As Ramadan begins, Muslims across the world will embrace this beautiful holy month of worship. Ramadan is divided into thirds, known as Ashras, and the first ten days are those which signify mercy. As you settle into your Ramadan routine, this is the time when your mercy to others can increase the mercy of Allah (swt) for you.
The Most Merciful
These first ten days are often a time of adjustment to the routine of fasting and increased prayer. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is a precious time when we can draw closer to our Lord. By devoting yourself in worship, you can gain His mercy and forgiveness.
The first third of the month, the first ten days, is known as the time of mercy. It is a reminder that The Most Merciful is with us and a motivation to refine your actions and extend mercy to those around us.
“It is a month, the first (part) of which is mercy, the middle (part) of which is forgiveness and the last (part) of which is freedom from the Fire” [Ibn Khuzaimah]
Below we have compiled suggested acts of worship from the Qur’an and Sunnah that you can do during the first ten days of Ramadan 2023.
Praying at Night
Although perhaps the most significant part of Ramadan is the obligation to fast for those who are eligible, prayer at night can be spiritually rewarding. Ramadan is the time to increase your prayer and supplications and praying at night can bring a huge amount of peace due to the mercy of Allah (swt).
“Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.” (Holy Qur’an 39:9)
The night prayer, Tahajjud, is an extremely rewarding experience and one which you can slowly introduce if you do not do this regularly. Try to also increase your prayers during the day and join Tarawih congregational prayer at your local mosque too to feel the Ramadan community spirit.
Be Merciful to Others
Aside from fasting and prayer, you can complete many virtuous deeds during this month which will increase Allah (swt)’s mercy towards you. By remembering the struggles of others and relieving their hardship, you will gain extra reward and forgiveness.
“Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you” (Musnad Ahmad)
Ramadan is a time when we should be extra aware of our actions and words. Whilst fasting, we should abstain from harsh words, anger, gossip, lies or any action or speech which could hurt other people and nullify our fasts. Be merciful to those around you and maintain Sabr (patience).
Kindness to orphans, widows and those in need
Around the world millions of people are suffering. The long-lasting effects of Covid19, increased natural disaster due to climate change, flooding, drought, conflict and long-term poverty are having devastating effects.
Donating Sadaqah or Zakat, is also an act of mercy. Donating to charity is an act of mercy to people across the world who are struggling due to poverty, disease, war or natural disaster. Your donation during these first ten days for the sake of Allah (swt), can count as an act of mercy for which you will be rewarded.
From among these people there are those who are particularly vulnerable and in need of your help. Orphaned children and those living in challenging conditions are often denied the right to education and safety. Widows are left struggling to support their families. The sick and elderly struggle the most.
By donating Sadaqah Jariyah, charity which has long-lasting affect, you can help to change their lives for the better.
Support a Maktab so a child can feel safe, cared for and learn, can help lift them out of poverty. Providing livelihood support through training and tools can help women provide for their families and feel empowered. Healthcare such as surgery to reverse blindness can help people back in to work and give them back dignity and independence.
During these first ten days, have mercy on those across Pakistan, Uganda and Turkey and help to change their future. Your Sadaqah or Zakat can show them mercy and ease their hardship, increasing His mercy to you.
‘If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection.’ (Muslim)
Learn these small prayers to gain His mercy
The following prayers from the Qur’an and Sunnah can be memorised and recited to gain the mercy of Allah (swt):
‘رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ’
Rabbi ighfir warham wa anta khair-ur-raahimeen
’And [O Prophet] say, “My Lord, forgive and have mercy, and You are the best of the merciful”’. (Qur’an, 23:118)
‘اللّهُـمَّ إِنَّـي أَسْـأَلُـكَ بِرَحْمَـتِكَ الّتِي وَسِـعَتْ كُلَّ شيْء، أَنْ تَغْـفِرَ لي’
Allaahumma inni as’aluka bi-rahmatika al-lati wasi’at kulla shay’in an taghfira li
‘O Allah, I ask You by Your mercy which envelopes all things, that You forgive me.’
‘اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالرَّفِيقِ الأَعْلَى’
Allahuma ighfir li warhamni wa alhiqni bir-rafiq-il-a’laa
Aisha (ra) said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying at his death, “O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me, and join me with the Highest Company”’. (Tirmidhi)
At the time of mercy, you can keep hopes alive.
This Ramadan, embrace these first ten days and extend mercy to those around the world who are suffering. As you reflect this Ramadan and increase in gratitude, give to others in Sadaqah and your generosity can brighten their Ramadan. With your support, we can ensure that those who are fasting have a nutritious and filling iftar meal at the end of each day or clean water to quench their thirst.