Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Night of Decree - Laylat Al-Qadr Part 1

On the 27th night of Ramadan, 13 B.H (before Hijrah), Prophet Muhammad's soul was summoned to the highest universe and the whole Quran was revealed to him. Subsequently, the Quran was released to Muhammad's memory a few verses at a time, with the assistance of angel Gabriel, over a period of some 23 years.

Here are some related verses from the Quran:See Video Clip (with English translation)

"We have sent it down in a blessed night, for we are to warn. In it (the scripture), every matter of wisdom is clarified."

"Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation."

"The Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord, truthfully, to assure those who believe, and to provide a beacon and good news for the submitters".

"We revealed it in the Night of Destiny. How awesome is the Night of Destiny! The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by their Lord's leave, to carry out every command. Peaceful it is until the advent of the dawn."

About this night, God, the Glorious and Exalted said:

In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful
Indeed We sent it [the Holy Quran] down on the Night of Power.
What will convey to you what the Night of Power is like!
Better is the Night of Power than a thousand months
in that Night the angels and the Spirit descend
by the permission of their Lord for every affair.
Peace it is, till the break of dawn.
[Quran, Chapter 97]

The word 'Qadr' means decree; 'Qadar' It also means ‘majesty’ or ‘high esteem’. Thus, Laylat al-Qadr, or the Night of Qadr means ‘Night of Decree’ or ‘the Night of Majesty.’

And He says: “We have sent this (Qur'aan) down on a blessed night. Verily! We always warn (people from sinning). In it, every matter of ordainment is decreed by Our Command. Verily! We always send (the messengers for guidance). It is a Mercy from Your Lord; He is indeed All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” [Soorah ad-Dhukhan (44): 3-5]

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven.” The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) also said, “Seek it in the last ten days, on the odd nights.”

How to seek Laylat al-Qadr?

Laylat al-Qadr is the most blessed night. One who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of rewards. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase in good deeds, he should strive to encounter this night and spend it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.

Qiyam: It is recommended to make a long Qiyam (standing) in prayer during the nights on which Laylat al-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in a number of Ahadeeth. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Laylat al-Qadr (and it is facilitated to him) out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), will have all his previous sins forgiven.”

Supplication: It is also recommended to make extensive supplications on the night of Laylat al-Qadr. Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anha) reported that she asked the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): "O Messenger of Allah r! If I knew the night of Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) instructed her to say: “Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fa'fu anni” O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me.”

It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the night 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 Allah. Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anha) reported: “When the (last) ten days started, the Prophet of Allah 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.”

How to Observe Laylat Al-Qadr

See Video Clips on Laylat Al-Qadr Doa:-

Doa 1.

Doa 2.

Gain a basic understanding of what Laylat Al-Qadr is about.

1.Laylat Al-Qadar anniversary of the day that Muhammad received the first revelation from God with which to guide the people. Later, a complete revelation, which became the basis of the Qur'an, was also received by Muhammad on this date.

2.Learn that Shia Muslims also believe that Laylat Al-Qadr is the date on which God will reveal their fates for the coming year. They pray for salvation and reward throughout the night, a tradition known as "Ehyaa."

3.Prepare to observe the entire month of Ramadan with prayer, study of the Qur'an and acts of charity. However, these elements become of the utmost importance during Laylat Al-Qadr. Many spend day and night at the mosque in solemn prayer and meditation during the last 10 days of the month, a revival known as 'i'tikaf.'

4.Expect to fast during the daylight hours of the month of Ramadan leading up to the observance of Laylat Al-Qadr. However, light meals can be shared with family and friends in the evening during a gathering known as 'iftar.'

5.Spend time devoting to the study of the Qur'an and special prayers in addition to the five daily prayers while you observe Laylat Al-Qadr. If you elect to spend Laylat Al-Qadr at the mosque, food and supplies (when not fasting) are usually provided.

6.Ask God for salvation and blessings as you observe Laylat Al-Qadr. This "Night of Power" is considered the most appropriate time of the entire year to do so.

May Allah give us the success of following in the footsteps of the inheritors of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), outwardly and inwardly, and may He make us of those whom He loves.

This is one of the many reasons why one should strive to establish the night vigil prayer (tahajjud), daily.

And Allah alone gives success.

Walaikum assalam.