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What Are the Virtues of Laylat Al-Qadr? Any Recommended Acts of Worship for Laylat al-Qadr?





QAs-salamu `alaykum. What is the virtue of Laylat Al-Qadr (the Night of Power)?





Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.





In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.





All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.





In this fatwa:





1- Every Muslim should try his best during the last ten days of the blessed month of Ramadan to increase his daily quota of worship by inching closer to Allah, making sincere supplications to Him, donating money in His cause, and achieving victory over his evil inclinations.





2- In addition, one should try his best to be sincere in all what he does in order for him to be eligible for the mercy of Allah and the blessings of Laylat Al-Qadr.





In his book Fiqh-us-Sunnah, the late Egyptian scholar Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq (may Allah bless his soul) states:





The night of qadr is the most virtuous night in the whole year. Almighty Allah says in the Quran, {Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.} (Al-Qadr 97:1-3)





Any action that is done in this night, such as reciting the Quran, making mention of Allah, etc. is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of qadr.





It is preferred to seek this night during the last ten nights of Ramadan, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to strive his best in seeking it during that time. He would stay up during the last ten nights, wake his wives, and remain apart from them in order to focus on worship.





First Laylatul-Qadr Ever - Read Full Story 





Over 1442 years ago, in the blessed month of Ramadan, a young man climbed the Mountain of Light, seeking his private sanctuary, the Cave of Hira’.





He is a young man, solidly built; his wavy hair is moist from his exertion in the desert heat and drops of sweat slip from his forehead like glimmering pearls.








His fair face, which would shine like the full moon when he smiled, is thoughtful now, with a faint sadness and pain at the corners of his bright eyes.








This man is Muhammad ibn Abdullah, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.





He is abandoning his society for a few days, maybe a few weeks – he carries food and drink with him, for he does not intend to leave solitude for some time – but not because he is a social outcast.





In fact, he is the darling of Makkan society: the grandson of one of its greatest Hashemite chiefs, the husband of one of the wealthiest and most powerful businesswomen in a merchant community.





Seeking The One God


He is here, in the middle of the desert, miles away from any civilization, because he is sick at heart. Sick of the overwhelming ills that have drowned the Makkans in constant intoxication, outrageous gambling, and endless tribal feuds.





Pained by the exploitation of orphans, the poor, the helpless; horrified by the common burials of newborn girls, the mistreatment of women, the destruction of their dignity. He seeks something else, something better, something which seems just out of his reach. He seeks God.





Finally, he reaches his destination. It is here, in the cool shade of the cave, surrounded by solid rock, whispering sands, and endless sky, that he feels some peace of mind and tranquility of soul.





He bends his head and surrenders himself to God, a million questions running through his mind, his heart aching for his lost people, crying out for that which will save them from the destruction they are wreaking upon themselves. Is there no hope? Is there no solution?





The answer appears, suddenly, shockingly. The Angel Jibreel, mighty and huge, with over six hundred wings that span the horizon for as far as can be seen.





“Read!” The command is from God, an answer to those months of reflection, searching, praying. But Muhammad (PBUH) is terrified, he does not understand. “I cannot read!” he cries, for he is illiterate, yet the Angel seizes him so tightly that he feels as though his bones will shatter.





“Read!” comes the order once more. “I cannot read!” he protests, and once again he is embraced by angelic limbs, overwhelming and unbearable.





“Read!” A third time, and this time he weeps, for his heart is full and he feels as he has never felt before. He submits himself to his Lord’s command. “What shall I read?”





{Read! Read in the Name of your Lord, Who created; created man from a clot of blood. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous… Who has taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not.} (Surah al-‘Alaq, Qur’an 96:  1 – 5)





That night was Laylatul Qadr – the Night of Decree, of Power.





{Indeed, We sent it (the Qur’an) down during the Night of Decree! And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months; the angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter… Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.} (Qur’an 97:1-5)





Where Is Our Hira’?


Over thousands of years later, it is the blessed month of Ramadan. We are in the last 10 nights, the nights in which we were commanded by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to seek that beautiful, incredible, life-changing moment that he himself had experienced so powerfully on that fateful night.





Every year, he would seclude himself from the world to relive the majesty of Laylatul Qadr… and so too should we follow in his footsteps.





Where is our Hira’? We may not have desert caves in abundance, but we don’t need them. Location is convenient, but not necessary. At home and in our own minds, there is space and there is time. We need to seek it, create it, use it.





