Preparation For Laylatul Qadr
One of the most important dua to ask throughout the month of Ramadhan is to ask to be able to utilise the opportunity given during Laylatul Qadr to get divine grace. In Suratul Qadr, Allah considers the night to be better than a thousand months (approx 80 years). To be able to gain 80 years worth of grace is an awesome achievement.
It is recommended to recite Suratud Dukhan and Suratul Qadr every day from the beginning of the month until the 23rd of the month in preparation of Laylatul Qadr.
From ahadith we know that the affairs for every year, i.e., sustenance, provisions, age…. are assigned during Laylatul Qadr. Therefore to ponder and think of one’s aspirations and goals is the most important of preparations for the night.
Hadith from Hadith Qudsi
Prophet Musa (pbuh) once addressed Allah saying: “Lord! I desire to be near to You.”
Allah said “Whoever desires nearness to Me is one who remains awake during Laylatul Qadr (doing ibada).”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to earn Your mercy.”
Allah replied “My mercy is granted to anyone who is merciful to the underprivileged during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to pass on the right path.”
Allah replied “This is granted to anyone who gives sadaqa during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to enjoy the trees and fruits of Janna!”
Allah replied “This is granted to anyone who praises Me during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to achieve salvation from the fire!”
Allah replied “This is granted to anyone who seeks forgiveness during Laylatul Qadr.”
Prophet Musa (pbuh) said: “Lord! I wish to achieve Your pleasure!”
Allah replied “I shall be pleased with anyone who prays two (mustahab) rak’ats salaa during Laylatul Qadr.”
“Allah has favoured Friday over all other days, the month of Ramadhan over all other months, and Laylatul Qadr over all other nights.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
This name was used for Laylatul Qadr because Allah determines what will happen for everyone in the entire next year. The “Qadr” in this sense means destiny. According to Al Qummi’s Tafsir, as explained on p. 432 of its second volume, such destiny includes life and death, sustenance, abundance of crops or famine and everything good or bad. This means that Allah determines in this night each and every event to occur during the next year to any and all of His creation.
Sulayman al- Marzawi asked Imam Ali Ar Ridha (pbuh) “Could you please tell us why Suratul Qadr was revealed?”
Imam replied: “O Sulayman! Laylatul Qadr is the night when Allah decrees what will take place from one year to another of life or death, good or evil, regarding sustenance and whatever He then decrees is sure destiny.”
“Whoever spends Laylatul Qadr in ibada to his/her Rabb will have all his/her sins forgiven even if they had numbered as many as the stars in the heavens, the weight of the mountains, or the measures of the seas.” Imam Muhammad Al Baqir (pbuh)
“The Holy Qur’an was revealed as a whole during the month of Ramadan at the Ancient House (the Ka’ba), then from there it was revealed along the span of (more than) twenty years.” Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
“The Books of Ibrahim (pbuh) were revealed on the first night of the month of Ramadan; the Torah was revealed on the sixth of the month of Ramadan; the Gospel (Injil) was revealed on the thirteenth of the month of Ramadan; the Psalms (Zabur) were revealed on the eighteenth of the month of Ramadan, and the Holy Qur’an was revealed on the twenty-fourth of the month of Ramadan.” Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
“During Laylatul Qadr, the angels, the spirit, and the trusted scribes all descend to the lower heavens and write down whatever Allah decrees that year, and if Allah wishes to advance something or postpone it or add thereto, He orders the angel to erase it and replace it with whatever He decrees.” Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
Ibn Abbas is quoted saying, “The Holy Qur’an was revealed as a whole from the Safeguarded Scroll from the heavens to the lower earth on Laylatul Qadr, then Jibrail used to reveal it unto Rasulullah (pbuh) gradually.”
Imam Baqir (pbuh), quoting Rasulullah (pbuh) has said that whoever spends Laylatul Qadr adoring his Lord will have all his sins forgiven even if they had numbered as many as the stars in the heavens, the weight of the mountains, or the measures of the seas.
Imam Baqir (pbuh) has said, “The 17th night of the month of Ramadan is when the two parties met, and the 19th is when the lists of the pilgrims is written down, and the 21st is when the successor to the Prophet passed away and Isa (pbuh) was raised to heaven and Musa (pbuh) passed away, whereas the 23rd is hoped to be Laylatul-Qadr.”
Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya quotes his father saying, “I was in the company of Imam Sadiq (pbuh) when Abu Baseer asked him, ‘Which night is the one when one is to plead to his Lord whatever he wishes to plead?’ Imam answered him by saying, ‘Either the twenty-first or the twenty-third.’ He then asked him: ‘What if I have no strength to observe both of them?’
Imam said, ‘How easy it is to observe them when compared to your pleas!”’
Imam Sadiq (pbuh) has also said: “The twenty-third night of the month of Ramadan is the one when every weighty matter is decided, when trials, tribulations, deaths, and means of sustenance and other matters are determined, and so will whatever Allah decrees to take place for the entire next year; so, congratulations to anyone who remains awake during it bowing, prostrating, contemplating upon his sins, weeping on their account, for if you do all of that, God willing, you Will never be disappointed.”
Then he added, “Allah will order an angel to call out during each and every day of the month of Ramadan conveying Allah’s message to them thus: ‘ Good news, O My servants, I have forgiven your past sins and permitted some of you to intercede on behalf of the rest on Lailatul-Qadr except those who break their fast with an intoxicant or those who bear grudge against another Muslim brother!’”
It is narrated that Allah wards off evil and sins and all types of trials on the 25th night from all His servants who fast and grants them light in their hearing and vision; Janna is decorated during Laylatul Qadr’s day and night.
Suggested things to do on Laylatul Qadr
· Make sure you are comfortable.
· Don’t eat too much for you will feel sleepy.
· Give sadaqa
· Concentrate on Allah today by focusing your thoughts on the importance of this night and how it is the unfortunate who are devoid of the blessings of this night. To keep your thoughts focused everytime they stray recite “Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’un” “Indeed we are from Allah and towards Him is our return.” 2:156
· Make sure you are at peace with your relations especially your parents and blood ties. Ask their forgiveness for any wrong doing or hurt you may have caused them.
· Forgive those who have hurt you. Release yourself from their prison. Remember ‘The reward for goodness is only good”.
· Ponder over the translation of the duas so you can ‘connect’
· When reciting the names of the Ma’sumeen think about each of them, ‘connecting’ to them.
· Imagine yourself at the day of Judgement – cry and beseech Him for forgiveness and a fresh start. The Prophet (SAW) when asked what one should ask Allah for during these nights, said “Ask for your safety (here and in the hereafter)”.
DIVIDE THE NIGHT INTO 3 PARTS
1. The first part to gain knowledge. Listen to some lectures or read and make notes. Maybe the understanding of the suwer of ‘Ankabut and Room for Imam Ja’fer As Sadiq (AS) has told Abu Baseer that whoever reads these suwer on the 23rd night of the month of Ramadhan will certainly be among the residents of Janna without any exception, adding, “… and I do not fear that Allah will record a sin against me for giving such a status for these two suwer”
2. The 2nd part to be allocated for meditation. Ask yourself questions – Who am I? What do I wish to be? Where do I wish to go? How will I get there? Find time to talk to your Rabb and tell Him your insecurities, fears, aspirations……….. Ask the help of the Ma’sumeen to intercede (tawassul) and help……..Recite the duas/munajat from Saheefa Sajjadiyya to help focus.
3. The 3rd part to be allocated for Salatul Layl to connect with Salatul Fajr.
THE NIGHT OF POWER: A NIGHT BETTER THAN A THOUSAND MONTHS-1
Alhamdulillah, by the grace of the Almighty we once again have the chance to get our destinies written as it’s a night/nights where we can pray for the forthcoming year. But as all programmes need preparation, these nights need preparation too.
(from lectures given by Raziyabai Janmohammed & Nasreenbai Tejani in tadabbur classes and Sheikh Alidina’s lectures in the mosque).
When should you start preparing??
~Just after Maahe Ramadhan (for next year, inshallah)
We start by first asking ALLAH (SWT) to help us to worship Him (lots of “other” things are being worshipped today).
~Do all the “preparations” earlier so as not to regret later.
