The month of Ramadan is special to everyone. In my family, everyone is excited about it. We start to make in numerous plans to decorate our home, what food to cook and plan out the fun traditions to celebrate Eid before it even begins. All these things can sometimes distract us from what this month is really about. To me, it truly is a month of hope, reflection and resetting.
What is even more distinct about this month, is that we have a special night where we get the chance to reconnect with Allah. That night is Laylatul Qadr. But what is it? Why should we stay up all night? We pray all year around so why is this night so special? How do we even know which night it is on? Is it really possible to get blessings just by staying awake all night? Well on this night, it is.
Laylatul Qadr means the Night of Power or Destiny or the Night of Constriction. It is the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is said that this special night falls on one of the nights in the last ten days of Ramadan, with the most likelihood that it will be on the 27th night of Ramadan, though we can never be sure. The narrations mention that the odd nights have the best chance of being Laylatul Qadr; thus we do the ibadah (recommended acts of worship) on those nights. I should note here that we should strive to worship on all of the ten nights so we have every chance of catching Laylatul Qadr. On that Night of Power, the blessings and mercy of Allah are abundant, sins are forgiven, prayers are accepted. It is on this night that our fates, destinies, and decrees are determined and sent down for the following year.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
(1) Surely We revealed it on the grand night.
(2) And what will make you comprehend what the grand night
(3) The grand night is better than a thousand months.
(4) The angels and Jibreel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair,
(5) Peace! it is till the break of the morning.
It’s recommended to stay awake all night and pray to Allah. I tend to feel sleepy around midnight but after a strong coffee, I carry on. I try to remember to give sadaqah (charity) every night. Nowadays, you can even automate your charities across the ten days so you don’t miss out by forgetting to donate by using services like ‘My Ten Nights‘.
Other than giving charity, I pray lots of nawafil (optional salah) and seek forgiveness (istighfar). Among others, there is a special du’a which is recommended to read as much as possible: Allahumma innaka `Afuwwun TuHibbul `Afwa Fa`fu `Annii
O Allah, you are the Forgiver, You love to forgive, so forgive me.’
Aaisha narrates “I asked the Prophet of Allah when I find myself in Lailatul Qadr, what I shall say? The Prophet of Allah replied with the above du’a [Sunan Tirmizi & Sunan Ibn Majah].
Now, you can choose to do all of the recommended acts or just some of them. Do your best to read as much as you can on those nights. In my house, I get the kids excited about it by telling them that because it’s Laylatul Qadr, they get to stay up all night. I get the Qur’an and dua books ready and we all read together. Okay, the kids are usually half asleep but they are still there listening. I found this to be an excellent resource for your children, if you needed something a bit humourous. child-friendly and accessible to explain to them what Laylatul Qadr is:
Laylatul Qadr – If You’re Not Looking For It, You Should Be
It is a free, downloadable PDF highlighting all the important bits of this special night, written by the renowned author Zanib Mian. My children giggled along with me and asked all the right questions which this ebook answered beautifully!
I also make sure the atmosphere is calm and really spiritual. It helps to remind my whole family the significance of this night and how we should do our best to spend the night worshipping Allah.
If we look deeper, the reason why this night is described as the Night of Constriction, is because it’s said that the angels fill up the heavens and the earth, so much so that their light overpowers the rays of the sun and puts pressure on the earth, as the heavens are full of angels. Imagine, all those angels who love to be around the remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Qur’an; what other night than this night to gather en masse, when so many people are reciting the Qur’an! No wonder the angels fill up the heavens as they carry back His Praises back to Allah!
On that night, the angels visit all the houses of the believers and all the places of worship where Allah is remembered, saying ‘Salam, Salam, Salam.‘ How amazing and cool is that?! The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned that
“…there are more angels that come to Earth than rocks that are on it.”
To hear more about the angels on this special night, have a listen to the esteemed brother Omar Suleiman’s beautiful Angels In Your Presence series.
So, on these auspicious nights, open your heart to Allah. He tells us to have a conversation with Him, through our prayers and He is listening without judgement. It is really is a special time to share your troubles, aspirations and dreams with Allah. I really try my best to not waste any time and stay awake because prayers on these nights are said to be counted and multiplied by Allah. Call Him using all His beautiful names in the Qur’an and you will have your prayers answered.
For these nights, leave the world outside and focus on Allah and your connection to Him. After all, if you are fortunate enough to pray to Him on Laylatul Qadr, you would have caught the night which is better than a thousand nights. If you are one of the lucky ones to catch Laylatul Qadr because you made the most of these ten nights, then it will be as if you have worshipped Allah for 83 years! To put it into perspective, 1 second of worship is better than 23 hours; 1 minute of worship is better than 58 days; 1 hour is better than 9.8 years and as mentioned before, 1 night of worship is better than 83 years of worship! SubhaanAllah!
So take advantage of every second of every minute of every hour. Do isthighfar, do your adkhar, your nawaafil salah, Qur’an recitation and du’as.
Don’t depair if you are on your period, remember Allah will answer your prayers even more knowing how sad you are at not being able to pray conventionally! You can sit in your usual prayer area and read translations, study the meaning of the Qur’an, do dhikr, make lots of du’a and remember Allah.
Here is a great list of du’as to start you off contributed by the esteemed Shaykh Navaid Aziz:
The Ultimate Ramadan Dua’ List
للّهُـمَّ إِنِّي أَعْوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَـمِّ وَ الْحُـزْنِ، والعًجْـزِ
وضَلْـعِ الـدَّيْنِ وغَلَبَـةِ الرِّجال
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِيالدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ
رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَالصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ
دُعَاءِرَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِيوَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أسْـأَلُـكَ العَـفْوَوَالعـافِـيةَ في الدُّنْـيا وَالآخِـرَة
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أسْـأَلُـكَالعَـفْوَ وَالعـافِـيةَ في ديني وَدُنْـيايَ
وَأهْـلي وَمالـي ، اللّهُـمَّاسْتُـرْ عـوْراتي وَآمِـنْ رَوْعاتـي
،اللّهُـمَّ احْفَظْـني مِن بَـينِ يَدَيَّوَمِن خَلْفـي وَعَن يَمـيني
وَعَن شِمـالي ، وَمِن فَوْقـي ، وَأَعـوذُ بِعَظَمَـتِكَأَن
أُغْـتالَ مِن تَحْتـي
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَسْأَلُـكَ عِلْمـاً نافِعـاً وَرِزْقـاً طَيِّـباً ،وَعَمَـلاً
اللّهُـمَّ أَعِـنِّي عَلـى ذِكْـرِكَ وَشُكْـرِك ، وَحُسْـنِ عِبـادَتِـك
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَسْأَلُـكَ الجَـنَّةَ وأََعوذُ بِـكَ مِـنَ الـنّار
Along with the above, here is a beautiful list of duas you can use to pray for your children (author unknown):
A Poweful Du’a for children!
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful!
All praises are for Allah SWT, the most Compassionate, the most Forgiving.
Salutations and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad SAW, his family and companions.
Oh Allah, I submit myself to You.
I realise that parenting a child is a very difficult task and I turn to You in humility for Your help.
I implore You for Your wisdom and guidance.
Oh Allah, I know that our children are an amaanat from You, to care for and to raise in a manner that is pleasing to You.
Help me do that in the best way.
Teach me how to love in a way that You would have me love.
Help me where I need to be healed, improved, nurtured, and made whole.
Help me walk in righteousness and integrity so that You may always be pleased with me.
Allow me to be a God-fearing role model with all the communication, teaching, and nurturing skills that I may need.
Oh Allah, You know what our children need. Help and guide us in praying for our children.
Oh Allah, put a hedge of safety around our children.
Protect their bodies, minds, and emotions from any kind of evil and harm.
