1- Let's FEEL the resemblance of Night of Destiny to the Resurrection Day
If we contemplate a bit, we can sense the similarity of the Night of Destiny to the Resurrection Day. The Night of Destiny resembles the Resurrection Day since that's when the fate of individuals will be set, and the entire past (life) of a human would be evaluated and his/her future would be sketched, with the exception that there is no loss of face during the Destiny Night, and there is still the opportunity to bounce back as God's mercy and compassion is ALL OVER.
2- We need to be optimistic and not settle for less
The loving God has established the night of power so that we can compensate all of our shortcomings. We should not be pessimistic about forgiveness of any of our sins, and remain hopeful about satisfaction of every one of our wishes. We should not be satisfied in our prayers and pleas with less, since if some of our wishes are not in our interest, the Lord will grant us something better. No pleas or prayer would be discarded and if we could, we should only wish to have "Him," Himself.
3- Be restless for God
The great God has stated himself in the Qur'an that the Night of Destiny "is better than a thousand months" (97:3). Let's make the Night of Destiny the time when the best memories of our lifetime are realized. Let's be restless for achieving intimacy with the Lord on the Night of Destiny and only think about what He expects from us.
4- When the faithful resembles the sinful, the sinful resembles the faithful
The faithful ones should present themselves before God as if they are sinners with empty hands, and the sinners, just like the faithful, should pray before God with a heart filled with certainty about God's ultimate kindness and generosity. [Remember,] if God did not intend to forgive us, He would not call on us, and if He wanted to make it difficult, He would not raise the divine rewards of the Nights of Destiny so high.
5- Absorbing God's compassion through [our] kindness to others
We should pray for others and invoke the names of our friends one-by-one, and don't forget all those in need of [our] prayers. When God observes our kindness toward others, He extends his compassion to us even farther. Let's empty our hearts from grudges and sincerely forgive each other, so that God would forgive us more easily.
6- Let's be generous
Let's pray for success and honor of our nation and for the prosperity and development of our country. Let's not limit our prayers and pleas to the closed and tiny circle of ourselves and our family, since God would be more pleased with those of his servants that exercise patient and generosity and treat them more graciously. We should also pray for all the oppressed across the globe, particularly the oppressed faithful of the region and wipe their painful tears and ease their suffering through our prayers. Let's also support our combatants in the front line of resistance with our prayers.
7- Looking after the needy, being kind to relatives
We should sincerely pray for all the sick, particularly our acquaintances, and take care of the poor and remind relatives of our love. We should genuinely pray for others before they ask us to do so.
8- Kindness to parents, pray for the spiritual father
Let's not lose sight of the best actions on the Night of Destiny. Ask our parents for forgiveness and be kind to them and tearfully ask them to pray for us. If they have passed away, pay alms on their behalf and pray for elevation of their status before God. We should also ask people around us to forgive us and pray for us. We should also pray for our leader, who is the spiritual father of the society, and for the satisfaction of his invocations, as Imam Sadeq (PBUH) has urged for praying for the leader.
9- Ask for a decent job and the destruction of sources of poverty
Plead for your own prosperity and a good career. The faithful should be able to enjoy a decent life so that they would not resort to sinful measures due to poverty and unemployment, and they would never forget to be mindful of the Lord. We should also pray for the destruction of the oppressors of the world since they are the sources of global poverty.
10- Join the gathering of people
If we want to pray and meditate in solitude during the nights of destiny, we should at least spend part of the night among public gatherings of people, since this is closer to being humble (before God). This way, we can also benefit from the illuminating light stemming from the good intentions of the faithful in our midst. There is no shortage of people who make peace with God during these nights. The loving Lord then shares His ultimate compassion among all those attending these assemblies. There is no shortage of people in love with God that will be covered by His special grace [during these nights], along with all those sitting beside them.
11- Mood-appropriate prayer
Try to recite any invocation or plea that better connects your heart to God and invoke those supplications that put you in the right, tearful mood – although shedding tears is not an absolute condition for answering of prayers, they do provide the best circumstances for satisfaction of our pleas.
