One Of The Many Examples of Allah’s Mercy

27 01 2008

1414727314_257705330a.jpg

Yesterday, I was listening to a lecture on Qadr by Sister Laila Nasheeba. During that lecture, she brought up a point that I had heard many times but something clicked yesterday.  The aha! moment so to speak. I love it when that happens. Anyway,She brought up the fact that Allah knows everything that we are thinking, every bad thought, every urge that we have, everything that is just on the tip of our tongue. Yet, we are not held accountable for that unless we act upon it or verbalize it.

This is such a mercy. I remember hearing Dr.Ali Shehata give a lecture in which he mentioned the tafsir (explanation) of the last few verses of Surah Al Baqara (the second surah of the Qur’an). I immediately looked up the tafsir (Ibn Kathir) and would like to share it here so that it may be an inspiration and serve as a reminder and source of hope for us all.

Allah states that His is the kingship of the heavens and earth and of what and whoever is on or between them, that He has perfect watch over them. No apparent matter or secret that the heart conceals is ever a secret to Him, however minor it is. Allah also states that He will hold His servants accountable for what they do and what they conceal in their hearts. In similar statements, Allah said,

[قُلْ إِن تُخْفُواْ مَا فِى صُدُورِكُمْ أَوْ تُبْدُوهُ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ]

(Say (O Muhammad ): “Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is able to do all things) [3:29], and,

[يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى]

(He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.)

There are many other Ayat on this subject. In this Ayah [2:284], Allah states that He has knowledge of what the hearts conceal, and consequently, He will hold the creation accountable for whatever is in their hearts. This is why when this Ayah was revealed, it was hard on the Companions, since out of their strong faith and conviction, they were afraid that such reckoning would diminish their good deeds.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “When

[لِّلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَـوتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ]

(To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is able to do all things)

was revealed to the Messenger of Allah , it was very hard for the Companions of the Messenger . The Companions came to the Messenger and fell to their knees saying, `O Messenger of Allah! We were asked to perform what we can bear of deeds: the prayer, the fast, Jihad and charity. However, this Ayah was revealed to you, and we cannot bear it.’ The Messenger of Allah said,

«أَتُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَقُولُوا كَما قَالَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابَيْنِ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ: سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا؟ بَلْ قُولُوا: سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِير»

(Do you want to repeat what the People of the Two Scriptures before you said, that is, `We hear and we disobey’ Rather, say, `We hear and we obey, and we seek Your forgiveness, O our Lord, and the Return is to You.)

When the people accepted this statement and their tongues recited it, Allah sent down afterwards,

[ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَـئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ ]

(The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do)the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers ـ and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”)

When they did that, Allah abrogated the Ayah [2:284] and sent down the Ayah,

[لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا]

(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.”) until the end.”

Muslim recorded it with the wording; “When they did that, Allah abrogated it [2:284] and sent down,

[لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا]

(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error”.)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

[رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا]

(“Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians)”)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

[رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ]

(“Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. ”)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

[وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلَـنَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ]

(“Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”)

Allah said, `I shall.”’

Imam Ahmad recorded that Mujahid said, “I saw Ibn `Abbas and said to him, `O Abu Abbas! I was with Ibn `Umar, and he read this Ayah and cried.’ He asked, `Which Ayah’ I said,

[وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ]

`(And whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it.)’

Ibn `Abbas said, `When this Ayah was revealed, it was very hard on the Companions of the Messenger of Allah and worried them tremendously. They said: O Messenger of Allah! We know that we would be punished according to our statements and our actions, but as for what occurs in our hearts, we do not control what is in them.’ The Messenger of Allah said,

«قُولُوا: سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا»

(Say, `We hear and we obey.’) They said, `We hear and we obey.’ Thereafter, this Ayah abrogated the previous Ayah,

[ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ]

(The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah), until,

[لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ]

(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.)

Therefore, they were pardoned what happens in their hearts, and were held accountable only for their actions.”’

