Laylat al-Qadr– Night of Power or the Night of Decree is a very important occasion in Islam and in every Muslims lives. Laylatul Qadr is the crowning glory of the sacred month of Ramadhan. In this sacred month Allah has made obligatory for every muslim to fast from dawn to dusk. One can break their fast only after they have heard Magrib Adhan (call for prayer).It was in holy month of Ramadhan when Allah send down the Glorious Qur’an, the last and final Book of Allah on His last Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam), for the guidance of mankind. In Muslim history not only did Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) receive his first revelation of the Glorious Quran, but this month marks the anniversary (or beginning) of his Prophet hood on earth. This night is in last phase of Ramadhan i.e. around the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims all over the world spend this night devoted in prayers as it holds special blessings for those in prayer.
On the night of power 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 Allah wills in that year.
What is meant by the idea that the destiny of all creatures is written on Laylat al-Qadr is that 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.
Why Laylat al-Qadr is celebrated in Ramadhan?
Allah has singled out the month of Ramadan with special virtues that are not present in any other month. It is the best of months. Allah has placed Laylatul Qadr in the month of Ramadan, of which He says in Quran :
“The Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months”[al-Qadr 97:3]
i.e., worship on that night brings a greater reward than worshipping for a thousand months; this is by the great bounty of Allah towards this ummah (nation – i.e., the Muslims). Laylat al-Qadar is found to be on the last nights of Ramadan, mostly in on one of the odd nights (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th) whereby night precedes day..Hence the Muslims strive hard in worship during these ten days more than at other times, seeking this blessed night. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadan as he never did at any other time, praying, reading Qur’aan and making du’aa’. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim (Authentic Hadith Book) narrated from “Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that when the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Prophet (pbuh) would stay up at night and would wake his family up, and would abstain from marital relations”. Ahmad and Muslim (Authentic Hadith Book) narrated that he used to used to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadan as he never did at any other time.
Acts of Worship During Ramadan:
With regard to what we Muslims do in Ramadan, we seek to draw closer to Allah and strive hard in worship. Various kinds of worship have been prescribed for us, by which we seek to draw closer to Allah. These include the following:
- Fasting: This means refraining from food, drink, intercourse and sexual activity from dawn until sunset.
- Prayers at night (Taraweeh): Praying at night (qiyaam al-layl) has a great effect in purifying and reforming hearts, and is also a means of forgiveness of sin.
- Reading Qur’aan: The Muslim knows that reading a single letter of the Qur’aan brings a tenfold reward, and that reading a single page brings a thousand rewards (hasanaat).
- Charity and feeding the poor: Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous in Ramadan.
- Supplication: Ramadan is the month of supplication (du’aa’) and the du’aa’ (supplication) of one who has fasted at the time of breaking the fast will not be rejected.
- I’tikaaf (“retreat” for worship): This means staying in the mosque in order to devote oneself to worship of Allah. It is Sunnah in the last ten days of Ramadan, seeking Laylat al-Qadr.
- Zakaat al-Fitr: Allah has enjoined a special charity to be given at the end of Ramadan. It is 2.5% of the total wealth one has. It is obligatory upon every Muslim.
- The Eid prayer :Allah has also enjoined that those who have fasted should offer the Eid prayer, as a conclusion to these good deeds that they have done during Ramadan, and as a way of bringing them together to express their joy and gratitude towards Allah.
Significance of Laylat al-Qadr:
It is believed that if a person gets Laylat al-Qadr he will get rewards of worshipping Allah for more than thousands of months.The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enjoined staying up and praying on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward. “Whoever stays up and prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”.
The fact that he (peace and blessings of Allah 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 Allah be upon him), for he is the best example, and he should strive hard in worshipping Allah. 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.So Allah has called it Laylat al-Qadr, because of its great value and high status with Allah, and because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during 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 Allah by doing so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to seek this night, hoping to gain some good from it, and he is the example for this Ummah.
Allah 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 judgement (dooms day), 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 Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and he should strive in making du’aa’ and seeking to draw close to Allah.
BY BASMAH ANSARI
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