The Last Ashra
Almost 1400 years ago, Muslims were blessed with Ramadhan, a month better than all other months of the year, a month that 1.5 billion Muslims all across the globe practice with great devotion. This month has such great importance in our religion that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to prepare for it a month before it even began. The month as referred to in Ahadith is divided into three parts known as Ashra, the first one being of Rehmat (Blessings), the second one being of Maghfirat (mercy) and the final being of Aag se Nijaat (riddance from fire). The first two Ashra have passed and those of us were fortunate enough to witness them and have made them worthwhile should thank Allah as much as we could. Now with the start of the final Ashra, which is probably the most important 10 days of this most important month of the year, we should do all that is in our power to make use of it as much as we can. The importance of this Ashra can be explained with just one fact that it holds the Lailat ul Qadr (Night of Decree), then night on which the Quran descended upon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), a night better than a 1000 nights, and probably Allah’s biggest gift to the Muslim Ummah. This night is so holds such importance that all sins of a man practicing Ibadah on this night will be forgiven and one who practices these last 10 days of the Holy Ramadhan will be freed from the fires of hell as promised by Allah (SWT). This night of decree as per Ahadith is to be searched in the odd nights i.e. 21, 23, 25, 27, and 29 of the last Ashra, with 25, 27, and 29 being most prominent. But this is not just it, the last Ashra still holds one more night, which we tend to forget most, the night of reward, Lailat ul Jaizah, the night before Eid-ul-Fitr, where Allah promises to reward the Muslims for all their deeds in this holy month. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever stands in worship in the night before the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when other hearts will” such is the importance of this night. We should all start now if we haven’t, or put even more efforts in if we have being practicing Ramadhan as it should be practiced, because this Ashra is what we call a make-or-break time of the year for us. In the end I would just like to mention the fact that yes Allah’s mercy and blessings are at their peak in this month, yes blessings are poured from the sky like rain in this month, but there is just one thing that is worrisome and that is what if we fail to do what was expected of us, even in this month.
I’d like to end it by quoting a Hadith about this, Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, ascended the pulpit and he said, “Amin” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the pulpit and said amin.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Gabriel came to me and he said: Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and he is not forgiven, then he will enter Hellfire and Allah will cast him far away, so say amin. I said amin.” May Allah have mercy upon us and give us the strength to please Allah as He is to be pleased.