Almighty Allah says in the Quran:
Laylat al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with every decree. (This night is) peace, until the rising of the dawn.(Al-Qadr 97: 3-5)
This blessed night can be found in any of the last 10 nights of Ramadan which are the most blessed nights of the year & therefore we should increase our Worship & Devotion in them:
Aisha (Ra) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, & used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari)
Imam Ibrahim Al-Nakha`i (Ra) says: "Good works performed on this night are better than those performed consistently for a thousand months."
Abu Hurayrah (Ra) relates that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer, believing in Allah and seeking His reward, will be forgiven all of his past sins." (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
Subhanallah! What immense rewards are to be gained during these blessed 10 nights. How can we afford to miss out on them? Who is to say that we will be alive next Ramadan? So we must make the best of these 10 nights. If we cannot manage all of the 10 nights then at least as many as we can manage particularly the last 10 odd numbered nights: 21st, 25th, 27th and 29th.
There is a saying: A person who fails to plan, plans to fail. So I have created a Worship plan that we can use to maximise these blessed 10 nights of Ramadan. Before we get into the plan, there are a few points to consider:
10 points to consider in the Worship Plan:
1 - Remain in I'tikaf: The best way of catching the blessed night of Power is to remain in I'tikaf which both men and women can do. If it is not possible for one to remain in I'tikaf for the whole of the 10 days and nights then one should try to remain in I'tikaf as many days and nights as is possible. It is also possible to make intention of Nawafil I'tikaf each and every time one enters the Masjid in order to gain rewards for the time spent in the Masjid.
2 - Worship all the 10 nights: Try to worship the whole of the 10 nights or at least as one can manage as that is the best way to catch the unimaginable and incomprehensible rewards of Laylatul Qadr. Each and every good deed from Maghrib until Fajr on Laylatul Qadr is rewarded a minimum of over 83 years of worship rewards. Subhanallah that is longer than most of us will live!
3 - Best Dua of the last 10 nights: Recite the Dua for Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Power) abundantly throughout the last 10 nights.
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Allahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni’ ‘
O Allah You are The One Who forgives greatly, and loves to forgive, so forgive me. [at Tirmidhi]
This Dua was given by the Prophet [Sallallahu laihi Wasallam] to the most beloved person to him: Aisha [RA]. So that makes the Dua extra special. Normally when we ask for forgiveness then Allah may forgive us but may still mention the sin to us on the Day of Judgement. But in this Dua we are asking Allah to completely wipe away our sins so that they are totally erased. So recite this Dua frequently during this blessed night to get your sins totally wiped out and come out as sinless as a newborn baby. Subhanallah!
4 - Give in charity: Give some charity during these 10 nights as any good act like charity during Laylatul Qadr is rewarded like one has done it for over 83 years!
5 - EAT LIGHT: as one is going to stay up until Fajr and the more one eats the harder it will be to stay up and the less productive one will be!
6 - Hydrate well: Keep some water with you at all times. This well help you stay up, feel energised and refreshed and have a clearer mind
7 - Complete all tasks before hand: So that we are free to worship the 10 nights without being disturbed by having to complete worldy tasks. This is in order to spend minimum time on things other than worship.
8 - Show exemplary character: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Nothing is weightier on the Scale of Deeds than one’s Good manners.” (Al-Bukhari)
So surely we should aim to be the best in character during these blessed nights and then continue to do so the rest of the year. So we must not argue, swear, backbite, slander or gossip. These things are prohibited anyway but how can we display such characteristics during these blessed few nights?
9 - No time wasting: We must make firm intention that during these blessed 10 nights that we will take part in NO idle talk and NOT watch TV, or play Games, or spend time on Social Media. There is 355 days in the year for all that. This is just 10 nights! Utter loss and regret for those of us who waste these blessed 10 nights!!!
10- Making life changes : Ramadan is not just for one month but it is for the whole year. So we should make the necessary changes that we need to make in order to better ourselves as Muslims and what better time to make such changes than during these blessed 10 nights where we can change our lives for the better forever. So we must internalise these changes and make firm commitment to Allah and it maybe that he will wipe our sins clean like we were a new born baby.
The following is a possible worship routine for the last 10 blessed nights of Ramadan which can be adjusted according to the times in ones own country:
09:30 - 10:00 pm - Open fast with dates and water and Pray Maghrib (Men with congregation and women at home). After that pray the 2 Sunnah and as many Nawafil (Voluntary) prayers in sets of 2 raka'ahs as one can manage.
Bonus: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887)
So each Fard prayer during Ramadan entails a reward of 70 obligatory prayers and each voluntary prayer entails a reward of a Fard prayer. Can you imagine how much more reward a voluntary and Fard prayer will be rewarded during Laylatul Qadr,? Subhanallah! you will be rewarded like you have prayed the Fard and voluntary prayers for over 83 years!
10:00 - 10:15 pm - Eat light in order to have optimum energy for worship. Avoid heavy and fried foods which will make one lethargic.
Bonus: The lighter the stomach the more worship. The more worship the more reward!
10:15 - 10:30 pm - Get ready and prepared to pray Isha and Tarawee. Make Ghusl or Wudu. Pray 2 Rakat Tahiyyatul Wudu after every Wudu. Wear ones best clothes and put on Attar and use Miswaak and comb hair, beard etc.
Bonus 1: Looking ones best actually has a significant impact in making one more productive! These are the nights of maximum productivity! So look & smell good to be more productive!
Bonus 2: Walk to the Masjid if you are not in I'tikaf. Each and every step is rewarded like you have been walking to the Masjid for over 83 years! Subhanallah!
