By Khudeja Sattar

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is one of the most sacred nights in the Islamic calendar.It takes place in the last ten days of Ramadhan and was the night in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is also believed to be the night in which Allah shows great mercy to His creation and the night when one's fate is decreed. The exact days of Laylatul Qadr is unknown, but it is said to fall on one of the odd nights in the last ten nights. Due to this, many Muslims use the last ten days and nights to spiritually cleanse and purify themselves for a chance to benefit from the immense blessings of Ramadhan before the month is up.

Here are some ways to make the most of the last ten days to leave the Holy Month spiritually awakened:

Read the Quran  These are the days that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammed , so it makes sense to dedicate the last ten days to reading the Holy Book. Recite the Quran and understand the meaning by making time to study it. This could involve a family time study circle to reflect on the Quran and share your learning and inspiration.

Dua - Connect with Allah through your dua. Create a WhatsApp group with family and friends and post a new dua every few days to recite, reflect and memorise. You can recite these duas in your sujood, which will prompt you to recite the duas often.

Feeding the needy - Open an iftar for those less fortunate, donate to those in need and feed them. We won't be going out for grand iftars at mosques and community centres, so the money we save from this can be used to feed our fellow brothers and sisters, those we have never met but connected to within our hearts.

Salah  The five daily prayers. In these last ten days, read five times a day and connect spiritually. Take your time and know this is your meeting with Allah. Spend extra time in sujood and talk to Allah and tell Him your worries, your hopes and know you are the closest to Him in sujood.

The Night Prayers - The Prophet never announced Tara wih (The Night Prayers), it was never known as a public ceremony in the sunnah. These prayers are better when done at home as you can take your time and avoid any fears of ostentation. Know this meeting is an invitation from The One who provides and gives. This time is only you and Allah.

Make the most of your time  Not going out and about does not mean wasting time doing nothing. Reduce your time on social media and watching TV and focus on furthering your understanding of Islam and connecting with your deen.

Stay connected with your family and friends  Technology, with it's dangers, has many perks and being able to stay connected via phone calls, video calling, emails etc, during a pandemic is one of many positives. Host digital iftars, prayer meetings and Quranic recitations to keep the bond of family and friends from fading in these difficult times.

Be creative  Decorate for Eid, make Eid cards and send to your loved ones and try something different.

Keep a balance  Not going out to work or school can make us lose a routine but stay focused on maintaining life as it was before the pandemic. Do not oversleep and try to exercise where possible. Get some air, whether it be in the garden or going for a walk in nature, but remember to adhere to governmental guidelines.

This Ramadhan is different and we can get through it. While being away from family and friends and losing that sense of community we thrive on, I pray this Ramadhan is just the way you need it to be and may there be beautiful light. Ramadhan Kareem! Sending my heartfelt prayers and positive thoughts to all of humanity.

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