Ramadan

The Virtues of Laylah tul Qadr

Surat-ul-Qadr (97)

إِنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ فِى لَيۡلَةِ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ

وَمَآ أَدۡرَٮٰكَ مَا لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ

لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَلۡفِ شَہۡرٍ۬

تَنَزَّلُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيہَا بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّہِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمۡرٍ۬

سَلَـٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطۡلَعِ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ

We have indeed revealed this (Quran) in the Night of Power (al-Qadr) (1)

And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? (2)

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. (3)

The angels and the Spirit descend in it, with the leave of your Lord, along with every command. (4)

Peace it is! Until the rise of dawn (5)

It comes in a hadith in the Muwatta of Imam Malik R.A. that the Messenger ﷺ used to look at the longer lives of the earlier people and was saddened when pondering over the much shorter lives of his own Ummah. If his Ummah had wished to compete with the people before them in piety and Taqwa, because of their shorter lives it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass them. To compensate for the difference in their life span, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala out of His great Muhabbat and Infinite Mercy and Bounty granted them this great night of honour, grandeur and blessings. None of the previous Ummahs were given the gift of Laylat ul Qadr. 

 

 

MEANING OF THE NIGHT OF QADR

Qadr is commonly translated as the Night of Power. But, it has multiple interpretations, all of them being correct.

1- It means ‘power, greatness, status honour and dignity’.

مَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ – 22:74

They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.

Its a night of great honour and nobility. Allah SWT, who has the highest status, chose to  reveal the greatest of revelation (Qur’an),  to the greatest of Prophets, through the greatest of angels Jibril AS, in the night that has the highest status.

Allah sent the Qur’an down all at one time from the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz) to the House of Might (Baytul-`Izzah), which is in the (first) heaven of this world. Then it came down in parts to the Messenger of Allah based upon the incidents that occurred over a period of twenty-three years.

Another interpretation is that the first revelation, consisting of the opening verses of Surah Alaq, was revealed in the month of Ramadan on the Night of Qadr, when the Messenger of Allahﷺ was in the cave of Hira. The rest of the Qur’an was revealed little by little according to the need of different occasions.

A person becomes a man of honour and dignity on account of his repentance and righteous acts during this night, while prior to this he might have lacked honour and dignity because of leading a life of disobedience.

2- Qadr also means ‘predestination, decree, estimation and determination’. The night is so called because the destiny of individuals and nations that was in the knowledge of Allah, is assigned to the relevant angels who are appointed to carry out these tasks. Every man’s age, death, sustenance, rain and other things are measured out to the angels to be implemented for a complete year from one month of Ramadan to another. All angels are delegated different divine commandments by Allah. It is amazing that Allah chose this night for our decree, because this is the night when people will be engaged in worship and dua to Allah. Allah could have chosen any night, but He chose a night in which we would feel closest to Allah.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ – 44:3

Indeed, We sent it (Qur’an) down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ – 44:4

On that night is made distinct every precise matter –

أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ – 44:5

[Every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a messenger]

3- It also means ‘the night of appreciation and value’. In this night, whoever worships Allah, Allah does qadr(appreciates it) so much that He counts this worship as better than a thousand months. The actions of this night are magnified and multiplied and have great value in the sight of Allah. Also, those who truly seek to recognise Allah will find a great appreciation of Allah in this night.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that :

The Messenger of Allah [SAW] said: “Whoever stands (in he voluntary night prayer of) the Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sunan Nasai)

4- It also means ‘constriction, restriction or congestion’. e.g. Qadr is used in the Qur’an when Rizq becomes tight and restricted for someone.

أَوَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ – 39:52

Do they not know that Allah extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]? Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.

So many angels descend on the Earth on this night that the heavens and the earth become constricted. The quantity of angels on the Laylat ul Qadr is more than the pebbles on Earth.

