VIRTUES OF LAYLATUL QADR

BY: SHAYKHUL HADITH MOULANA MOHAMMAD ZAKARIYA KANDHLAVI

Amongst the nights of Ramadhan there is one called “Laylatul Qadr” a night that is noted for its great blessings. The Quran Kareem describes it as being greater in blessedness and spiritual virtue than a thousand months which in turn means that it is greater than eighty three years and four months.

Fortunate indeed is that person who attains the full blessings of this night by spending it in Ibaadah of Allah, because he has then attained reward for Ibaadah of eighty-three years and four months and even more indeed the granting of this night to the faithful Muslim is a great favor.


– – – THE ORIGIN – – –

Regarding this night, in a Hadith reported by Anas (Radiallaho Anho) in Durre Manthur Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said Laylatul Qadr was granted to my Ummah and not to any other Ummah before this Regarding the reason for the granting of Laylatul Qadr, various reasons are mentioned. One reason, according to some Ahadith is given thus: Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) used to look at the longer lives of the earlier people and was saddened when pondering over the much shorter lives of his own Ummah. If His Ummah had wished to compete with the people before them in the doing of righteous deeds, because of their shorter lives it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass them. To compensate for this difference in their life span, Allah in His infinite mercy granted them with this night of great blessing. This means that if any fortunate one of this Ummah spends during his life time ten such nights in the worship of his maker, he would have gained the reward for Ibaadah of eight hundred and thirty years and even more. Another report states that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) once related to the Sahabah the story of a very righteous man from among the Bani Israel who used to spend one thousand months in Jihad. On hearing this, the Sahabah envied that person because they could not attain the same reward. whereupon Allah granted them the Night of Power as a recompense. Regarding the reason for the granting of Laylatul Qadr, various reasons are mentioned. One reason, according to some Ahadith is given thus: Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) used to look at the longer lives of the earlier people and was suddened when pondering over the much shorter lives of his own Ummah. If His Ummah had wished to compete with the people before them in the doing of righteous deeds, because of their shorter lives it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass them. To compensate for this difference in their life span, Allah in His infinite mercy granted them with this night of great blessing. This means that if any fortunate one of this Ummah spends during his life time ten such nights in the worship of his maker, he would have gained the reward for Ibaadah of eight hundred and thirty years and even more. Another report states that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) once related to the Sahabah the story of a very righteous man from among the Bani Israel who used to spend one thousand months in Jihad. On hearing this, the Sahabah envied that person because they could not attain the same reward. whereupon Allah granted them the Night of Power as a recompense.

Still another report states that our Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) once mentioned the names of the four most pious people from among the Bani Israel who each spent eighty years in Allah’s sincere service, worshipping Him, and not sinning in the least. They were Nabi Ayyub (Alaihi Salaam),Zakariyya (Alaihi Salaam), Hizqeel (Alaihi Salaam) and Yushaa (Alaihi Salaam). The Sahabahs heard this with astonishment. The Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam) appeared and recited Surah Qadr, wherein the blessings of this night was revealed.

Apart from these reports, there are others too, explaining the origin of the Night of Power. This type of difference in narration arises because, after occurrence of several incidents only one Ayah is revealed. That Ayah then is relevant to anyone of the incidents that took place. But no matter which of them we accept, the important fact that remains is that Allah has granted the Ummah of Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) this night. This is a great favor and gift of Allah. To devote yourself on this night is also a blessing from Allah. How worthy of envy are those Mashaaikh who say they did not miss the Ibaadah of one Laylatul Qadr since they became of age. Now, as to which night it is, here again approximately fifty different views of the Ulama are mentioned. It is not easy for me to enumerate them all. But the most accepted versions, as well as further discussions on this night shall follow in the ensuing pages of this book. The numerous excellencies of this night are mentioned in various books of Hadith. These will also be mentioned. For the reason that Quran Majeed itself mentions the night, we shall commence with a short commentary on Surah Qadr (The translations are from A.Yusuf Ali).

