Glory is due to Allah (SWT) by whose grace and mercy we are able to witness the most virtuous part of this year’s Ramadan; the last ten days of this holy month. It is the period during which sinful Muslims are liberated from Hell fire. Within this concluding part of Ramadan is a night that is better than a thousand months. This virtuous night is called ‘Laylat ul-Qadr’; meaning ‘The Night of Power’. Allah (SWT) asserts in Qur’an 97:3 that the ibadah (worship) observed by a Muslim on (the night of) Laylat ul-Qadr is better than all the devoutions offered in a thousand months that are not Laylat ul-Qadr.
It is on this night that the holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through Angel Jibril. The Prophet (SAW) exhorts Muslims to spend substantial part of this night in worship; seeking mercy and forgiveness of their sins from Allah (SWT). However, Allah (SWT) in His wisdom has concealed the knowledge of the exact night of Laylat ul-Qadr (just as He hides other forms of knowledge from us). Allah (SWT) states Qur’an31:34that “Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He that sends down rain, and (it is)He that knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone knows what it is that he will earn tomorrow; nor does anyone knows in what land he is to die…”
Aisha (RA) reports that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Seek for Laylat ul-Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadan”. Imam Malik (RA) reports in his Muwatta that Ziyad related from Malik that he heard a man he trusted of the people of knowledge say, “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was shown the lifespan of the people (who had gone) before him and it was as if the lifecycle of his Ummah (community) had comparatively become too short for them (to have enough time) to do as many good deeds as those before them did. So, Allah gave him Laylat ul-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months”.
Many scholars share the view that Laylat ul-Qadr falls on either the night of 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th which are the odd days in the last ten days of Ramadan. In practical terms, Muslims are encouraged to search for Laylat ul-Qadr on the night preceding the odd days listed above. For example, today Saturday June 9, 2018which is the 24th day of Ramadan is also a night to seek for Laylat ul-Qadr; being the night preceding tomorrow Sunday June 10, 2018 which is the 25th day of Ramadan. Many scholars opine that Laylat ul-Qadr occurs on the 27th day of Ramadan. A School of Thought that shares this view goes further to explain that the Arabic letters which make up the Arabic phrase ‘Laylat ul-Qadr’ are nine in number, and that the phrase occurs three times in the holy Qur’an. It gives a total of 27 when nine is multiplied by 3; buttressing 27th of Ramadan as Laylat ul-Qadr.
Muslims are generally exhorted by the Prophet (SAW) to intensify their devoutional acts during the last ten days of Ramadan. No restrictions are placed on a Muslim as to which particular form of worship to engage in during Laylat ul-Qadr. It is nonetheless profitable if a Muslim diversifies his ibadah as to include tilawah (recitation the holy Qur’an), observing nafilah (superogatory) prayers, seeking for forgiveness, glorifying Allah through Tasbih (saying ‘Suhana-llah’), or Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar), or Tahlil (saying ‘La ilaha ila-llah’), or Tahmid (saying Alhamdu lillah, or similar invocations of glory and gratitude to Allah (SWT). Aisha (RA) once asked the Prophet (SAW) of what to recite on this night. The Prophet (SAW) replied, ‘Say: O Allah! You are Pardon; You like Pardon; Pardon me’, which Arabic version reads as: ‘Allahumma Anta Afwun, Tuhibb ul-Afwa, Fa’fu anni’.
The sincere worship of Allah (SWT) is thebasic purpose of man’s creation. This implies that with or without Ramadan, worship is meant to be man’s preoccupation. The entire life span of man is, thus, a period for worshiping Allah(SWT) who states in Qur’an 51:56 “I have only created Jinn and men that they may serve Me”. All acts of ibadah performed by man are to his ownadvantage. Allah has nothing to gain form our serving Him.
However, Allah (SWT) in His infinite mercy chose to bless believers with a special period during which the ultimate of creation becomes easily accessible and realizable. The Creator of the heavens and the earth makes the rotation of the earth to produce day and night, which also begets one lunar month every 30 or 29 days. He (SWT) similarly causes a complete circle of the revolution of the earth to result into a year after every 365 days. Among the 12 lunar months in a year are some months that Allah has made sacred. He states in Qur’an 9:36 “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year) so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred…” Besides the four sacred months which according to scholars are Dhul Qi’dah, Dhul Hajj, Muharram and Rajab; Ramadan is another special month which Allah has madedistinct.
In the same wisdom in which Allah (SWT) distinguished Muhammad (SAW) among His prophets and messengers with a unique message to mankind and Jinn; graded the holy mosque of Ka’abah, the Prophet’s mosque and the Al-Aqsa mosque above other mosques in the universe; and honoured Friday with special virtues that are missing in other days of the week; He has also, in His mercy, ranked Laylat ul-Qadr higher than all other nights; making a believer’s worship during this night worth the devoution performed in a thousand other nights.
Now, if Laylat ul-Qadr with its exclusive worth is singled out for our own religious benefit, we thus have no reason as believers whose ultimate goal is bliss in paradise, not to take advantage of the spiritual bonuses it offers.Let us not miss the singular opportunity presented by Laylat ul-Qadr. Aside of glorifying Allah and seeking for forgiveness, let us use the night to also ask Allah for all our needs including blessed money, useful knowledge, saintly heart, healthy body, righteous wife, respectful children, profitable employment, a comfortable house that will relieve us from the torments of exorbitant rents,a good car, success and prosperity in life. May Allah guide us to seek and earn Laylat ul-Qadr, amin.