Ibn Jarīr al-Tabari mentioned people of the past who used to encourage bathing every night in the last ten nights of Ramadan, and Ibrāhīm al-Nakha’i was among those who bathed every night. Others used to bathe on those nights which they expected was laylat’l-qadr.
It was reported that Anas b. Mālik (ra) would bathe, apply perfume and dress in his finest on the night of the 24th of Ramadan and every night. Ayyūb al-Sukhtiyāni would bathe on the nights of the 23rd and 24th and wear new clothes for these nights and fragrance himself with incense.
It was also transmitted that Thābit al-Banāni and Hamid al-Tawil would dress in their best and apply fragrance during these ten nights.
Tamīm al-Dāri bought a cloak for one thousand dirhams to adorn himself with on the nights he hoped laylat’l-qadr might fall.
Du’a in sujood and du’a after tashahud should be prolonged in these nights. If you don’t know Arabic then any du’as you have memorised, the du’a of Laylatul Qadr, istighfar and anything else you know should be used.
Saeed Ibn al Musayyib would say, the one who prays Maghrib and Esha in jamaat has caught Laylatul Qadr! So strive to pray them in jamaat!
Laylatul Qadr is in the last 10 nights of Ramadaan and the correct view is that it changes each year and Allah Knows Best. So strive hard in each of these nights.
It starts from Maghrib until Fajr time so busy yourself with acts of worship!
It’s better than 1,000 months as in your action will be multiplied by 1,000 months reward.
Ibn Abbas (ra) said on this night, everything that is going to be decreed for the next year will be written such as rizq, lives, deaths.
The best of actions are to pray Salaah, read Qur’an and make du’a. One can also do dhikr, give sadaqa and other good actions.
There is a difference of opinion if the multiplication is for all actions or just Salaah.
- Pray tarawih with the imam and stay with him until he leaves and do not leave half way through! Make the intention that you’re standing with firm belief and expecting reward from Allah and your (minor) sins will all be forgiven! Major sins require tawbah so repent too!
- Some musjids do another qiyam shortly after tarawih, go to that too in order to maximise reward.
- Pray Fajr and Esha in the Musjid as it will be a whole night’s reward.
- Keep your family awake as the Prophet (saw) would.
- The Hadith which mentions the Prophet (saw) would tie his belt means to work hard or not having intercourse as mentioned by some scholars.
- Pay your zakat ul fitr before Eid by a day or two! Ask your local Musjid how much it is.
- Read this du’a a lot as mentioned by the Prophet (saw) to A’aisha (ra) – اللهم انك تحب العفو فافع عني
- Remember, as some of the scholars said, if a person can’t strive for 10 nights out of an entire year, then they really need to question themselves!
Additional points of benefit:
Ibn Rajab (rh) mentions some of the people of the past would have a shower after Maghrib so they are at their most beautiful for these more beautiful nights and some would wear their best clothes and look their best, buying special clothes for these nights! So make an effort for Allah, insha’Allah!
Shaykh Khalid al Sabt mentions that those who don’t find the urge to strive to do good deeds in these nights then when will they strive?
Make a list of targets for Ramadan and include:
- Finishing the Qur’an multiple times
- Repent a lot and try to cry everyday
- Read a bit of tafseer, even if only one page
- Increase in Ibaadah (acts of worship)
Always make your intentions for Ramadan before it arrives in case your soul is taken beforehand, then you’ll get rewarded based on your intention.
3 of the 4 Imams said 20 is Sunnah.
Imam Maalik (rh) said 33 is Sunnah.
Others said more.
Hanbalis generally say 20.
How do we explain this?
The Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) was 11 rak’ah which was related by A’aisha (ra) in Sahih Bukhari. However in another Hadith, which is Sahih, a Sahaabi asked the Prophet (saw) about the night prayer which he (saw) replied, it’s two by two and if you fear dawn complete it with one, to the nearest meaning.
Allah knows best.
So what do we do?
The Sunnah is to pray two by two as the Prophet (saw) mentioned for the night prayer. For this reason some of the Salaf would pray 33, Imam Ahmad (rh) would generally pray 300 rak’ah per night.
The best approach is, as Imam Ahmad (rh) mentioned, pray with the Imam and stay with him until he leaves and you get the reward for praying the entire night and Allah knows best.