When The Night Equals A Thousand

23 09 2008

When the Night Equals a Thousand

By Muhammad Alshareef  courtesy of www.SuccessInIslam.com

It was narrated that in the days that Musa (Alahi salaam) wandered with Bani Israel in the desert an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (Alahi salaam) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.

 

 

It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israel whom had disobeyed Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for more than forty years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told Musa (Alahi salaam). “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”Musa (Alahi salaam) then called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.” That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one.

The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.

He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with a humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said: “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”

As Musa (Alahi salaam) and the people of Bani Israel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa (Alahi salaam) asked Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.” And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.”

Musa (Alahi salaam), wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”

Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed the Qur’an in the most blessed month; the month of Ramadan, the month in which the Qur’an was sent down.

On the most blessed night, the Grand night: Laylatul Qadr; “Verily, we revealed the Qur’an on the night of Qadr.”

Ibn Jareer narrates, on the authority of Mujaahid that there was a man from Bani Israel who used to spend the night in prayer. Then in the morning he would fight the enemy in the Way of Allah during the day, until the evening and he did this for a thousand months.

And so Allah revealed the Surah: “Verily, We sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr” until the verse “The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” That is, standing in prayer on that night is better than the actions of that man.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree reports, on the authority of Mujaahid (also), that the night of Al-Qadr being better than a thousand months means that the good deeds performed on it, fasting on it, and standing in prayer on it are better than a thousand months’ good deeds, prayers and fasting. (Narrated by Ibn Jareer)

It is reported from Abu Hurairah that he said: “When the month of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah said: ‘The month of Ramadan has come, a blessed month in which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast; in it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. In it is a night better than a thousand months, whoever loses the benefit of it has lost something irreplaceable.’” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i).

It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever stood in prayer on the night of Al-Qadr, in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The sincere believer who worries day and night about his sins and phases of neglect in his life patiently awaits the onset of Ramadan. During it he hopes to be forgiven by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for past sins, knowing that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) promised that all who bear down during the last ten days shall have all their sins forgiven. To achieve this, the believer remembers the Prophet’s (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) advice in different sayings wherein he used words like “seek”, “pursue”, “search” and “look hard” for Laylatul Qadr.

Laylatul Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. The Mu’min should search for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, passing the nights in worship and obedience.

For those who catch the opportunity, their gift is that of past sins wiped away.

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) illustrated for us some of the things we should be doing on this Grand Night. From his blessed Sunnah we find the following:

 

Praying Qiyaam (night prayer):It is recommended to make a long qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many ahadeeth, such as “Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylatul Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; the addition “and it is facilitated for him” is recorded by Ahmad from the report of ‘Ubaadah Bin as-Samit; it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night.]

 

Making Supplications:It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. ‘A’ishah reported that she asked Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylatul Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say: “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me.” [An authentic Hadith recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi.]

Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship:

It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr is likely to fall. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).

‘A’ishah reported: “When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer) and wake up his family.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And she said: “Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights.” [Muslim]

Have we estimated Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) correctly?

The opportunity of Laylatul Qadr is coming in the next few days. Life is about people that take advantage of their opportunities to win the love of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), and this is indeed one of those chances. Abu Dah Daah was one of those who found an opportunity and won that which is greater than the heavens and the earth. An adult companion of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) cultivated his garden next to the property of an orphan. The orphan claimed that a specific palm tree was on his property and thus belonged to him. The companion rejected the claim and off to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) went the orphan boy to complain. With his justness, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) measured the two gardens and found that the palm tree did indeed belong to the companion. The orphan erupted crying. Seeing this, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered the companion, “would you give him the palm tree and to you is a palm tree in Jannah?” However, the companion in his disbelief that an orphan would complain to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) missed the opportunity and went away angry.

But someone else saw the opportunity, Abu Dah Daah – radi Allahu ‘anhu. He went to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and asked, “Ya Rasul Allah, if I buy the tree from him and give it to the orphan shall I have that tree in Jannah?” The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “Yes.”

Abu Dah Daah chased after the companion and asked, “Would you sell that tree to me for my entire garden?” The companion answered, “Take it for there is no good in a tree that I was complained to the Prophet about.”

