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  7. The Three Ashras of Ramadan: Mercy, Forgiveness, and Salvation

The Three Ashras of Ramadan: Mercy, Forgiveness, and Salvation

A person is sitting in contemplation and prayer in a mosque, embodying the reflective and devotional spirit of the Three Ashras of Ramadan.
Ramadan has three Ashras, each offering a unique opportunity for growth and reflection. Each Ashra helps us focus on different good things like mercy, forgiveness, and staying away from bad deeds. This blog will help us understand more about these three Ashras and how to make the most of them.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk every day. This is one of the five pillars of Islam, and a way of expressing devotion, gratitude, and obedience to Allah (swt). Ramadan is also a time of spiritual growth, increased blessings, and avoidance of evil deeds. During this holy month, there are three stages, each lasting ten days, known as the Three Ashras of Ramadan

The word Ashra is an Arabic word that means ten. During Ramadan, it’s crucial to focus on Quran Recitation and make lots of Duas because Allah (swt) loves it when you ask for help. It’s essential to concentrate your five daily prayers and additional prayers around these three Ashras and seek guidance and blessings from Allah (swt). 

To understand the foundational importance of this holy month of Ramadan, you can visit our blog post, “What is Ramadan, and Why is it Important for Muslims?” 

The First Ashra: Days of Mercy

The first Ashra of Ramadan is from the 1st to the 10th day of the month, and it is called Rehmah (The Days of Mercy). This is the best time to ask Allah (swt) for His mercy, which encompasses His love, compassion, kindness, and generosity. Allah (swt) is the most merciful of all, and He (swt) wants to bestow His mercy upon His servants in this world and the next.

Dua for first Ashra:

Dua for first Ashra of Ramadan
Allah! Forgive me, and have mercy on me. You are the Most Merciful of all. (Surah Mu’minun Ayat 118)

The following verse from the Quran emphasizes the importance of seeking mercy and forgiveness from Allah (swt), who is the ultimate source of mercy. Therefore, we need not turn to anyone else when asking for mercy, as Allah (swt) is the most powerful force in the universe. 

During the first Ashra, our primary objective should be to show mercy to others by helping those who are in need. This is something that Allah (swt) greatly values. Additionally, it is crucial to control our anger and take good care of our fellow Muslims.

Read our in-depth blog on The Do’s and Don’ts During Ramadan for Muslims.

The Second Ashra: Days of Forgiveness

The second Ashra of Ramadan is a time of seeking forgiveness from Allah (swt) and from others. It spans from the 11th to the 20th day of the holy month, and it is also known as Maghfirah, which means forgiveness in Arabic. During this phase, Muslims are encouraged to repent for their sins and ask for Allah’s (swt) mercy and pardon. We should also try to avoid repeating the same mistakes and strive to improve our character and deeds. 

Moreover, we should forgive those who have wronged us and seek reconciliation and harmony with our fellow human beings. Allah (swt) loves those who are forgiving and compassionate, and He promises to forgive those who sincerely repent and turn to Him.

If you want to learn more about the concept of Tawbah, you can visit our blog post “Understanding the Concept of Tawbah.”

Dua for second Ashra

One of the ways to seek forgiveness from Allah (swt) during the second Ashra of Ramadan is to recite the following dua, which is also known as the dua of the second Ashra:

Dua for second Ashra of Ramadan
I ask forgiveness of my sins from Allah who is my Lord and I turn towards Him.

This dua expresses our regret and remorse for our sins, and our hope and trust in Allah’s (swt) forgiveness and grace. It also shows our commitment and determination to change for the better and to follow Allah’s (swt) commands. By reciting this dua, we acknowledge our weakness and dependence on Allah (swt), and our need for His guidance and help.

The second Ashra of Ramadan is a great chance for us to cleanse our hearts and souls from the burden of sins and to renew our relationship with Allah (swt) and with His creation. It is a time to reflect on our actions and intentions, and to seek Allah’s (swt) approval and pleasure. It is also a time to practice forgiveness and kindness towards others, and to spread peace and goodwill in the world. 