The seclusion we need is more than just that of relocating oneself; it is the I’tikaaf (spiritual retreat during the last ten days of Ramadan) of the soul that we require, not merely the physical.





It is so easy to be caught up in the raucous, demanding minutiae of the material world; so easy to be plugged into our devices and be distracted by bits and bytes in the cyber universe. It is so much more difficult to withdraw within oneself, to spend time connecting with our Lord rather than the closest Wi Fi.





Yet our souls crave precisely that – to experience the discomfort of breaking away from those things which are constantly tempting our physical senses, to feel the strain of spiritual discipline, to demand a shifting of the paradigm through which we view the world.





There is a wisdom behind Allah withholding knowledge of Laylatul Qadr’s exact timing; truly, He is the Most Wise. These nights are a challenge, an opportunity, an invitation to turn back to Him the way His Messengers did before us.





We often wonder why we are so overwhelmed by life; the environment is suffering, wars are raging, morals are disappearing, people are dying by incomprehensible numbers – in body and soul. What have we done? What can we do? Usually, we shrug and turn back to our daily distractions before even beginning to answer these questions.





Yet today… tonight… and every night of Ramadan after this, do something different. Isolate yourself from the pundits and celebrities convincing you to think about the shallow and the vapid, and instead go back to the ultimate source of wisdom, the only true answer to all our problems: the Magnificent Words of Allah, the Criterion, the Revelation, the Qur’an.





This Ramadan, discover your own Hira’.





{Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are indeed Signs for men of understanding. Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth. Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire!} (Surah Aal-‘Imraan, Qur’an 3:  190 – 191)





True reflection leads to true submission: the essence of Islam. Just as Muhammad (PBUH) surrendered himself to the command of Allah, even when he first thought he was unable to do so, so too must we overcome our reluctance, our own self-constructed obstacles towards obedience of our Lord.





Any Recommended Acts of Worship for Laylat al-Qadr?





QAs-salam `alaykum. Dear Sheikhs, given that the blessed night Laylat al-Qadr is approaching, we would like you to tell us what should we do in this night. Kindly inform us of the acts of worship that are recommended in this night?


ANSWER





Wa `Alaykum As-Salam Waramatullah Wabarakatuh.





In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.





All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.





In this fatwa:





1- Laylat al-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good.





2- If a believing person is keen to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience.





3- If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.





Elaborating more on this issue, we would like to cite the following:





During Laylat al-Qadr, every Muslim should do the following:





Praying Qiyam





It is recommended to make a long Qiyam prayer during the nights on which Laylat al-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadiths, such as the following:





Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) relates: “We fasted with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) in Ramadan. He did not lead us in Qiyam (Night Vigil Prayer) at all until there were seven nights of Ramadan left. Then he stood with us (that night, in Prayer) until one third of the night had passed. He did not pray with us on the sixth. On the fifth night, he prayed with us until half of the night had passed. So we said, ‘Allah’s Messenger! Wouldn’t you pray with us the whole night?’ He replied: ‘Whoever stands in Prayer with Imam until he (the Imam) concludes the Prayer, it will be recorded for him that he prayed the whole night…” (Ibn Abi Shaybah, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)





Abu Dawud mentioned: “I heard Ahmad being asked, ‘Do you like for a man to pray with the people or by himself during Ramadan?’ He replied, ‘Pray with the people’ I also heard him say, ‘I would prefer for one to pray Qiyam with Imam and to pray Witr with him as well, for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When a man prays with the Imam until he concludes, he’ll earn the reward of praying the rest of that night.”





Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Laylat al-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 phrase “and it is facilitated for him”, according to the version narrated by Ahmad, on the authority of Ubadah Ibn As-Samit, means that a person 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 (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that she asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat al-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 Oft-Forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me).” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah and At-Tirmithi)





Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship


It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat al-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah. This is based on the following Hadith narrated by Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her): “Upon entering into the last ten (of Ramadan), the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would tighten his Izar (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)





She also said: “Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to exert more efforts (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights.” (Muslim)





 





4 Things to Do in the Last Precious Ten Days





“So how’s Ramadan going for you?”





It’s the perennial question on everybody’s lips at this time of Ramadan, and how are you answering it?





Insha’Allah you’re able to say that it’s going well for you and you’re achieving your targets and gaining the benefit from this blessed month. But don’t worry if you can’t say that fully yet, as the best has been saved for last!