Immediately, Abu Dah Daah went home and found his wife and children playing in the garden. “Leave the garden!” shouted Abu Dah Daah, “we’ve sold it to Allah! We’ve sold it to Allah!” Some of his children had dates in their hand and he snached the dates from them and threw them back into the garden. “We’ve sold it to Allah!”

When Abu Dah Daah was later martyred in the battle of Uhud, Rasul Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) stood over his slain body and remarked, “How many shady palm trees does Abu Dah Daah now have in paradise?”

What did Abu Dah Daah lose? Dates? Bushes? Dirt? What did he gain? He gained a Jannah whose expanse is the heavens and the earth.

Abu Dah Daah did not miss his opportunity, and I pray to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) that we do not miss our opportunity of standing to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) on Laylatul Qadr.

Dear brothers and sisters, we do not obey, worship and revere Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) in a way befitting of His Majesty.

Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed: “No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him. On the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the partners they attribute to Him” (Surat al-An’aam, Ayat 91).

Everything that we have belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). When someone dies we say, Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon, Indeed to Allah we belong and indeed to Him we shall return. This is not a supplication just for when a soul is lost. It is a supplication for every calamity that befalls a believer, even if his sandal were to tear. Why? Because everything belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and everything shall come back to him. Sit and try to count the blessings Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has bestowed upon you. Have you ever tried to count stars?

“And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favors of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude” (Surat Ibrahim, Ayat 34).

We have not understood the weight of this Qur’an that we rest on our high shelves, this Noble book that was sent to give life to the dead. For even if our hearts were as solid as rock they would have crumbled to the ground in fear and hope of Allah’s (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) punishment and Mercy. Could it be that our hearts are harder than that mountain?

“Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, verily, thou wouldst have seen it humble itself and split asunder in fear of Allah (Surat al-Hashr, Ayat 21).

Dear brothers and sisters, as you fill the Masajid for Qiyamul Layl in the last ten nights of Ramadan, remember what Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) wants you to know:

“Know ye that Allah is strict in punishment and that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

There shall be a night, some night in your life that you shall awaken in Jannah or Hell fire. Anas ibn Malik, on his deathbed, prayed to Allah, (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, protect from a night whose morning brings a journey to hell fire.” Think about that morning.

Peace shall descend on Laylatul Qadr until the dawn. It may be that you shall leave the Masjid after Fajr one day soon forgiven by Allah, Glorious and Most High.

 





Ramadan Diary ’08: Week Three Entering The Last 10 Days of Ramadan

20 09 2008

Alhamdullilah, we are now officially entering into the last ten days of Ramadan. One of these nights is Laylat al Qadr, a night better than a thousand months.  A night that we should all try to seek out and fill with Rememberance of Allah (SWT).  

The question is will the tv, telephone, computer, or blackberry monopolize your time during the last ten days of Ramadan?  Spending our time uselessly is discouraged any time of the year but especially during these last ten days of Ramadan with all the potential benefits they offer us if we will just make a little effort on our part to seek that benefit. But that is the key: effort. Can we skip the season premiere of our favorite show to instead spend the time with the Qur’an? That is a question unfortunatley many Muslims can’t answer.  That is a question that I used to have a hard time answering myself.

I remember my first Ramadan I was so enthusiastic that I began asking around to other Muslims what they will do during the last ten days of Ramadan. Most of the time I got a shrug as the answer. Looking back, that saddens me. To miss such an opportunity. 

Sometimes we have to just unplug the tv and shut down the computer around here to keep from falling into wasting our time. It also helps to have other Muslims around you who are as enthusiastic or more enthusiastic about earning the rewards of the last ten days as you are. When we use ourselves as a support system things go much more smoothly. It reminds me of the hadith when the Prophet (Saw) said that the most powerful weapon the believers have against Shaytan are each other.  Alhamdullilah

I’m also really excited about a webinar  being held next weekend (September 27 and 28) . Insh’Allah Sheikh Ahmed Kobeisy will be joining www.sunnahfollowers.net next weekend to give special webinars on “Introduction to the Sunnah” and “Fiqh of Worship.”  And the best part is that it’s FREE OF CHARGE! Insh’Allah I hope some of you will be able to attend. :D Insh’Allah I will give another announcement closer to the dates confirming the time.

