THE ULTIMATE QUEST FOR LAILATUL QADR 1438.
Allah Ta’ala creates and He has all the right to privilege some of His creations over others. At dawn of our creation, Allah Ta`ala has favoured man over Angels and Jinns. Before that, Allah Ta`ala has created the universe and He has set up two precise calendars: the moon calendar and the sun calendar. Both calendars are for Allah Ta`ala, but He has favoured the moon calendar: ‘’Surely,, the number of months according to Allah is 12 as decreed by Allah on the day that He created the heavens and the Earth, of which 4 months are sacred.’’(9:36) This conclude that the Hijri calendar is the preferred calendar by Allah Ta`ala. Similarly Allah Ta`ala preferred prophets over mankind, man over women and night over day.
Allah Ta`ala has chosen the night to reveal to the beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam and He has chosen that night for Lailatul Qadr, the King of all nights. Although during the year, Allah Ta`ala have favoured some days and nights over others, but non rival with days and nights of Ramadhaan. And during Ramadhaan, the night of Qadr(night of decree) remains an elite in terms of acceptance and virtue. Allah Ta`ala has revealed a sourah to explain the scope of this night: ‘’Certainly We have revealed the Qur-aan during the night of Qadr. …The night of Qadr is much better than one thousand months.’’(Sourah Al Qadr).
The beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam has recommended us to pray during that while night.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُعَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ وَمَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
The beloved prophet SAW said: ‘’One who stand in prayer during the night of Qadr would have all his sins forgiven..’’(Bukhari)
Also the beloved prophet SAW expressed his concern of the great lost of those who neglect this night:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَتَاكُمْ رَمَضَانُ شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ صِيَامَهُ تُفْتَحُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَتُغْلَقُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَحِيمِ وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ مَرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ لِلَّهِ فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِمَ
‘’…in this month, there is a night that is better than 1000 months. One who have been deprived from its blessings, he has been really deprived enormously.’’(Sunan Nassai)
To avoid being deprived of lailatul qadr, the beloved prophet SAW used to sit for I`tikaaf. So I`tikaaf is objectively to have lailatul qadr(Bukhari).And the beloved prophet SAW told us to look for lailatul Qadr between the odd nights of last 10 days of Ramadhaan.(Bukhari) 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th. We find that lailatul qadr night may vary from years to years between these odd nights(according to imaam Abu Yousuf and Muhammad). But imaam Abu Hanifah hold the view that it is a fixed dated night every year. Worthy noting that Ubayy bin Ka`b used to take oath that he knew that lailatul Qadr is the 27th night of Ramadhaan! It was that night that the beloved prophet SAW stressed them to spend mote in `ibaadah! (Muslim)
عَنْ أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ قَالَقَالَ أُبَيٌّ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لَأَعْلَمُهَا وَأَكْثَرُ عِلْمِي هِيَ اللَّيْلَةُ الَّتِي أَمَرَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِقِيَامِهَا هِيَ لَيْلَةُ سَبْعٍ وَعِشْرِينَمسلم
But the sunnah is not one hadith, one ayah or one action. I wish to bring this point here because lots of time we find a hadith and then we make it a flag and keep on lifting that flag ignoring the whole puzzle of the picture of sunnah. Remember one puzzle help in building the scenery, but it is not the whole panorama!
Allah Ta`ala says:
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا
‘’And those who, when they are reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall at them as deaf and blind ones.’’(25:73)This ayah also means that we should not take an ayah and ignore all the rest.
So the sunnah is to follow a set pattern traced by sahabas and ear marked by Imaams like Abu Hanifah, Shafi`ee, etc. But also the justice of shariah requires that you do not ignore that one ayah or one hadith also. The fiqh of imaam Abu Hanifah is based on this principle of assembling all the puzzles of Qur-aan and Sunnah.
Khair, in this fiqh, we are going to do more `ibaadah in odd nights and also keeping in mind of that hadith of Ubayy bin Ka`b in mind. This brings us to the recommendation to finish the Qur-aan Khatm of Taraweeh on the 27th night. Fuqahas mentions it as it is reported more to be more probable as to lailatul Qadr.(Shami, Bahr and Fathul Qadeer)
قَالَ الزَّيْلَعِيُّ : وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ اسْتَحَبَّ الْخَتْمَ فِي لَيْلَةِ السَّابِعِ وَالْعِشْرِينَ رَجَاءَ أَنْ يَنَالُوا لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ ، لِأَنَّ الْأَخْبَارَ تَظَاهَرَتْ عَلَيْهَا
Remember that the best Ibaadah during lailatul Qadr is salaah. See the hadith of Bukhari mentions before. The next ibaadah is talaawat and du`as. Hazrat Aisha r.a. have blessed us with asking about the best du`a to be asked during that night:
َ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ
قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ عَلِمْتُ أَيُّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ مَا أَقُولُ فِيهَا قَالَ قُولِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عُفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Allahoumma innaka `Afouwoun kareemoun TuHibul `Afwa Fa`fu `Anni.O Allah! Certainly you are most forgiving, the most noble, You like forgiving, so do forgive me. (Tirmizi)
This reminds me of the du`a that my ustaad M Choksi prescribed me to ask when I was about to see Ka`bah first time in my life: Ask for forgiveness. This is the best we can ask during Lailatul Qadr also. Once our sins have been deleted from our book of deeds, then our du`as will be more effective on any occasions. Deleted, try to also keep istighfaar to scan the system from sins.
Also know that lailatul Qadr is the night when many administrative issues of the world and our destiny are detailed to be applied for the next year:
إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنْذِرِينَ () فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
‘’We have sent the Qur-aan down in a blessed night…In that night, every wise matter is allocated.’’(44:3,4)
Tafseers talk of our next year`s destiny of blessings or havocs, life or death, wealth or poverty, etc are loaded high from lohe Mahfooz to a closer system for application.
Men or women, try to pray maximum salaahs during this night. Else read lots of Qur-aan sitting, because it is during this night that the Qur-aan was revealed. Else those who cannot read salaah or Qur-aan because of menses, or because they are tired of salaah and tilaawat, then read the du`a that we inherited from our mother Aisha: Allahoumma innaka `Afouwoun Tuhibboul `Afwa Fa`fou `Anni.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عُفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
The night of lailatul qadr is virtuous as from maghrib to sehri. M Choksi advised us to eat less at Iftaar and eat to our fill at sehri. Less eating will enabled us to stay awake during whole night insha Allah Ta’ala. Duas also are accepted during this night. Hence keep some time for your list of duas. And remember the ummah and include us in your duas.
Note: Had qur-aan been permissible for women to read in their menses, the beloved prophet SAW would have prescribed it to our mother Aisha r.a. But he prescribed only this du`a for lailatul qadr as a wonan may be in a state of non purity during that night.
Finally, know that the differences of moon dates is alike the differences of the sun`s position. So one country cannot follow the salaah times(based on the sun) of a country. Likewise there will be country that will follow their moon sighting looking for lailatul Qadr tonight, while others will look for it tomorrow night. So follow your sighting and respective 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th nights as per your respective countries.
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