We’re now on the final run down to `Eid, having passed through the ten days of asking for mercy and the ten days of asking for forgiveness, and now we’re into the ten days of asking for protection from the Fire. These last ten days are the most precious days of the most precious month.





The Prophet (peace be upon him) “would strive (to do acts of worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time”. (Muslim)





So this is the time to follow his beautiful example and really start to focus on your `ibadah (worship). So how can you, as a new Muslim, do that?





Be Generous in Thoughts…


“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all people in doing good, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)





This is the time to be generous in both your thoughts and your deeds.





Ramadan and the Ups & Downs of Faith





It’s very easy as a new Muslim to be critical of other people, especially about other Muslim’s practice of Islam. Sometimes we get so carried away with our own striving to please Allah that we forget that Islam for others isn’t something new and exciting.





It’s something they have been living with all their lives; they may not have sought knowledge as enthusiastically as you have been doing or they may be experiencing an iman dip.





So instead of criticizing other Muslims, who find it difficult to practice Islam as well as you’d like them to, try to understand them and then try to gently encourage them.





The same goes for non-Muslims. Remember back to your pre-Islamic days and how you justified your behavior? Be generous in your thoughts of others and instead of criticizing, find an excuse and also ask Allah to guide them.





“…and there is no one who loves to accept an excuse more than Allah, and because of this He sent the bringers of good news and the warners…” (Al-Bukhari)





… and Deeds


Last Days of Ramadan - Seek Solitude at its End





Also strive to be generous in your deeds. Look out for any opportunities to do a good turn for your family, neighbors and friends. 





This is also a great time for giving extra in charity, as its reward is increased. Many people choose this time to give their zakat al-mal (obligatory charity on wealth) away to cleanse their wealth and to get the extra benefit.





If you don’t personally know someone from the eight categories who is deserving of zakah, look out for charities that support people in your local area or country, and if there is no-one locally in need, seek out those in other countries in need.





Many charities have special Ramadan drives to take advantage of this generous time, so choose the most reliable trustworthy ones, as far as you can.





The last ten days of Ramadan is a great time to clear out your cupboards. I make it an annual habit to go through mine and give away all my unwanted and unused items or send them to be recycled.





If you have items in the back of your cupboards that you have no use for and that others might benefit from, give them away or find a local charity or charity shop to give them to.





If you have clothes that you haven’t worn for a year, especially your old pre-Islamic ones, do you really need to keep them? And don’t just give away the tatty ones; give the good stuff away too:





Never will you attain the good (reward) until you spend (in the way of Allah) from that which you love. (Aal `Imran 3:92)





I`tikaf or Qiyam


Barakah - How Can We Obtain More Blessings in Ramadan





One of the best ways of really focusing on your worship is to cut out all worldly cares and just concentrate on getting closer to Allah.





As long as you make your intention for i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), your reward will be in accordance with the amount of time you spend there. 





Wherever you spend your time, find a quiet place where you can bury yourself in worship of your Creator, away from the internet, TV and family worries. If you have slipped in any of your targets of reading the Qur’an in your language or in Arabic, or memorizing Qur’an or new du’a, this is the perfect time to catch up.





You can get out your du’a list and use this time to supplicate for everything you want Allah to help you or others with; especially for Him to guide your family to Islam.





And you can read inspiring books and articles and make pledges about the changes you’re going to make in your life. And just take time out to contemplate on Allah’s blessings and mercy.





Search for Laylat Al-Qadr


“Look for Laylat-Al-Qadr (The Night of Power) in the last ten nights of Ramadan, on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of the last ten nights of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)





This is the most precious night of the precious days of the precious month. Whatever you do, make plans to spend the odd nights of the last ten (i.e. the night before the odd day, as Islamic days start from Maghrib) in deep worship, either in the mosque, with friends or at home.





Set aside all other plans so you can get the reward of this night, which is worth that of a thousand months. Imagine one night’s worship being equivalent to worshiping consistently for 83 years and 4 months! How can you afford to miss it?





This is a great night to ask Allah to keep you on the path He has guided you to, to ask Him to strengthen your faith and your wisdom, and to ask Him to help you find the path by which you can best serve Him and His Ummah. And while you’re there, add this dua’ as well:





`A’ishah (may God be pleased with her) said:





“O Messenger of Allah! What if I knew which night Laylat-Al-Qadr was, what should I say in it?”





He said





“Say: Allahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee (O Allah! You are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me).”



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