In the name of Allah the beneficent, the Merciful, We have indeed revealed this (message) in the night of Power (Suratul Qadr : 1)
Reference here is made to the fact that on this special night, the Quran was sent down from Al Lowhul Mahfuz (The preserved Tablet) to the heavens (above the earth). Because a great book like Quran was revealed in the night is in itself sufficient to explain its excellence, needless to mention all other blessings and virtues which are included. In the very next verse by way of drawing and increasing our interest in the matter under discussion, a question is asked
And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is (Suratul Qadr: 2)
In other words, the question asked here is: Have you any knowledge as to the greatness and the great importance of this night? Have you any knowledge as to the great favors and bounties that are placed in it? The next verse proceeds to enumerate some of that greatness:

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months (Suratul Qadr: 3)

The true meaning here is that reward for spending this night in Ibaadah is better and more than having spent one thousand months Ibaadah, it is in fact more but as to how much more rewarding it is, we are not told here.
Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission on every errand (Suratul Qadr: 4)

A fine explanation is given in this verse by Imaam Raazi (Rehmatullah Alaihi). Commenting on this verse he explains that when man first appeared on earth, created by Allah as His vicegerent on earth, the Malaaikah looked on him with scorn. When Allah informed them of His intention of placing man on earth, they even ventured to ask Will you place in this earth one who shall commit evil therein and shed blood?

Similarly, when his parents noted his original form as a mere drop of man’s (sperm), they too looked upon it with scorn and resentment, so much so, that they considered it as something which polluted clothing and had to be washed away. But later when Allah made that same despicable sperm into a fine form of man, they began to love and cheers him. So far have things now progressed that when on this Night of Power we see that same man worshipping Allah and adoring Him, those very same Malaaikah who had previously looked down on him with scorn, descend towards him, obviously repentant for the thoughts they had once harbored against him.
In this verse mention is made….”and the spirit”. Reference is clearly to Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam). Commentators of the Quran have given various versions of this word. Let us look at some of them:

The vast majority of the commentators are agreed that Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam) is meant here, and according to Imaam Raazi (Rehmatullah Alaihi), this is the most correct meaning. Allah first makes mention of the Malaaikah and then because of Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam)’s status among them, special mention is made of him.

Some commentators hold the view that “Spirits” here means one angel of such extra ordinary gigantic proportion that before him heavens and earth appear as almost nothing (as a morsel).

Another group of commentators opine that “Spirit” here means one such group of Malaaikah who never appear and only on this night are they seen by other Malaaikah.

Some commentators again believe that the “Spirit” here designates one such creation of Allah which although it partakes of food and drink, still is neither man nor angel.

There is also a view that “Spirit” here refers to Isa (Alaihi Salaam) who on this night comes down with the Malaaikah to view the righteous deeds of this Ummah.

The last view we wish to mention here is that “Spirit” means Allah’s special mercy which comes in the wake of the angels descent. But already stated the first opinion is the most acceptable.

In this respect Imaam Bayhaqi (Rehmatullah Alaihi) reports a Hadith by Anas wherein Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said On Laylatul Qadr Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam) comes down with a group of angels and make Duaa for mercy for every one whom they find busy in Ibaadah This same verse under discussion says By Allah’s permission on every errand….By Allah’s permission on every errand….

The Author of Mazhaairre Haq writes that on this night ages ago the Malaaikah were created on this night long ago the creation on Adam (Alaihi Salaam) was begun as the matter from which he was created had been gathered on this n night trees were planted in Jannah and large number of Ahadith bear witness to the fact that on this night Dua’s are granted. Similarly, we read in the Kitaab Durre Manthur, the according to a Hadith it was on this night that Essa (Alaihi Salaam) was lifted up bodily into the heavens and also it was on this night that the Taubah (repentance) of Bani Israel was accepted.

Peace be until the break of dawn (Suratul Qadr: 5)

Yes, this is the very embodiment of peace. Throughout its hours the Malaaikah recite Salaam upon faithful believers adoring their Lord. As one group descends another ascends as is explained in the Ahadith. Another interpretation is that it is a night of complete safety from evil and mischief.

These blessings remain throughout the night until the break of dawn and are not confined to any specific hour. And now having noted a few virtues of this night as explained in the words of Alla (Subhanahu wa Taala), we now turn to the Hadith where we read more about the virtues of the night.


