The last 10 days of Ramadan are blessed by Allah with unique virtues. Among such virtues is that Laylat Al-Qadr (the Night of Decree) is among them. About this Night, Allah, The Most Exalted, Says (what means): “Ha, Meem. By the clear Book. Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. On that night is made distinct every precise matter - [Every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a messenger]. As mercy from your Lord. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Qur’an 44:1-6]
Allah sent down the Qur’an on this Night which He, The Most Exalted, described as blessed. It was reported from a group of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) – including Ibn ‘Abbaas, Qataadah, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, ‘Ikrimah, Mujaahid and others , may Allah be pleased with them- that the night on which the Qur’an was sent down was Laylat Al-Qadr.
The phrase (which means): “On that night is made distinct every precise matter,” indicates that on this night the destiny of all creatures for the coming year is decreed. On that night it is written who will live, who will die, who will be saved, who will be doomed, who will be destined for Paradise, who will be destined for Hell, who will be granted honour, who will be humiliated, where drought and famine will occur, and everything else that Allah Wills in that year.
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “You may see a man furnishing his home or ploughing his field, and he is one of those who are going to die,” i.e., it has been decreed on Laylat Al-Qadr that he is one of those who are going to die (in the coming year). And it was said that on this night, the destiny of people is shown to the angels.
The meaning of “Qadr” is veneration or honour, i.e. it is a night that is venerated because of its special characteristics, and because the one who stays up during this night becomes a person of honour. And it was said that Qadr means constriction, in the sense that the knowledge of precisely when this night is, is hidden. Al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “It was called Laylat Al-Qadr because the earth is constricted by the great numbers of angels on that night, and Qadr means constriction.”
It was also said that Qadr means Qadar (decree), i.e., that on this night the decrees for the coming year are ordained, as Allah Says (what means): “On that night is made distinct every precise matter.” [Qur’an 44:4]and because the decrees of Allah are decided and written down on this night.
So Allah has called it Laylat Al-Qadr, because of its great value and high status with Allah, and because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during this night. For it is the night of forgiveness, as it was reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever stays up during Laylat Al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning the reward of Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Allah has given this night special characteristics which make it unique, such as:
1. It is the night on which the Qur’an was sent down, as we have stated above. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Allah sent down the Qur’an at one time from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth (the Preserved Tablet in the Seventh Heaven) to Bayt Al-‘Izzah (House of Pride) in the first Heaven, then it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, in stages according to events over 23 years.” [Ibn Katheer]
2. Allah described it as being better than a thousand months, as He Says (what means): “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” [Qur’an 97:3]
3. Allah described it as being blessed, as He Says (what means): “Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night.” [Qur’an 44: 3]
4. On this night, the angels and the Spirit [Jibreel (Angel Gabriel)] descend, “i.e., many angels descend on this night because it is so blessed, and the angels come down when the blessings and mercy of Allah come down, just as they come down when the Qur’an is recited, and they surround the circles of Thikr (gatherings where Allah is mentioned), and they spread their wings for the one who sincerely seeks knowledge, out of respect for him.” [Ibn Katheer]
Jibreel is specifically mentioned as a sign of respect for him.
5. This night is described as peace, i.e., it is safe, for the devils cannot do any evil or cause any harm on this night, as Mujaahid, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “On this night, many people are saved from punishment because of what they do to worship Allah, The Most Exalted.”
6. Allah Says (what means):“On that night is made distinct every precise matter.” [Qur’an 44:4], the affairs of that year are dispatched from the Preserved Tablet to the angels who record the decrees: who will live, who will die, what provision people will be given, what will happen until the end of that year, every matter of ordainments is decreed, and it cannot be altered or changed. [Ibn Katheer]
All of this is already known to Allah before it is even written down, but He makes known to the angels what is to happen, and commands them to do whatever they are enjoined to do.
7. Allah revealed a Chapter concerning this night which will be recited until the Day of Resurrection, in which He mentions the honour and great value of this night. This is the Chapter in which Almighty Allah Says (what means): “Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” [Qur’an 97:1-5]
The verse (which means): “And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?” [Qur’an 97:2] serves to draw attention to the importance and great significance of this night.
The verse (which means): “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” Means that worship during it is better than worship during a thousand months (which means over eighty three years). This is a great virtue, the value of which no one can fully understand except The Lord of the Worlds, The Most Exalted.