12- A bit of Qur'an
During the Nights of Destiny, which marks the birth anniversary of the holy Qur'an, it would be appropriate to recite the Qur'an and quench our thirst by its verses. One of the best ways of reading the Qur'an is the recitation of Qur'anic verses during the daily prayers. Let's not lose sight of reciting the Qur'an in this most respectable way. If we have not memorized the verses, we can read it off the book.
13- Reflecting and self-assessment
We should also spend some time for meditating and evaluating our carnal desires. Just by feeling remorseful for our shortcomings and regret the waste of our past life, God will take us back in His arms and gently caress us. God likes to compensate us for our entire pastime.
14- Thinking about the moment of leaving life and reviewing our will
We should also make time (during these nights) for thinking about the hereafter and the time of our passing. Let's go over our wills and take seriously our glorious journey to the hereafter. If we felt afraid or alone, we should then take refuge to God, so that He would calm us down. We should not, however, try to remain calm by losing sight of our eventual demise.
15- Let's not be neglectful of thinking about and invoking Imam Ali (PBUH)
We should also dedicate a portion of our time for reflection – which is the highest form of worship – to thinking about the master of the faithful, Imam Ali (PBUH) and the sufferings that he endured. We should try not to lose sight for even a moment of this oppressed personality who was so dear to the grand prophet (PBUH), and be mindful of his hardships and sorrows and circle around his home like a butterfly and worship God the entire Night of Destiny beside his aggrieved children.
16- Feeling the presence of the living Imam
We should treasure every single moment of the Night of Destiny and from the beginning of the night consider ourselves at the presence of the living Imam (Mahdi (PBUH)), and under the bountiful mercy of God. The Nights of Destiny are short during summer time. We should better prepare ourselves to make the best use of these nights by eating less food.
17- Do a bit of planning for the future
We should also spend a little time at the end of the down to reflect on how we are going to improve our behavior in the future. You should set brief but permanent plans for the year ahead and plead for God's assistance to help you along in putting your plans into action. The will to change your behavior is going to stabilize your repentance pledge.
18- The third Night of Destiny is the night to pray for the coming of Imam Mahdi (PBUH)
If we spend the 19th night of Ramadan mostly for repenting, and dedicate the 21st night to pray and make intimate invocations, let's devote the 23rd night to pray for the savior of humanity and the coming of our dear master [Imam Mahdi (PBUH)]. Let's step out of our home for him, who is the actual home owner, and dedicate our time during the 3rd Night of Destiny for the living Imam so that we can state: "O son of Hassan, we have devoted the best of our time to you, so you too dedicate your best prayers to us."
When you pray wholeheartedly for Imam Mahdi's coming, the imam too will pray for you. When you shed tears for his loneliness, your master will shed tears for your hardships. When you're living in comfort and you pray for the sufferings of the oppressed and the disadvantaged across the globe, angels would be proud of your existence.
19- Pray for a good destiny and martyrdom
At the end of the night, pray that our destiny will turn out well and if anyone desires, beg God for "martyrdom." [Remember], pleading for martyrdom will not shorten anybody's life; it will only boost the individual's morality and his spiritual power and bring a person closer to the master of martyrs – Imam Hossein (PBUH).
20- Making the pilgrimage to Imam Hossein's tomb
By the way, if anyone is able to, he should visit the shrine of Imam Hossein (PBUH) every night, and if he couldn't, he should state three times from afar: "peace and blessings of God upon you o Abi Abdullah (Hossein)(PBUH)." This will win him the same [divine] reward as if making the pilgrimage. Convey greeting and recite 'Fatiha' for all the martyrs, particularly the heroic martyrs of defending the holy shrines, since we owe our livelihood and security to them.
I beg for your prayer
* Famous Iranian scholar of Islamic studies & ethics, especially among youth & collogue students, for more than 2 decades