1. All Sins Forgiven on Worshipping during this Night

Abu Hurairah (Radhiallaho Anhu) reports (Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) said, Whoever stands in prayer and Ibaadah on the night of Power with sincere faith and with sincere hope of gaining reward, his previous sins are forgiven (Targheeb from Bukhari and Muslim)

COMMENTARY
In the above Hadith “standing” refers to Salaah as well as any other form of Ibaadah, as for example Zikr, Tilaawah etc. The phrase …with sincere hope of gaining reward means that one should be sincerely occupied with Ibaadah solely for the pleasure of Allah and to receive reward from Him. This should not be done for others to see, or to deceive them. According to Khataabi it means that one should have complete faith in the promise that any deed shall be rewarded and thus one must stand before Allah with earnestness and enthusiasm. Neither should one think of this Ibaadah as a burden nor should there be any doubt about the reward which will be granted. After all it is a known fact that when one aims at a high goal and desire to have a great reward, while at the same time having complete certainty of receiving it, the burden of striving hard along an arduous path to attain that goal becomes easy. Similarly, the burden of standing for long hours becomes easy. This is the reason why those who had become spiritually elevated in Allah’s sight find it easy to remain in Ibaadah almost at all times.

It will be noted that the Hadith speaks about previous sins being forgiven. The Ulama have said that this forgiveness are mentioned in the Hadith above and other Ahadith, refers only to minor sins. Major sins can only be forgiven, according to the Quran after sincere repentance, with the vow and promise never to return to such sins again. This is the reason why the Ulama are unanimous that major sins are not forgiven except by sincere repentance. Hence, whenever, forgiveness of sins mentioned in the Ahadith the Ulama specify it to be minor sins.

My late father (May Allah bless him and grant him light in his resting place) used to say that the word ‘minor’ has been omitted here for two reasons.
Firstly, he says, a true Muslim is one on whom major sins should not rest. because whenever a major sin has been committed, he will never rest or find peace until he has sincerely repented to Allah (begging) for forgiveness and promising not to do the same in future. Firstly, he says, a true Muslim is one on whom major sins should not rest. because whenever a major sin has been committed, he will never rest or find peace until he has sincerely repented to Allah (begging) for forgiveness and promising not to do the same in future.a true Muslim is one on whom major sins should not rest. because whenever a major sin has been committed, he will never rest or find peace until he has sincerely repented to Allah (begging) for forgiveness and promising not to do the same in future.

Secondly, my late father used to say, when such great and blessed days and nights come along, when a true Muslim stands before Allah in prayer and adoration, hoping to gain reward, it is a fact that the true Muslim in his conscience should feel greatly grieved for previous sins. This grief over sins and the resolution not to return to such acts are the most important requirements of Taubah. This major sins is automatic. (leaving only minor sins to be forgiven). It is best however that when a night like Laylatul Qadr comes along, one who has committed major sins should first of all verbally repent with a heart full of sincere longing for forgiveness so that Allah in His infinite mercy may forgive all forms of sins and when you do, remember me too in your Dua’s (The publishers and myself request the same).


2. To be deprived of Laylatul Qadr is to be deprived of all Good

Anas (Radiallaho Anho) reports : “Once when Ramadhan began, the Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said: “A month has verily come upon you, wherein lies a night better than a thousand months. Whoever misses such a night has indeed been deprived of all that is good and none is deprived of it, except he who is really unfortunate.”

Note: Who can have any doubt as to the misfortune of the person who is either deprived or deprives himself of the great good of Laylatul Qadr ? There are those who, during their service and terms of employment, have to stay awake by night throughout the year. How easy should it be for the sake of gaining the reward of over eighty years of worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) to stay awake for one month in Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s service?

Because of lack of interest there is no desire in the heart. If that were present then even a thousand nights in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) would become exceedingly easy. It is this urge and desire that we must create. Our Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) had been promised time and again that he had nothing to fear in the Akhirah and had been given good news as to his exalted position. Yet night after night he was seen in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) so much so that his feet became swollen.

Among the believers of Islam, there are may saintly followers who copied his example. The were human beings like us and none can thus say that it is impossible for us to have that same desire for worship, it is really a matter of taking this to heart. Let us look at the example of the following illustrious sons of Islam.

Once such man was Umer (Radiallaho Anho) who having performed his Isha Salaah would return home and then remain Salaah throughout the night until the Azaan was heard for Fajr.

Then there is the example of Usman (Radiallaho Anho) who, after fasting the whole day used to spend the whole night in Salaah apart from getting a little sleep during the first third of the night. It is well known about him that he used to recite the whole Quran during one Rakaah at a time.

In Ihyaa Ulumal Deen by Imam al-Ghazali, Abu Taalib Makki speaks of some forty men from among the Taabiees ho used to perform Fajr Salaah with the Wudu with which they had performed their Isha Salaah.