Also, Insh’Allah check out these past posts on Laylat al Qadr and the Last Ten Days of Ramadan to give an explanation, motivation and instructions on how we should be spending this time.

Description of the Night of Power (Laylat Al Qadr) And The Last Ten Days of Ramadan, The Virtues and Explanation:

http://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/on-laylat-al-qadr-the-night-of-power/

Signs of Laylat Al Qadr (The Night of Power):

http://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/signs-of-laylat-al-qadr/

16 Things You Can Do On The Night Of Power (suggested actions that you can do):

http://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/16-things-you-can-do-on-the-night-of-power-laylat-al-qadr/

Video Lecture: Night of Forgiveness!

Brother Arshad Khan gives a khutbah and explains what is the Night of Qadr (The Night of Decree), how so you look for it, what do you do if you find it and what are the rulings regarding the date on which it appears and the rulings for women on the Laylat ul Qadr.

http://www.islamictube.net/watch/f0e982983be499e57ccd/Night-of-Forgiveness!

Ramadan-Are You Ready? Part 4/5-The Last Ten Days By Brother Masood Chowdhury

May we catch the Night of Power and May Allah accept from us and forgive us our sins! ameen





My Ramadan Diary: 10-04-2007 (Staying awake seeking the Night of Power)

5 10 2007

Personally, I’m a night owl. I have no problem staying up all night. I do have a problem going to sleep and waking back up. But I can definatley pull an all nighter and be fine the next day.  My husband is the complete opposite.  In fact, he never has any problem fasting or waking for suhoor (maybe because he’s used to it). But staying up all night straight……very difficult for him.

 Well, mash’Allah www.sunnahfollowers.net has added early morning classes. One is held  at 2AM EST (The Signs of the Last Hour) and 3am EST is live Qiyam Tarawih prayers from Houston, TX. Mash’Allah the recitation is beautiful.

I have found this really helps me stay awake  and also helps me to be in a state of rememberance of Allah rather than getting side tracked.  I simply love being able to hear the tarawih prayers from home. It makes me feel like I’m a part of something when it isn’t possible for me to be there physically.

I highly encourage anyone in the US to try to make these classes if you are having trouble staying up in rememberance of Allah during these last ten nights. 





16 Things You Can Do On The Night Of Power (Laylat Al Qadr)

3 10 2007

16 things you can do on the Night of Power

BY: Abdul Malik Mujahid

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is described in the Quran as, “better than a thousand months” (97:3). Any action done on this night such as reciting the Quran, remembering Allah, etc. is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of Qadr.

Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim). Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet.

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, related that the Prophet said: Look for Laylatul Qadr on an odd-numbered night during the last ten nights of Ramadan (Bukhari).

The Prophet said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim recorded from Abu Huraira).

Here are some tips of things we can do on the Night of Power and the time before and after it.

1. Take a vacation for Allah

We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshiping and thanking our Creator.

If this is not possible at least take a few days off if you can. This can make it easier to stay awake at night to do extra Ibadah, not having to worry about getting to work the next day.

It will also facilitate doing Itikaf.

2. Do Itikaf

It was a practice of the Prophet to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the masjid for Itikaf.

Those in Itikaf stay in the masjid all this time, performing various forms of zikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salat, recitation and study of the Quran. They do not go outside the masjid except in case of emergencies, therefore, they sleep in the masjid. Their families or the masjid administration takes care of their food needs.

Itikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.

3. Make this special Dua

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: ‘Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ “(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).

The transliteration of this Dua is “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee”

4. Recite the Quran

Perhaps you can choose Surahs or passages from the Quran which you have heard in Tarawih this past Ramadan to recite.

If you attend a class where the recitation of the Quran is taught, this is a great time to put your knowledge into practice.

5. Reflect on the meaning of the Quran

Choose the latest Surah or Surahs you’ve heard in Tarawih and read their translation and Tafseer. Then think deeply about their meaning and how it affects you on a personal level.

(If you want to study the Quran with more understanding, check out Way to the Quran and Access to Quranic Arabic.

6. Get your sins wiped out

Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger said: Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven. [Bukhari and Muslim).

