How to take full advantage and benefit from the last part of Ramadan ?
Though all parts of Ramadan are full of blessings and rewards, its last ten days hold a special status reflected in the recommendations and practices of the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and his companions. I will focus here on three major practices of the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and his companions during these days.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from 'Aishah that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). A narration in Muslim states: "He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time."
Aisha reported that With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]
I`tikaf is the seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of becoming closer to Allah. This was the practise of the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, during the last ten days of Ramadan especially. He would do it during other months as well.
Permissible Acts for the Mu`takif (the person performing I`tikaf)
The following acts are permissible for one who is making I'tikaf:
(1) The Person may leave his place of I`tikaf to bid farewell to his wife and a Woman can visit her husband who is in I`tikaf.
(2) Combing and cutting one's hair, clipping one's nails, cleaning one's body, wearing nice clothes or wearing perfume are all permissible. 'Aishah reported: "The Prophet was Performing itikaf and he would put his head out through the opening to my room and I would clean [or comb in one narration] his hair. I was menstruating at the time." [al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud].
(3) The person may go out for some need that he must perform. 'Aishah reported: "When the Prophet Performed I`tikaf, he brought his head close to me so I could comb his hair, and he would not enter the house except to fulfill the needs a person has." [al-Bukhari, and Muslim].
(4) The person may eat, drink, and sleep in the mosque, and he should also keep it clean.
Actions that Nullify the I`tikaf
If a person performs one of the following acts, his I`tikaf will be nullified:
(1) Intentionally leaving the mosque without any need to do so, even if it is for just a short time. In such a case, one would not be staying in the mosque, which is one of the principles of I`tikaf.
(2) Abandoning belief in Islam, as this would nullify all acts of worship. If you ascribe a partner to Allah, your work will fail and you will be among the losers.
(3) Losing one's reason due to insanity or drunkenness, or the onset of menstruation or post-childbirth bleeding, all of which disqualifies a person for itikaf.
(4) Sexual intercourse. Allah says [in meaning]: "But do not associate with your wives while you are in seclusion (I`tikaf) in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah. Approach not nigh thereto. Thus does Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint. [al-Baqara; 2:187]
I`tikaf is not restricted to men only, women also can do it :
'Aisha (the wife of the Prophet) reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and then his wives used to practice I`tikaf after him.[Bukhari]
Dear Sister! when reading this do not forget the modesty and the Hijab of the wife of the Prophet (S) that you should observe if you intend to perform I`tikaf.
It is the greatest night of the year like the Day of `Arafah is the greatest day of the year. It is a night about which Allah reveled a full Surah, Suratul-Qadr [97:1-5] and the 3rd to the 6th verses of Surat ad-Dukhan [44:3-6]
It is the night when the Qur'an was reveled.
It is the night when the Message (the Final and seal of all messages) sent to Mohammad, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, started
It is the night when the light, that would illuminate mankind to the end of life, started
A person who misses Laylatul-Qadr is really a deprived person!
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said " The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something great]. [Ahmad, an-Nisa'i and al-Bayhaqi].