Virtues Of The Lailatul-Qadar.
Fri, September 12, 2008 Leave a comment
The Night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, which is 83 years and 4 months).
A Blessed Night.
Allah SWT Says: “Ha-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an and none but Allah Alone knows their meanings].By the manifest Book (this Qur’an) that makes things clear. We sent it [this Qur’an] down on a blessed night [i.e. the Night of Al-Qadar in the month of Ramadhan].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’an 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.” [Surah Ad-Dukhan, 44:1-6]
In the above ayat Allah SWT described about Lailatul-Qadar.
Allah SWT described Lailatul Qadar as a blessed night: “We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night” [Al-Dukhan, 44:3].
Ibn ‘Abbas and others said: “Allah sent down the Qur’an at one time from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz to Baitul ‘Izzah in the first heaven, then it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah SAW in stages according to events over twenty-three years.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 4/529]
The Night Decreed Every Matter Of Ordainments.
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 Allah wills in that year.
The destiny of all creatures is written on Lailatul-Qadar – and Allah knows best – that on Lailatul-Qadar they are transferred from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz.
“Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [Al-Dukhan, 44:4], means the affairs of that year are dispatched from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz 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. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 4/137, 138].
All of this is already known to Allah 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 Sahih Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 8/57].
The Night Of Seeking Forgiveness
Allah SWT called it Lailatul-Qadar, because of its great value and high status with Allah, and because so many sins are forgiven that night. For it is the night of forgiveness. Abu Hurairah RA narrated that the Prophet SAW said:
“Whoever stays up during Lailatul-Qadar out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
On that night “Many angels descend of this night because it is so blessed, and the angels descend when together with Allah’s blessing and mercy, just as when Qur’an is recited, and they surround the dzikir gatherings, and they beat their wings for the one who sincerely seeks knowledge, out of respect for him.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir].
The night is described as peace, i.e., it is safe, for the Syaitan cannot do any evil or cause any harm on this night, as Mujahid said. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir].
On that night, many people are saved from punishment because of what they do to worship Allah SWT.
Allah SWT 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 hadith of Abu Hurairah RA that the Prophet SAW said:
“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever stays up during Lailatul-Qadar out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The phrase “out of faith and in the hope of earning rewards” means, believing in Allah’s promise of reward for this, and seeking the reward, with no other aim or purpose, such as showing off etc.” (Fath al-Bari, 4/251).
Allah has revealed Surah Al-Qadar concerning this night which Allah SWT mentions the honour and great value of this night:
“Verily, we have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadar (Decree).And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is. The Night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” [Al-Qadar 97:1-5]
The Night Of Al-Qadar (Decree) Is Better Than A Thousand Months
The Night of Al-Qadar (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 SAW 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 the Night of Al-Qadar during the last ten nights of the month. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri RA said that The Messenger of Allah SAW performed I’tikaf during the first ten days of Ramadhan, then he did I’tikaf 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 took the mat in his hand and put it at the side of the tent, and then he raised his head to speak to the people, so they came closer to him.
The SAW Prophet said: “I did I’tikaf during the first ten days, seeking this night, and then I did I’tikaf 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’tikaf, let him do so.” So the people did I’tikaf 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 Subuh 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. [Muslim].
Abu Sa’id said: “It rained on the night of the twenty-first, and the roof of the mosque leaked over the place where the Messenger of Allah SAW was praying. I looked at him, when he had finished praying Solat al-Subuh, and his face was wet with mud and water.” [Bukhari and Muslim].
‘Abdullah ibn Unays RA that was similar to the hadith of Abu Sa’id, except that he said, “it rained on the night of the twenty-third.” [Muslim]
Ibn ‘Abbas RA, narrated that the Prophet SAW said: “Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadhan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.” [Al-Bukhari].
The Prophet SAW said: “Seek it in the last ten nights, on the odd-numbered nights.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Sheikh-Ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah 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 SAW 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’id al-Khudri in the sahih hadith, and this is how the Prophet SAW prayed qiyam during this month. If this is the case, then the believer should seek it in all of the last ten days.” [Al-Fatawa, 25/284, 285].
It was reported, in a hadith narrated by Ahmad from Ibn ‘Umar and a hadith narrated by Abu Dawud from Muawiyah that the Prophet SAW said: “Lailatul-Qadar is the night of the twenty-seventh.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawud].
There is no syar’ie evidence (dalil) to support this manner of analysis, and there is no need for such calculations, because we have sufficient syar’ie evidence available to us.
The view that it is usually the night of the twenty-seventh – and Allah knows best – does not mean that this is always the case. It could be the night of the twenty-first, as mentioned in the hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above, or it could be the twenty-third, as mentioned in the report of ‘Abdullah Ibn Unays RA quoted above.
According to a hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas RA, the Prophet SAW said: “Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadhan, and when there are nine days left, and when seven days left, and when five days left.” [Al-Bukhari].
