How To Benefit From Laylatul Qadr
Salam Walekum, today's post is a continuation of yesterday's FAQs About Laylatul Qadr. It would answer two hand in hand questions - Which night of Ramadan is the Night of Laylatul Qadr and How do we benefit from it? Having talked so much of so many blessings associated with this blessed night in the month of Ramadan, the next question that comes to mind automatically is. Exactly. Which night in Ramadan is the 'Night of Al-Qadr'? There are numerous narrations reported by almost all major collections of hadiths on this subject. We can find a hadith saying it is on the 27th night of Ramadan; we can also find a hadith telling it about 25th night to be the night; some say it is 21st. However, the most comprehensive narration for us is following:
Narrated Aishah (RA): Allah's Messenger (SAW) said, "Search for the Night of Laylatul Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan."- (Hadith No. 2017, Book of Superiority of the 'Night of Qadr', Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3).
Therefore, the Laylatul Qadr is one of the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan (i.e. 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th). It could be either of these; it has been left to every Muslim to find out for himself/herself which one it is. My post Signs of Laylatul Qadr may be of assistance.
To answer the second question of how to prepare and benefit from this blessed night is simple. Continue teh acts of ibaadah you have been doing so far during the month of Ramadan like performing solat, reciting the Quran, studying and discussing about Islam, making dua to Allah seeking His mercy & forgiveness, doing Dhikr of Allah in all possible manners etc. We just have to add an extra act which i know most people do already - Qayaam-ul-Layl. Qayaam-ul-Layl simply means Remembrance of Allah. It includes offering Solat and reciting Qur’an at night. The Salaat associated with Qayaam-ul-Layl is called Tahajjud. Tahajjud is one of the most ignored solat with a lot of division as to its status as being a farz prayer or not. Some go as far as saying your daily solat is not complete without a few rakahs of Tahajjud. I think it is a personal decision we all have to make individually. Insha Allah, over the next few days, i would go in depth about Qayaam-ul-Layl.
Ibadah for the Laylatul Qadr can be done in two (in fact three) manners:
Qayaam-ul-Layl at home – This is one of the highly recommended ways of doing Ibadah at night. It includes performing Tahajjud prayers, reciting Qur'an, making dua to Allah seeking His mercy and forgiveness etc. Praying during night at home is considered to be a worship of very high grade as it is recommended by our beloved Prophet (SAW) to perform voluntary prayers at home.
- Qayaam-ul-Layl in masjid – Ibadah at night in last ten nights of Ramadan is also done in masjids. In this context it is neccesary to highlight one more recommended act of worship i.e. Itikaaf. Itiakaf means 'to confine oneself in a mosque for prayers, invocations and Ibadah, leaving the worldly activities for a limited number of days.' The Prophet (SAW) used to observe Itikaaf in masjid during the last ten nights of Ramadan. It is a highly recommended Sunnah, and one of the ways of doing Qayaam-ul-Layl in masjid.
We have already read that the worship in this night is equivalent to worship done in 1000 other months. We have also read that whoever sincerely prays to Allah during this night, seeking His mercy, his all past sins will be forgiven. If all this at offer is not able to attract us, then it is a pity. Come on brothers and sisters, let us pray and get the benefits.
The Prophet (SAW) used to prepare himself specially for doing Ibadah in the last ten nights of Ramadan. Following hadith tells us about his specific preparation for this period:
Narrated Aishah (RA): With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (SAW) used to tighten his waist belt and used to keep awake all the night and perform Salat, and also used to keep his family awake for the Salat. - (Hadith No. 2024, Book of Superiority of the 'Night of Qadr', Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3).
Here again we need to clarify something. I have heard numerous alfas, imams and even scholars addressing gatherings, quoting hadiths; surprizingly and sadly, they interpret the hadith absolutely wrong and convey wrong the message to common people in their lectures. We should develop the culture to learn things on our own, if a scholar says something, it is never too much to double check. They tell people that the phrase '… tighten his waist belt…' signifies that one should not have physical relationship with his wife during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Now, this to me is a very immature understanding of the hadith. The correct interpretation is that the Prophet (SAW) used to get ready for the last ten days of Ramadan. Tightening his waist belt means to get ready, to work hard for the task to be undertaken (i.e. worship during those days). This is a very common saying not just among the Muslims but the entire world regardless of faith, whenever someone wants to emphasize that one should get ready to undertake any task, he/she should tighten his/her waist, thereby meaning to make oneself ready in all aspects and work hard to undertake the task successfully. It has got nothing to do with physical relations with ones spouse, absolutely nothing. But if someone is observing I'tikaf, then he is not allowed to have physical relations with his/her spouse during the period of I'tikaf (only). Just as you cant have any physical relationship with your spouse during the fasting hours. Let us make our facts clear please.
The bottom line is to enable ourselves prepare in all aspects to perform Ibadah in whole month of Ramadan (even during nights of other months), more specifically during the last ten days of Ramadan. Let us try to reap maximum benefits of every Ramadan, specially the benefits of the last ten nights. Let us try to stand up for the sake of worshipping Allah in the nights of Ramadan. Let us try to search for the Night of Al-Qadr and be among the blessed and the forgiven ones, Insha Allah.
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