The Messenger of Allah sws said narrating about the journey of ‘Isra wal Miraaj, “Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma’mur (i.e. Allah’s House). I asked Jibril AS about it and he said, This is Al Bait-ul-Ma’mur where 70,000 angels perform prayers daily and when they leave they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes into it daily).”– Sahih Bukhari & Muslim

One of the signs of Laylat ul qadr is that in the following morning, the sun appears bright but has no rays, and the reason could be the descent of angels.

THE VALUE AND IMPORTANCE OF THIS NIGHT

Allah has chosen and favoured some people (e.g. Prophets) over others, some places (e.g. Makkah) over others, some objects (e.g. Zamzam, Ka’bah) over others, some months (e.g. Ramadan) over others. This is a part of the mercy and wisdom of Allah. Ramadan is the best of all months, and Laylat ul Qadr is the best of all nights of Ramadan.

The rewards and barakah of deeds we do on this night is better  than a thousand months. If we take it literally, a thousand months is approximately 83 years. The average lifespan for men in developed countries is less than that! So the reward of this night is even more than our lifespan. 

According to some, ‘a thousand months’ is used metaphorically and it does not signify a precise number, but actually denotes eternity. Allah alone knows how much more the reward is multiplied. SubhanAllah! So, we should use this night to do as many good deeds and ibadah as we can. 

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven .” (Bukhari)

 

Anas Bin Maalik (ra) said: “Ramadhaan began so the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: Verily this month has arrived upon you and in it is a night that is better than 1000 months. The one who is deprived of it has been deprived of all Goodness and only the deprived person is deprived of it.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah (1644). Also narrated by Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i from Abu Hurairah (ra)

All the angels bring down, during the Night of Qadr, the decree for everything destined to occur in the coming year.Throughout this blessed night, the Malaikaat (Angels) will descend and fill the sky. There will be a constant flow of Angels coming to give their salams and immediately leaving. In other words, Angels will be coming and going throughout the night delivering salams upon those who are worshipping. It is the nature of the Angels to love those who perform Ibadaat and turn to Allah  in repentance. They love those who praise and glorify Allah. They seek out those who perform such acts and pray for them. Angel Jibrail will also be one of those Angels that will descend on this night. The very same Angel that was blessed to carry the wahi (revelation) to our messengers, including Rasullulah . How amazing is such a night, to be in the presence of such an Angel!


Sayyidna Anas narrates that the Messenger of Allah said: “When the Night of Qadr occurs, Jibril AS descends on the earth with a huge throng of angels and all of them pray for every servant of Allah, man or woman, busy in salah or dhikr, to be blessed by Allah.” [Mazhari]. (MQ)

 

One of the signs of Laylatul-Qadr is that on the morning after that night, the sun will be bright and clear, but the rays of the sunlight will not be as visible. It is said that because of the wings of the Angels on that morning, the rays of the sunlight will be blocked.

Although we cannot see the Angels, we can try to reflect on the sheer magnitude of what is happening on that night!

 

 

WHEN DOES THE NIGHT OF QADR OCCUR?

It is explicitly stated in the Qur’an that the Night occurs in the blessed or auspicious month of Ramadan, but its exact date has not been disclosed. As a result, it is disputed and debated among scholars. There are about forty opinions recorded.  The most authentic opinion is that the Night of Qadr occurs in the last ten nights of Ramadan. It could be any of the last ten odd nights: 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29. All the Traditions pertaining to the date of the Night are authentic, and there is no need for any convoluted interpretation. The safest method is to find the Night of Qadr in all the last 10 nights of Ramadan. (MQ)

Narrated `Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” (Bukhari)

 

Narrated `Aisha:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan (Bukhari)

 

Narrated Aisha: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (ﷺ) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari)

 

Narrated ‘Ubada bin As-Samit: The Prophet (ﷺ) came out to inform us about the Night of Qadr but two Muslims were quarreling with each other. So, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I came out to inform you about the Night of Qadr but such-and-such persons were quarreling, so the news about it had been taken away; yet that might be for your own good, so search for it on the 29th, 27th and 25th (of Ramadan). (Bukhari)

