Introspection of own self is crucial to lead a life better than before. This tells us how we are doing in life be it professional and personal. Why not introspect our past 20 days of Ramadan and make it best in remaining ten days.  

The most rewarding 20 days have already gone for this Ramadan. We might have done as best as we can. We also might have also failed to do as planned. However, in both the situations, we could have done better no matter how well we did in previous 20 days. 

It is the time to introspect of our achievements for the last 20 days and know whether we have done as we planned. 

Why I am suggesting you and I to intersect previous 20 days because the next ten days are most crucial than previous ones. The next ten days can change our lives from worse to extraordinary. We can be purified from our sins. We can mould our lives as it supposed to be. We can make Allah happy with us. Our lives can succeed in this world and hereafter. 

The remaining ten days are known as “Itikaf” When many of Muslims get away from daily chores and confine themselves in the mosque and worship Allah as much as they can to gain the rewards of  Ramadan.  

These ten days have limitless rewards. “Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) used to perform Itikaf for ten days every Ramadan, then when it was the year in which he was taken (died), he performed Itikaf for twenty days.” [Bukhari]


Let’s us learn the benefits of this ten days of Itikaf

The reward of Hajj and Umrah
The Itikaf is so rewarding that it gets equivalent to performing Hajj and Umrah for those who perform Itikaf.  

“He who observes the ten days Itikaf during Ramadan will obtain the reward of two Hajj and two Umrah.” [Bayhaqi]


Safeguard of hellfire
The whole life will go waste if any of us will be granted hell. It is the biggest failure that no one can think of. But Itikaf is so rewarding that it saves us from hellfire. 

Forget about ten days, even one day spent in itikaf can get us away from the hellfire. 
    
Abdullah bin Abbas (Peace Be Upon Him) reported that Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “Whosoever for Allah’s sake did even one day i’tikaf, Allah would keep him away from Jahannam by trenches.” [Tabarani]


Get one free
You rush to shopping store when you see the offer that reads “Buy one get one free”. Here in Itikaf, you don’t have to pay any money but your efforts and you will get one free apart from your Itikaf rewards. 

Ibn Abbas (Peace Be Upon Him) reported that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said, (about him who engages in Itikaf), “that he is safe from sin and he also gets that reward which everyone (outside i’tikaf) gets for pious deeds.” [Ibn Majah]



How we can maximise Itikaf rewards? 

Deploy oneself in worship during last ten nights
“The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) would tighten his waist belt and spend the night in worship. He would also wake up his family during the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Bukhari]

This one hadith tell us how Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) would spend his days in Itikaf. Since Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) should be our role model we have to spend as he would spend, so as in Itikaf too. 

The person sitting Itikaf should exert themselves in worship in each night of the last ten nights particularly the last ten odd numbered nights: 21, 23, 25, 27, 29. Because, one of these nights is observed to be Laylat al-Qadr. 


Schedule and monitor daily worship
Scheduling and monitoring the daily routine are the most effective way to achieve the goal. Use this technique in Itikaf too and gain the unlimited rewards. By setting ourselves daily targets we can ensure that we are more likely to achieve them.


Abundant recitation of the Quran
The Quran was revealed and completed in this month so we should increase our recitation even more during the last ten days. The pious predecessors used to increase the amount of Quran recitation during the ten days. 

Along with recitation, we should also understand the meanings of the Quran. 


Nawafil (voluntary) prayers
Voluntary prayers are the best way to get closer to Allah. “….And My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him” [Bukhari]. 

Perform as much Nawafil as possible if you want to accompany Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in Jannah. 


Excessive dua and repentance
Almighty Allah says in the Quran: “When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me.” [2:186]. 

Itikaf is the best time when you are away from daily chores and making dua and asking for repentance incessantly. 


Do not leave mosque
It is not permitted for a man or woman to leave the mosque during Itikaf unless:

1. To answer the call of nature.
2. To pass wind.
3. To make wudu (Ablution).
4. To take an obligatory bath.
5. To proclaim the adhan (call for the prayer) even if one is not the muadhin (one who calls for the prayer).

The countdown has begun. Every second is important for us. Once these important days are gone you will regret not only in this life but hereafter too. Nobody knows who will be blessed with another Ramadan. Why do we wait for another Ramadan to do best when we still have the most important duration of ten days?