The Third Ashra: Days of Seeking Refuge

The third Ashra of Ramadan is the last and most important part of the holy month. It starts on the 21st day and ends on the 29th or 30th day, depending on the sighting of the moon. This Ashra is also called Nijat, which means safety from Hell. 

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Fasting is a shield against the Fire just like the shield of any of you against fighting.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 1639). 

As Ramadan draws to a close, we should pray to Allah (swt) to save us from the Hellfire. We should seek refuge from Jahannam (hell) in this period.

Read more about the concept of Jahannam (hell) in Islam

Dua for third Ashra

A powerful dua for the third Ashra is the following:

Dua for 3rd Ashra of Ramadan
O Allah, protect me from the Fire.

This is a powerful Dua (supplication) that can help us attain Allah’s (swt) mercy and protection from the eternal torment of Hellfire. We should recite this Dua with a sincere heart and repent for our sins. The goal is to achieve salvation in the hereafter by seeking Allah’s (swt) forgiveness. 

The last Ashra of Ramadan is a time for increasing our acts of worship, charity, and kindness. We should recite this Dua frequently, especially after prayers, before breaking fast, and at other times of the day.

Third Ashra and the Blessings of Ramadan 

Out of three ashras, the third ashra of Ramadan is the most blessed and rewarding part of this holy month. It is the time when Muslims seek to attain the ultimate goal of Ramadan: Laylat-ul-Qadr, the Night of Power. It is also the time when Muslims practice I’tikaf, a spiritual retreat in the mosque. These two events are closely related and can help us to achieve a deeper connection with Allah (swt) and His final revelation, the Quran.

Read about the Islamic event, Eid-ul-Fitr 2024: From Fasting to Feasting.

Practice of i’tikaf

I’tikaf is a practice of secluding ourselves in the mosque for the sole purpose of worshipping and seeking closeness to Allah (swt). It is a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who used to observe I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan. During I’tikaf, we devote ourselves to increased prayers, recitation of the Quran, and remembrance of Allah (swt), while avoiding worldly distractions and temptations. This helps us to purify our hearts, strengthen our faith, and renew our intentions. 

To learn more about the rules and benefits of I’tikaf, you can read our blog post “The Do’s and Don’ts of Itikaf in Ramadan: A Detailed Overview.”

Laylat-ul-Qadr

Laylat-ul-Qadr is the night when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by the angel Jibril (as). It is one of the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, most likely the 27th night. 

Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” (97:3) This means that the worship and good deeds performed on this night are more valuable and rewarding than those performed in a thousand months. Therefore, we should seek this night with sincerity and diligence, and spend it in prayer, supplication, repentance, and gratitude. 

To learn more about the virtues and etiquettes of Laylat-ul-Qadr, you can read our blog post Laylat-ul-Qadr and the Last Ten Nights of Ramadan.

Maximizing the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

By performing I’tikaf, we can increase our chances of witnessing Laylat-ul-Qadr, as we are constantly in a state of worship and vigilance. We can also follow the example of the Prophet (pbuh), who used to make a long Qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylat-ul-Qadr could fall. We can also make dua and ask Allah (swt) to grant us the opportunity to experience this night and to accept our deeds. 

Though Qiyam-ul-Layl can be observed at any night throughout the year, its benefits multiply during such significant periods of the year, one of which is the last ten days of Ramadan. The main purpose of Qiyam is to devote ourselves to the remembrance of Allah, by engaging in various acts of worship like engaging in Nawafil prayers and by doing Istighfar. 

To learn more about the secrets of Astaghfirullah, and the good things it brings, check out our blog. You will surely be impressed by the blessings of Allah that we can avail by such simple acts.

Don’t forget to read our post “10 Amazing Facts About Qiyam ul Layl” to learn even more about the benefits of night prayers, especially during these precious last days of Ramadan.

A Concluding Reflection on Three Ashras of Ramadan

The Ashras of Ramadan give us a clear path to work on different parts of our spiritual life, helping us grow and get closer to Allah (SWT). Our main aim is to come out of Ramadan better than we started, filled with Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection. Let’s make the most of these days, pray more, and reach out to Allah (SWT) with all our hearts.

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