The Group recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَجَاوَزَ لِي عَنْ أُمَّتِي مَا حَدَّثَتْ بِهِ أَنْفُسَهَا مَالَمْ تَكَلَّمْ أَوْ تَعْمَل»

(Allah has pardoned my Ummah for what they say to themselves, as long as they do not utter it or act on it.)

The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«قَالَ اللهُ: إِذَا هَمَّ عَبْدِي بِسَيِّئَةٍ فَلَا تَكْتُبُوهَا عَلَيهِ، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا سَيِّئَةً، وَإِذَا هَمَّ بِحَسَنَةٍ فَلَمْ يَعْمَلْهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا حَسَنَةً، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا عَشْرًا»

(Allah said (to His angels), “If My servant intends to commit an evil deed, do not record it as such for him, and if he commits it, write it for him as one evil deed. If he intends to perform a good deed, but did not perform it, then write it for him as one good deed, and if he performs it, write it for him as ten good deeds.”)

[ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَـئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ ]

لاَ يُكَلّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلَـنَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ-]

l(285. The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers ـ and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”) (286. Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”) The Hadiths on the Virtue of These Two Ayat, May Allah Benefit Us by Them Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ قَرَأَ بِالْآيَتَيْنِ مِنْ آخِرِ سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ فِي لَيْلَةٍ، كَفَتَاه»

(Whoever recites the last two Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice for him.)

The rest of the six also recorded similar wording for this Hadith. The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith using various chains of narration, and Imam Ahmad also recorded it.

Muslim recorded that `Abdullah said, “When the Messenger of Allah went on the Isra journey, he ascended to the Sidrat Al-Muntaha in the sixth heaven, where whatever ascends from the earth ends at, and whatever descends from above it ends at.

[إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى ]

(When that covered the lote tree which did cover it!) [53:16] meaning, a mat made of gold.

The Messenger of Allah was then given three things: the five prayers, the last Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah and forgiveness for whoever did not associate anything or anyone with Allah from his Ummah.”

Earlier we mentioned the Hadith regarding the virtues of Surat Al-Fatihah from Ibn `Abbas which stated, “While the Messenger of Allah was with Jibil, he heard a noise from above. Jibil lifted his sight to the sky and said, `This is a door that was opened just now in heaven, and it was never opened before.’ An angel came down through the door to the Prophet and said, `Receive the good news of two lights that you have been given and which no Prophet before you was given: the Opener of the Book (Al-Fatihah) and the last Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah. You will not read a letter of them, but you will be granted its benefit.”’ This Hadith was collected by Muslim and An-Nasa’i, and this is the wording collected by An-Nasa’i.

You may search the tafsir of Ibn Kathir in English online by clicking this link: http://www.tafsir.com/

You may listen to live classes by Sister Laila Nasheeba as well as recordings by clicking this link:
www.sunnahfollowers.net or  view her videos and other thoughts on her personal blog http://lailanasheeba.wordpress.com

Advertisements




Very Beautiful Hadith and Forgiveness in Islam

6 10 2007

This is truly a beautiful hadith. Very touching.  Many non Muslims think our religion is too hard and that we view Allah as only to be feared. Wheras, in reality Islam combines an equal amount of Love, Fear, and Hope.  We are only humans so inevitably we will make mistakes and sin from time to time. Often, we tend to despair when we commit a sin. But Alhamdullilah, our forgiveness is only a prayer away. We don’t need any intercessors. We don’t have to pray to anyone else. We have a direct link. Mash’Allah what a beautiful religion…….a beautiful Way of Life!

On the authority of Anas, who said: I heard the messenger of Allah say:

Allah the Almighty has said: “O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as its.”

 To receive forgiveness from God there are three requirements:

  1. Recognizing the offense itself and its admission before God.
  2. Making a commitment not to repeat the offense.
  3. Asking for forgiveness from God.