Don’t just pray using the shorter Surahs that you know. Try to make your prayers longer, deeper and meaningful. If you are familiar with longer Surahs, read the translation and explanation and then pray reciting these Surahs, carefully reflecting on the meaning while you pray.

Even if you are only familiar with the shorter Surahs, read the translation and explanation beforehand, and then pray reflecting on the message of the Surahs.

This is a good way to develop the habit of concentration, even in regular prayers, where many of us tend to be fidgety and/or easily distracted.

7. Make a personal Dua list.

Ask yourself what you really want from Allah. Make a list of each and everything, no matter how small or how big it is, whether it deals with this world or not. Allah loves to hear from us. Once this list is ready, you can do three things:

• Ask Allah to give you those things
• Think about what actions you have taken to get those things
• Develop a work plan to get those things in future.

8. Evaluate yourself.

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. (see a short and a long evaluation guide) This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah’s sincere forgiveness when making the Dua mentioned in tip number one above.

9. Make long, sincere and deep Duas

One of the best times to do this is during the last part of the night.

Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth and proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, and I grant his supplication? Who is that who begs Me for anything and I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, and I forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim).

That means for instance, waking up one hour before Suhoor time to ask Allah for anything and everything you want that is Halal. This can be done using the Duas of the Sunnah, but also Dua in your own language, with sincerity and conviction.

For some tips on making Dua please see the article Some personal Duas you can make.

10. Memorize a different Dua every night

They don’t have to be long. They can be just one line. And be sure to know what they mean generally at least, even if you don’t know the exact translation in English.

You can put them on index cards (or and keep them with you during the day, glancing at them during work, while driving, waiting in line, etc.) Then practice them at night in prayer.

11. Have Iftar with the family

If you’ve spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you’ll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.

12. Take the family to Tarawih

Have your spouse and kids missed Tarawih most of Ramadan because you weren’t there to drive them to the Masjid, which is too far away to walk to? If so, do all of yourselves a favor and bring everyone for Tarawih in these last ten nights.

13. Attend the Dua after the completion of Quran recitation

Almost all Masjids where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Quran in Tarawih prayers in Ramadan will be completing their recitation in these last ten nights. They may try to end on one of the odd nights and read the Dua at the end of a reading of the Quran. Attend this particular night’s Tarawih prayer with your family. See if you can attend different Masjids’ Tarawih prayers the night they finish reading the Quran.

14. Finish reading a book on the Prophet

Read about the Prophet’s life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah’s sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built on sacrifice.

15. Plan for the next year

Once you’ve done a self-evaluation, you can plan on where you want to go, at least in the next 12 months. Laylatul Qadr is a great night to be thinking about this (without taking away from your worship), since you’ll Insha Allah, be in a more contemplative state. You may choose to dedicate one night of power for evaluation and one night for planning for the next year.

16. To do list for the Night of Power

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. Pick things from this list and define the sequence you would like to do things in. This will help you avoid wasting your time in unproductive chats which common in the festive atmosphere of Masjids at the Night of Power.

© Sound Vision Foundation website http://www.SoundVision.com





Signs of Laylat Al Qadr(The Night Of Power)

3 10 2007

The signs by which Laylat al-Qadr is known

The first sign: it was reported in Saheeh Muslim from the hadeeth of Ubayy ibn Ka’b (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) announced that one of its signs was that when the sun rose on the following morning, it had no (visible) rays. (Muslim, 762).

The second sign: it was reported from the hadeeth of IbnAbbaas narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah, and by al-Tayaalisi in his Musnad, with a saheeh isnaad, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Laylat al-Qadr is a pleasant night, neither hot nor cold, and the following day the sun rises red and weak.”(Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 2912; Musnad al-Tayaalisi).

The third sign: it was reported by al-Tabaraani with a hasan isnaad from the hadeeth of Waathilah ibn al-Asqa’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Laylat al-Qadr is a bright night, neither hot nor cold, in which no meteors are seen.” Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer. See Majmaal-Zawaa’id, 3/179; Musnad Ahmad).

These three saheeh ahaadeeth explain the signs which indicate Laylat al-Qadr.

