During these last few nights of Ramadan, many of us forget what it means to get a good night’s sleep. We find ourselves sleeping later and later while waking earlier and earlier. But rather than succumbing to the fatigue and the lethargy that nearly thirty days of fasting brings us, we use these last few days to squeeze the most out of our Ramadan.
Our masjids become more packed, our prayers more poignant. We begin to appreciate the beauty of the night. Quiet, peaceful, and tranquil, our nights turn into times of prayer and reflection as we search for what is known as Lailatul Qadr, the Night of Power, the night where we trust that all of our prayers will be accepted.
Being a time that we usually don’t get enough sleep, this too is a time that we begin to truly appreciate the importance of sleep. We appreciate the rest that it brings. We appreciate the renewal that it affords. Feeling the effects of its absence, we appreciate something that we take for granted 11 months out of the year. In his book, The Beginning of Guidance, Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali shares a supplication that has been recorded from the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that seems to be increasingly relevant during this time of year:
“Praise be to God, who has brought us back to life after causing us to die, and to Whom shall be the resurrection. We have entered the morning, as has the dominion, belonging to God. Grandeur and might belong to God. Magnificence and power belong to God. We have entered the morning upong the natural faith of submission, upon the Word of Sincerity, in the religion of our prophet, Muhammad ﷺ, and the nation of our father, Abraham, a pure monotheist and one who submitted to God, who was not of the idolators.
O God, by You we enter the morning, and by You we enter the evening. By You we live and by You we die. And the resurrection is to You. O God, we ask You to send us to every good thing on this day. And we seek your protection from doing evil this day, from bringing it upon a Muslim, or from anyone bringing it upon us. We ask You for the good of this day, and the best of what it holds, and we seek refuge with You from the evil of this day, and the evil of what it holds.”
In his book of advice, Imam Ghazali prefaced this supplication with simple instructions: “When you awake from sleep—try to be awake before dawn—let the first word sin your heart and your tongue be the remembrance of the Most High.”
There are only a few more times that we will be able to wake up and know that we have awoken to another day of Ramadan, that our opportunity is not yet over. With just a few days left, it’s time we start starting our days off right. It’s time we start recognizing that our days our numbered just as the days of Ramadan our numbered. It’s time we start taking advantage of the mornings that we have left.