Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Night of Power

Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam & the Night of Power

Verily, we have sent it (this Quran) down on the night of Al-Qadr (Power).
And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Power) is?
The night of Al-Qadr (Power) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him for a thousand months).
Therein descend the angels and Jibraeel by Allahs Permission with all decrees,
Peace! Until the appearance of dawn.
(Surah Al-Qadr 97)

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is a gift of Allah unto this Ummah. It is an opportunity which the Ummah should seize to obtain closeness to the Almighty through worship and seeking forgiveness from Him.

As in every other aspect of our Deen, Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam was a practical demonstration of how every Ummati (follower) should conduct themselves:
1. His salallahu alayhi wasalam exhortation to search for this night:
It is reported in a hadith, Search for it (Laylatul Qadr) among the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. (Bukhari) Although scholars have differed greatly in stipulating exactly which of the odd night of the last ten days upon which the Night of Power occurs, the preferred view is that it is unknown to anyone besides Allah. The wisdom for it been kept a secret is in fact a mercy from Allah, so that we could increase in our worship and effort to search for the correct night. Ubadah bin Samit radhiyallahi anhu said, Once Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam came out to inform us of the exact date of Laylatul Qadr. Unfortunately, a quarrel took place between two Muslims whereupon he said, I came out to inform you as to when Laylatul Qadr occurs but because two people argued with each other, the knowledge of the correct date was taken away perhaps that is better for you. So seek it among the ninth, seventh, and fifth nights. Those that are continuously argue and fight should ponder at the harm being caused not only to the individual but rather the broader Muslim Ummah.

2. His salallahu alayhi wasalam encouragement towards good deeds:
Abu Hurairah radhiyallahi anhu narrates that Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam said, Whosoever stands in the worship of Allah on the night of Qadr with firm belief in Allah and a genuine hope of receiving reward, his past and future sins will be forgiven, and whosoever fasts during the month of Ramadan with firm belief in Allah and a genuine hope of receiving reward, his past and future sins will be forgiven. (Bukhari)

3. His salallahu alayhi wasalam performance of Itikaaf:
Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam said in a hadith, I secluded myself in Itikaaf during the first ten days of Ramadan searching for Laylatul Qadr. Then, I continued into Itikaaf for the next ten days. Thereafter, I was informed that it is in the last ten days; so whosoever desires to perform Itikaaf he should do so. So many people made Itikaaf with him. (Muslim)

4. His salallahu alayhi wasalam humbleness in worship:
It is surely a symbol of one whose heart has softened in awe of his Creator, has realized the reality of servitude to Allah and has acknowledged his own limitations to be most humble before Allah. Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam was a personification of this. Abu Saeed Khudri radhiyallahi anhu narrates that once it rained on the evening of the twenty first of Ramadan and the masjid of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam leaked. My eyes fell upon the messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wasalam the next morning and his blessed face was soiled with mud and water. (Bukhari)

5. His salallahu alayhi wasalam teachings regarding the Night
Aisha radhiyallahi anha narrated that she asked Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam, If I happen to find the night of power, what should I say in dua? He replied, Recite:[Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafu anni] Translation: O Allah! You are the Most Forgiving, the Most Generous, You love to forgive, so please forgive me. (Muslim) This is an all inclusive dua begging Allah for His infinite grace and mercy. As Allah mentions in the Quran, this night brings along with it a group of angels who descend along with Jibraeel alayhis salaam. They visit every home, dwelling or shelter wherein a Muslim is worshiping Allah, greet them and join in by saying Ameen to his dua.

6. His salallahu alayhi wasalam mention regarding the signs of this night
In a narration cited in Baihaqi and Muwatta, Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam while describing the meirts of this night said, Among the signs of this night is that it is a serene, quiet, shinning night; neither too hot nor too cold but moderate. It is as if though the moon is shinning clear and no stars are flung at the devils on this night. It lasts until the break of dawn. Another sign is that in the morning, the sun rises without any radiant beams, appearing rather like moon in its fullness. On that day, Allah prohibits the Shayateen (devils) from rising up with the sun.

Ramadan has come and it is quickly on its way out. We are well into the last ten days of Ramadan and the opportunities will soon be no more.

Ramadan is an opportunity to drink of the Mercy of Allah and obtain His forgiveness. Unfortunate is he who is unable to attain this. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) explained in a hadeeth that three people are extremely unfortunate. One from amongst them is he who finds himself in the month of Ramadan but still does not manage to obtain the forgiveness of Allah.

The remaining nights are valuable and should be spent in the worship of Allah and in excessive du`aa. Du`aa should include durud, istighfaar and an earnest plea for imaan and hidayah. Parents, children and families should be remembered. Those that have passed away should not be forgotten. Those in need should also be prayed for as well as those in difficulty and those suffering oppression and injustice. Du`aa should also be made for the establishments of deen and for protection of Islam and Muslims all over the world. Du`aa for the hidayah of mankind must be made. In the current situation we find ourselves and our country, du`aa for guidance, peace and prosperity should also be incorporated.

Ramadan is also a period of giving and we should try to spend as much as possible on those less fortunate during these last few days. Importantly, sadaqatul fitr should not be forgotten or even delayed.
May Allah (subhanahu wa ta`aala) guide us in all that we do, and may He accept our ibaadah and efforts. May He accept all our du`aas. Aameen.

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