How Should the Last Night of Ramadhan be Spent
In the month of Ramadhan we Fast, perform voluntary worships, arrange Taraweeh prayers, recite the Qur’an, help the poor, provide food to people to open their fasts and we spend generously on our family and friends. Undoubtedly, there are great rewards and benefits in these deeds, but as soon as the new moon is sighted, we think that we have been liberated from performing all good deeds. As soon as the moon for ‘Eid is sighted, we set out for the market place and become busy in buying all kinds of things. The state of many people is such that as soon as the moon for ‘Eid is sighted, it is as though they have completely forgotten Allah Ta’ala. After spending the whole month in worship, as soon as the moon is sighted, they miss Prayers and become busy in other things.
We have never thought about the fact that ‘Have we respected and honoured the month of Ramadhan as it should be respected and honoured? Have we worshipped in it as we should have?’ The final night of Ramadhan is the night for collecting the rewards for all the goodness that was done throughout the month. If we are neglectful of Allah Ta’ala on this night, then our efforts of the whole month will be ruined and go to waste. Therefore, read the following Hadith and spend the last night of Ramadhan in analysing and evaluating the good deeds that we performed during the month. Rasool Allah Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam said, “When the night of ‘Eid ul Fitr arrives, the Angels celebrate and express happiness. Allah Ta’ala manifests His special Light and asks the Angels, ‘O group of Angels! What is the recompense for a slave who has performed his task?’ The Angels reply, ‘He should be given his full wage.’ Allah Ta’ala states, ‘I make you all witness that I have forgiven them all.’”
In light of this Hadith, we should evaluate our good deeds on the last night of Ramadhan, assess how much worship we did during the whole month, and how many rewards we are entitled to. If we have worshipped abundantly in the month of Ramadhan then all is fine and well, but if we fell short in our worship, then what happiness and celebration are we preparing for so enthusiastically? We should feel shame and embarrassment at our shortcomings. If we study the lives of the Companions and our pious predecessors we will see that even though they used to worship extensively in the month of Ramadhan, they would still feel regret and sorrow on the day of ‘Eid. They were constantly worried about the fact of whether or not they had fulfilled the rights of Ramadhan, just as it is reported about Hazrat ‘Umar Radiallaho Ta’ala ‘Anhu that on the day of ‘Eid, he sat in a corner and cried so much that his blessed beard became soaked. When people asked the reason for this, he replied, “How can a person who does not know if his Fasts have been accepted celebrate ‘Eid?” (Authentic narrations)
Similarly, it is reported about Hazrat Saalih Rehmatullahe Ta’ala ‘Alaihi that he would gather his family together on the day of ‘Eid and they would all cry together. People asked why they did that and he replied, “I am a slave and Allah Ta’ala has ordered us to do good and avoid evil. We do not know if we have been able to do that; celebrating ‘Eid is for those people who are safe from the punishment of Allah Ta’ala.”
That Hazrat ‘Umar Radiallaho Ta’ala ‘Anhu about whom Rasool Allah Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam said that his good deeds are equivalent to the number of stars in the sky, and Hazrat Saalih Rehmatullahe Ta’ala ‘Alaihi, who is a pious bondman of Allah Ta’ala, are crying upon reflecting as to whether their Fasts have been accepted or not; have they obeyed the orders of the Lord properly? Is Allah Ta’ala pleased with them? However, our state is such that thoughts like this never enter our minds, and as soon as Ramadhan is over, we become lost in dance and music and forget Allah Ta’ala.
I am not saying that ‘Eid should not be celebrated; indeed ‘Eid should be celebrated (lawfully according to Islamic rules), but together with celebrating it, Allah Ta’ala should also be remembered. Whether there is happiness or sadness, He should never be forgotten; just as Rasool Allah Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam has said, “The people who will be called towards Paradise first on the Day of Judgement are those who praise Allah Ta’ala during happiness and sadness.”
The excellence of remembering Allah Ta’ala on this night is reported in a Hadith in which Hazrat Abu Amamah Radiallaho Ta’ala ‘Anhu narrates that Rasool Allah Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam said, “The hearts of the people who stand in prayers on the nights of ‘Eid will not die on the day when all hearts will die.”
In another narration, Hazrat Mu’az bin Jabal Radiallaho Ta’ala ‘Anhu reports that, “Paradise is compulsory (Wajib) for one who stays up and worship on five nights – the nights of 8th, 9th and 10th Zul Hijjah, the night of ‘Eid ul Fitr, and the 15th night of Sha’baan, meaning Shab e Bar’aat.”
The Truthful Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam has explained the excellence of staying awake and worshipping during the night of ‘Eid in the above Ahadith. In the first one, he has stated that the heart of the person who stays awake on this night will be alive when all other hearts are dead. In the second one, he has stated that Paradise is compulsory for one who stays awake and worships on this night. Now tell me, which person does not desire a heart that is alive? In a similar manner, everyone desires Paradise. However, it is not sins, rather it is good deeds which will help us to obtain Paradise.
Our state is such that we commit sin upon sin and still assume that Paradise has been made for us. Remember! Allah Ta’ala has prepared Hell for those who do not obey Him. An Arabic poet has stated quite beautifully, the translation is as follows:
You Are Committing Sin Upon Sin Yet You Are Still Hopeful
Of Paradise As Though You Are Devout Worshippers
Have You Forgotten That Allah Ta’ala Removed Hazrat Adam
From Paradise For A Single Mistake Of Judgement
Therefore, we should also spend those nights in remembrance of Allah Ta’ala, and save ourselves from sins. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to do this, Aameen.