Sunday, September 21, 2008

Seek the greatest night of the year

Seek the greatest night of the year

Itikaf

Itikaf means seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of worshipping and becoming closer to Allah. Every Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would retreat himself in Itikaf for the last 10 days. The year he died, he observed Itikaf for twenty days. (Bukhari)

As the month of blessings and mercy is coming to the end, similarly the recitation of the complete Qur'an is also coming to the Khatam which would be on the 27th night of Ramadan. The last ten nights are very important nights. Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to exert himself in night prayer especially during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Lailat-ul-Qadr

Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) said, "Allah's Messenger used to practice Itikaf in the last ten nights and say: 'Seek out Lailat-ul-Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten days of Ramadan." (Bukhari and Muslim).

Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree) is the greatest night of the year. It is a night about which Allah revealed a full Surah, Surah Al-Qadr and the verses 3-6 of Surah Al-Dukhan. Allah the Almighty said in the Qur'an,"Verily, We have sent it (his Qur'an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)is? The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein desecend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril (Gabril)] by Allah's Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is Peace (and Goodness from Allah to His Believing slaves) until the appearence of dawn." (Qur'an, 97:1-5)

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "...there is a night (during this month) which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived (of something great). (Ahmad, an-Nisai and al-Bayhaqi).

Spend more time with the Qur'an. Read the Qur'an every day. Try to recite the whole Qur'an at least once during this month. Pray on time. Men should try to observe all the prayers with congregation at mosques. Do not ignore the Taraweeh. Make more extra and voluntary prayers.

Do as much worship as you can. Do more Dhikr (remembering Allah) and Du'a (supplication) for yourself and for others. Repent and seek forgiveness for yourself and for others as much as you can. This is the best time for devotion and seeking Allah's forgiveness. Seek the Night of Qadr by special devotion during the last 10 nights of this month.

The month of blessing and forgiveness is passing away very quickly. Do not miss the remaining last ten days and nights. Let us clear our sins. Let us seek the Night of Qadr!

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