In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Alhamdulillah… Infinite thanks and praises are due to the Almighty Allah, for making Lailatul Qadr an exclusive privilege for this Ummah. I send abundant peace and blessings upon the best man who ever devoted himself in observing Lailatul Qadr, our Master Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path till end of time.
Dear brothers and sisters! Lailatul Qadr is an Arabic phrase, which carries various meanings. These meanings can be translated into English as the Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures. The night of Lailatul Qadr actually implies all the above meanings. You’ll realise that, as you read this sermon, In Shaa Allah.
But technically, Lailatul Qadr is the one night in the year which is better than 83 years and four months. It’s a night that is been blessed by Allah. Muslims are encouraged to spend the night of Lailatul Qadr in devotion, seeking forgiveness and blessings from Allah the Almighty.
Respected brothers and sisters! Know that the night of Lailatul Qadr falls on one of the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. That is either 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th of Ramadan. Every year, Allah chooses one of these nights to bestow upon the Ummah the blessings of Lailatul Qadr. Since Allah has put uncertainty to the exact day of the occurrence of Lailatul Qadr, the Muslim is encouraged to seek for it in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. Aisha (RA) narrates in a Hadith reported by Imam al-Bukhari, that:
“Seek Lailatul Qadr in the odd nights out of the last ten nights of Ramadan.”
Beloved servants of Allah! Lailatul Qadr which occurs in the last ten nights of Ramadan is the most significant night in a year. But we also learn its significance by looking at how the Prophet (Peace be upon him) observed it. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would engage himself in devotion during the last ten nights more than he did in any other time. This is what is understood from the Hadith of Imam Muslim from the narration of Aisha (RA). She said:
“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) used to strive more in worship during Ramadan than he strove in any other time of the year; and he would devote himself more (in the worship of Allah) in the last ten nights of Ramadan than he strove in earlier part of the month.” [Muslim]
My people! Lailatul Qadr has many virtues which the Muslim should know and seek to seize its opportunities. Below is a selection of some of the virtues of the Night of Power:
- The Qur’an was Descended on Lailatul Qadr
It was on Lailatul Qadr when the Qur’an was first sent down from the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh al-Mahfuz) to the first heaven (Bait al-Izzah). This is what we can understand from the first verse of Surah al-Qadr (Qur’an, 97:1), which says:
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).”
2. Lailatul Qadr is a Blessed Night
One of the virtues of Lailatul Qadr is that it’s a blessed night. And this title was given to the night by the Qur’an. We find that in Surah al-Dukhan, 44:3, where Allah says:
“Surely, We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night.”
We know, by now, that the night which the Qur’an was descended as a whole is Lailatul Qadr. Therefore, that same night is the one being referred to as the blessed night.
3. Lailatul Qadr is better in Value and Rewards than a Thousand Months
A thousand months is calculated to be equal to 83 years and four months. This is what is understood from Surah al-Qadr, 97:3, where Allah says:
“The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months.”
This implies that rewards of righteous deeds in this night are better than (not equal to) the rewards one can attain from the deeds of 83 years and four months. If the rewards of good actions are doubled in Ramadan, how about performing these actions in Lailatul Qadr? None but Allah knows the rewards that is given to the person who performs Qiyam in that night out of faith and hoping for the reward of Allah.
4. The Angels Come Down to the Earth with Goodness
On the night of Lailatul Qadr, the Angels, under the leadership of Archangel Jibril Alaihis salam all come down to convey the blessings and mercy of Allah to the believers. This is what verse 4 of Surah al-Qadr implies:
“On that night, the Angels and the Spirit (Ruh/Jibril) come down by the permission of their Lord with His decrees for all matters.”
5. The Night of Lailatul Qadr is Filled with Peace and Tranquility
A night in which the Angels are deployed to bring down peace and blessings from Allah to the believers is worth to be filled with peace, tranquility and coolness. A night that Allah forgives anyone who sees Him with faith and hope is more than worth to be filled with peace and tranquility. Allah says in the last verse of Surah al-Qadr:
“It is all peace till the break of dawn.”
This peace can be felt by almost everyone. But only those who pay attention and are observant can differentiate it from any ordinary night.
6. Observing Lailatul Qadr in Righteousness Eradicates Our Previous Sins
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave us this good tidings, and added that many people are freed from torment, and many people are helped to obey their Forgiving Lord who accepts repentance. In a Hadith reported by Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim from the narration of Abu Hurairah (RA) the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Dear brothers and sisters! Allah showers His mercy upon the Muslims especially during these last 10 nights. In them, Du‘a is answered particularly quickly, and especially after one finishes a complete reading (khatm) of the Qur’an (the best time to complete the last suras in the Qur’an is either right after Fajr or right after Maghrib, and since the nights are so significant, it would be better in to finish it right after Maghrib during the last 10). Also, Allah forgives many, many people and frees them from the Hellfire – so it is recommended to repeatedly ask Allah for forgiveness with a heart that is present and focused on Him, Exalted is He! Also, O Believer, these are the days which the Beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) described as the days when Allah frees people from the Fire. So be alert and make use of these days in worship and repentance.
Probably the greatest blessing within these last 10 nights is that Lailatul Qadr [The Night of Great Value] is hidden somewhere within its odd nights. It is related by Imam Ahmad that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Lailatul Qadr is within the 10 remaining days. Whosoever stays up [in prayer/worship]… Allah, most Exalted, will forgive all his [or her] past and future sins. And it is on an odd night, the 9th, or the 7th, or the 5th, or the 3rd, or the last night.”
It is particularly important throughout these nights to attempt to pray both Isha and Fajr in congregation. On the authority of Anas, may Allah be well pleased with him, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whosoever prays during Lailatul Qadr [both] Isha and Fajr in congregation (Jama‘ah) then they have taken from Lailatul Qadr the greatest portion.”
Our mother, Aisha, may Allah be well pleased with her, asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him):
“O Messenger of Allah, if it is Lailatul Qadr, then what [prayer] should I supplicate with?”
He replied with the famous Du‘a:
“اللهم إنّكَ عَفُوٌ كريمٌ، تُحِبُّ العَفْوَ فاعْفُ عنا.”
“Allahummah, innaka Afuwwun Karimun, tuhibbul afwa fa‘afu anna.”
“O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning and Generous; You love to pardon, so pardon us.”
Some scholars have recommended that one add at the end of the previous Du‘a another Du‘a of the Prophet (Peace be upon him):
“اللهم إنّي أسْألُكَ العَفو وَالعَافِية والمُعَافاة الدَّائِمة في الدِّينِ والدُّنْيا والأخِرَةّ.”
“Allahummah inni as’aluka al-afwa wa al-afiyah, wa al-mu‘afat al-da’imah fid-din, wad-dunya, wa al-akhirah.”
“O Allah, I ask You for pardoning, good health, and constant well-being in my religion, worldly affairs, and afterlife.”
May Allah put tremendous blessing in these last days for you all, for your families, and for the rest of the Muslims. Please remember the whole Ummah in your Du‘a. May Allah reward you all. Ameen.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, writes from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.