~Jibraeel was asked how were a momin’s wishes be fulfilled in this night? He replied that his halal wishes are fulfilled, his maghfirah getting accepted, but for those who “drink”, do “qat-e-rehmi” and those who do “fitna and fasaad”.
~A suitable state:
1. manzil (keeping in mind the great night)
2. maksad (get all the benefits of it – The guests of Allah-believers- get invitation to a DASTARKHAAN/table-laid full of ne’amats as gifts – but all depends on how we take it (rooh’s feast to get the best).
~ Hadith says do duas to beforehand to be able to stay alive for this night and also that we get tawfeek to grab these ne’amats and do istighfaar. We should be able to select good things and get closer to Allah s.w.t.– we should be eager to get them, and not just do the amals as rituals and also to make our Imame wakt happy).
~Be mentally prepared. Keep Allah s.w.t in front of you; our mind should be in amals; remove all bad thoughts by reciting constantly before amal nights: INNA LILLAAHI WA INNA ILAYIH RAAJIUN – so our duas should not be thrown back- have KHUSHU and KHUZU.
~Strive to do as much as you can even if you feel you can’t or don’t feel like doing.
~Get a proper place, preferably a masjid and comfortable clothes, for proper concentration (on the 23rd night we see pacheris going up and down).
~Get all the meanings to understand what is recited (alhamdulillah- the media room in providing that).
~Do everything with ma-arifa (like why we do this amal and why we recite that dua).
~Wait earnestly for this night to get your duas accepted
~This night should be divided into three parts, namely for ilm (gaining knowledge), meditation and salaah.
~To take full advantage, 6th Imam said, do ghusl twice, first part of the night, just before sunset and later part (ghusl is for the removal of the dirt gathered in our souls – ‘cleanliness is half imaan’). So with Jihad-e-nafs remove all inside impurity.
~ The Hole Prophet was asked, “ Which is the best dua to be recited in these nights?” He replied, “That dua which gives you Duniya and Akhiraah najaat/success”.
A NIGHT BETTER THAN A THOUSAND MONTHS………2
~ After the ghusl (of before maghrib), pray namaze maghribayn. Then pray 2 rakat prayer with 7 times sura e tawheed after sura e alhamd (this is to assure oursleves of how we are in need of our Lord).
~ 70 times astaghfaar (think of your 70 different sins or 10 sins each of 7 organs, like mouth,eyes,hands,etc, or even think about the ‘manzar’/state of qayamat – the Holy Prophet said thinking about all this with sure intention of not committing again, will make your istighfaar be accepted).
~LA’ANAH: this is a dua too, but when we send la’anah to the oppressors, we have to be careful that we are not in that category, if not directly, undirectly!! Keeping in mind the present oppressors, pray earnestly for the return of our Imam to end the oppression.
~As told by Agha Mirza, try to cry with repentence; keep your hands behind the neck, or keep sand/mud on your head, or remember your grave. Keep your head rubbing on the wall; stand a bit, sit a bit and think of hell’s manzar/state.
~Do the amaal of the Holy Quran – shafa’at from Quran and Ahlulbayt- we need masumeen for our shafa’at!!
~DUA: for hajj, for hujjah – The Proof (Imame Zamana – on whom the angels are descending with our amaals), for others first specially the oppressed around the world and those suffering from diseases as well as from natural and man-made disasters, for best life, for ilm, for the life hereafter, akhiraah, barzakh, etc.
~Recite Ziyarate waaritha (all prophets come down to our Imam; our amaals going to Imam, he being the ‘waarith’ of all the prophets’ ilm and struggle – so many lessons in this ziyarah).
~Ask Imame Zamana for shafa’at and maghfirah, and very humbly to take ALL OUR AMAALS AND DUAS to Alllah s.w.t.
~ Even the days following are auspicious and important; use them to perform good deeds and reciting other duas.
OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR HANDS; SO LETS THINK BEFORE WASTING AWAY THESE NIGHTS AND ASK ALLAH TO GRANT US THE TAWFEEK TO PERFORM THE AAMAALS WITH MA’ARIFA/UNDERSTANDING, AAMEEN.