1) Warning against not taking advantage of seasons of blessings, like Ramadhaan
2) The necessity of making up for the shortcomings of the past by repentance, regret, and performance of good deeds, especially in the last ten days of Ramadhaan
3) The great bounty and favor from Allaah upon His servants by responding to their supplications, and the Nuzool Al-Ilaahi (the descending of Allaah to the heaven of the earth, in a way most fitting to His Majesty).
4) The virtues of Laylat Al-Qadr (Night of Revelation), its time, and the wisdom behind concealing its precise time.
5) Acts of worship during these nights, and the etiquettes of Qiyaam (night prayer).
All praise is due to Allaah, Who has endowed His servants with blessed times, and guided whomever He wills to make use of them, and diverted from them whomever He wills, of those who were given to loss and regret. I testify that there is no god but Allaah, Who has no partners. He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Bountiful, the Generous, and the Openhanded. I testify that Muhammad is Allaah’s servant and Messenger, the best of all mankind. May Allaah bless him, his family, Companions and those who follow them on the right path, until the Day of Resurrection.
((وهو شهر أوله رحمة، وأوسطه مغفرة، وآخره عتق من النار))
O people! Fear Allaah and make use of the times of blessings by doing righteous deeds, and be careful not to miss the chance of doing them, lest you should regret it.
((يا عبادي إنكم تخطئون بالليل والنهار، وأنا أغفر الذنوب جميعاً فاستغفروني أغفر لكم))
Brothers! If one cannot draw spiritual benefit during this month (Ramadhaan), then in what other month can he find benefit? If one does not turn in repentance to his Lord during this month, then at what other time will he do so? If one slackens from doing good deeds now, then when will he do them? You should hasten to seize the opportunity in this month, before it is too late! You should preserve your souls from the ways of misery and destruction.
((يا ابن آدم، إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني غفرت لك على ما كان منك ولا أبالي، يا ابن آدم، لو بلغت ذنوبك عنان السماء ثم استغفرتني غفرت لك، يا ابن آدم، لو أتيتني بقراب الأرض خطايا، ثم لقيتني لا تشرك بي شيئاً لأتيتك بقرابها مغفرة))
مَن جَاء بِٱلْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا [الأنعام:160]
The blessed month is waning; its precious days and nights are approaching their end. So try to utilize the remaining period by doing good deeds and repenting to Allaah. All is well that ends well. So, you have to make your deeds at the end of this month as good as you can. Two-thirds of the month of Ramadhaan is over and one-third, which is the best of all the three parts, still remains. Exert your efforts during these ten days by spending in charity, doing righteous deeds and offering optional night prayer, submitting yourselves to Allaah, hoping for His good reward and seeking protection from His punishment. Allaah said which means,
وإذا سألك عبادي عني فإني قريب أجيب دعوة الداع إذا دعان فليستجيبوا لي وليؤمنوا بي لعلهم يرشدون [البقرة:186]
“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided.” (Al-Baqarah: 186).
Our Lord descends each night to the sky of the earth when the final third of the night remains. He offers His slaves out of His generosity, saying,
((من يدعوني فأستجيب له من يسألني فأعطيه من يستغفرني فأغفر له؟))
“Who is saying a prayer to Me, that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me, that I may give it to him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me, that I may forgive him?” (Bukhaari & Muslim)
In the last ten days of Ramadhaan, there is Laylat Al-Qadr (the Night of Revelation) in which every precise matter of wisdom is made distinct and all events of the coming year are decreed. It is on this night that angels descend from the heavens and blessings become abundant. It is found in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan. Today is the 20th of Ramadhan without any doubt therein. That is because the Prophet (sas) addressed THE MUSLIM UMMAH and said,
((صوموا لرؤيته وافتروا لرؤيته))
That means that TONIGHT is the first possibility of Laylat Al-Qadr and every other night after that ending with the night between the day of the 28th and the day of the 29th.
أيها المسلم، إن النبي قال لأصحابه: ((التمسوها في العشر الأخيرة من رمضان))، وأخبرهم أيضاً بقوله: ((تحروها في الوتر من العشر))، ولما رأى بعض أصحابه رؤية أنها في السبع الأواخر من رمضان قال لهم: ((أرى رؤياكم قد تواطأت، فمن كان متحريها فليتحرها في السبع البواقي))، وقال: ((التمسوها في تاسعة تبقى، في سابعة تبقى، في خامسة تبقى)) .
