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How to Revive Laylat al-Qadr?

Question:

How shall we spend Laylat al-Qadr? Is it by praying, reciting the Qur’an, reading the Prophet’s biography, listening to lectures and lessons, or by celebrating it in the mosque?

Answer:

Praise be to Allah. 

Firstly: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to strive hard in worship, praying, reciting the Qur’an and supplicating during the last ten days of Ramadan more than at any other time. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her):

[كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا دخل العشر أحيا الليل وأيقظ أهله، وشد المئزر].

[When the last ten days of Ramadan began, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family (for prayer), and tighten his Izar (i.e. abstain from marital relations)] (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 2024; and Sahih Muslim, 1174).

Ahmad and Muslim narrated that:

[كان يجتهد في العشر الأواخر ما لا يجتهد في غيرها].

 [He used to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadan as he never did at any other time] (Sahih Muslim, 1175; and Musnad Ahmad, vol.6, p256).

Secondly: The Prophet (peace be upon him) exhorted to stay up and pray Qiyam (Night Prayer) during Laylat-ul-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[من قام ليلة القدر إيمانًا واحتسابًا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه] .

[Anyone who spends Laylat-ul-Qadr in Qiyam (i.e. night prayer), out of faith and in the hope of reward, will have their past sins forgiven]. (Related by the Group of Hadith Compilers except Ibn Majah, Sahih Muslim 760).

This Hadith indicates that it is legitimate to stay up and spend this night in offering prayer (Qiyam).

 

Thirdly: one of the best supplications to be said on Laylat-ul-Qadr is that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught to Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her). Al-Tirmidhi narrated, and classed the report as saheeh, that Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

[قلت: يا رسول الله، أرأيت إن علمت أي ليلة ليلة القدر ما أقول فيها؟) قال: قولي: اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني].

[I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is Laylat-ul-Qadr, what should I say on that night?' He replied, 'Say: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhib-ul-‘afwa fa‘ffu ‘anny (O Allah, You are All-Forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me)] (Al- Tirmidhi 3513).

Fourthly: As for specifying which night of Ramadan is Laylat-ul-Qadr, this requires specific evidence; however, the odd-numbered nights during the last ten nights are more likely than others, and the night of the twenty-seventh is the most likely to be Laylat-ul-Qadr based upon the Hadiths reported in this regard.

Fifthly: With regards to Bid‘ahs (innovations in religion), they are not permissible neither during Ramadan nor any other time. It was authentically reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 

[من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد].

[Anyone who performs an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected] (Sahih Muslim 1718).

According to another narration, he said: 

[من عمل عملاً ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد].

[Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not of it will have it rejected] (Sahih Muslim 1718).

May Allah grant us success. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

Source of Fatwa:

The fatwa was issued by: The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

Fatwa no.: 2392

The original text of the fatwa in Arabic:

السؤال:

كيف يكون إحياء ليلة القدر؛ أفي الصلاة أم بقراءة القرآن والسيرة النبوية والوعظ والإرشاد والاحتفال لذلك في المسجد؟

الإجابة:

 أولاً: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يجتهد في العشر الأواخر من رمضان ما لا يجتهد في غيرها بالصلاة والقراءة والدعاء، فروى البخاري ومسلم عن عائشة رضي الله عنها [كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا دخل العشر أحيا الليل وأيقظ أهله، وشد المئزر]... إلخ الفتوى. 

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