Shaddaad (Radiallaho Anho) was one of the Sahabah who used lie awake through the night turning from side to side until Fajr and used say “O Allah! The fear of fire of Jahannam has driven away my sleep.” Aswad Ibn Yazeed (Rehmatullah Alaihi) apart from sleeping a little between Maghrib and Isha used to remain in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) during Ramadhan throughout the night.

It is said of Saeed Ibn al-Mysayyab that for fifty years he used to perform Isha and Fajr Salaah with the same Wudu. Then there is the example of Silah Ibn Ashyam who, after spending the whole night in Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s worship, used to say at the break of the day: “O Allah! I am not fit to beg Jannah of You, but all I beg of You is, that You save me from Jahannam.”

Qatadah (Rehmatullah Alaihi) used to recite the whole Quran every three nights of Ramadhan but, during the last ten nights, he used to finish the whole Quran every night. About Imam Abu Hanifah (Rehmatullah Alaihi) it is well known that for forty years he performed Isha and the next morning’s Fajr Salaah with the same Wudu.

When his companions inquired of him as to how he had obtained the strength for this, he replied: “It is in answer to a special Dua that I made to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) by the blessedness of His Special Names”. He merely slept a little in the afternoon, about which he said; ‘In the Hadith we are advised to do so’. (In other words, even in the afternoon sleep, his intention was to follow the Sunnah).

The same Imam Abu Hanifah used to cry so much while reciting the Quran that his neighbors would feel pity for him. Once he wept all night crying while reciting the following Ayah again and again “Nay, the Hour (of Judgment) is the time promised for them (for their reckoning), and that hour will be most grievous and bitter “. (al-Qamar 46)

Ibrahim Ibn Adham went so far as not to sleep at all in Ramadhan, night or Day. Imam al-Shaafi used to recite the Quran about sixty times during the days and nights of Ramadhan. And apart from these, there were countless other pious souls who used to act diligently on the injunction of the Quranic Ayah “I have created the Jinn and Humans that they may only serve Me”. (Al-Zaariyat 56).

These are some examples of those who lived in earlier times. Even today, there are many who, with the same devotion, serve Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala). Even in these times of laxness, there are people who truly try to follow the example of Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) and do not let their worldly pursuits or their physical comfort stand in their way for Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s worship.

The Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said “Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) says: “O son of Adam spend your time in My service and I shall bless you with freedom from want and I shall remove your poverty. Otherwise, I shall load you with pressing engagements and duties, while your poverty and needs shall not decrease.” How often we observe the truth of this. Some people serve only Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) while having no means of livelihood and yet they need nothing.

3. Descent of the Angels

Anas (Radiallaho Anho) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said: “On Laylatul Qadr, the Angel Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam) descends upon the earth with a group of Angels making Dua for blessings for every servant of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) whom they see in worship, standing or sitting and engrossed in Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s praise. Then on the day of Eid Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) boasts about them to the Angels (who had been critical at the time of Adam ( Alaihi Salaam) ‘s creation), ‘O My Angels, what is the reward of that worker who had done his job very well?’ The reply: ‘O our Sustainer, his reward should be given to him in full.’ To this Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) replies, O’ My Angels, verily My servants, the males among them as well as females, have today duly performed their obligatory duty, thereafter they set forth to place for Eid Salaah raising their voices in Dua to Me. I swear by My Honor, by My Grandeur, by My Grace and by My Exalted Position, that I shall surely answer the Dua ‘s of these people. ‘Thereafter, Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) addresses the people: ‘Go forth, I have forgiven your sins and have replaced your evil deeds with righteous ones.’ These people then return from the place for Eid Salaah in such a condition that their sins stand forgiven.”

Note: In this Hadith, it is clearly stated that Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam comes down with the Angels. Another Hadith reported by Ibn Abbas and and quoted by Abd al-Qadir al- Jilani (Rehmatullah Alaihi) in his book Ghunyah further elucidates the contents of this Hadith.

It is reported that Jibraeel (Alaihi Salaam, after his descent, commands the Angels to go to the house of everyone busy with worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and greet him by shaking his hands. There upon the Angels spread forth, visiting every House, whether large or small, whether in the Jungle or on a ship, wherein a believer lives to shake his hands.

