As the sun sets and the believers quench their thirst, unbeknownst to them, the night they dearly hope to seek arrives. The night that comes just once a year, in which the aura of indefinite peace prevails until the break of dawn. To which a whole chapter of the Holy Quran is dedicated. In which the events to unfold in the coming year are laid into action. In which legions of angels halt their routine and descend to fill the Earth. Descending with the most honourable of them all, the one who revealed to the prophets their scriptures – Jibreel (A.S) himself, overlooking and praying along with the believers who engage in sincere worship of their Creator. It’s the exalted night that is better than a thousand months. The night the noblest of books, the Holy Quran, was sent down from the seventh Heaven – the Laylatul Qadr.
A night of decision making
Laylatul Qadr or the Night of Decree is the night of great decision making. It’s when major decisions for the next year are made known to the angels to be executed. Decisions like which marriage will take place, which child will be born, what will be the provision for the year, and so on. Thus, if you are financially unstable, or depressed, or unhealthy, or having marital issues, or any other trouble, then rejoice. Allah, the greatest of listeners, hears prayers all the time, but on this night especially, miraculous answerings are made. So, pray to Allah for all that crosses your mind as Allah has sent multitudes of angels in your assist, who pray for your betterment.
A night to save oneself from Hell
Praying for a happy materialistic world isn’t the only target this night. Saving oneself from the punishment of the grievous Hell is the real accomplishment. No matter how much of a saint we claim to be, we aren’t free from sins. We don’t know whether our scales of good outweigh our bad or whether one of our sins is deadly enough to annihilate mountains of our good deeds. On this night, Allah has opened the doors of forgiveness wider than ever and it is only His forgiveness that can save us. It’s narrated by Abu Hurairah that Allah’s Messenger (SA) said: “Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s reward (not to show off), then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Bukhari, Chapter 2, Hadith No: 35) It’s an amazing opportunity offering a clean slate.
A night better than a thousand months
What’s more exciting is that Allah has said that the night of decree is better than a thousand months. That is 83 years and 4 month to be exact, basically an entire lifetime but Allah didn’t mention how much better. Is it one month better? A hundred? A million? Imagine praying Salah, which counted as if you prayed it for a hundred thousand months or more. This night is a golden ticket to Heaven.
A night whose exact time is not known
When exactly is the night of decree is not known. Some Ahadeeth suggest that it is in the last seven nights of Ramadan, while some suggest it is in the last odd-numbered nights, but what is sure is that it is one of the last ten nights of Ramadan as it’s narrated by Aisha (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (SA) used to practice Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say: “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten night of the month of Ramadan.” (Bukhari Vol: 3, Book 32, Hadith No: 237) Therefore, it is better to give our best to all of the last ten nights rather than a particular few because the rewards that this night has to offer are too grand, and to jeopardise it by missing even a single one would be a great loss.
A night in which to purify intention for every deed
It is true that many chores and responsibilities take up our time that we can’t back away from because of which we are not able to put in as much effort as we would like to. But we must remind ourselves that Allah has made everything easy. It is not the action rather the intention behind that action that gathers up the most reward. There are so many easy ways to collect rewards. Like, while making Iftar, have the intention of contributing to breaking people’s fasts, even the simplest handing of dates to others can grant you this reward. Similarly, giving even a Rs. 50/- each of these night to any needy person you can find, let it be the neighbourhood security guard, housemaid or a beggar on the street, counts as charity and the reward for it will be as if you gave charity for about 83 years; substantial compared to the little effort put in.
A night to be distraction-free
Ramadan coming in this pandemic is perhaps good; no gatherings in the night, no distractions. The stage is set where we’re distant from the world. It might seem hard but Facebook and Instagram won’t go extinct if not used for ten nights. We can easily focus on our worship and avail every bit of the night. But we must remember to eat well, drink water from time to time, and take rest every once a while, so we can keep gathering strength to pray Qiyam Al-Layl with the longest Surahs memorized, recite the Quran, do Dhikr and Tasbeeh for as long as we can.
A night to reap maximum rewards
There are some shortcuts that help attain the maximum reward. Reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas thrice grants the reward of reading the entire Quran. Whoever sends blessings upon the Prophet (SA) once, Allah sends blessings upon him tenfold and erases from him ten misdeeds and raises him ten degrees in status. There are two statements that are light on the tongue, heavy in the scales and are dear to the Merciful which are: ‘Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azeem’. Once when the Prophet (SA) came home in the forenoon, he (SA) told his wife, who was praying since morning, that: “I recited four words three times after and if these were to be weighed against what you have recited since morning these would outweigh them, and these words are: Subhaanallaahi wa bihamdihi ‘Adada khalqihi wa ridhaa nafsihi, wa zinata ‘arshihi wa midaada kalimaatihi.” When Aisha (RA) asked the Prophet (SA) about what she should say in her supplication, if she came upon Laylatul-Qadr, he (SA) said, say: Allahumma innaka affuwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu’anni.” There are so many such adhkaar that are perfect for max reward collection in short terms.
A night to increase our Quran memorization
We could also do deeds like memorize three ayahs of Surah Al-Mulk each night. This will not only grant the reward of memorizing the Quran for more than a thousand months, but at the end of these nights we’d have memorized the entire Surah. We could do the same with Surah As-Sajdah, as it also has thirty ayahs. We can also attain rewards by being extra gentle with our parents; smiling to them is charity. Not miss Suhoor (predawn meal) for there is a blessing in it. Share Ahadeeth with family and friends, listen to Islamic lectures or do anything than we can easily do on all of the last ten nights.
I sometimes wonder at the mercy and wisdom of Allah. The way He compels us to claim the highest ranks of Paradise. Instead of specifying the night of Laylatul Qadr, Allah concealed it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, so we wouldn’t limit our extra efforts to just one night, and our scales of good would weigh mountains more than our bad. Truly, all the praises are for Allah, the most Loving and the best of friends.
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