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Monday, April 15, 2024
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Time for self-renewal

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Ramadan, the holy month of abstinence for almost two-and-a-half-million Muslims in The Gambia ends exactly a week from today. The last ten nights of this month hold a special significance for the believers and it is a time to increase ibadah or worship while thanking Allah for the opportunity to seek forgiveness.

During these nights, additional rewards and blessings may be attainable. According to the Sunnah, these are the nights when our most honoured and beloved prophet Muhammad would increase his worship. According to a hadith in Sahih Muslim, “The Prophet would exert himself in worship during the last ten nights more than at any other time of the year.”

In the third ashra of Ramadan, the most important night to reap multiple rewards and practice ibadah is the night of Laylatul-Qadr. The Night of Power is mentioned in the Qur’an and is said to be better than a thousand nights: “We have indeed revealed this in the ‘Night of Power’. And what will explain to you what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand. “Peace! This until the rise of Morn!” (Holy Qur’an 97:1-5)

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Considering the significance of this special night, Muslims have to make sure that they increase their ibadah by reciting the Holy Qur’an and offering prayers, doing zikr (remembrance of Allah) and reciting the durood (prayers for the prophet) as much as possible. During the last ten nights of Ramadan, practice good deeds for a better life ahead and to seek Allah’s blessings. It is stated in both acclaimed hadith books Bukhari and Muslim that “Whoever spends Laylat-ul-Qadr in prayer, believing in Allah and seeking His reward, will be forgiven all of his past sins.”

This indeed is a blessed month, which Allah has obligated all Muslims to fast. During this month, it is stated that the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are shackled. Therefore it is a time for Muslims to exert themselves in remembrance of Allah. They should aim to complete extra prayers during these nights, complete all Sunnah prayers and attend taraweeh prayers at the local mosques which dot all streets in this country.

During the last ten days of Ramadan, Muslims should increase du’a for themselves, their near and far kin, neighbours, friends, peers, our country The Gambia and Muslims under the brutal yoke of oppression in Gaza, India, Myanmar and elsewhere.

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In addition to increasing their ibadah, it is important for them to engage in good deeds so that Allah bestows His mercy and blessings upon them. Practicing good deeds includes acts of charity such as helping those who are less fortunate and cannot afford one another, preparing and serving iftar for others, or giving out sadaqah or charity in the form of zakat-ul-fitr. When you give to others for the sake of Allah, your actions count as worship and earn extra blessings. Your generosity can ensure that deprived people can have food, clean water, education, livelihood support, and more, helping them to break free from the cycle of poverty.

The last ten nights of Ramadan should be a time of reflection for all Muslims. It should be a time to turn a new page in your life. If you are a government worker, it’s a time to make a resolution that you will go to work on time and be productive and diligent and that you will abhor corruption and greed. If you are a trader, you should promise to be reborn and that you will give fair measure and will not take advantage of scarcity and demand to hike prices of goods at your whim. In short, this is a time when we should do away with all that is bad and embrace all that is good.

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