However, certain houses are not entered: The house wherein a dog of a pig is found, the house wherein there is someone who has committed adultery and is still unclean because he has not even taken a bath after it and the house wherein pictures (images) of men and animals are displayed.

How unfortunate that Muslims houses should be deprived of the blessed entry of Angels simply because there are pictures of men and animals being displayed, solely for the sake of decoration.

A single picture may have been hung by some member of the Household, as a result of which the complete household is deprived of these blessings.


4. When to look for Laylatul Qadr?

Aisha (Radiallaho Anha) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said “Seek Laylatul Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten days of the month of Ramadhan”.

Note: According to the great majority of the religious scholars, the last ten nights commence on the 21st night. Such is the case whether the month of Ramadhan consists of 29 days or 30. S0, one should seek Laylatul Qadr on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th night.

Ibn Hazm has a different opinion saying that the word Asharah used in the Hadith means ten. As such, the above calculations will only be correct in cases where the month of Ramadhan consists of thirty days. However, when there are only twenty nine days in the month (as often happens), the last ten days will commence with the 19th day and the night being the 20th night. According to this calculation, it would appear that the unevenly numbered nights will actually be the 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 28th and 30th nights.

But all Ulama agree that when in search of Laylatul Qadr Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) went into Aiteekaaf, he commenced it on the 21st night of Ramadhan. In view of this, these Ulama consider the odd nights to be the appropriate nights for Laylatul Qadr.

One should, therefore, spend each and every night from the 20th onwards in worship of Allah, so that one may be sure of having got the Barakah of Ramadhan, Spending ten or eleven nights in devotion is definitely not so difficult, if one looks at the great reward that is promised.

5. Precise Knowledge of Laylatul Qadr was taken away

‘Ubaadah Ibn Saamit (Radiallaho Anho) said “Once the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) came out to inform us of the (correct date of) Laylatul Qadr. Unfortunately, a quarrel took place between two Muslims, whereupon He (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said ‘I came out to inform you as to when Laylatul Qadr occurs, but because two people quarreled 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.'”

Note: Three important points are referred to in this Hadith. Firstly it tells us of a quarrel, as a result of which the knowledge of the precise night of Laylatul Qadr was lost to us. Arguments and quarrels are always the cause of loss of blessings.

Once Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) inquired of the Sahabah: “Shall I inform you of an action that is better than Salaah, fasting and charity?” The Sahabah replied: “Certainly.” Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) then said” “Maintain peaceful and good relations amongst yourselves, for verily quarrels among yourselves destroy (shave off) faith,” i.e. just as a razor shaves off the hair, so does quarrelling affect the Deen.

Let alone the worldly people, even those among us who appear exceptionally religious and busy with Zikr are victims of these arguments and strife and are obstinate in their stand, in spite of the saying of Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam). In the first chapter of this book, we read how Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said that to insult a Muslim is indeed a serious crime and equivalent to the worst kind of usury , but we do not even spare a Muslim’s honor or refrain from insults and little notice is taken of the injunctions of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and His Rasul (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam).

The Quran says: “And argue not among yourselves, otherwise you will lose courage and your strength will depart” (al-anfaal 46). It is now the duty of those who always seek to injure and destroy the honor and dignity of others to ponder and reflect how much harm they have, in fact, done to themselves, and think how much they have, through these despicable deeds, degraded themselves in Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s sight and in the sight of those around them.

Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said that he who severs relations with a brother Muslim for more than three days and dies in this state, will go straight to Jahannam. In another Hadith, it is stated that on every Monday and Thursday, the actions of human beings are brought before Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala). Then through His mercy (as a result of certain good deeds), forgiveness is granted, except to the idolaters and those who set up equals to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), However, regarding those two people between whom a quarrel has taken place, friendship having been cut off, it shall be said, “Leave their affair in suspense until such time as they become reconciled.”

Another Hadith states that, when actions are produced before Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) every Monday and Thursday, repentance is accepted from those who repent and forgiveness is granted to those who seek pardon. As for those who had arguments (with each other) they are left as they were.

A Hadith further teaches us that, on the night of the 14th of the month of Shaban the mercy of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) is directed at all Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s creation and forgiveness is freely granted, except to two persons: One, a nonbeliever and the other, who harbors revenge against others.

In another Hadith it is stated: “There are three people whose Salaah does not ascend even a span above their heads.” Listed among these are those who quarrel among themselves.

