LAYLATUL QADR - NIGHT OF POWER
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by God's permission, on every errand: Peace!...This until the rise of morn!
(Surah 97 The Holy Quran)
The Holy Quran contains a short surah dedicated to Laylatul Qadr. Surah Al-Qadr is the 97th surah and consists of five verses. However, these short verses carry great meaning and guidance. They tell us all we need to know about the essence and spirit of Laylatul Qadr.
Laylatul Qadr falls sometime within the last 10 days of Ramadhan.
"Seek it in Ramadhan in the last ten nights. For verily, it is during the odd nights, the twenty-first, or the twenty-third, or the twenty-fifth, or the twenty-seventh, or the twenty-ninth, or during the last night." Sahih Hadith Ahmad 5:318
Laylatul Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If an individual wants to obey his Lord, increase the good deeds in his record and have all past sins forgiven, they should take part in Laylatul Qadr.
“Whoever stays up (in prayer and remembrance of Allah) on the Night of Qadr fully believing (in Allah’s promise of reward for that night) and hoping to seek reward (from Allah alone and not from people), he shall be forgiven for his past sins.” Sahih Hadith Bukhari / Muslim
We should strive to find this night, and then pass it in worship and obedience. If this is done for the sake of Allah swt, with sincerity, then all past sins will be forgiven. However, if a person misses out on worship during Laylatul Qadr they truly are a deprived person.
This night is full of reward and blessing and is equivalent to a thousand nights of worship. Anyone who takes part in Laylatul Qadr will have worshipped an equivalent of eighty three years and three months. It is as if a person has spent an entire lifetime in non-stop worship.
“The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” 97:3 The Holy Quran
"Allah's Messenger saw, looked back at the previous communities and saw that his community lived for a much shorter period in comparison to them. He was concerned about how his community would be able to gain as many rewards as those of the previous communities. So when Allah the Exalted saw the concerns in the heart of His Beloved saw, was given Laylatul-Qadr, which is more virtuous than a thousand months." (Imâm Mâlik, Muatta)
Worship during this night can take on many forms. Here are a few suggestions to help you through Laylatul Qadr:
• Plan ahead if you are working. If you are going to spend a night awake in worship, book the following day off.
• Take regular breaks during the night to avoid getting over-exhausted. Try switching between different forms of worship instead.
• Perform Itikaaf (seclusion in a mosque for worship) – If possible, take a vacation for the last 10 days of Ramadhan. If you cannot stay at your local mosque ask family or friends to help out during your Itikaaf at home. If you cannot spend all 10 days in Itikaaf, then do as many days as you can - even if it is only one day.
• Increase the recitation of the Qur'an, and reflect on the meaning of the verses, especially the verses used in Salah. This will help you concentrate.
• Increase Salah (prayer).
• Find out if there are any events organised, and take your family along.
Doing all of the above activities may be too much to do throughout the night but is far better than social gatherings and meaningless talk that we stay awake for.
If your Arabic is not very strong then there are many good English translations of Quran and Hadith, which can be used instead. Other useful reading might include books of tafsir (Quran commentary), books on the lives of the Prophets, and books of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) as well as Du’a books.
The days of Laylatul-Qadr are an important time for worship, especially the last 10 days. We should pray sincerely from our hearts in order to be saved from the hellfire. This is a good opportunity not only to pray for ourselves but also for our fellow brothers and sisters, for if we can not do anything else then our prayers will help.
Ibn Abbas (ra) heard the Prophet (saw) advising someone, saying, “Take advantage of five before five: You’re youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you become occupied, and your life before your death.”