Question: If I want to awaken the last ten nights of Ramadan when should I begin?
Sheikh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez bin Baaz, may Allaah have mercy upon him, answers:
“You should begin after the ‘Ishaa prayer. The Messenger of Allaah, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him safety, used to awaken the last ten nights of Ramadan, ‘Aaisha, may Allaah be pleased with her, said:
“When the last ten nights of Ramadan would begin, the Messenger of Allaah, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him safety, would stay awake at night for prayer and devotion, awaken his family and prepare himself to be more diligent in worship.”
This is what is best if one is capable of doing so. However if one sleeps some of the night to strengthen himself then that is fine. As for one who Allaah granted him the power and ability to remain awake during them, then this is the sunnah and something that draws near to Allaah. (Awakening the nights) is by prayer, recitation of the Qur’aan, supplication, seeking forgiveness, etc.”
[The reader of the question says] “Can you kindly mention the dates so that perhaps she can intend to do them?
The Sheikh answers: “The sunnah is awakening all of the last ten nights, this is the sunnah. But if a person was to awaken the odd nights from them like the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh and twenty-ninth then this is fine. However the best thing is to awaken all of them but the odd nights are more desrving of this because Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) is sought in them. The Messenger of Allaah, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him safety, said:
“Seek it out in every odd night,” and in some narrations he said:
“seek it out in the last ten nights.”
However the odd nights are more hoped for attaining it, the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh and twenty-ninth and the most strongest out of them is the twenty-seventh night since the last ten nights begin on the twenty-first night.”