It is not essential for the one who “catches” Laylat al-Qadr to know that he has “caught” it. The point is to strive hard and to be sincere in worship, whether or not one knows that one has “caught” it. It may be that some of those who do not know that may be better with Allaah and higher in status than those who did know which night it was, because the former strove hard. We ask Allaah to accept our fasting and our prayer at night, and to help us to remember Him and to thank Him and to worship Him properly. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.





On Laylat Al Qadr (The Night of Power) And The Virtues of The Last 10 Days of Ramadan

3 10 2007

The virtue of the last ten days of Ramadan and Laylat al-Qadr
by Shaykh Muhammad Sâlih al-Munajjid
 
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadaan in a way that he did not strive at any other times. (Muslim, 1175, from ‘Aa’ishah). Among the things he did were secluding himself in I’tikaaf and seeking Laylat al-Qadr during this time. (Al-Bukhaari, 1913; Muslim, 1169). In al-Saheehayn it is reported from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the last ten days of Ramadaan came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family and gird his loins. (al-Bukhaari, 1920; Muslim, 1174). Muslim added: he strove hard and girded his loins.
Her phrase “girded his loins” is a metaphor for his preparing himself to worship and strive hard in worship, more than usual. It has the meaning of “rolling up one’s sleeves” to worship (i.e. getting ready to make a great deal of effort).
It was also said that it was a metaphor for keeping away from women and abstaining from sexual relations.
The phrase “stay up at night” means that he would stay awake, spending the night in prayer, etc. It was reported in another hadeeth that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:
 “I never saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recite the entire Qur’aan in one night, or spend a whole night in prayer until the morning, or fast an entire month, except in Ramadaan.” (Sunan al-Nasaa’i, 1641).

The words “stay up at night” may mean that he spent most of the night in worship, or that he did not stay up for the entire night, but he did that at the times of ‘Ishaa and Suhoor, and other times, in which case it would mean that he stayed up for most of the night.
The phrase “and wake his family” means that he would wake his wives to pray qiyaam. It is known that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to wake his wives all year round, but he used to wake them to spend part of the night in qiyaam. In Saheeh al-Bukhaari it is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) woke up one night and said,
 “Subhaan Allaah! What tribulations have come down tonight! What treasure has come down tonight! Who will wake up the dwellers of the apartments? There may be women who are clothed in this world and naked in the Hereafter.” (al-Bukhaari, 1074).

It was also reported (in Saheeh al-Bukhaari) that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to wake ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) when he wanted to pray Witr. (al-Bukhaari, 952). But when he woke his wives during the last ten nights of Ramadaan, this was more persistent than at other times of the year.
The fact that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did this indicates the importance he attached to worshipping his Lord and making the most of this special time.
The Muslim should follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for he is the best example, and he should strive hard in worshipping Allaah. He should not waste the hours of these days and nights. For we do not know, perhaps this time will never come again, for the spoiler of pleasures, i.e., death, which must come to all men, may come and snatch him and his life will end; then he will feel regret at the time when regret will be of no avail.

Among the unique virtues of these special nights (last ten nights of Ramadan) is that Laylat al-Qadr is among them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Haa-Meem. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'aan and none but Allaah (Alone) knows their meanings]

By the manifest Book (this Qur’aan) that makes things clear.

We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadaan]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship.]

Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments.

As a Command (or this Qur’aan or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers),(As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [al-Dukhaan 44:1-6]

Allaah sent down the Qur’aan on this night which the Lord of the Worlds has described as blessed. It was reported from a group of the Salafincluding Ibn ‘Abbaas, Qutaadah, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, ‘Ikrimah, Mujaahid and others – that the night on which the Qur’aan was sent down was Laylat al-Qadr.

The phrase Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments means, on that night the destiny of all creatures for the coming year is decreed. On that night it is written who will live, who will die, who will be saved, who will be doomed, who will be destined for Paradise, who will be destined for Hell, who will be granted honour, who will be humiliated, where drought and famine will occur, and everything else that Allaah wills in that year.

What is meant by the idea that the destiny of all creatures is written on Laylat al-Qadr is – and Allaah knows best – that on Laylat al-Qadr they are transferred from al-Lawh al-Mahfooz. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “You may see a man furnishing his home or plowing his field, and he is one of those who are going to die,” i.e., it has been decreed on Laylat al-Qadr that he is one of those who are going to die (in the coming year). And it was said that on this night, the destiny of people is shown to the angels.

The meaning ofQadris veneration or honour, i.e. it is a night that is venerated because of its special characteristics, and because the one who stays up during this night becomes a man of honour. And it was said that Qadr means constriction, in the sense that the knowledge of precisely when this night is, is hidden. Al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad said: it was called Laylat al-Qadr because the earth is constricted by the great numbers of angels on that night, and Qadr means constriction. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life [fa qadara 'alayhi rizqahu]…” [al-Fajr 89:16], i.e., by constricting or reducing his provision.

And it was said that Qadr means Qadar, i.e., that on this night the decrees for the coming year are ordained, as Allaah says in thr interpretation of the meaning:

Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [al-Dukhaan 44:4]

 

So Allaah has called it Laylat al-Qadr, because of its great value and high status with Allaah, and because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during this night. For it is the night of forgiveness, as it was reported in al-Saheehayn from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever stays up during Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760).

Allaah has given this night special characteristics which make it unique:

1.               It is the night on which the Qur’aan was sent down, as we have stated above. Ibn ‘Abbaas and others said: “Allaah sent down the Qur’aan at one time from al-Lawh al-Mahfooz to Bayt al-’Izzah in the first heaven, then it was revealed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in stages according to events over twenty-three years.” Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/529)

·  Allaah described it as being better than a thousand months, as He said (interpretation of the meaning): “The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” [al-Qadr 97:3].

·  Allaah described it as being blessed, as He said (interpretation of the meaning): “We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night” [al-Dukhaan 44:3].

·  On this night, the angels and the Spirit [al-Rooh] descend, “i.e., many angels descend of this night because it is so blessed, and the angels come down when Allaah’s blessing and mercy come down, just as they come down when Qur’aan is recited, and they surround the circles of dhikr (gatherings where Allaah is remembered), and they beat their wings for the one who sincerely seeks knowledge, out of respect for him.”

(See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/531). The Spirit [al-Rooh] is Jibreel (peace be upon him), who is specifically mentioned in this manner as a sign of respect for him.

·  This night is described as peace, i.e., it is safe, for the Shaytaan cannot do any evil or cause any harm on this night, as Mujaahid said. (See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/531). On this night, many people are saved from punishment because of what they do to worship Allaah, may He be glorified.

·  Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [al-Dukhaan 44:4 - interpretation of the meaning]

, i.e., the affairs of that year are dispatched from al-Lawh al-Mahfooz to the angels who record the decrees: who will live, who will die, what provision people will be given, what will happen until the end of that year, every matter of ordainments is decreed, and it cannot be altered or changed. (See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/137, 138). All of this is already known to Allaah before it is even written down, but He makes known to the angels what is to happen, and commands them to do whatever they are enjoined to do. (Sharh Saheeh Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 8/57).

·  Allaah forgives the previous sins of the one who stays up and prays during this night out of faith and in hope of earning the reward from Him. It was reported in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever stays up during Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Agreed upon). The phrase “out of faith and in the hope of earning reward” means, believing in Allaah’s promise of reward for this, and seeking the reward, with no other aim or purpose, such as showing off etc.” (Fath al-Baari, 4/251).

Allaah has revealed a soorah concerning this night which will be recited until the Day of Resurrection, in which He mentions the honour and great value of this night. This is the soorah in which He says (interpretation of the meaning):

Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees,All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” [al-Qadr 97:1-5]

The phrase And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? serves to draw attention to the importance and great significance of this night.

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months means, it is better than over eighty three years, as we have already mentioned. This is a great virtue, the value of which no one can fully understand except the Lord of the Worlds, may He be blessed and exalted. This encourages the Muslim to spend this night in prayer and to seek the Face of Allaah by doing so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to seek this night, hoping to gain some good from it, and he is the example for this Ummah.

It is mustahabb to seek it during Ramadaan, especially in the last ten nights of the month. It was reported in Saheeh Muslim that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did I’tikaaf during the first ten days of Ramadaan, then he did I’tikaaf during the middle ten days in a Turkish tent [the word qubbah, translated here as "tent", refers to a tent or any circular structure] in which a mat was placed. He said: so he took the mat in his hand and put it at the side of the tent, then he raised his head to speak to the people, so they came closer to him. He said: “I did I’tikaaf during the first ten days, seeking this night, then I did I’tikaaf during the middle ten days. Then someone came to me and told me that it is in the last ten days, so whoever among you wants to do I’tikaaf, let him do so.” So the people did I’tikaaf with him. He said: “I was shown an odd-numbered night, in the morning of which I was prostrating in mud and water”. Then in the morning of the twenty-first, he got up to pray Subh and it was raining; the roof of the mosque leaked, and there was mud and water. He came out when he had finished praying, and there was mud and water on his forehead and nose. That was the morning of the twenty-first, one of the last ten days. (Saheeh Muslim, 1167).

In a report, Abu Sa’eed said: “It rained on the night of the twenty-first, and the roof of the mosque leaked over the place where the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was praying. I looked at him, when he had finished praying Salaat al-Subh, and his face was wet with mud and water.”

(Agreed upon). Muslim narrated a hadeeth from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Unays (may Allaah be pleased with him) that was similar to the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed, except that he said, “it rained on the night of the twenty-third.” According to a hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadaan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4/260).

Laylat al-Qadr is in the last ten days of Ramadaan, as stated in the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed quoted above, and as stated in the hadeeth ofAa’ishah, and in the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seek Laylat al-Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadaan.”

(The hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah was narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4/259; the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar was narrated by Muslim, 2/823. This wording is that of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah).

It is more likely to be one of the odd-numbered nights, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seek Laylat al-Qadr in the odd-numbered nights of the last ten nights.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4/259)

We should seek it especially in the odd-numbered nights, i.e., on the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. It was reported in al-Saheehayn that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seek it in the last ten nights, on the odd-numbered nights.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1912, see also, 1913. Also narrated by Muslim, 1167, see also 1165).

According to the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seek it in the last ten nights of Ramadaan, when there are nine left, when there are seven left, when there are five left.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1917-1918). So it is more likely to be one of the odd-numbered nights.

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari it was narrated that ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out to tell us when Laylat al-Qadr was, and two of the Muslims were arguing. He said: “I came out to tell you when Laylat al-Qadr was, and So and so and So and so were arguing, so it [the knowledge of when Laylat al-Qadr was] was taken away from me. Perhaps this is better for you. So seek it on the ninth and the seventh and the fifth

(al-Bukhaari, 1919), i.e., on the odd-numbered nights.

This hadeeth indicates how bad it is to argue and fight, especially with regard to matters of religion, and that this is a cause of goodness being taken away or concealed.

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah said: “But odd-numbers have to do with what is past [i.e., when one starts counting from the beginning of the month], so it should be sought on the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-seventh or the twenty-ninth; or it may be with regard to what is left, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘when there are nine left, or seven left, or five left, or three left.’ On this basis, if the month has thirty days, these will be even-numbered nights, so on the twenty-second there will be nine days left, on the twenty-fourth there will be seven days left. This is how it was explained by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri in the saheeh hadeeth, and this is how the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed qiyaam during this month. If this is the case, then the believer should seek it in all of the last ten days.”

(al-Fataawaa, 25/284, 285).

Laylat al-Qadr is more likely to be in the last seven days. IbnUmar (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that a man among the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was shown Laytal al-Qadr in a dream, and that it was one of the last seven nights. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It seems that your dreams agreed that it is one of the last seven nights, so whoever wants to seek it, let him seek it in the last seven nights.”

(narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1911; Muslim, 1165). Muslim reported: “Seek it in the last ten nights, and if any of you are weak or unable to do that, then let him not miss the last seven.”

It is most likely to be on the night of the twenty-seventh. It was reported, in a hadeeth narrated by Ahmad from Ibn ‘Umar, and a hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawood from Mu’aawiyah, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Laylat al-Qadr is the night of the twenty-seventh.”

(Musnad Ahmad and Sunan Abu Dawood, 1386). The view that it is the night of the twenty-seventh is the opinion of most of the Sahaabah and the majority of scholars, and Ubayy ibn Ka’b (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to assert, without saying “in shaa Allaah”, that it was the night of the twenty-seventh. Zurr ibn Hubaysh said: I said: What makes you say that, O Abu’l-Mundhir? He said: by the signs of which the Messengers of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us: that the sun rises that morning with no visible rays. (Narrated by Muslim,2/268).

Many marfoo’ ahaadeeth were narrated which said that it was on this particular night.

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) also stated that it is the night of the twenty-seventh. He reached this conclusion by means of an amazing process. It was reported that ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) gathered the Sahaabah together and included Ibn ‘Abbaas even though he was very young. They said, “Ibn ‘Abbaas is like one of our children. Why have you brought him here with us?” ‘Umar said: “He is a youth who has a good mind and who asks lots of questions.” Then he asked the Sahaabah about Laylat al-Qadr, and they agreed that it was one of the last ten nights of Ramadaan. He asked IbnAbbaas about it, and he said: “I think I know when it is: it is the night of the twenty-seventh.” ‘Umar said, “What makes you think that?” He said, “Allaah made the heavens seven, and the earths seven, and the days seven, and He created man from seven, and He made Tawaaf seven (circuits), and al-Saa’ee seven, and the stoning of the Jamaar seven.” So Ibn’ Abbaas thought that it was the night of the twenty-seventh because of this analysis. This has been soundly reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas.

Another of the ways in which the conclusion was reached that it is the night of the twenty-seventh is by noting that the word fihaa (therein) in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel]” [al-Qadr 97:4] is the twenty-seventh word of Soorat al-Qadr [in the original Arabic].

There is no shar’i evidence (daleel) to support this manner of analysis, and there is no need for such calculations, because we have sufficient shar’i evidence available to us.

The fact that it is usually the night of the twenty-seventhand Allaah knows best – does not mean that this is always the case. It could be the night of the twenty-first, as mentioned in the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed quoted above, or it could be the twenty-third, as mentioned in the report ofAbd-Allaah ibn Unays (may Allaah be pleased with him) quoted above. According to a hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadaan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4/260).

Some of the scholars thought that it is more likely that Laylat al-Qadr moves and does not come on a specific night each year. Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This is the apparent meaning because of the conflict between the saheeh ahaadeeth on this matter, and there is no way to reconcile the ahaadeeth apart from saying that Laylat al-Qadr moves.” al-Majmoo, 6/450).

Allaah has concealed this night so that His slaves will strive to seek it, and will strive hard in worship, just as He has concealed the hour of jumu’ah, and so on.

So the believer should strive hard during the days and nights of these ten days, seeking Laylat al-Qadr and following the example of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he should strive in making du’aa’ and seeking to draw close to Allaah.

It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think, if I witness Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say?’ He said: ‘Say, O Allaah, You are Forgiving and Generous, and you love forgiveness, so forgive me.’” (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi (3515) and Ibn Maajah (3850). Its isnaad is saheeh).

Thirdly: a greater virtue is attached to I’tikaaf on this night than on any other night of the year. I’tikaaf means staying in the mosque to worship Allaah, may He be exalted. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to spend these ten days in I’tikaaf, as stated in the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed quoted above. He spent the first ten days in I’tikaaf, then the middle ten days, then he told them that he had been seeking Laylat al-Qadr, and that he had been shown that it was in the last ten days, and he said: “Whoever was doing I’tikaaf with me, let him do I’tikaaf for the last ten days.” It was reported from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do I’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan until he passed away, then his wives did I’tikaaf after him. (Agreed upon). There is also a similar report narrated from Ibn ‘Umar.

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to do I’tikaaf, he would pray Fajr, then enter the place where he was to do I’tikaaf, as was stated in al-Saheehayn from the hadeeth ofAa’ishah.

The four imaams and others (may Allaah have mercy on them) said that he entered it before the sun set, and they interpreted the hadeeth as meaning that he entered his place of I’tikaaf and kept away from people after Salaat al-Subh, not that this was the time when he started his I’tikaaf. (See Sharh Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 8/68, 69; Fath al-Baari, 4/277). It is Sunnah for the person in I’tikaaf to keep himself busy with worship, and it is forbidden for him to have intercourse or to do anything that leads to it, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikaaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques” [al-Baqarah 2:187].

And he should not go out of the mosque except in the case of a pressing need.








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