Whoever prays its nights, believing in it, and hoping for its reward from Allaah, Allaah will forgive all his previous sins. Whoever misses this night and deprives himself of its good; he is to blame. Allaah did not specify its order among the ten nights so that people may exert their utmost efforts during all ten days in worship, performing optional night prayer, reciting the Holy Qur’aan and doing righteous deeds. This is also a means of distinction between those who are active in devotion and those who are not. If Laylat Al-Qadr were identified, many people would have limited themselves to devotion on that night only, neglecting other nights. There would also be no criteria for evaluation between the hardworking people and the lazy ones.
Strive to be among the people of the Night Prayer. Ramadhan is a practice for this. Starting with taraweeh, where the night prayer is moved to the early part of the night and done in congregation - both of which are motivators for those who are not accustomed to the night prayer and both of which are NOT of the sunnah of the night prayer generally. It's sunnah is to be done ALONE and in the last part of the night. So, use taraweeh as a stepping-stone to get to the sunnah of tahujjud - and not just in Ramadhan. It is the prayer of the elite, of the people of Paradise, of the Slaves of the Merciful. It is what distinguishes those who work and strive toward Allah from those in forgetfulness and distraction.
مُيِّز به أهل الجنة في قوله تعالى: كَانُواْ قَلِيلاً مّن ٱلَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ [الذاريات:17]، وفي قوله: تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفاً وَطَمَعاً وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ [السجدة:16]، وميِّز به عباد الرحمن في قوله: وَعِبَادُ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَىٰ ٱلأرْضِ هَوْناً وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الجَـٰهِلُونَ قَالُواْ سَلاَماً وَالَّذِينَ يِبِيتُونَ لِرَبّهِمْ سُجَّداً وَقِيَـٰماً [الفرقان:63، 64]، قال بعض السلف: "لولا الليل ما أحببت العيش أبدا"، وقال آخر: "لم يبق من لـذة الـدنيا إلا قيام اللـيل وصلاة الجماعة وصحبة الصالحين".
So, seek the reward of Laylat Al-Qadr by doing good deeds consistently and sincerely. Ask Allaah for a share of His reward and to protect you from coming out of Ramadhaan empty-handed.
Ramadhan is the month of the Qur'an. Do as much as you can of reciting, listening and learning Allah's book in this month. Form your intention in this month to not let a single day go by for the rest of the year without gaining something of knowledge of Allah's Book. Sit in circles wherever you can find them to learn the Qur'an as the Compnanions learned it: it's recitiation (tajweed), its meaning (tafsir) and its application (fiqh). This is the only way to have adab and respect with Allah and His Book.
If you hear or recite a Qur’aanic verse that mentions His mercy, ask Allaah to provide you from His bounties. When you hear or recite a Qur’aanic verse that contains a warning, ask Allaah’s protection from His punishment. Utter glorifications of Allaah many times in your Rukoo’ (bowing) and make many supplications in your Sajdah (prostration), as a Muslim is nearest to Allaah when he is in prostration. A person may supplicate Allaah for himself, his parents, children, relatives and all those who are dear to him from among the Muslims. Prolong the Qiyaam (standing) after rising from Rukoo’ (bowing) and the Jalsah (sitting) after rising from Sajdah (prostration), so that you may maintain an equilibrium among all the positions of Salaah. The standing after the rising from Rukoo’ (bowing) is a stance of praising Allaah, so utter many greetings, praises and extolments of Allaah in it. The sitting position that is between the two Sajdah (prostrations) is a stance of supplicating Allaah for forgiveness, so ask Allaah’s forgiveness therein.
You may start your Qiyaam (the optional night Prayers) with two short Rak’ahs, because Shaytaan (Satan) ties three knots at the back of your head when you sleep, and he seals each of them saying, 'You have a long night ahead, so sleep.' If you wake up and remember Allaah, a knot is untied. If you purify yourself then another knot is undone and if you pray, the third one also gets unknotted.
If any one of you goes to the mosque and the prayer has commenced, he should join the congregation with the Imaam rather than praying two Rak’ahs ahead of the congregation, as joining the congregation takes priority in this case.
إنا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر وما أدراك ما ليلة القدر ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر تنزل الملائكة والروح فيها بإذن ربهم من كل أمرسلام هي حتى مطلع الفجر [سورة القدر]
“Indeed, We sent it (i.e. the Qur'aan) down in 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 (i.e. Gabriel) descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Al-Qadr: 1-5).