The Prophet (saw) said about the blessed month of Ramadan: 'And 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]
Allah (swt) in His infinite compassion and generosity has given us many ways to seek His forgiveness, so it's easy to do so throughout the day!
Here are ten quick tips for how you can get the most out of these ten days:
1) One minute of tasbeeh
Salma Umm Rafi’ said, 'O Messenger of Allah, teach me some words, but not too much for me'. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'Say "Allah is the greatest" ten times. Allah Almighty will say, "This is for me". Say "Glory be to Allah" ten times. Allah Almighty will say, "This is for me". Say "O Allah, forgive me". Allah will say, "I have done so". If you say it ten times, Allah will say each time, "I have done so"'. [Tabarani]
Salma (ra) asked for a dhikr that was simple and quick and could therefore be said at any time. Simply by saying Allahu Akbar ten times and SubhanAllah ten times, and then seeking Allah's forgiveness, Allah will immediately promise to forgive you, saying 'I have done so' every time you ask for His forgiveness.
2) Take advantage of Surah Mulk
The Prophet (saw) said, 'There is a chapter in the Qur'an of thirty verses, which will intercede for its companion until he is forgiven: Blessed is He in whose Hand is the dominion (i.e. Surah Mulk)'. [Abu Dawud]
It is best to recite Surah Mulk (Surah 67) every day, as it will intercede for 'its companion' - as in, the one who is close to Surah Mulk and recites it constantly.
3) Continuously extinguish your sins
Giving charity is not only an excellent way to multiply your rewards while benefiting others, it also wipes away your sins:
Charity is one of the swiftest good deeds, because it could be just smiling at people, simply saying a good word and, in this day and age, a quick online donation. A good way to extinguish your sins continuously is through Sadaqah Jariyah, such as planting an olive tree, sponsoring an orphan or building a water well.
4) Forgive - and you will be forgiven
The Prophet (saw) said, 'Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you'. [Ahmad]
During the second ten days, make sure you forgive anyone you've had a falling out with. If you are holding onto any anger, bitterness or pain, it will help neither you nor them - in fact, you could be missing out on Allah's forgiveness because of it. Take the first step towards building bridges, as Allah forgives those who have a forgiving nature.
5) Daily du'a - for others
Following on from that point, don't just pray for your own forgiveness - seek forgiveness for your loved ones as well!
Abdullah ibn Sarjis (ra) reported, 'I met the Prophet (saw) and I ate a meal of stew with him. I said, "I ask Allah to forgive you, O Prophet". The Prophet said, "Yes and for you as well". Then the Prophet recited the verse, "Seek forgiveness for your sins and for the believing men and women as well" [47:19]'. [Muslim]
Seeking forgiveness for others is therefore the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw). Plus, when you make du'a for others, an angel requests that Allah answers the same du'a for you.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "There is no Muslim servant who supplicates for his brother behind his back but that the angel says, "And for you the same"'. [Muslim]
6) Daily iftar - for others
Another way that giving to others can be a way to seek forgiveness!
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'Whoever provides iftar for a fasting person in it (Ramadan), then that shall be a forgiveness for his (minor) sins and freedom from the Fire'. [Ibn Khuzaimah]
Providing iftar for a fasting person doesn't necessarily mean cooking for them. It could be giving them a date or pouring them a glass of water. It could also be giving iftar to a family elsewhere in the world, such as in the Rohingya refugee camps or in war-torn Yemen.
7) Make Wudu as often as possible
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'A Muslim man does not perform ablution in an excellent manner and then performs prayer, but that Allah will forgive him for what occurred between his prayer and the next'. [Bukhari]
Top tip: Increase your voluntary prayers throughout the day and make Wudu before all of them!
8) Pray at night
The above tips are worships that can be done in a few minutes at any time in the day, but it is also highly encouraged to spend a long part of the night in prayer, if you can. Even though you may not be able to go to the masjid, you can pray Tarawih by yourself or with your family. (Here are the instructions for praying Tarawih).
Abu Huraira reported, 'The Messenger of Allah (saw) encouraged standing for night prayer in the month of Ramadan, without imposing it on them. The Prophet would say, "Whoever stands in prayer during Ramadan due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven"'. [Bukhari]
9) Erase ALL your sins - in two minutes!
Just like making Hajj to the Ka’bah, praying in Masjid Al-Aqsa carries the amazing blessing of having all your sins wiped out.
Of course, the Prophet (saw) was aware that many of us would find it difficult to make this journey, which is why he prescribed for his Ummah an alternative; gifting light to Masjid Al-Aqsa.
The Prophet (saw) was asked, ‘If one of us cannot visit it [Al-Aqsa], what should we do?’ He (saw) said, ‘Then he should make a gift of some oil to be lit therein [in its lamps]. For indeed the one who gifts this to it, will be like the one who has prayed therein’. [Ahmad]
By gifting light to Al-Aqsa during these blessed days, you will earn forgiveness for all of your sins, in sha Allah - just as you would on Hajj.
10) Trust in Allah's forgiveness
This Ramadan, as you seek Allah's forgiveness, it is important to remember to trust Allah and hold on to hope. Whether you are making du'a, giving charity or praying at night, trust that Allah will forgive you and have faith in His infinite mercy:
Don't ever doubt in Allah's forgiveness. In these second ten days, put all your effort into seeking His forgiveness with these simple worships, and trust that Allah will recognise your sincerity and repentance and erase all your sins. May Allah make us from those who are forgiven this Ramadan, amin.
We hope this article was helpful to you! If you want to earn a good deed in less than 30 seconds, share this article with friends and family! The Prophet (saw) said, ‘Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a reward like one who did it’. [Muslim]
Also, it's never too early to start preparing for Laylat al-Qadr! Check out the Best 10 Nights tool to automate your donations over the last ten nights, to ensure you don't miss giving charity on Laylat al-Qadr.