Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Embracing the last 10 days of Ramadan

The countdown to Eid ul-Fitr, the first day of Shawwal which marks the end of Ramadan, starts here.

But Muslims must go through the last 10 days of Ramadan before the rejoicing begins.

The final 10 days of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, are finally here.

Muslims believe that the Night of Power or Lailatul Qadr (also spelled Laylat al-Qadr) falls within this period.

They hold that the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet (PBUH) by God through the Angel Gabriel on the Night of Power.

Nobody knows when the Night of Power -- which the Quran describes as being "better than a thousand months" -- takes place and Muslims are encouraged to seek it out during the last 10 days of Ramadan by taking part in late-night prayers, Dhikr and spiritual contemplation.

According to many accounts, the Night of Power is probably "on one of the odd nights on the last 10 days of Ramadan and most likely to be on the 27th".

"It could happen on the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th," says a religious teacher.

"The advice to believers is to be aware of the specific nights and to do all the necessary prayers and more during the small hours," he says.

What divine secrets are revealed on the Night of Power?

"The sky gates are open and Insyaallah (God Willing) all your doa (prayers of hope) will be answered," says the religious teacher, who agreed to talk to me on condition of anonymity.

It has been said that those who have been touched by the grace of God on the Night of Power will never forget it.

Muslims, who faithfully observe Ramadan, feel a deep sadness as the blessed days quickly go by.

They greeted the fasting month, which began on August 11, with joy because it is the time to renew their relationship with their Creator by abstaining from food, drink, sexual contact during daylight, bad thoughts and deeds as well as performing prayers and acts of charity.

The questions are, will God accept their devotions and will they be able to welcome Ramadan next year?

Only God has the answers to these questions.

No comments: