By Moulana Muhammad bin Haroon (Source: Al-Miftah)
Our Beloved Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) has mentioned:
“Indeed your Rabb (Lord) has reserved certain special moments in time (in which His mercy is especially abundant). Be sure to avail yourselves for these opportunities.” (Majma’uz Zawaid)
We are usually aware of the significant occasions that present themselves each year. The crucial thing is how do we “avail ourselves” and maximise our benefit from these blessed nights?
Here under is a suggested format for “What to do on Blessed nights?”
Offer ‘Isha and Fajr Salah in congregation.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said:
“One who performs ‘Isha in congregation gets the reward of spending half the night in worship. And he who follows that up with the Fajr salah in congregation, will be as if he has stayed up all night in ‘ibadah.”
(Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abi Dawud)
Sleep in the state of wudu
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned a reliable narration that states: “The soul of one who sleeps with wudu makes sajdah (prostrates) at the ‘Arsh of Allah.” (Fathul Bari)
Imagine our souls making sajdah at the throne of our Creator on a night like Laylatul Qadr!
Abstain from sin
It’s not logical to fill the bucket when it has a hole…
One should specifically free the heart of any ill-feelings or malice towards fellow Muslims. (See here for “how to clean the heart” of such ailments)
Clear your heart from ill-feelings towards fellow Muslims.
The ‘Ulama state that those who harbour ill-feelings are deprived of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness on occasions like these.
A Hadith in Sahih Ibn Hibban, mentions of four people that will be deprived on auspicious nights: a) An Alcoholic. b) One who disobeys his parents. c) One who severe family ties d) One who harbours ill-feelings in his heart for others.
This is very strongly recommended due to its huge reward. See here for a detailed article on it’s authenticity, and here for the format of Salatut Tasbih.
Since the purpose of the turning to Allah on these nights is precisely to attain forgiveness from Allah, this act is a fundamental on such occasions.
The procedure for Tawbah is: a. Perform two rak’ats of Salah. (Optional) b. Stop the sin that one is repenting from. c. Regret the sin from the bottom of your heart. d. Make a determined pledge with Allah never to repeat that sin. Besides the two rakats of Salah, the remainder are all fundamental.
Furthermore, if the sin involved usurping the right of the next person, one needs to ask him/her for forgiveness too. Without this we are not guaranteed forgiveness.
If that person has passed away, we could make du’a for him and repay the debt (if any) to his heirs.
There are many forms of Dhikrullah – remembrance of Allah. I would suggest the following: A hundred times “La ilah illallah” A hundred times repeating the name of “Allah” And a hundred times: “Subhanallahi wabihamdihi subhanallahil ‘Azim” The reason for the third one is the following: The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: 1. “He who recites this one hundred times will have all his sins forgiven even if it be equal to the foam of the ocean” (Sahih Bukhari) 2. “These words are beloved to Allah Ta’ala, easy on the tongue and weighty on the scales (of deeds on Qiyamah)” (Sahih Bukhari) Furthermore, this is the form of Dhikr that the entire creation is engaged in. (Al-Quran, Surah:17 ayah:44)
Salawat on The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him)
If it was not for our beloved Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) we would not have these Blessed occasions. Therefore we cannot afford moments like these to pass without remembering him. In Fact by doing so we ourselves benefit.
One Hadith states: “He who sends salutations upon me once, Allah Ta’ala sends ten salutations upon him.”
Tilawat (Recital) of Quran
This is considered the best form of Dhikr. One could recite even a quarter juz or just the masnun Surahs that are to be recited every night. Like Surahs Waqi’ah, Mulk, Sajdah, Yasin etc.
“Du’a is the essence of Worship” and hence cannot be omitted when we engage in worship. More so on occasions when Almighty Allah accepts du’as such as on the night of Qadr. One should spend a lengthy duration in begging from Allah, as we are all in need of it.
In light of the current world crisis, do remember our oppressed brethren around the globe.
On the night of Qadr the following du’a should also be repeated as taught by The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) to his beloved wife Sayyidah ‘Aishah (Allah be pleased with her):
اللهم إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العَفْوُ فَاعْفُ عَنِّيْ “Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘Anni” O Allah! You are indeed Most Forgiving, so forgive me.
Note 1: The above can all be achieved in about 1 hour. Salatut Tasbih: 20 mins Tawbah: can be incorporated in the du’a Zikr: 10 mins Salawat: 5 mins Tilawat: 15 mins Du’a and Tawbah: 10 mins
However if one is short on time for whatever reason, my suggestion would be to at least do the first four and the last one. That would be: a) ‘Isha and Fajr with Jamat b) Sleep with wudu c) Abstain from sin d) Clean the heart e) Du’a
Note 2: The night commences at Maghrib, not after ‘Isha or after Tarawih or at Sehri time. Therefore one can and should commence ‘ibadah from Maghrib, although it is indeed best to do so at the last part of the night.
Note 3: These are mere suggestions intended to make it easy for people. One may engage in whatever form of ‘ibadah one is comfortable with.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us all complete forgiveness and steadfastness on guidance. Amin.
Please do remember the writer in your supplication as well.