(The Night of Power)
by Jamiatul Ulama (Kwazulu-Natal)
Laylatul Qadr is the crowning glory of the
holy month of Ramadhaan. It is associated with the sending down of the Qur'an Majeed,
the last Book of Allah on His last Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), for the
guidance of mankind. The Qur'an Majeed describes this Night.
"We have indeed revealed this
(message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the
Spirit (Jibraeel) by Allah's permission, on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of
Morn!" (597: V1-5).
The Night of Power is the night of
spiritual bliss. Our Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said
"Verily this month has come to
you; and therein is a night which is better than a thousand Months. Whosoever is deprived
of it, is deprived of all good; and none is deprived of its good except a totally
unfortunate person". (Ibn Majah). "Whosoever stands up (in prayer) at the Night
of Power out of faith and hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven."
Better than a thousand months
A thousand months are equivalent to 83
years and 4 months. Fortunate is the person who spends this night in prayer. The man or
woman, who prays for the whole night during this Night, will deserve blessings and reward
for the period as if he or she had been praying for eighty three years and four months
consecutively. Since the Night of Power is better than one thousand months no one can
actually measure the extent as to how much better it is.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu
Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Laylatul Qadr has been bestowed by Allah to my Ummah
(People). It was not given to any people before this." (Dur-Mansoor).
How manifest and replete the special bounties and mercies of Allah Ta'ala are upon this
Ummat is quite really beyond imagination. It will therefore be extremely foolish to allow
ourselves to be deprived of these great blessings at the expense of sheer laziness and a
few hours of extra sleep.
Which Night is it?
Although there are different reports in
different traditions regarding the exact night, it is almost unanimous that the blessed
night occurs in one of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan and more probably in one of the
last ten odd nights i.e. 2lst, 23rd, 25th 27th or 29th night.
The popular opinion is, however, in favour of the 27th Night of Ramadhaan but that is not
absolutely certain. The traditions indicate that it is to be sought in one of the last ten
nights and referrably in the last three odd nights. It was therefore the practice of the
Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his companions to make I'tikaaf in the
Mosque for the whole time offering Divine service during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.
Hazrath Aisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) reported that the Apostle of Allah said: "Search
for the Blessed Night in the odd (nights) from the last ten (nights) of Ramadhaan"
Hazrath Aisha has narrated another saying:
"I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Tell me if I were to find a Night of Power, what
should I recite therein?" Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)
advised her to recite:
Al-laa-hum-ma in-na-ka 'a
foow-wan tu-hib-bul-'af wa fa-fu 'an-ni.
O Allah! You are Forgiving, You love
forgiveness, so forgive me. (Bukhari).
Special attention should therefore be given
to the excessive recitation of this dua on the blessed night. Furthermore one may engage
in lengthy rakaats of Tahajjud salaat, Tilaawat of the Qur'an¬ Dua, Zikr, etc.
The worship and the vigil of the Night of Power are a treat to the soul. The heart tends
to melt into tears of heartfelt gratitude. The body is in a state of angelic ecstasy The
soul strives to reach nearer to Almighty Allah. In this holy month of Ramadhaan let us
strive to seek the Night of Power and its bliss. May Allah reward us with His bountiful
This great Sunnah of our beloved Nabi
(Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is so replete with spiritual benefits that a brief treatise
like this can never do justice to enumerating them. Perhaps the greatest and the actual
motivation behind it is the search for Laylatul Qadr. In I'tikaaf, even one's sleeping is
regarded as Ibaadat, hence making it so much easier to gain the benefits of the blessed
night. Furthermore one gains the opportunity of emulating Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) concerning whom Hazrath Aisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) reports: "When the
last ten Nights of Ramadhaan would come, Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) would spend
the whole night in Ibaadat. He would exert himself tremendously and even wake up his
family members." (Bukhari, Muslim). She even reports that he would never exert
himself in worship at any other time like he did on this occasion (Muslim).
Beauty Of I'Tikaaf
The example of the one who resides in the
Masjid in I'tikaaf is like a person, who having gone to certain place for something
remains there until it is granted. Allamah Ibn Qaiyyim (R.A.) writes that the actual aim
of I'tikaaf is to divert the heart from everything except Allah and to join it with Allah
alone, thereby forming a complete spiritual connection with Him. In essence all love and
desire becomes centred around Allah alone, one's only true Helper and Protector.
Virtue Of I'Tikaaf
One cannot possibly imagine the tremendous
virtue and reward promised for I'tikaaf. Just to mention a few Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) said: "Whomsoever performs I'tikaaf for a day thereby seeking the
pleasure of Allah, Allah will open three trenches between him and the fire of Hell, the
width of each being the distance between heaven and earth." (Tabraani). It is
"Whoever performs I'tikaaf for the final ten days of Ramadhaan, for him is the
reward of two Hajj and two Umrahs." (Kashful Ghumma).
When Allah Ta'ala is prepared to grant us
so much in return for a little sacrifice on our part, then it will surely be a great loss
if we fail to avail ourselves of the opportunity. May Allah Ta'ala give us the Taufeeq to
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