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THE LAST TEN DAYS OF RAMADAN:Looking for a night;Laylatu-l-Qadri, The Night of Majesty -Abdulhafeez A.O

                                ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِين
Praises be unto none but Allah, the lord of the Universe, the beneficient, the merciful, the creative creator, who created the creatures perfectly far above any imperfection.

I seek His blessing to continue showering upon the noble soul of our beloved prophet, Muhammad, son of Abdullahi, grandson of AbdulMutalib, cousin of Abu Talib, husband of Mothers of beleivers and in-law to the four rightly caliphs, and upon his wives, households, companions and the generality of all the sincere believers.

This article tends to expose the readers to the significances of the last ten days of the Ramadan.

Islam is a religion of five pillars:
1. Iman
2. Salat
3. Zakat
4. Sawm
5. Hajj

Allah (SWT) says in the Glorious Qur'an on Sawm as one pillar of the five pillars of Islam:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous -

It has been established in the verse above that Fasting from sunrise to sunset is fard (obligatory) upon all adult Muslims who are not
acutely or chronically ill , travelling, elderly ,
breastfeeding, diabetic , or menstruating .
The predawn meal is referred to as suhur , and the nightly feast that breaks the fast is called
iftar .

Although,  fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with a midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca ,  it is a common practice to follow the timetable of the closest country in which night can be distinguished from day.

The spiritual rewards ( thawab) of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan.

Accordingly, Muslims refrain not only from food and drink, but also tobacco products ,
sexual relations, and sinful behavior, devoting themselves instead to salat ( prayer ) and recitation of the Quran .

Ramadan fasting can have various social, economic and health related adverse effects .

Looking for a Night: Night of Power in Month of Ramadan.

Main article: Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year.  It is generally believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last ten days of Ramadan; the Dawoodi Bohra believe that Laylat al-Qadr was the twenty-third night of Ramadan.

In Q95 V1-5
بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree.
And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?
The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.
The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.
Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.

Also, Q2V185
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.

Muslims hold that all scriptures were revealed during Ramadan, the scrolls of Abraham , Torah,
Psalms , Gospel, and Quran having been handed down on the first, sixth, twelfth, thirteenth (in some sources, eighteenth) and twenty-fourth Ramadans, [ year needed ] respectively.  Muhammed is said to have received his first quranic revelation on Laylat al-Qadr , one of five odd-numbered nights that fall during the last ten days of Ramadan.

Although Muslims were first commanded to fast in the second year of Hijra (624 CE),  they believe that the practice of fasting is not in fact an innovation of monotheism  but rather has always been necessary for believers to attain taqwa (the fear of God ).
[ Quran 2:183 ]

The verses above point to the fact that the
pre-Islamic pagans of Mecca fasted on the tenth day of Muharram to expiate sin and avoid
drought .

Looking for a Night :

Laylat al-Qadr (from Arabic : ﻟﯿﻠﺔ ﺍﻟﻘﺪﺭ ), variously rendered in English as
[1] the Night of Decree ,
[2] Night of Power ,
[3] Night of Value ,
[4]Night of Destiny,
[5]Night of Measures ,
[6]Night of Majesty

In Islamic belief, It is the night when the Quran was first sent down from Heaven to the world and also the night when the first verses of the
Quran were revealed to prophet

 According to many Muslim sources, it was one of the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Since that time, Muslims have regarded the last ten nights of Ramadan as being especially blessed.

Muslims believe that the Night of Qadr comes with blessings and mercy of God in abundance,
- Sins are forgiven,
- Suplication  are accepted,
- and that the annual decree is revealed to the
angels who carry it out according to God's plan.

Looking for a Night: The points(verses)  established above are to refer the readers to the Night looking for, which is the Night of Majesty in the last ten days of Ramadan.

Then, Why Looking for the Night? 

1.Laylatu-l-Qadri: Night of Revelation to Prophet Muhammad;

Q44V3 explains the relation of this Night to the revelation of Qur'an.
إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنْذِرِينَ

Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].

Some commentators believe that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad twice; the 'immediate revelation' happening on the Laylat al-Qadr and 'gradual revelation' across 23 years.

 The Quran uses the word anzal ( ﺍﻧﺰﻝ) which justifies 'the immediate revelation', according to Allamah Tabatabai .

However some others believe that the revelation of Quran occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat al-Qadr to the angel Gabriel ( Jibril in Arabic) in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Muhammad by Gabriel.

 The revelation started in 610 CE at the Hira cave on Mount Jabal al-Nour in Mecca. The first Surah that was revealed was Sūrat al-ʿAlaq,(V1-5)

 During the first revelation the first five verses of this Surah, or chapter, were revealed.

Looking for a Night: Then, Which date and day of the last ten days of Ramadan?

