Duties of Muslims in the Last Third of Ramadan
By Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah
The last third of Ramadan is the time for the release from Hell-fire, as the Most Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said in the Hadith reported by Hadrat Salman Al-Farsi Radi Allahu anhu:
“O people, a great and a blessed month is approaching you. In this month there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Allah has made fasting during its daytime obligatory and prayers at night commendable during this month. Whosoever will do a voluntary good deed during this month, it is as if he performed an obligatory good deed at another time and whosoever will perform an obligatory good deed, it is as if he performed seventy obligatory good deeds at another time. This is the month of patience and the reward of patience is Paradise. This is the month of kindness and charity. In this month the believer’s provision is enlarged. Anyone who will give food to a fasting person in this month, it will bring forgiveness for his sins, will save him from the hellfire and he shall have his reward without the person who is fed losing any of his reward….The first third of the month of Ramadan is the time for Rahmah (Mercy), the second third is for forgiveness, the third is for the release from Hellfire…”
The duties of the Muslim in this last third of Ramadan are to try his best to perfect his fasting, to avoid any shortcomings or sins that can harm his fasting, to offer more prayers, preferably in congregation, to advance in reading the Qur’an, making dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and helping others to be more committed to religion, to enter i`tikaf (seclusion) if it is possible for him/her, and to remember that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to give extra attention to the last ten days of Ramadan. He could hardly sleep, and his family used also to stay in vigilance with him. The Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) generosity in this month and particularly in the last ten days was compared to a fast wind.
We should not miss to remind you and all Muslims to try to settle disputes. It is the best occasion to forgive one another and forget about all enmities and grudges. We should come out of Ramadan in a better shape, understanding, and moral behavior. The Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made it clear that:
“If any Muslim comes out of Ramadan without gaining forgiveness and goodness, he/she is a real loser.”