In the above few paragraphs, I have digressed from the point under discussion. It was not my intention to discuss all these Ahadith on quarrels or arguments. I merely did it to bring to your notice this great evil, which we ignore, so much so that even those whom we consider to be noble and righteous are guilty of it. On the other hand, it must be noted that this quarrelling, use of harsh words and cutting oneself off from one another is a crime and evil in Islam, only causes. It is permitted to break off relations with someone because of his evil deeds or because of some religious matter (wherein he is in the wrong and blamable).

Ibn Umer (Radiallaho Anho) once quoted a saying of Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) to which his son said something that outwardly appeared as an objection to it. The results was that Ibn Umer never again spoke to that son, as long as he lived. There are several similar incidents related of the Sahabah.

In our own cases, Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) is All-knowing, All-Wise and He alone knows the true state of affairs, as to which relations are broken off because of Deen and which because of our own honor, pride and dignity having been hurt.

The second point to which the Hadith under discussion draws attention is the fact that man should be satisfied with and accept gladly. Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s ruling in all matters. For example, even though it seems that the loss of the knowledge as to when Laylatul Qadr actually falls is a great loss, yet it has to be accepted because it is from Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala).

Because of this, Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said. “It is better for us that way.” One should ponder over this. Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) is at all times Merciful to His slaves. Even when someone becomes overtaken by a great punishment because of his own evil deeds, he needs only appeal to His Creator, admit his own evil deeds, he needs only appeal to His Creator, admit his own weakness and that same punishment is made the cause for greater good.

Our Ulama have pointed out quite a few advantages in our not knowing the precise date for Laylatul Qadr. First, had we known the actual location of this blessed night, there would have been many who would not have worshipped Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) at all during the other nights. As things are, one has to stay awake and be in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) for quite a number of nights, hoping that each night is perhaps the night. This means spending more nights in Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s worship and getting reward for these.

Secondly, there are among us those who are just not able to avoid evil. How extremely dangerous and unfortunate for them would it be, when, in spite of knowing that such and such a night is Laylatul Qadr, they might still spend it in sin and evil? Once the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) on entering the Masjid, saw one of the Sahabah sleeping, He (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said to Ali (Radiallaho Anho) “Wake him up so that he can make Wudu”.

This Ali (Radiallaho Anho) did and then addressed the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) thus: “O Rasul of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) you are always the first to hasten towards any good deed. Why then did you not wake him up yourself?” To this the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied: “I feared lest this man may refuse and refusal to my command is Kufr , Denial of Deen. If he had refused your command, it would not be Kufr.”

Similarly, Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) in His mercy, does not wish that, in spite of knowing which night is the real one, a Muslim should still spend it in sin and evil.

Thirdly, if we did know and in spite of that, for one reason or another, within or outside our control, we allowed that night to go by without worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) then it is very likely that thereafter, for the rest of Ramadhan, no other night would have been spent in worship, whereas now many people find it possible to spend one, two or three nights in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) because we do not know which is Laylatul Qadr.

Fourthly , every night spent in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) in search of Laylatul Qadr is a night for which separate reward is promised.

Fifthly, we have read that Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) speaks highly to His Angels about those believers who exert themselves in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) during Ramadhan, Now more such occasions of receiving Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s appreciation arise. In spite of not knowing when the real night of Laylatul Qadr is and, although they have only a vague idea about its fixed time, still they exert themselves to the utmost in Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s service, night after night. If such then is their exertion when Laylatul Qadr is not known, how much more will they exert themselves were it made known to them.

There are other advantages also. it is common knowledge that Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) often keeps certain things secret, as for example, the Al-Ism Al-Azam (the Great Name of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), whereby if we call upon Him, He answers). Similar is the case of that special moment on Friday when a Muslim’s Dua ‘s are accepted, this time, too, is not known with complete certainty.

The third point to which attention is drawn in the Hadith is the fact that Laylatul Qadr should be sought among three nights: The ninth, seventh and fifth. By reading this together with the other Ahadith, we come to know that this refers to the last ten nights of Ramadhan.

So to determine which nights are these, if we start from the 20th, counting upwards, then these three nights are the 25th, 27th and 29th. If, on the other hand, we start counting from the 29th backwards (where Ramadhan has 29 days) these nights would be the 21st, 23rd and 25th, but it Ramadhan has 30 days, then these would be the 22nd, 24th and 26th nights.

