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Lailatul Qadr : The Night of Power
Qadr means honour and dignity. Lailatul Qadr means the night of honour and dignity. It is this night in which the first Divine Revelation came to the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam, when he was in prayer in the cave of Hira. Since this night enjoys the honour of having the first revelation brought to the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam, it has been named Lailatul Qadr.
This is one of the holiest and most blessed nights, which is likely to occur on one of the odd nights on the last ten days of Ramadhan and most likely to be the 27th. The reward of worship on this night is better than the worship of a thousand months of worship, equivalent to a person's lifetime. So, on this night one should pray nafil namaz, recite the Quran, do Tasbih, Zikr, Duas, etc as much as possible.
This night had already opened its gates of treasures when the angel for the first time had come with the Divine Message in the cave of Hira, but its auspiciousness has continued to be with us permanently. Every year in the month of Ramadhan, this night is given to the Ummah. Muslims engage in prayers, recitation of Quran and praying to Allah, as the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam said: "The person who offered prayers to Allah in the night of Dignity with faith and with hope of reward from Allah, all his past sins have been forgiven." (Bukhaari)
As the rainy season is suitable for farming, similarly for the attainment of nearness to Allah, specific times , specific days and specific nights are most suitable, e.g. the time of Tahajjud prayers, Friday prayers, month of Ramadhan, the Day of Arafah, etc. So also the Night of Power is the most suitable night for attaining nearness to Allah.
In the Hadeeth, we have been asked to seek it in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadhan. Hazrat Aa'ishah radhiyallahu anhaa narrates that the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alayhi wasallam has said, 'Seek the night of Dignity in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan'.(Bukhaari).
By odd nights, the reference is made to the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th night of the month of Ramadhan. No one night has been fixed so that the yearning to find it may increase and people may spend more nights in worshipping Allah. From this aspect, the importance of `Itikaaf (seclusion) during the last ten days of Ramadhan is clear.
Some special prayers and Zikr for Laitul Qadr
1. Seeking Forgiveness. Hazrat Aa'ishah radhiyallahu anhaa asked the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam that if she happened to get the night sublime what prayer should she say. The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam replied that she should say the following prayer :
"Allahumma innaka afuwwun kareemun tuhib-bul af-wa fa-afo anni"
(O Allah, You are the One who grants pardon for sins, loves forgiving, so forgive me.)
2. Reciting Astaghfar. The following should be recited as much as possible:
"Astaghfirullah hallazi la-ila-ha illa huwal Hayyul Qayyumo wa atu-bu ilaihe"
(I seek forgiveness from Allah, the Almighty, there is no God but He. He is self-Existent, the Eternal and I return to Him)
3. Reciting Surah `Inna anzalnahu...'
"Inna anzalnahu fee lailatul Qadr, Wa maa adraka maa lailatul Qadr.
Lailatul Qadri khairum min alfi shahr. Tanazzalul malai-katu var-roohu
fee ha bi izni Rabbihim min kulle amr. Salaamun heya hatta matla-il fajr."
4. Do Salatul Tasbih.
5. Do Afzul Zikr i.e. La ilaha illallah
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