Laylat Al-Qadr is in the last ten days of Ramadan, as stated in the narration of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, said: “Seek Laylat Al-Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadan.” [Muslim]
It is more likely to be one of the odd-numbered nights, because of the narration of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, had said: “Seek Laylat Al-Qadr in the odd-numbered nights of the last ten nights.” [Al-Bukhari]
We should seek it especially in the odd-numbered nights, i.e., on the 21st, the 23rd, the 25th, the 27th and the 29th. It was also reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, said: “Seek it in the last ten nights, on the odd-numbered nights.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It is most likely to be on the night of the 27th. This is according to the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam: “Laylat Al-Qadr is the night of the 27th.” [Ahmad and Abu Daawood] The view that it is the night of the 27th is the opinion of most of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and the majority of scholars. Ubayy ibn Ka’b, may Allah be pleased with him, used to assert, without saying “Insha Allah - God willing” that: “…it was the night of the twenty-seventh. Zurr ibn Hubaysh, may Allah be pleased with him, said to Ubayy, may Allah be pleased with him: ‘I said: What makes you say that, O Abu’l-Munthir (i.e. Ubay)?’ He, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘By the signs of which the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, told us: that the sun rises that morning with no visible rays.’” [Muslim]
The fact that it is more likely the night of the 27th –Allah knows best – does not mean that this is always the case. It could be any of the other odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Some of the scholars ruled that it is more likely that it moves and does not come on a specific night each year.
Allah has concealed this night so that His slaves will strive to seek it, and will strive hard in worship, just as He has concealed the blessed hour of Friday.
Therefore, we should strive hard during the days and nights of these ten days, seeking Laylat Al-Qadr and following the example of our Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, and we should strive in supplication and seeking to draw close to Allah Almighty.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
The best time to recite the Qur’an
The Glorious Qur’an is the everlasting miracle of our Prophet – Muhammad, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam– that addresses all human generations and shall continue to do so till the end of time. It convinces the human intellect with various proofs in order to subject it to the truth and make it surrender to Allah willingly or turn away from the truth after it has recognised it out of arrogance.
The Messenger, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, said: “No Prophet was sent by Allah except that he was given what would make people believe in him, and what I was given is Revelation and I hope to be the greatest of all the Prophets in (terms of) followers.” [Al-Bukhari]. The Qur’an is the everlasting miracle given by Allah to His Messenger, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, which no human being or Jinn is able to produce a book like it. Even if all mankind and jinn were to collaborate to produce something like it, they would not be able to do so. Allah says (what means): “Say (O Muhammad): ‘If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.’”[Qur’an 17: 88]
Allah even challenges those who have doubt about the Divinity of the Qur’an when He Says (what means): “And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a chapter the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful. But if you do not - and you will never be able to - then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.” [Qur’an 2:23-24].
Reciting the Qur’an in appropriate times assists in letting it have an impact on human soul. Ramadan is the best time to recite the Qur’an, for it is a food for the soul and because of the fact that the authority of the mind that tells man to do evil weakens during this month. The soul will then prevail and get strength by the Qur’an and, as a result, will derive the highest possible benefit from it. The Qur’an is like a beneficial rain, the soul is like the earth and Ramadan is like the good season for rainfall that enables the hearts to produce the blooming crops.
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, said: “The similitude of the guidance and knowledge with which I was sent, is like a rain that falls on a land of which there was a good part that accepted the water and produced therefrom many plants and grass. There is also a barren part that holds water and Allah made it beneficial to people as they drank thereof, fed their animals and irrigate their farms. It also affected some parts that are just lowland that could neither hold the water nor produce grass. The first two are the example of him that acquired the knowledge of the religion of Allah, benefited from that which I am sent with and taught it to others. The third is the example of him who never paid attention to the Qur’an and did not accept the guidance of Allah with which I am sent.”[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
We must seize the opportunity of the remaining days of Ramadan to read the Glorious Qur’an with reflection and understanding of its meanings and try our best to put its injunctions into practice. Our righteous predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them, used to preoccupy themselves in Ramadan, with the recitation of the Glorious Qur’an and they always used to mention Allah.
We have to know that any one who puts the injunctions of the Qur’an in practice is among the people of the Qur’an (who are dear to Allah) even if he has not memorised it. Also, he who does not work by the injunctions of the Qur’an is not among its people even if he memorises it.
We have to do good deeds in this excellent month, be kind to the poor and needy as a sign of emulating the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam. It is narrated that Jibreel (Angel Gabriel) used to review the Qur’an with the Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, once in a year and that was during Ramadhaan. In the year that the Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, died, Jibreel reviewed it with him twice. Whenever Jibreel came to came to meet him, the Prophet, sallallaahu ’alaihi wa sallam, used to be more generous and faster in spending charity than a dispatched wind.”
Article source: http://www.islambweb.net/emainpage/
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