27th Night Syndrome
Posted by Yacoob on August 15, 2012
Here in South Africa, it’s the 27th night of Ramadan – popularly referred to as ‘Laylatul Qadr’; even though there is absolutely NO certainty that the 27th night is indeed this auspicious occasion.
ANY of the odd nights of the last 10 may be Laylatul Qadr – so it’s wiser to treat each odd night as if it were the night of Power (i.e. ‘seek’ the night – as the ulama so often advise). Yet year after year, the mindset of many of us is that it’s the 27th night. The calendars all say so, and everyone talks about it as being this way. And so, despite a lull in masjid attendance even into the last 10 nights, the 27th is the night when the masses flock to the masjids. It seems that popular opinion disqualifies any other night from this honour – it’s ONLY the 27th night.
And to make things worse, some people even begin to bid farewell to Ramadan at this point.
With attitudes like this, it’s easy to then let the last few days and nights fall by the wayside. Relax, put your feet up, and now channel most of your energy into preparing your wardrobe and kitchen for Eid. After all, it’s human nature to want to wind down after a period of intensity. And it really is important to prepare for Eid – since Eids are our only legitimate days of celebration in Islam.
However, in the fervour to get ready for Eid (and thereafter a return to ‘normal life’), many of us seem to forget that the month actually isn’t over yet. There’s still much to be gained from Ramadan, and it’s hardly likely that our ultimate role models (the Prophet s.a.w. and sahabah r.a.) took the attitude that many of us fall victim to – which is to spend the last days of Ramadan obsessing over outfits and Eid lunch.
Such pre-occupation is not going to help us gather up the final drops of barakah that so abundantly shower us in Ramadan. (In fact, it would be wiser to get your clothes and plan your food stuff well in advance so that you’re not spending Ramadan’s last days and nights on these things.)
Imagine Laylatul Qadr is on the 29th night, but because you succumb to the popular misconception of ‘it IS on the 27th’, you spend that night shopping for clothes, looking up recipes, or wasting away your time on the Internet or chatting with friends. So a night in which you could earn over 83 years of worship and reward, you’ll get almost zero – because you just followed the crowd and let your focus drift away from the reality: that Ramadan is NOT OVER YET.
Maybe you had an awesomely spiritual Ramadan so far. Or maybe it’s been very challenging, and far, far from what you’d hoped for. Whatever the case, insha-Allah you still have at least 3 days and 2 nights to get as much as you can from the month. By pushing yourself in these last moments – despite the fact that many others will be relaxing – insha-Allah you can squeeze out tremendous rewards from this Ramadan, and put in place structures that will help you maintain your good deeds (or at least some of them) for the next 11 months to follow.
When Ramadan goes, it becomes much harder to maintain good deeds and taqwa. And if we succumb to the ‘27th night syndrome’, we let our decline start early – which really helps set us up for failure in the 11 months to follow.
So, however your month has been so far, now is the time to consolidate your achievements and make one last push so that you can end the month on a high. And to take the goodness of Ramadan forward, try to plan ahead: look at what you’ve achieved, by Allah’s mercy this month; and what you can take forward. Putting in the effort now will, insha-Allah, help prevent – or minimise – the tendency of falling back into bad habits and laziness once Ramadan ends.
May we all make the most of these precious last hours of Ramadan, and permanently eradicate the ‘27th night syndrome’ from our lives.Image source