If the offense was committed against another human being, or against society, a fourth condition is added:

  1. Recognizing the offense before those against whom offense was committed and before God.
  2. Committing oneself not to repeat the offense.
  3. Doing whatever needs to be done to rectify the offense (within reason) and asking pardon of the offended party.
  4. Asking God for forgiveness.

There are no particular words to say for asking forgiveness. However, Muslims are taught many phrases and words to keep repeating daily asking God’s forgiveness. For example:

  • Astaghfiru-Allah, “I ask forgiveness from Allah”
  • Subhanaka-Allah humma wa bi hamdika wa ash-hadu al la Ilaha illa Anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, “Glory be to You, Allah, and with You Praise (thanks) and I bear witness that there is no deity but You, I ask Your forgiveness and I return to You (in obedience)”.

Islamic teaching presents the prophet Muhammad as an example of someone who would forgive others for their ignorance, even those who might have once considered themselves to be his enemies. One example of Muhammad’s practice of forgiveness can be found in the Hadith, the body of early Islamic literature about the life of Muhammad. This account is as follows:
The Prophet (may peace be upon him) was the most forgiving person. He was ever ready to forgive his enemies. When he went to Ta’if to preach the message of Allah, its people mistreated him, abused him and hit him with stones. He left the city humiliated and wounded. When he took shelter under a tree, the angel of Allah visited him and told him that Allah sent him to destroy the people of Ta’if because of their sin of maltreating their Prophet. Muhammad (may peace be upon him) prayed to Allah to save the people of Ta’if, because what they did was out of their ignorance.

The Doors of Repentance
by Imâm al-Madîna al-Munawarrah ‘Alî Abd-ur-Rahmân al-Hudhaifî
 
 
Allaah says:
 “Whosoever desires honour, power and glory then to Allaah belong all honour, power and glory [and one can get honour, power and glory only by worshipping Allaah(Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) the goodly words i.e. and the righteous deeds exalt it (the goodly words i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allaah unless and until they are followed by by good deeds), but those who plot evils, -theirs will be a severe torment. And the plotting of such will perish.” (Faatir 35:10).

He also says: “And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation).Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation.” (Ghaafir 40:60). 

Humbleness to and love for Allaah can only be actualised through worshipping Allaah in all aspects. Among the major acts of worship isrepentance. Even the greatest repentance which is the highest and the most compulsory act of worship is repentance from disbelief. Allaah says regarding what Prophet Hood as told his people:
 “And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strenght to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).” (Hood 11:52) 

Allaah also stressed while inviting the unbelievers unto repentance:
 “If they then repent, it will be better for them, but if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful torment in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. And there is none for them on earth as a Wali (supporter, protector) or a helper.” (At-Tawbah 9:74) 

Repentance from all sins is obligatory on every adult Muslim. This is emphasized by Allaah is His saying: “And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (An-Noor 24:31) The meaning of ‘ Tawbah’ is to turn back to Allaah by abandoning all major and minor sins and to repent to Allaah from all known and unknown sins. Al-Agharr Al-Muzanee narrated that the Messenger of Allaah saws said:
 “O people! Repent to Allaah and seek for His forgiveness. I repent to Him in a day 100 times.” (Reported by Muslim).

A sincere repentance according to the scholars has conditions:

1. To discontinue the sin.

2. To regret over its occurrence.

3. To determine never to go back to that sin again.

4. To give back the right to whom it is due if the sin involves a man.

The Prophet saws has also informed us that repentance can be done any time during the day or night. Aboo Moosaa Al-Ash‘aree narrated that the Prophet saws said:
 “Allaah holds out His Hand during the night to receive the repentance of the one who has committed wrong during the day and holds outs His Hand during the day to receive the repentance of the one who has committed wrong during the night.” (Muslim)