10:30 pm - 12:00 am - Pray Isha & Taraweeh. Men with congregation and women may also pray in the Masjid in order to hear recitation of Qur'an, if the facilities are available and there is no danger of free mixing. Pray 2 rakat Tahiyyatul Masjid upon arriving at the Masjid and also remember to pray the 4 raka'ahs of Sunnah before the 4 Fard of Isha' which is often neglected.
Bonus: Praying Taraweeh during the night of power will bring rewards of over 83 years for each and every letter recited by the Imam and for each and every prostration (Sajda).
12:00 - 12:30 am - As soon as Taraweeh is finished then prepare for worship until Fajr. Make Fresh Wudu or Ghusl if one wants. Drink water to hydrate. If one is hungry then eat (LIGHT).
Either stay at the Masjid or go home immediately not partaking in any idle talk and go straight to the spot where there will be no disturbances and begin worship immediately being firm in remaining free of any disturbances. NO PROCRASTINATION during these blessed 10 nights!
Bonus: The less time we waste the more time we have for worship. The more time we have for worship the more we can gain unimaginable rewards during these blessed 10 nights!
12:30 - 1:30 am - Recite Qur'an with its tafseer (Meanings of the Qur'an) and contemplate and ponder over the words of Allah.
Bonus: In one of these nights was the auspicious night that the Noble Qur'an was revealed. So surely we should spend most of these nights reciting the Qur'an. Each and every letter is normally rewarded as 10 good deeds and during Ramadan this is increased further, but during Laylatul Qadr each letter will be rewarded like one has recited it for over 83 years. Subanallah!
1:30 - 2:00 am - Salaatul Tasbih. Or continue reciting Qur'an with Tafseer and recite the Laylatul Qadr Dua as much as possible for wiping out sins.
Bonus: Salaatul Tasbih contains a Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) which is one of the best glorifications of Allah (Abu Dawud):
Subhaanallaahi walhamdu lillaahi walaa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu Akbar
This is recited 300 times during this prayer. So can you imagine the rewards of reciting this prayer during Laylatul Qadr? Subanallah!
How to Pray Salaatul Tasbih: Pray like a normal 4 raka'ah (Nawafil) prayer except above Dhikr is said 15 times after the Surah after Surah Faathiha,10 times in Ruku (After Subanarabbiyyal Adheem), 10 times after Qiyaam (Saami-Allah), 10 times in Sajda (After Subhanarabiyyal Adheem),10 times when up from Sajda in sitting position,10 times in second Sajda,10 times when up from second sajda in sitting position. Repeat for every Raka'h.
2:00 - 2:45 am - 8 Rakats of Tahajjud prayer with long Sajdas reciting as many Sura'hs as one knows by memory. Before hand reading the meanings of the Surahs that are going to be recited in order to gain Khushu and feel the Surah's being recited in ones heart.
Bonus: The best Nawafil (voluntary) prayer is Tahajjud and it is a prayer in order to get closer to Almighty Allah which can be prayed after Isha until just before Fajr begins. The best recitation of the Qur'an is that done during Tahajjud prayer. So one should recite as much of the Qur'an as one has memorised and in the long prostrations ask and beg of Allah in Arabic for forgiveness and mercy and surely Allah will never turn away his slaves who beg of him during this prayer.
2:45 - 3:00 am - Eat Suhoor slightly earlier so as to spend the last half an hour in Dua as Dua just before Fajr is the best and most accepted Dua and any Dua on Laylatul Qadr is accepted without doubt.
Bonus: Prepare Suhoor in the day and put it away in the fridge as nothing should get in the way of our worship during these blessed nights. Preparing Suhoor before hand leaves us with more time to worship. As I keep saying: The more time we have for worship the more unimaginable and incomprehensible rewards we can gain!
3:00 am until Fajr begins. Devote the last half an hour in Dua. Beg and cry unto Allah, by praising and glorifying him using his beautiful names asking for his mercy, forgiveness and for our parents, families and ourselves. Ask for anything ones heart desires. Include Dua's for the Ummah. Surely Allah will accept each and every sincere Dua during these blessed 10 nights more so more than any night of the year on the Night of power!
Bonus: Make a Dua list and be sure to cover everything you can think of so that your mind does not go blank during making Dua on these blessed nights. So if we have made a Dua list before hand then we can make the best Dua which will cover everything and during these blessed nights Duas are readily accepted and if we catch the Night of power during these 10 nights then our Duas will be accepted without a doubt. Subhanallah!
Fajr until 20 Minutes after Sunrise:
Annas (Ra) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever prays the Fajr prayer in congregation and then he remains sitting mentioning Allah until the sun rises, and then he prays two Rak’ahs, will receive the reward of one Hajj and one ‘Umrah, complete, complete, complete.” [At-Tirmithi with a good chain of narrators]
So remain seated after the Fajr prayer and engage in Dua, contemplation, recitation of Qur'an and in the glorification and remembrance of Allah until 20 minutes after sunrise and then get up and pray 2x2 raka'ah Salaatul Duha.
Bonus: Remaining seated after prayer and engaged in worship until 20 minutes after sunrise brings the rewards of a Hajj and Umrah. Subhanallah! If that was not enough then the rewards are further increased during this blessed month.
Repeat this schedule for each and every night of worship during the last 10 nights of Ramadan and know that at least one of the nights we will gain the rewards like we did each and every worship for over 83 years. Subhanallah that is longer than most of us will live!
May Allah enable us to make the best of these nights and gain the rewards may he enable us to catch the blessed Night of Power and gain the rewards that are promised for it. Ameen