One of the most meritorious aspects of the month of Ramadan is that it contains Laylatul Qadr, the most blessed night of the year. It is the night which Allah Almighty chose to reveal the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an has mentioned that this night is better than one thousand months. It means that the worship performed in this night brings more reward than the worship performed in one thousand months. The authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet mention that, in this night, Allah Almighty directs His special mercy towards the people of the earth, accepts the supplications made by His slaves and forgives a large number of people who repent and pray.
Laylatul Qadr falls in one of the last five odd nights of Ramadan, i.e. 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th. According to authentic sources, Laylatul Qadr falls in any one of these nights alternately. The purpose of this alternation is that one should spend all the five nights in worship and prayers, so that he may find Laylatul Qadr with certainty.
No special form of worship is prescribed for Laylatul Qadr. The night should be spent by offering as much nafl prayers as one can offer, in recitation of the Holy Qur'an, in dhikr and tasbeeh, in supplications and in making sadaqah (charity).
It is not advisable in this night to hold ceremonies or meetings or delivering long lectures or illuminating the masjids. This is a night meant for developing a special connection with one's Creator, for offering acts of worship in solitude and seclusion, for having constant and exclusive contact with his Lord Who is the Lord of the universe, for minimizing the diversity of thoughts and actions and for devoting oneself to Allah Almighty with his heart and soul.
This purpose can seldom be achieved in congregations and assemblies. That is why the Holy Prophet never tended to celebrate this night by lectures, meetings, illumination or even by offering prayers in jama'ah. Instead, he used to perform acts of worship individually, and in solitude.
Sayyidah 'Aishah (ra) once asked the Holy Prophet as to what du'a (supplication) she should recite in the Laylatul Qadr. The Holy Prophet taught her the following du'a:
“O Allah, You are surely most forgiving and You like forgiving, so, forgive me.”
The best way to benefit from the blessings of this night is to keep awake for the whole night and spend it in worship and prayers. But people who cannot do so for any reason should spare at least a considerable part of the night for acts of worship. At least 8 rak'at should be prayed after midnight as tahajjud, some part from the Holy Qur'an should be recited and the supplications of the Holy Prophet should be offered. Any dhikr or tasbeeh should be constantly recited, specially the following dhikr has numerous merits:
Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, Allah is the greatest, there is no power nor might except with Allah, the Most High, the Great.
Even when one is not in the state of wudu, the dhikr and tasbeeh may be recited. Similarly, the dhikr may also be performed during other states, when walking or in bed.
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