From the above, one can see how much uncertainty there is about the correct date, and in fact, among the learned Ulama, there are approximately fifty different opinions. Because of this, some Ulama have said Laylatul Qadr does not fall on one and the same night every year. If in this particular year, it falls on a particular night, then the following year it will fall on another night.

There are times when the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) commanded the Sahabah to search among a number of nights, whereas at other times he used to fix a certain night.

Abu Hurairah (Radiallaho Anho) reports that once during a conversation with the Sahabah, someone spoke of Laylatul Qadr. Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) asked: “What is the date to day?” They replied: “The 22nd of Ramadhan.” The Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said: “Search for Laylatul Qadr in the night following this day.”

Abu Zarr (Radiallaho Anho) reports, “I inquired of the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) whether Laylatul Qadr was only granted during the lifetime of Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) or whether it would continue to come after him, Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied: It will continue until the day of Qiyamah.’ I then inquired in which section of Ramadhan does it come? The Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied, ‘Search for it in the first ten and in the last tens days.'”

“Thereafter the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) became busy with other work. I waited and finding another chance inquired: ‘In which section of those ten days Laylatul Qadr comes? Upon this, Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) became angry with me, as He (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) had never been before and said “If it had been Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s wish to make it known, would He not have informed us? Search for it among the last seven nights, and ask no more.'”

In another Hadith again, Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) is reported to have told one Sahabi that Laylatul Qadr was on the 23rd night. Ibn Abbas (Radiallaho Anho) related: “While sleeping once, someone said to me in my dream: ‘Rise up, this is Laylatul Qadr,’ I woke up and proceeded in hast to Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) and I found him in Salaah. That was the 23rd night.” According to other reports again, the 24th was Laylatul Qadr. Abdullah Ibn Masood (Radiallaho Anho) said: “Whoever remains all the nights of the year in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) can find Laylatul Qadr. (In other words, the blessed night moves throughout the year and does not necessarily have to come in Ramadhan only).

When this was related to Ubay Ibn Kaab (Radiallaho Anho) he said: “Yes, Ibn Masood ‘s meaning is that people may not stay awake just on this night and become contented.” Thereafter he swore by Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) that Laylatul Qadr comes on the 27th. This is also the view held by numerous Sahabah as well as Taabiees.

What Ibn Masood and Ubay (Radiallaho Anho) actually meant was that the person who remains in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) all the nights of the year will certainly realize when Laylatul Qadr is. Among the Imams, a well-known opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rehmatullah Alaihi) is that Laylatul Qadr moves throughout the year, while another view of his is that it moves about throughout the month of Ramadhan. His famous student-followers, Imam Mohammed and Imam Abu Yusuf, however, were of the opinion that the night is fixed on one specific night (which is unknown) during the month of Ramadhan, while scholars of the Shaafi school of Islamic law believe that very likely it occurs on the 21st.

Imam Ahmed and Imam Maalik ( Rehmatullah Alaihi) hold the view that it comes among the last ten nights of Ramadhan, shifting from year to year and not fixed. But the vast majority of the Ulama, consider it most likely that Laylatul Qadr comes annually on the 27th (of Ramadhan).

Ibn Arabi (Rehmatullah Alaihi) says: “In my opinion, the view of those who believer that Laylatul Qadr comes on various nights throughout the year is most likely correct, because twice I have seen it in in the month of Shaban, once on the 15th and once on the 19th and twice I have seen it in the middle ten nights of Ramadhan, the 13th and the 18th, and I have seen it on every odd night of the last ten. For this reason, I am certain it moves over all nights throughout the year, but comes mostly in Ramadhan.”

Shah Waliullah of Delhi believed that Laylatul Qadr comes twice every year (a) One Laylatul Qadr is that one on which Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ‘s commands are revealed (to the Angels); this is also the night on which the Quran was copied from the original and brought down to the first sky. This night does not come in Ramadhan alone, but shifts and can come on any other night of the year. However, the particular night on which the Quran was revealed fell in Ramadhan.

(b) The second Laylatul Qadr is the one of tremendous spiritual value, when Angels descend in large numbers, while shayateen are held back and when Dua is answered. This night comes only in Ramadhan, during the various odd nights of the last ten days. (This view of Shah Waliullah used to be most acceptable to my father).

