Date: 3rd July 2015, 15th Ramadan 1436
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Ramadan is such a month that has been directly mentioned in the Quran. No other has been mentioned as such in the Quran. All of us need to understand the importance and virtue of this month as it is clearly regarding as an invaluable period to our Lord, Allah.
This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. It is the spring season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. It offers every Muslim an opportunity to strengthen his Imaan, purify his heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him.
Ramadan has been regarding as the “Spring Season” in Islam due to its specialty. In spring we find the new leaves sprout, flowers blossom to give its mesmerizing aroma. In Ramadan, it is just like that, Allah bestows His limitless blessings and mercy on His creations. A two rakah salah druing Ramadan may seem normal to us but none of us can comprehend the amount of blessing we are accumulating through this simple amal.
We may ask, “Why do we need so much blessing from Allah?” Actually on the Day of Judgment, it will be such that our Ibadah and good deeds will be shown to us matched with the bad deeds and there can be instances where people will be strewn all over just to gather one extra blessing so as to get to Jannah. None of us know our fate in the Hereafter so we need to accumulate as many as blessing s as possible. Now that the month of Ramadan is on its leave now we need to realize one of its special nights. That’s right it is the “Night of Qadr”.
This is such a night that Allah has described it as a night better than a thousand months. This is a night which was bestowed only on the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Compared to our ancestors and the previous Prophets, we are not blessed with a long life. Allah revealed the virtue of the Night of Qadr in Surah Al-Qadr by saying:
The night of Al-Qadr (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).
Surah Al-Qadr, Ayah 3 (97: 3) Translation: Muhsin Khan
As to the reason behind revelation of this powerful verse of the Qur’an, Imam as-Suyuti (Rahmatullah Allaih) mentions in his book that once Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), mentioned about the story of a person from among the Children of Israel who had strived (Jihad) in the path of Allah for 1000 months. Upon hearing this, the Sahabah (companions) were astonished and at the same time they became very despondent on the basis that how will they ever be able to accomplish such a feat (after all, very few live that long to be able to engage oneself in jihad for 83 years and 4 months). So Allah revealed this noble verse as a solace to the believers. The followers of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) don’t have to match what that pious Israelite had done; only a fully engaged worship of one night in the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) – would be equivalent in merit.
Reference: “Lubaabun Nuqool” by Imam As-Suyuti (Rahmatullah Allaih)
Allah has clearly mentioned that Prophet Nuh (Alayhi As-Salām) solely did Dawah for nine fifty years. In the Quran it is mentioned:
And We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years, and the flood seized them while they were wrongdoers.
Surah Al-Ankabut, Ayah 14 (29:14)
Surah Qadr was revealed to give the chance to the Ummahs of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to proceed in terms of Ibadah in comparison to the other Ummahs of the earlier Prophets. Since the Ummahs of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) do not possess a very long Hayat, that is why we were given a Night, which is better than a thousand months. One very misconception is that many people say Shab-e-Qadar is on the 27th of Ramadan. It is true that the Quran got revealed on the 27th of Ramadan.
According to Allah’s statements in His Book, there were two distinct revelations of the Quran which took place. Allah caused the Quran to descend from the Protected Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuth) on which it was written to the lowest heaven. In this revelation all of the Quran was sent down at one time to a station in the lowest heaven referred to as “Bayt al-‘Izzah” (The House of Honor or Power). The blessed night on which this descent took place is called “Laylatul Qadr” (The Night of Decree), one of the odd-numbered nights in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. From the lowest heaven sections of the Quran were then taken down by the angel Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) to Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). This process of revelation continued over the twenty-three years of his Prophethood.
However, it is not evident that on which particular night Shab-e-Qadr will take place for us. We need to strive in order to receive the blessing of Shab-e-Qadr and we need to search for it on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Hadith states:
Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) heard Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say, “Seek it (meaning Laylat al-Qadr), on the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh, or on the last night (on the month of Ramadan).”
Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2092
The exact date of the Night of Qadr was in fact forgotten by the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Now, people may wonder how come the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) forgot an important date of the Night of Qadr.
