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Draw closer to Allah: A guide to seekingforgiveness and blessings on Laylat al-Qadr

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By Professor Dr Atif Amin Al Hussaini

Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: ليلة القدر‎, pronounced [Laylat alˈqadr]), also known as the Night of Power, is one of the holiest nights in Islam. It is believed to be the night on which the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The exact date of Laylat al-Qadr is unknown, but it is believed to fall on one of the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.

Meaning of Laylat al-Qadr
The Arabic word layla means “night” and the word qadr means “power” or “decree.” The Night of Power is therefore sometimes referred to as the Night of Decree.

Brief history of Laylat al-Qadr
The Night of Power is mentioned in the Qur’an, in Surah 97:1-5:
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night. And what will explain to you what the blessed night is? The blessed night 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!”
According to Islamic tradition, the Night of Power was the night on which the Prophet Muhammad was visited by the angel Gabriel and received the first revelation of the Quran. This event is known as the Night of Revelation.

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What the Qur’an says about Laylat al-Qadr
The Quran directly mentions Laylat al-Qadr in Surah Al-Qadr (Chapter 97), verses 1-5:
● بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
● إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ فِي لَيْلَةٍ يُفْرَقُ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ أَمْرٌ مِنْ عِنْدِنَا إِنَّاكُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ رَحْمَةً مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

Translation:
● “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night. And what will explain to you what the blessed night is? The blessed night is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission on every errand: Peace!… This is until the rise of dawn!” (Qur’an 97:1-5)
● The verse about Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power) and its immense value is from the Qur’an, Surah Al-Qadr:
● Verse 3:
● إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
● Translation:
● Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Power. And what will make you understand what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. (English interpretation of Sahih International)

These verses highlight the significance of Laylat al-Qadr:
● Blessed night: It is referred to as a “blessed night” (laylat mubaraka), emphasising its special status.
● Better than a thousand months: The verse states that the worship performed on this night is rewarded more than the worship performed in a thousand months.
● Descent of angels and the spirit: It describes the descent of angels and the Spirit (interpreted as the revelation of the Qur’an) on this night.
● Night of Decree: Though not explicitly mentioned here, Laylat al-Qadr is also understood as the “Night of Decree” (Laylat al-Qadr) where Allah decrees events for the coming year.

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How to find Laylat al-Qadr
The exact date of Laylat al-Qadr is unknown, but it is believed to fall on one of the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Many Muslims spend the last ten nights of Ramadan in prayer and worship, in the hope of catching the Night of Power.

Importance of Laylat al-Qadr
The Night of Power is a very important night in Islam. It is believed to be a night of great blessing and mercy, and a night on which prayers are answered. Muslims believe that the rewards for worshiping on the Night of Power are greater than the rewards for worshiping on any other night of the year.

How to get the bessings of Laylat al-Qadr
There are many things that Muslims can do to increase their chances of catching the Night of Power. These include:
● Spending the last ten nights of Ramadan in prayer and worship
● Reading the Qur’an
● Making dua (supplication)
● Giving charity
● Fasting during the day

Important Zikr and Nawafil of Laylat al-Qadr
There are many special zikr (remembrances) and Nawafil (voluntary prayers) that Muslims can perform on the Night of Power. These include:
● Reciting the Qur’an
● Saying the Tasbih (Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, and Allahu Akbar)
● Saying the Istighfar (Astaghfirullah)
● Praying the Tahajjud prayer

Important symptoms of Laylat al-Qadr
There are many signs that are said to indicate the Night of Power. These include:
● The sky being clear and free of clouds
● The moon being full
● The night being calm and still
● A feeling of peace and tranquility
How the Holy Prophet (PBUH) Muhammad celebrated Laylat al-Qadr
The Holy Prophet Muhammad used to spend the last ten nights of Ramadan in prayer and worship. He would stay up all night, praying and reading the Qur’an. He would also encourage his companions to do the same.

What to do on Laylat al-Qadr
There are many things that Muslims can do on the Night of Power. These include:
● Praying
● Reading the Qur’an
● Making dua
● Giving charity
● Fasting during the day

How to say thanks to Allah Almighty and Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for Laylat al-Qadr
There are many ways to thank Allah Almighty and Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for the Night of Power. These include:
● Offering prayers of gratitude
● Making dua
● Giving charity
● Fasting during the day

Importance of astaghfar (seeking forgiveness) on Laylat al-Qadr
Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, is a night of immense blessings, mercy, and forgiveness. Astghfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah) holds particular significance during this special night. Here’s why:
● Night of Mercy: Laylat al-Qadr is associated with Allah’s overflowing mercy. By sincerely seeking forgiveness through Astaghfar, you open yourself to receive this mercy and purify your soul for a fresh start.
● Increased reward for good deeds: The rewards for good deeds are multiplied on Laylat al-Qadr. Combining Astaghfar with other acts of worship like prayer and Quran recitation can significantly amplify the blessings you receive.
● Seeking forgiveness for past sins: Laylat al-Qadr is a perfect opportunity to reflect on your shortcomings and seek Allah’s forgiveness for past mistakes. Sincere astaghfar can lead to spiritual renewal and a lighter heart.

Purifying the soul with astaghfar
Astaghfar is a powerful tool for spiritual purification. Here’s how:
● Acknowledging mistakes: The act of seeking forgiveness implies acknowledging your faults and shortcomings. This self-awareness is the first step towards positive change.
● Repentance and change: True Astaghfar goes beyond words; it involves remorse and a genuine desire to change your behavior. By seeking forgiveness, you commit to avoiding past mistakes.
● Drawing closer to Allah: Sincere Astaghfar strengthens your connection with Allah. It demonstrates your humility and dependence on His mercy.

Importance of astaghfar according to Qur’an
The Quran emphasizes the importance of Astaghfar in numerous verses:
● Quran 40:55: “Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.'”
● Quran 7:199: “Seek forgiveness of Allah, indeed, He is Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
These verses highlight Allah’s forgiveness and encourage believers to constantly seek it through Astaghfar.

Quranic verses related to astaghfar
Here are some additional Qur’anic verses that emphasize the importance of Astaghfar:
● Quran 26:225: “And those who say, ‘Our Lord, forgive us our sins and the excess in our deeds, and establish us firmly upon the [straight] path.'”
● Quran 110:3: “So seek forgiveness of Him and return to Him. Indeed, your Lord is ever-returning, the Most Merciful.”
These verses encourage believers to seek forgiveness not only for their sins but also for any shortcomings in their good deeds.

Benefits of astaghfar
The benefits of astaghfar are numerous, both spiritual and worldly:
● Inner peace and tranquility: Seeking forgiveness can alleviate feelings of guilt and shame, leading to inner peace and a lighter conscience.
● Strengthened faith: Regular astghfar strengthens your faith and trust in Allah’s mercy.
● Increased provision: The Qur’an mentions that Allah increases the provision of those who seek forgiveness (Qur’an 27:62).
● Answered prayers: Sincere Astaghfar can pave the way for your prayers to be answered.

By incorporating astaghfar into your worship routine, especially on Laylat al-Qadr, you can experience its transformative power and unlock the path towards spiritual growth and Allah’s blessings.

Conclusion
The Night of Power is a very important night in Islam. It is a night of great blessing and mercy, and a night on which prayers are answered. Muslims should strive to catch the Night of Power by spending the last ten nights of Ramadan in prayer and worship.

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