The Night of Power
The Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr) is a treasure of greatness, sanctity, excellence and magnitude. The excellences and blessings of Lailatul Qadr are so vast that only a few can be mentioned hereunder. The excellence and supremacy of this blessed night can be seen from the fact that the Allah Ta’ala revealed a complete Surah in relation to this night. He states:
“Undoubtedly, We sent it down in the blessed and valuable night. And what you know, what the blessed night is? The blessed and valuable Night is better than a thousand months. Therein descend Angels and Jibra’eel (the Spirit) by the command of their Lord for every affair. That is all peace till the rising of the dawn.” [Surah Qadr]
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has stated, “Search for the Night of Power during the odd nights in the last ten nights of Ramadaan.” The opinion of most Scholars is that Lailatul Qadr is the 27th night of Ramadaan, and this is also the opinion of Imam-e-Azam Sayyiduna Imam Abu Hanifa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). This night is very unique to other nights and there some signs that we can look for when looking for it. There is peace and calm in this night, the sky is jet-black, it is neither too hot nor too cold, and leaves do not fall off trees until daybreak. No barking of dogs is heard on this night and when the sun rises in the morning it appears as a disk without rays.
The reason for not knowing the exact date for the Night of Power is explained by the following Hadith. Hazrat Ubadah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that one day Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) came out to inform us about the Night of Power. However, two Muslims were arguing and Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “I came out to tell you which night is the Night of Power, but due to the fact that so and so were arguing this information has been lifted from me. The wisdom behind it being lifted is best known by Allah Ta’ala.” [Bukhari Shareef ]
We see from the above Hadith that fighting and arguing with each other is such a bad deed that we were deprived of the knowledge of the Night of Power because of it.
Allama Qurtubi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) quotes another narration, in which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was shown the ages of the people of the previous nations. Upon seeing that his nation’s lifespan was shorter than that of the previous nations, he was fearful that the deeds of his Ummah would not be able to compare with the deeds of the previous nations who had longer lives. Upon this, Allah Ta’ala granted him the Night of Power, which is better than the worship of 1000 months of the previous nations.
Another narration is reported by Hazrat Ali bin Urwah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who states that one day Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned four men of the Children of Israel who worshipped Allah Ta’ala for 80 years and not a single moment in that time was spent in disobedience of Allah Ta’ala. The four who were mentioned were Hazrat Ayub, Hazrat Hizqeel, Hazrat Yoosha and Hazrat Zakariyya (Alaihimus Salaam). The Companions of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) were amazed upon hearing this when Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) descended from the heavens and said, “O Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Your Companions are amazed at the worship of 80 years of those people? Allah Ta’ala has revealed something better than that upon you.” He then recited Surah Qadr and said, “This is better than that upon which your companions were amazed.”
Allah Ta’ala has stated in Surah Qadr that, “Therein descend Angels and Jibra’eel herein (the Spirit).” We can understand the meaning of this Aayat by looking at the Hadith in which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “On the Night of Power, Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) descends onto the earth with a huge army of angels and this army of angels supplicate for forgiveness and mercy for all those people who are busy, whether standing or sitting, in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala.”