Anyway, whether there are two Laylatul Qadr or whether there is only one, the fact still remains that one has to search for it, if not throughout the year, then at least in Ramadhan. Should that prove difficult, then at least during the last ten days. When that, too, seems a bit too much for us, then at least the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days. In case one has missed some of these too, then the 27th should not be allowed to go by.

Thus, if by good fortune one is blessed with finding the night, then it would outweigh all comforts and enjoyable things in the world. Even if one fails to get the much searched for night, then at least the reward for the worship is received. At least efforts should be made that the Salaah of Maghrib is received. At least efforts should be made that the Salaah of Maghrib and Isha throughout the year is performed with Jamaah because if it is Laylatul Qadr the reward for both is so much more.

It is a great blessing of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) that when one makes an effort for religious aims and cannot meet with success, he is still rewarded for the efforts. But is spite of this, how few are those who would make every effort in the service of Deen? On the other hand, in worldly affairs when one’s efforts do not bear fruit, then these efforts are written off as a loss. In spite of this, numerous people continue to spend their time, efforts and wealth in worldly pursuits that are fruitless and without worthwhile purpose and do not hold forth any such sure reward.

6. Signs of Laylatul Qadr
‘ Ubadah Ibn Saamit (Radiallaho Anho) reports that he asked Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) about Laylatul Qadr, He (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied “It is in Ramadhan, during the last ten days on the unevenly numbered nights, either 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or the last night of Ramadhan. Whosoever stands in worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) on this night with sincere faith and with genuine hopes of gaining reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. Among the sighs of this night is that it is a serene, quiet, shining night, neither hot, nor cold but temperate as if a moon is shining clear and no meteors are shot at the Shayateen on that night. It lasts until the break of the dawn. Another sign is that at morn, the sun rises without any radiant beams of light, appearing rather like the moon in its fullness. On that day, Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) prohibits the Shayateen from rising up with the sun.”

Note: Part of what has been stated in this Hadith has already been dealt with. Some signs are here related about the actual night. These signs are clear and need no further explanation. Apart from these, there are other signs too, as stated in Ahadith or in the experiences of those who had the good fortune to experience Laylatul Qadr.

The sign that is, however, most specific in the Hadith is the rising of the sun, without any radiant beams of light. Other signs are not always there. One Sahabi Abdah Ibn Abi Lubaaba (Radiallaho Anho) says: “On the evening of the 27th , I tasted the water of the sea and it was sweet.” Ayyoob Ibn Khalid said: “I once had to bath myself with sea water and on tasting it, found it sweet. This was on the 23rd night.”

Some of the Mashaikh wrote that on the evening of Laylatul Qadr, everything does Sajdah before Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), so much so that trees fall flat on the ground, then return to their normal position, there are, however, spiritual phenomena not visible to the ordinary person.

7. What One should make Dua for in Laylatul Qadr

Aisha (Radiallaho Anho) reports “I said ‘O Rasul of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) , should I find myself the Laylatul Qadr, what shall I ask of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) ? Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied, ‘Say, “O Allah, You are the One who grants pardon for sins, You loves to pardon, so pardon me.””

Note: This is indeed such an all-inclusive Dua, wherein one begs that Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) in His infinite Kindness should forgive his sins. If that has been obtained, the path to the Akhirah is secure. What more would one require? Imam Sufyan al-Thawree use to say that to keep oneself busy on this night with Dua is better than any other form of worship of Allah.

Ibn Rajab says that one should not only remain busy with Dua but should also take part in all other forms of worship of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), e.g. recitation of the Quran, Salaah, meditation etc. This latter opinion is most correct and nearer to what Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) has said, as already stated in the previous Ahadith.


SHAYKHUL HADITH MOULANA MOHAMMAD ZAKARIYA KANDHLAVI,
Mazaher-ul-Ulum, Saharanpuri

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. alziik said,

    September 23, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Allah Akbar. Jazzakallah haira. May Allah’s providence sheild you. May He make you more Pious and include you among his servants who trully worship Him. May He grant you Jannat firdaus. May He provide light to your parents and forgive all their sins. Inshallah. Most exhaulted be His name, the Most High. May you be able to get the full reward of laylatul Qadr for the rest of your life.

    May Allah be pleased with you and Grant you Jannat Firdaus.

  2. alhaadi said,

    September 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Jazakallah khaira for the great dua’s. May Allah also have mercy on you and forgive all your sin and grant you the good of both worlds.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: