Highlights of the last ten days of Ramadhan and the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr)

Highlights of the last ten days of Ramadhan and the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr)

During the last days of the month of Ramadhan, Muslim faithful usually spend the nights awake in Mosques, deep in prayer and studying the Quran.

This period is called the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) and has its significance.

Muslims are taught that the month of Ramadhan is the holiest month of the year. It is the month when worshipers are closest to their Creator, and the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) is the holiest night of Ramadhan.

Some Islamic scholars have said that the complete Qur’an was sent down from the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfoozh) in the night of Al-Qadr to the House of Glory (Bayt Al-`Izzah) in the lowest heaven, from whence it was revealed piecemeal to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) according to events that took place during his life over a period of twenty-three years.


Meaning of Laylatul Qadr

The night itself has two meanings. First, it is the night during which destinies are decided. Muslims believe that the revelation of the Qur’an in this night is not merely the revelation of a book, but an event that will change the destiny of the entire world. “Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments.” (Sura Ad-Dukhan 44:4)

The other meaning is that this is a night of unique honor, dignity and glory, so much so that it is better than a thousand months. Muslims believe that it was such a blessed night that what was accomplished in it for the well-being of mankind had not been accomplished during a long period of human history.

“Lo! We revealed it on a blessed night. Lo! We are ever warning.” (Surat Ad-Dukhan 44:3)

According to Muslims, Laylatul Qadr is the night when the gates of heaven are wide open and Allah will listen to the lucky ones who encounter it. In Islam there is no intermediary between the creation and the Creator.

Whether you live in a stately mansion or in a tent in the middle of the desert, all you need to do is raise your hands towards the sky and ask Him. In your heart you know nobody can take away anything Allah has meant for you or give you anything Allah has denied you.

“And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh, I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them bear My call and let them trust in Me in order that they may be led aright.” (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:186)

Every day in the life of a Muslim is special if he is mindful of Allah in all that he does. Laylatul Qadr is even more so. For Muslims, this one night is better than a thousand months of our life, and worshiping on that one night is better than 84 years of our worship.


When is Laylatul Qadr?

Muslims believe that the Lord has concealed the exact date of the Night of Power so they would worship Him fervently during the whole month of Ramadhan. It was reported that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Seek it on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)


What to do on Laylatul Qadr

Muslims are encouraged to seek this night and spend it diligently in devotion including performing voluntary Salah (ritual prayer), reciting Qur’an, and supplicating.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “He who spends the night in prayers on the Night of Power as a sign of his devotion and seeking rewards from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari).

For Muslims, it is a glorious night in which angels ascend while others descend with their Lord’s permission, saluting those who worship Allah on that night and bringing with them a wish of safety and peace.


itikaf (seclusion)

The idea behind Itikaf is to exhort the Muslims to devote themselves exclusively to prayer and devotion at least for a few days during the year in order to develop deep Allah-consciousness, because it is this consciousness which is the fountainhead of a Muslim’s thought and deed.

Itikaf is, in fact, the next stage of fasting in spiritual development and purification of the soul. During the days of Itikaf, the mutakif (one who enters in Itikaf) dissociates himself from all worldly affairs and spends his time in prayer and supplication.

Itikaf is a temporary seclusion and retreat to worship Allah and draw near to Him. For Islam does not accept celibacy and permanent seclusion for worship, but it appoints certain times for extra worship and devotion.

Allah has prescribed Itikaf for them (Muslims), by which it is intended that the heart is fully occupied with Allah, the Most High, concentrated upon Him alone, and cut off from preoccupation with the creatures.

Rather it is so engrossed with Him alone, the One free of all defects, that remembering Him, loving Him and turning to Him takes the place of all anxieties of the heart and its suggestions, so that he is able to overcome them.

Itikaf is a Sunnah and according to many jurists it is a confirmed Sunnah upon able Muslims. This is because the Prophet (SAW) used to do it all his life and the Mothers of Believers and Companions continued to do it after the death of the Prophet.

Thus the last ten days should be spent in Itikaf for those who are able to do so.

Itikaf may seem to be a negative act, but if you think about it deeply and if it is done perfectly it is a positive and healthy act. Staying in the mosque for ten days spending time in worship, reading the Qur’an, thinking positively of Allah and His creation charges our spirits and empowers our bodies and thinking and teaches us how to be self-disciplined and have full control over ourselves.

It teaches us how to measure the real value of life and to make sure that we are on the right track, to shake off the dust of sins from our souls, to enrich and deepen our spiritual sense, to sharpen our vision, to look forward towards the Hereafter before it is eminent for us.

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