 

Ubaadah bin Saamit (ra) reports that he asked the Prophet ﷺ about “Laylatul Qadr”. He replied: “It is in Ramadhan, during the last ten days, on the unevenly numbered nights, either the 21st 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th or the last night of Ramadhan. Whosoever stands in “Ibaadah” on this night, with sincere faith and with genuine hopes of gaining reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. Among the signs of this night is that it is a serene, quiet, shining night, neither hot, nor cold but temperate as if a moon is shining clear, and no meteors are shot at the “Shayateen” on that night; it lasts until the break of the dawn. Another sign is that at morn, the Sun rises without any radiant beams of light, appearing rather like the moon in its fullness. On that day, Allah prohibits the “Shayateen” from rising up with the Sun.”Reported by Ahmad (23145) and Al-Haithami said that the transmitters are trustworthy.

 

WHY WAS THE PRECISE DATE OF LAYLAH TUL QADR KEPT HIDDEN?


Not having the exact knowledge of Laylat ul Qadr is a gift from Allah. There are many benefits of not knowing the exact night:

1. Anything that is valuable in the sight of Allah, Allah does not disclose its exact time and place. He makes us search and strive for it because the juice is worth the squeeze. For example, Allah told us to guard prayers, especially the middle prayer, but didn’t specify what the middle prayer is. Allah told us to prepare for death but did not reveal to us the time and place of our deaths. Allah told us there is a special time in Jumuah when duas are accepted, but He kept the knowledge hidden. So, the major benefit is to make us search for Laylat ul Qadr in all the nights so that we earn extra reward by turning to Allah.  Imagine if someone offers a million dollars to us for praying for ten nights, who would refuse that offer? Allah is offering us a reward of more than a thousand months! The sad reality is that if Allah had specified the date, the masjid would have been empty in all the remaining nights. 

 

2. Imagine you spend 10 days with a friend, and after that you have to part with them. You will have developed such a strong bond with them in those days that you will miss them sorely. Allah wants us to spend the complete ten nights with Him so that we develop such a strong relationship with Him that we miss him after these nights are over. Regular Ibadah in these nights will make it easy for us to turn to Allah after Ramadan is over

 

3. Also, if someone ignored Laylat ul Qadr and kicked it to a side even after knowing the exact date, imagine what loss he would have been in? It is a mercy that Allah kept the knowledge hidden, so we wouldn’t be of the unfortunate ones. 



HOW TO MAXIMISE THE LAST 10 NIGHTS?

 

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it the gates of heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and every devil is chained up. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months; whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.”‘ (Sunan An Nasai)

If we are able to make the most of Laylat ul Qadr, it means that Allah chose us and gave us the taufiq to maximise the blessings of this night. We need to get rid of all those sins that could keep us away from gaining the qurb of Allah SWT, and deprive us of the rewards of Laylat ul Qadr. Whoever is deprived of this blessing is truly deprived i.e. it is a huge loss. 

 

So, how do we make the most of it?

 

  1. I’tikaaf – This was a practice of Rasullulah

Abdullah bin Umar narrated that Rasullulah used to practise Itikaf in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan [Bukhari].

Dedicate the last ten days and nights of Ramadan to the worship of your Creator, Al-Khalaq. Spend the time performing dhikr, reading Qur’an, praying supererogatory prayers, tahajjud, etc. If you can’t devote the full 10 days and nights, it’s encouraged that you do what you can, even if it’s a night or two. Dhikr includes dhikr made with the heart and dhikr of the tongue, constant and exclusive.

2. Make a master du’a list

 Take some time and brainstorm all the things you would like to ask from Allah  in your du’a. Include anything and everything, whether it be things in this dunya or in the akhira. Don’t feel shy, as Allah  is Ar-Razzaq (the One Who Provides your Sustenance), Ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful) and Al-Wali(the One Who Protects you the Most).

Allah  loves for His servants to supplicate and ask for their desires to be met. He is Al-Ghani (the Rich), and His Provisions do not diminish by answering the du’as of His servant. In fact, it is out of the arrogance of us if we do not seek Allah’s guidance, mercy and provisions by supplicating in du’a.

Having an organized list will help you visualize and remember your list, so that when you make your du’a to Allah  you will be prepared, knowing exactly what you desire and being efficient in your supplications.Also, be sure to include some of the du’as that were commonly recited by Rasullulah ﷺ.

A’isha radi Allahu `anha asked Rasullulah ﷺ, “If I knew which night is Laylatal-Qadr, what should I say during it?” Rasullulah told her to say:

اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni. “O Allah, indeed You are the Pardoner, You love to Pardon, so Pardon me.”[Tirmidhi]

This is a very simple, yet powerful du’a. One of the beautiful names of Allah  is Al-Afuw, the One Who Pardons your sins and Removes them from your record (as if you never committed them). Allah  loves to pardon so ask Him for your pardon. He loves to forgive those who sin and ask for their forgiveness.

Also, try to memorize new sunnah duas, and duas from the Qur’an and hadith.

3. Reflect on the Words of Allah 

During these last ten nights, use the opportunity to become closer to kalam-Allah (the speech of Allah). Reflect and ponder over its meaning. Read what the scholars of Tafseer and the Ulema have commented on the Qur’an and try to derive lessons that you can immediately implement into your daily life.

Listening to the Qur’an, Recitation, Memorization, Understanding, Explanation.

Focus on a Surah as a project

4. Pray Tahajjud/Qiyaam 

Rasullulah ﷺ said, “Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in (the night of) Laylatul Qadr out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Sayyidna ‘Uthman narrates that the Messenger of Allah said: “If a person performs his ‘Isha’ salah in congregation, he will attain the blessings of spending half the night in devotion; and if he performs Fajr salah in congregation, he will attain the blessings of spending the entire night in devotion.” (Muslim)

5. Worship all the 10 nights:

Try to worship the whole of the 10 nights or as many days you can manage as that is the best way to catch the unimaginable and incomprehensible rewards of  Laylatul Qadr. Each and every good deed from Maghrib until Fajr on Laylatul Qadr is rewarded a minimum of at least 83 years’ of worship. Subhan Allah, that is longer than most of us will live!

6. Avoid sins and kick out distractions: 

As much as we plan on striving to increase our ibadaat during these nights, it’s important to refrain from those actions which displease Allah.

The Prophet said: “Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.” [Tirmidhi].

So we must aim to be the best in character during these blessed nights and continue to do so for the rest of the year. Minimize idle conversations and actions which take you away from the remembrance of Allah.

7. Be extra generous 

Rasullulah ﷺ was well known to be generous – but he was especially generous during the month of Ramadan.  Any good act such as charity during Laylatul Qadr is rewarded like you have done it for over 83 years.

Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the most generous of people in giving charity. He was even more generous in Ramadan when Jibril, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to meet him. Every night of Ramadan Jibril used to come to him and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would read the Qur’an to him. When Jibril came to him, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was more generous in giving charity than the blowing wind.” (Al Adab al Mufrad)

8. Evaluate yourself and make life changes

Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done. We should make the necessary changes to improve ourselves as Muslims and what better time to make such changes than during these blessed 10 nights where we can change our lives forever. We must internalise these changes and make a firm commitment to Allah, and maybe that he will wipe off our sins until we become newborn babies, In sha Allah.

9. To do list for Laylat ul Qadr

Make a to do checklist for each Night of Power. This should define how you would like your night, the one better than a thousand months, to be used.

 

10. Every single night is a chance to come closer to Allah

 Strive to perform prayer in the last 3rd of the night as that is the most virtuous portion of the night.Abu Huraira reports that Rasullulah ﷺ said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: ‘Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?’” [Bukhari]

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