely remember you, thank Him for His graces and He will increase you, and know that: {The Remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do} [Quran 29: 45].

 

 

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