Eminent scholars thought that it is more likely that Lailatul-Qadar moves and does not occur on a specific night each year. Al-Nawawi RA said: “This is the apparent meaning because of the conflict between the sahih hadith on this matter, and there is no way to reconcile the hadith apart from saying that Lailatul-Qadar moves.” [Al-Majmu’, 6/450].
Allah SWT 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 Lailatul al-Qadar and following the example of our Prophet SAW, and he should strive in making do’a’ and seeking to draw close to Allah.
Aishah said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what do you think, if I witness Lailatul-Qadar, what I should say?’ Prophet SAW said: ‘Say, O Allah You are Forgiving and Generous, and you love forgiveness, so forgive me.’” [Ahmad, Tirmidzi and Ibn Majah].
The Prophet SAW I’tikaf In The Mosque
A greater virtue is attached to I’tikaf on this night than on any other night of the year. I’tikaf means staying in the mosque to worship Allah the Exalted.
The Prophet SAW used to spend these ten days in I’tikaf, as stated in the hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above. He spent the first ten days in I’tikaf, and then the middle ten days, then he told them that he had been seeking Lailatul al-Qadar, and that he had been shown that it was in the last ten days, and the Prophet SAW said: “Whoever was doing I’tikaf with me, let him do I’tikaf for the last ten days.”
Aishah RA that the Prophet SAW used to do I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan until he passed away, then his wives did I’tikaf after him. (Bukhari and Muslim).
When the Prophet SAW wanted to perform I’tikaf, he would pray Fajar, and then enter the place where he was to do I’tikaf, as was stated in Al-Sahihain from the Hadith of ‘Aishah.
The four imams and others said that the Prophet SAW entered it before the sun set, and they interpreted the hadith as meaning that he entered his place of I’tikaf and kept away from people after Solat al-Subuh, not that this was the time when he started his I’tikaf. [Sharh Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 8/68, 69; Fath al-Bari, 4/277).
It is Sunnah for the person in I’tikaf to keep himself busy with worship, and it is forbidden for him to have intercourse or to do anything that leads to it, because Allah Says :
“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques” [Al-Baqarah 2:187].
And not to go out of the mosque except in the case of a pressing need.
Signs of Lailatul Al-Qadar
There were reports of the sign of the descend of Lailatul-Qadar.
The first sign: Ubai ibn Ka’ab RA narrated that the Prophet SAW 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: Ibn ‘Abbas narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah, and by al-Tayalisi in his Musnad, with a sahih isnad, that the Prophet SAW said: “Lailatul-Qadar is a pleasant night, neither hot nor cold, and the following day the sun rises red and weak.” [Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, 2912; Musnad al-Tayalisi].
The third sign: Waathilah Ibn Al-Aqsa’ RA said that the Prophet RA said: “Lailatul-Qadar is a bright night, neither hot nor cold, in which no meteors are seen.” [At-Tabarani in al-Kabir. See Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 3/179; Musnad Ahmad].
It is not essential for the one who “encounters” Lailatul-Qadar 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 Allah and higher in status than those who did know which night it was, because the former strove hard.
How Do We Seek For Lailatul-Qadar?
Praise is to Allah.
1. The Prophet SAW Would Strive Hard In Worship During The Last Ten Days of Ramadhan
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadhan as he never did at any other time, I’tikaf, Qiyamulail ( night prayer), reciting Qur’an and supplicating du’a.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that during the last ten days of Ramadhan came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would stay up at night and would wake up his family and would abstain from marital relations.
Ahmad and Muslim narrated that he used to use to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadhan as he would never done it at any other time.
2. The Prophet Enjoined Staying Up And Praying On Lailatul Qadar Out Of Faith And In The Hope Of Reward
The Prophet SAW enjoined staying up and praying on Lailatul Qadar out of faith and in the hope of reward. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet SAW said: “Whoever stays up and prays on Lailatul Qadar out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Agreed upon].
This hadith indicates that it is prescribed to observe Lailatul-Qadar by spending the night in prayer.
3. Recited the du’a: Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul al-‘afwa fa’affu ‘anni
One of the best du’a that may be recited on Lailatul-Qadar is that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught to ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her). Al-Tirmidzi narrated, and classed the report as saheeh, that ‘Aishah said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is Lailatul Qadar, what I should say on that night?’ He said, ‘Say: Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul al-‘afwa fa’affu ‘anni (O Allah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).”
4. Lailatul Qadar May Fall On The Odd-Numbered Nights During The Last Ten Nights
There is no specific evidence to specifying which night of Ramadhan is Lailatul-Qadar, but the odd-numbered nights during the last ten nights [21, 23. 25, 27, 29] are more likely than others
5. Innovations Are Not Permissible During Ramadhan Or At Other Times
With regard to innovations, they are not permissible during Ramadhan or at other times. It was proven that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.”
According to another report, “Whoever does any action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.”
It should be noted that there is no basis for the celebrations that are held during some nights of Ramadhan. The best of guidance is the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and the worst of matters are those which are innovated (bid’ah).
[Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, 10/413]