The specific date of Laylat al-Qadr is not mentioned in the Quran. This is because Muhammad received the information about the exact date of Laylat al-Qadr from Allah in a dream. He went to tell the Sahabah about that date. However, on the way the prophet Muhammad saw some people fighting which upset Allah, so Allah made Muhammad forget that date. With the day of the week, a Muslim date can be fixed exactly. Ibn Abbas was aware of both the date and the day of the week.

Hence, Sunni Islam holds that God alone answers humanity's supplications and that He alone receives them and forgives humanity and gives them what they ask for, and that on this particular night Muslims should actively seek God's forgiveness and engage in various acts of worship.

In Islamic countries and Sunni communities all over the world, Laylat al-Qadr is found to be on the last ten nights of Ramadan, mostly on one of the odd nights (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th) whereby night precedes day.

Looking for a Night: Religious importance

This night is not comparable to any others in view of Muslims and according to a tradition, the blessings due to the acts of worship during this night cannot be equaled even by worshipping throughout an entire lifetime.

The reward of acts of worship done in this one single night is more than the reward of around 83 years (1000 months) of worship.

Laylat al-Qadr is referenced in the Quran:
لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.

In this part, the activities and suplication in the Night shall be discussed;Viz:

Looking for a Night: Night in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad;

Looking for a Night :  Night in which destiny is change:

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

On that night is made distinct every precise matter -

Angels descend to the earth and the annual decree is revealed to them;
Better than thousand months of worship.

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said when the month of Ramadan began, “Verily, this month has presented itself to you. There is a night within it that is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of all good. None is deprived of its good but that he is truly deprived.”

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 1644

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

This depicts that during the last days of Ramadan, and in searching for this wonderful Night,  every muslim must be addicted to:

- Observing Night prayers Tahajjud,
- Reading Quran ,
- Making Dua ,
- Doing Dhikr,
- Observing Iʿtikāf

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ قَالَ دَخَلَ رَمَضَانُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِنَّ هَذَا الشَّهْرَ قَدْ حَضَرَكُمْ وَفِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ مَنْ حُرِمَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِمَ الْخَيْرَ كُلَّهُ وَلَا يُحْرَمُ خَيْرَهَا إِلَّا مَحْرُومٌ

1644 سنن ابن ماجه كتاب الصيام باب ما جاء في فضل شهر رمضان

1341 المحدث الألباني خلاصة حكم المحدث حسن صحيح في صحيح ابن ماجه

Also, Malik reported: Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Whoever attends evening prayer on the Night of Decree has taken his share of reward from it.”

Source: al-Muwaṭṭa’ 707

Looking for a Night : Night of Seclusion in the Mosque('Itikaaf)

It is a Night when Prophet (S.A.W) used to secluding himself to the Mosque for suplication, and in order not to miss this Night.

عَنْ مَالِك أَنَّ سَعِيدَ بْنَ الْمُسَيَّبِ رضي الله عنه قال مَنْ شَهِدَ الْعِشَاءَ مِنْ لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ فَقَدْ أَخَذَ بِحَظِّهِ مِنْهَا

 موطأ مالك كتاب الاعتكاف باب ما جاء في ليلة القدر

 Aisha reported a reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would seek spiritual retreat in the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan, until Allah Almighty caused him to pass away. His wives continued to perform the retreat after him.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1928, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1172

Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Al-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Whoever intends to follow the example of the Prophet in spiritual retreat during the last then night of Ramadan, he should enter the mosque before the setting of the sun on the twenty first night.”

Source: al-Majmū’ Sharḥ al-Muhadhdhab 6/501

Looking for a Night : Suplication during the Night

The following dua (prayer) is recited in the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) which is to be looked for within the last 10 nights of the month of Ramadan.

Aisha reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is the Night of Decree, what should I say during it?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Say: O Allah, you are pardoning and generous. You love to forgive, so forgive me.”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3513

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Nawawi

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ عَلِمْتُ أَيُّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ مَا أَقُولُ فِيهَا قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قُولِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عُفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

May Allah(SWT) accept all our 'ibadaat in this Glorious Month of Ramadan, and count us among the observers of this Blessed Night.(Aamin)

1. ^ Britannica Guide to the Islamic World . Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 2009.
ISBN 9781593398491 . Retrieved 2 June 2017.
2. ^ Halim, Fachrizal A. (2014). Legal Authority in Premodern Islam: Yahya B Sharaf Al-Nawawi in the Shafi'i School of Law . Routledge. p. 15.
ISBN 9781317749189 .
3. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari. "Book of Revelation - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad ( ﺻﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭ ﺳﻠﻢ )" .

©Abdulhafeez Ola Agboola, University of Ilorin.
Call/WhatsApp: 0703 331 0535
Mail: [email protected]
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