Oh Allah, I pray that You protect them from accidents, diseases, injuries, and any other physical, mental, or emotional afflictions and abuse.
Oh Allah, I pray that You keep our children free from any addictions and vices.
Draw them close to You for protection from every ill and evil influence of our society, whether it’s apparent to us or not.
Oh Allah, grant them the best of company as their friends — people who will inspire them to love and worship and obey You.
Oh Allah, grant our children hidaaya and a heart that loves to obey You.
Shine Your light on any secret or unseen rebellion in their hearts and destroy it before it takes root.
Oh Allah, guide them away from any pride, selfishness, jealousy, hypocrisy, malice, and greed and make them uncomfortable with sins.
Penetrate their hearts with Your love and reverence today and always.
Oh Allah, make apparent to them the truth in any situation and let them not be misled by falsehood.
Oh Allah, grant our children the ability to make clear decisions and let them always be attracted to good things that are pure, noble, true, and just.
Oh Allah, guide them in making choices that please You.
Oh Allah, help them to taste the sweetness of walking with a humble spirit in obedience and submission to You.
Oh Allah, grant them the wisdom to choose their words carefully and bless them with a generous and caring spirit.
Oh Allah, I pray that they never stray from the path of deen and that You give them a future filled with Your best promises.
Oh Allah, always keep our children cleansed and pure from evil and shaytaan.
Oh Allah, keep them steadfast in establishing Salaah and help them revere the Glorious Quran as Your Word and Law and to read it with understanding daily. Let it be their source of light and guidance.
Oh Allah, let our daughters love wearing hijab and our sons the dress of a humble Muslim.
Let their dress be a representation of their Imaan and of their love and respect for Your commands.
Oh Allah Lead them to a position where they rely truly on Your power alone and fear You in the open and in secret.
Oh Allah, make them so strong in their deen that they never encounter doubt.
Oh Allah, do not allow any negative attitudes in the place of our children’s lives.
Oh Allah, guide our children in honouring and obeying You, Your Rasool (peace be upon him), and us as parents (when we are commanding that which is pleasing to You).
Oh Allah Make them the coolness of our eyes.
Oh Allah, fill our children with compassion and caring that will overflow to each member of our family.
Oh Allah, grant them piety.
Oh Allah, help them love, value, appreciate, and respect one another with good communication between them always.
Oh Allah, drive out any division between our children and bring them healing.
I pray there be no strain, breach, misunderstanding, arguing, fighting, or severing of ties.
Oh Allah, make them to one day marry righteous, God-fearing, kind, hard-working, intelligent, beautiful, healthy spouses who get along with and respect and love (and genuinely enjoy) every member of our family and who lead our children (i.e. their spouses) even closer to You and Jannat ul Firdaus.
Oh Allah, please grant me the company of pious friends, relatives, extended community members, and teachers who will be inspirational role models for my children and will help me raise them to be the best of believers.
Oh Allah, please don’t let me become self-satisfied and arrogant in my parenting, but please don’t humble me or shame me through my children’s misdeeds either.
Please let me always give credit for their good character to You and please don’t ever let me stop praying for them.
Oh Allah, please don’t let my children be “late” in meeting any of life’s milestones that are expected of them.
Oh Allah, protect my children from debt. Make them givers and not takers.
Oh Allah, grant my children noble professions with halal incomes that give them respect and dignity in Your Eyes and in the eyes of their fellow human beings.
Oh Allah, grant them worldly comfort so that my children can come to You through the Door of Gratitude and so that they are not forced to come to You through the Door of Patience.
Please let them always be grateful…and patient.
Oh Allah, I pray for a close, loving, happy and fulfilling relationship with them for all the days of our lives and to be reunited with them in Jannat ul Firdausi us.
آمِيْن يَارَبَّ الْعَالَمِينْ
And finally, remember me in your du’as and I will also remember you in mine. Until next time, ma’assalaamah!
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