The incident is mentioned so in this Hadith:
Narrated by ‘Ubada bin As-Samit (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) came out to inform us about the Night of Qadr but two Muslims were quarreling with each other. So, the Prophet said, “I came out to inform you about the Night of Qadr but such-and-such persons were quarreling, so the news about it had been taken away; yet that might be for your own good, so search for it on the 29th, 27th and 25th (of Ramadan).
Reference: Sahih Bukhari, Book 32, Hadith 240
It should be realized that Allah is the One who took the knowledge away from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and it is only for our own good. If a specific night was mentioned then people only would have done Ibadah for one night only and forget about the rest of the nights of Ramadan.
Regarding the virtue of this night, it is magnificently mentioned in one Hadith. The Hadith goes like this:
Narrated by Anas ibn Malik (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu): Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said that when Laylat al-Qadr comes, Jibirl (Alayhi As-Salām) descends with a company of Angels who invoke blessings on ever who is standing or sitting and remembering Allah, who is Great and Glorious.
Then when their festival day comes, i.e. the day when they break their fast, Allah speaks proudly of them to His angels saying, “My Angels, what is the reward of a hired servant who has fully accomplished his work?” They reply, “Our Lord, his reward is that he should be paid his wage in full.” He says, “My Angels, My male and female servants have fulfilled what I have made obligatory for them, and then have come out raising their voices in supplication. By My might, glory, honor, high dignity and exalted station, I shall certainly answer them.”
Then He says, “Return, for I have forgiven you and changed your evil deeds into good deeds.” He said that they then returned having received forgiveness.
Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2096. Imam Bayhaqi (Rahmatullah Allaih) transmitted it in Shu’ab al-Iman.
When Angels descend so as to ask forgiveness on our behalf, we should be steadfast in our Ibadah. If they find us wide asleep, how can they even supplicate for us to our Lord? Reciting the Quran, praying Salah and doing Dhikr should be the three main amals. Apart from this there is yet another Ibadah we are highly recommend to perform.
One mean of receiving blessing of the Night of Qadr is by doing Itikaf. Itikaf is termed as “Sunnah Mu’akkadah ‘alal Kifayah”. That means, if a person from the community performs Itikaf, the entire community will be absolved of this duty. Otherwise all the residents will be accountable for neglecting this Sunnah. This Sunnah has been forgotten although it should have been known by us that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to perform Itikaf every year.
In Hadith it is mentioned about the blessing of Ramadan:
Ali Ibn Hussain (Radi Allahu Anhu) narrates from his father that Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “He who observes the ten days I’tikaf during Ramadhan will obtain the reward of two Hajj & two Umrah.”
Even if a person does not do anything in the Masjid and sit quietly the Angels will write blessings under his name as he is sacrificing his worldly life and came all this way for Allah’s sake. That is why we should all endeavor to do Itikaf.
Itikaf is a way of saving ourselves from sinning as constantly we are living in a condition where our Imaan is high as we are situated in the Masjid which is regarded as the House of Allah. Even sleeping and resting will be regarded as Ibadah during Itikaf as the person is sacrificing his normal life for the sake of Allah. One important point, in case of the food supply, the person can go and fetch his food from his home but he should not stay there for long given that he has no servant to carry the food to the Masjid.
Another Ibadah which can everyone can forward to is charity. Allah explains the reward of giving charity in one beautiful ayah:
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 261 (2:261) Translation: Sahih International
For one unit of currency, considering we get 70 times blessing during Ramadan, if we donate that amount we will get a multiplied blessings of 49,000, Allah is never short of His blessings and He is ever so bountiful.
We are in need our Lord’s blessings as on the Day of Judgment, there will be no one except of Allah to help us from Hell-fire. No parents, no relatives, spouses, children will be willing to assist us on that Day as the torment will make us forget one another.
O mankind! Be afraid of your Lord (by keeping your duty to Him and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, let not then this (worldly) present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver (Shaitan) deceive you about Allah.
Surah Luqman, Ayah 33 (31:33) Translation: Muhsin Khan
Allah loves us and wants to see us all in Jannah so He has given us chances on which we can work on so as to earn Jannah. One of these chances being the Night of Qadr- the night which is promised to be better than a thousand months.