In another Hadith, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has stated, “As soon as the Night of Power has arrived, Allah Ta’ala will give the order to Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam), who will promptly descend to the earth below, travelling in a throng of angels and bearing a green banner, which he will set up on top of the Ka’bah Shareef. Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) has no fewer than six hundred wings, which he only unfolds on the Night of Power. He will therefore spread them on that night, and by doing so, he will span the entire distance between the East and the West. Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) will command the angels to infiltrate into this Ummah, so they will insert themselves unobtrusively among its members. They will then give the greeting of peace to every believer who is found to be observing the night vigil, performing the ritual prayer, and practicing the remembrance of Allah. They will exchange greetings with them and say ‘Ameen’ to their Duas until the break of dawn. At this point Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) will cry out, “O company of angelic friends, now is the moment for us to be homeward bound.” The other angels will then ask, “O Jibra’eel, what has Allah done to meet the needs of the believers belonging to the Ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)?” So he will respond by saying, “Allah has scrutinized them carefully, and He has pardoned and forgiven them all, with only four exceptions.”” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then went on to explain that the four exceptions include anyone who is consumes intoxicating liquor, anyone who is disobedient and disrespectful towards his parents, anyone who is guilty of disrupting a bond of kinship, and anyone who is virulently rancorous. When the blessed Sahaabah asked what kind of person is virulently rancorous, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Someone who is spitefully reluctant to abandon a grudge and stubbornly unwilling to accept the restoration of good relation with anyone who has offended him.” [Ghunyalit Taalibi Tareeqal Haq, Vol. 3]
It is also stated that there is an angel whose head is under the Throne (Arsh) and his feet are deep in the core of the earth. This angel has 1000 heads and each head is bigger than the world. Each head has 1000 faces, with 1000 mouths on each face and 1000 tongues in each mouth. With each tongue, he glorifies and praises the Lord in thousands of different ways, and the language of each tongue is different. When he opens his mouth all the heavenly angels fall into prostration out of fear that the brightness of his face might burn them. Every morning and night, he praises Allah Ta’ala with these mouths. This angel comes down to the earth on the Night of Power and supplicates until sunrise for the forgiveness of all the believing men and women of the Ummah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who fast. [Tafseer Roohul Bayaan]
It has also been stated that when Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) comes down to earth on the Night of Power, he will not leave any human being without giving him the greeting of peace and shaking him by the hand. For the recipient, the sign of this will be the sudden appearance of goose bumps all over his skin, coinciding with a surge of tender feelings in his heart, and a tearful moistening of his eyes. [Ghunyalit Taalibi Tareeqal Haq, Vol. 3]
Mother of Believers, Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that she asked Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “If I find the Night of Power, what should I do?” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Recite the following supplication: Allahumma Innaka ‘Afuwwun Tuhibbul ‘Afwa Fa’fu ‘Annee.” (O Allah! You are the One who forgives, You like to forgive, therefore forgive me) [Tirmidhi Shareef ]
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The person who stands in prayer in the Night of Power with faith and belief has his previous sins forgiven.” [Bukhari Shareef; Muslim Shareef]
It is reported in a Hadith-e-Qudsi that Allah Ta’ala states, “The sound of sinners sobbing and weeping is more beloved to Me than the sound of praise and glorification.” We can therefore see the importance of crying in the court of Allah Ta’ala and seeking His forgiveness, especially during this Blessed Night.
The person who prays 4 Rakaats on this night, and in each Rakaat recites Surah Qadr once and Surah Ikhlas 27 times after Surah Fatiha, becomes so pure of sins it is as though he was born on that day. Additionally, Allah Ta’ala grants him 1000 palaces in Paradise. Subhaanallah!
Whilst there are great benefits in staying awake and worshipping Allah Ta’ala in the night of Power, there is also great loss and harm in being lazy and neglectful about this night. Look at the damage and loss that will be incurred if we neglect to take advantage of this blessed night by remembering and worshipping Allah Ta’ala. It is stated in a Hadith that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has stated, “The person who remains deprived of the blessings of this night will remain deprived of all goodness. No one is deprived of the blessings of this night except the most wretched ones.” [Ibn Majah]
The above Hadith makes clear that we should not be negligent and heedless in the Night of Power. Rather we should prepare ourselves completely for worshipping on this night because the Merciful Lord, through the Sadaqa of His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) grants the reward of worshipping for more than a thousand months for just a few hours worship. Very unfortunate are those people who are not prepared to sacrifice a few hours to worship their Lord.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq and Hidayat to take full advantage of Lailatul Qadr and to make as much Ibaadat as possible and to cry in the Court of Allah Ta’ala and to beg for His Mercy and Forgiveness through the Wasilah of His Habeeb, our Master, Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, Ameen.