Indeed, Allaah is very happy when any of His slaves repents. If he responds to the call of his Lord and repents, he will have a prosperous life in this world and the good rewards in the hereafter. If he however does not repent, Allaah will punish him for his sins and He is not unjust with anyone.
Be aware also dear brother, that, among the logical reasons behind Allaah’s love for His slaves’s repentance is that one of His attributes is ‘At-Tawwaab’ (the One who accepts repentance). It indicates that Allaah accepts the repentance even if it is done repeatedly. And this attribute necessitates the existence of a sinner who repents from his sins so that Allaah will accept his repentance and forgive him. All other beautiful names of Allaah are like that. Each name demonstrates a great attribute of Allaah that the name contains and each of Allaah’s Beautiful Names necessitates the appearance of its signs on the universe.
Another reason behind His love for His slave’s repentance is that Allaah Himself is the Benefactor, Master of Infinite Goodness; whoever obeys Him through repentance He will be kind to him and reward him in this world and the next and whoever neglects repentance, Allaah will be kind to him in this world and will punish him in the hereafter for his evil deeds; for your Lord is not unjust towards His slaves.
Further, it is alright to repent from some sins though one will be held responsible for sins that are not repented from.
Dear Muslims! Door of repentance is open to all and sundry until the sun rises from the west. It is then that the door of repentance will be closed and faith will be of no avail to a soul which has not believed before. Safwaan ‘Assaal narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allaah saws saying:
 “Allaah opened a door west side for seventy years for the purpose of repentance, it will not be closed until the sun will rises from the west.” (At-Tirmidhee)

Allaah has also promised the best reward and good abode for the repentant when He says
 : “(The believers whose Allaah has purchased are) those who repent to Allaah (from polytheism and hypocrisy, etc.), who worship Him, who praise Him, who fast (or go out in Allaah’s cause), who prostrate themselves (in prayer), who enjoin (people) for Al-Ma‘ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all what Islam has ordained) and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds and all that Islam has forbidden), and who observe the limits set by Allah (do all that Allah has ordained and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden). and give glad tidings to the believers.” (At-Tawbah 9:112) 

To emphasize Allaah’s love for the repentance of His servant, the Prophet saws said:
 “Allaah is happier when a servant of His repents to Him than a man who was on his camel in a waterless desert and the camel escaped from him with his food and water. When he has lost hope of finding it, he retired to a tree and lied down under its shade. As he was there, the camel suddenly appeared in front of him. He took hold of its halter and said in his state of excessive joy: ‘O my Lord You are my servant and I am Your Lord’. He uttered this erronious statement as a result of his being over-joyed.”(Muslim)

Fellow Muslims! Repentance is an act of worship done by the Prophets, Messengers and pious people. Allaah says:
 “Allah has forgiven the Prophet, the Muhajirun (Muslim emigrants who left their homes and came to A-Madinah) who followed him (Muhammad) in the time of distress (Tabuk expedition, etc.), after the hearts of a party or them had nearly deviated (from the Right Path), but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” (At-Tawbah 9:117) 

Muslim as a matter of necessity needs repentance every second of his life; he needs it after performing righteous deeds or after perpetrating forbidden acts. The Almighty says:
 “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, tahat He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” (Hood 11:3) 

Brothers in faith! Fear Allaah that you may attain His Pleasure and Paradise and be saved from His wrath and punishment. Allaah says:
 “ But as for him who repented (from polytheism and sins, etc.), believed (in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad), and did righteous deeds (in the life or this world), then he will be among those who are successful.” (Qasas 28:67) 

The Prophet saws also said:
 “Indeed, Allaah accepts the repentance of man as long as he hasnt started gargling (i.e. dying).”

Hasten to repentance and be consistent on that after every good deeds and bad ones. Allaah says: 
 “And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him (in Islam), before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped. And follow the best of that which is sent downto you from your Lord (i.e. this Qur’an, do what it orders you to do and keep away from what it forbids), before the torment comes on you suddenly while you perceive not.” (Az-Zumar 39:54-55). 

Beware or wishful thinking that is caused by Satan and delusions of this finite world for, death can come suddenly. Some are indeed denied repentance by their unprepared ness for death and there are others who are lucky enough to repent sincerely before their death hence they are admitted among the righteous people by their Lord.

 

 





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.