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(Notes from the Naqshbandi Handbook, as well as from Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s ‘Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth’)
The Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr)
The revelation of the Night of Power
One day, Rasulullah (saw) was telling his Companions about four of the Children of Isra’il (Bani Isra’il) and how they worshipfully served Allah for eighty years, without disobeying Him for a single twinkling of an eye in all of that time. The four that he spoke of were Sayyidina Ayyub (as), Sayyidina Zakariyya (as), Sayyidina Hizqil (as), and Sayyidina Yusha ibn Noon (as).
The Companions (ra) were greatly amazed at all this. So Jibrail (as) came to Rasulullah (saw) and said, « Oh Muhammad (saw), it seems to have come as a great surprise to you and your Companions, to learn that these individuals were devoted to worshipful service for eighty years, without disobeying Allah (swt) for one single twinkling of an eye in all that time. So now, Allah has sent down to you something even better than that. » Then he recited Surah al-Qadr to Rasulullah (saw):
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
- We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the night of Power.
- And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is?
- The Night of Power is better than a thousand Months.
- Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand.
- Peace!… This until the rise of Morn!
Then Jibrail (as) said to him: « This is even more excellent than that which you and your Companions found so amazing. » Needless to say, the Prophet (saw) was highly delighted and it is said of the Companions (ra), that they never felt so happy about anything, as they felt about His words: « better than a thousand months. »
Characteristic features of that night
- It is on one of the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan.
- The atmosphere is comfortable, neither too hot or too cold.
- The sky is jet black.
- No barkings of dogs can be heard.
- When the sun rises the following morning, it appears as a disc without rays, rather like a copper bowl.
Worship that is to be done on that night
- Make intention as follows: nawaitu al-arba’in, nawaitu al-‘uzla, nawaitu al-khalwa, nawaitu l-‘itikaf, nawaitu s-sulook, nawaitu r-riadah lillahi ta’ala fee hazhal masjid.
- Express the intention to fast the next day.
- Pray solatul terawih.
- Pray Solatul tasabih (4 raka’ats – done in sets of two).
- Pray Solatul Shukr.
- Pray Solatul Witir with Qunoot.
- Khatamul Khwajagan and Zikir
- Pray 100 raka’ats Solat Sunnat Lailatul Qadr in sets of two. Read Surah al-Ikhlas twice in the 1st raka’at, and once in the 2nd raka’at, after Surah Fatihah.
- Stay awake all night, reading Qur’an and reciting the awrad.
- On the following day, it is encouraged to make two sacrifices (Qurban) for the Face of Allah, the Highest, the Almighty, to thank Allah and to amend the shortcomings of our fast. One should offer the sacrifice for the Community of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and for the people of Tariqa, distributing the meat to the poor and needy.
Do all the following in congregation if possible. This is the tradition that Maulana Sultan Awliya followed throughout his life.
What to do if you meet Lailatul qadr?
In a Hadees, the Prophet (saw) said to ‘Aisha (ra), « Recite, »Allahumma innaka ‘afuwun tuhibbul, ‘afwa fa’ fu anna. » which means, « Oh Allah, You Love to forgive, so please forgive me. »
The Signs that a person is receiving salams from Sayyidina Jibrail (as) that night, is the moistening of the eyes and the softening of the heart.
The Sunnat prayer done in the Last Friday of Ramadhan
The following prayer is to be done on the night of the last Friday in Ramadhan, it equals a thousand months of worship, it covers all the worship one has missed in one’s lifetime.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) said that this was a Sunnat prayer done to atone for all the past prayers that we missed since we were born. It is was equivalent to 400 years of missed past prayers, and Sayyidina Ali (ra) said that it could even be rewarded as 1000 years of missed prayers. When asked what the excess years are for, since we live for only 60+ years, the Prophet (saw) said that it will be used to atone for the missed prayers of our parents and ancestors, as well as for people in our town or village.
It is a four raka’at prayer prayed with one tashahud and one salam at the end (the is no tashahud after two raka’ats, just continue from the 2nd to the 3rd raka’at without reading ‘At-tahiyyatul…’.
It is prayed with the intention:
I am praying this sunnah/nafil prayer, as atonement all the prayers I have missed in my lifetime since the day I was born, till this moment.
- In the each raka’at, recite Surah Fatihah once, and Surah al-Qadr (Surah 97) 15 times then Surah al-Kauthar (Surah 108) 15 times.
Then read Sayyidul Selawat, and the Quranic verse, « Innallah hawa mala ikatahu, you sollu ‘alan nabi…. »
Then recite 100 Selawat/Darood Shareef upon Rasulullah (saw).
Finally, recite the following do’a 3 times:
You may pray this with an Imam leading, and the jema’ah may choose to read with Imam or just remain silent while concentrating on the Imam’s reading. When the Imam raeds the do’a, the congregation MUST recite Ameen, so that it is as if they too are reading this do’a. They needn’t read it again, if the Imam has already done so.
Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) teaches another Sunnat prayer, Solat al-Khusama, that is to be done on the last Friday of Ramadhan.
In addition to the Sunnat prayer above, this is another special Solat that is done on the last Friday of Ramadhan, usually between Juma’at prayers and asar.
It is a 4 raka’at prayer, done at one go with one salam at the end, that is done, so that the reward of it is donated to all people whom you have harmed and sinned against, so that Allah will use the reward to satisfy their claims on the Day of Resurrection, if He so wills.
It is done as follows:
- 1st raka’at: Surah al-Fatihah, followed by Surah al-Ikhlas (Qul hu Allau ahad) 11 times
- 2nd raka’at: Surah al-Fatihah, followed by Surah al-Ikhlas (Qul hu Allau ahad) 10 times, and Surah al-Kafiroon, 3 times
- 3rd raka’at: Surah al-Fatihah, followed by Surah al-Ikhlas (Qul hu Allau ahad) 10 times, and Surah al-Takathur (Alha kumu takathur), 1 time. Surah al-Takathur is Surah number 102.
- 4th raka’at: Surah al-Fatihah, followed by Surah al-Ikhlas (Qul hu Allau ahad) 15 times, and Ayatul Kusi 1 time.
Then donate the spiritual reward of the performance of this prayer, to all those enemies who will have a claim against you on Judgement Day.
This solat must be done on 7 specific occasions:
- on the first night of Rajab
- on the night of the middle of Sha’ban (15th Sha’ban)
- on the last Friday of Ramadhan
- on Idul Fitri (Hari Raya Puasa, 1st Syawal))
- on Idul Adha (Hari Raya Haji, 10th Zulhijjah)
- on the Day of Arafah (9th Zulhijjah)
- on the day of Ashura (10th Muharram)