Dear honoured Jemaah,
Today is the last Friday in the month of Ramadan, and today is the fourth day of the last ten days of this blessed month. This holy month will soon leave us. Thus, let us increase our taqwa toward Allah s.w.t. by protecting ourselves and our family members, so that we may be among His servants who are able to gain the bountiful benefits and blessings during this month. Let us also strive in preventing ourselves and our family members from taking part in activities or doing things that can incur Allah’s wrath, so that we are not among those who will be at a great loss in the hereafter.
Dear Friday Jemaah,
In these last ten days of Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to boost the quantity and quality of their ibadah in the hope that they could greet this great night of Lailatul Qadr with their worships and devotions. Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
Which means: “Whoever stands (in prayer) during the night of Lailatul Qadr with faith (Iman) and seeking reward, then his previous sins will be forgiven” [Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari.]
Lailatul Qadr has its distinct benefits and they are mentioned by Allah s.w.t. in surah Qadr verse 1 to 5:
Which means: “Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.”
From the verses that were recited, several scholars of tafsir have outlined some of the benefits of Lailatul Qadr. They expounded on the great significance of this night, based on the hidden meanings of the word Qadr itself.
Firstly: Qadr means noble. Thus, Lailatul Qadr is an honourable night. The nobility of the night can be felt, because it was the night in which the Quran, the revelations from Allah, was sent down.
Second: Qadr also means arrangement. This is so because it is the night in which Allah s.w.t. arranged His plans for the Prophet s.a.w. and the message of Islam, for the betterment of mankind.
Third: Qadr also implies crowded. This is because on that night, the earth is crowded with the presence of many, many angels who come down to earth to join humankind in servitude to Allah s.w.t.
Dear blessed Friday Jemaah, How great is Allah’s reward for His servants, by granting them Lailatul Qadr!
But the question that is often asked is how can we identify and attain this special night of Lailatul Qadr and its benefits?
To understand it, let us look into several explanations by the scholars on when is Lailatul Qadr. These are some of the opinions of scholars:
First: Lailatul Qadr is throughout the month of Ramadan.
Second: It will appear during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
Third: More specifically, it will appear only on one of the odd nights during the last third of Ramadan.
My dear brothers, from these statements above, it is clear that the actual date of Lailatul Qadr is still a secret. There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the matter. However, there are several scholars who have managed to delve into the reasons behind Lailatul Qadr, for us to absorb and appreciate:
First: Allah is the Most Wise in planning the affairs that He has arranged. Just as Allah has kept His Most Exalted name in the Asma Al-Husna (The glorious names of Allah) a secret, and granting a special reward to those who can find it, it is the same with keeping the actual day of Lailatul Qadr during Ramadan a secret. This is to encourage His servants to seek for it from the beginning until the end of the month.
Second: The perfection or completion of every good deed in Allah’s sight is at the end of it, not in the beginning. This is to test our level of consistency (istiqamah) in performing ibadah. In line with that, Lailatul Qadr is in the last third of Ramadan.
Third: The night promises a certain peace and calmness from the daily rush of the day. Thus, it is in many ways better to perform ibadah and fill the night with sunnah deeds compared to doing them in the day. When we perform ibadah at night, we feel so close to Allah s.w.t, close to sincerity and focus (khusyu’), and far from arrogance and showing off. In terms of discipline, our entire body becomes more docile; our mind and hearts are more humble; we lower ourselves in front of Allah for His sake, and it is easier for us to reflect upon ourselves or do our muhasabah.
Dear Friday Jemaah,
Lailatul Qadr is the night when we communicate and connect with Allah s.w.t. through His revelations (Al-Quran) which can open our minds and awaken our hearts. Lailatul Qadr is the night where we seek from Allah the Most Exalted, asking from Him to place us among those who are on His straight and righteous path. Lailatul Qadr is the night when raise our prayers to Allah s.w.t., and the angels who are on earth will say Amin to our supplications.
To attain the Night of Lailatul Qadr, we must strive hard to enliven the nights of Ramadan with ibadah, standing in prayer, reading the Quran, making zikir, giving sadaqah, and seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Do it with full consciousness and awareness that you are communicating with Allah s.w.t, obeying all His commands and hoping for only His rewards.
The ultimate aim of Lailatul Qadar is not simply a question of the day it falls on. It is a instead a testimony of one’s zeal to seek Allah’s blessings, the determination to ask for Allah’s maghfirah and the determination to ask from Allah to be released from Hellfire. From this determination and perseverance, one will become a Muslim who radiates blessings to all. Blessings to your parents, blessings to your spouse and children, blessings to your friends and neighbours, and blessings to the community around you. You become a person who always forgives and is always seeking forgiveness for your mistakes from others.
May Allah grant us the opportunity to perform ibadah on the Night of a Thousand Nights in this month of Ramadan. Allahumma Amin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura, Friday Sermon
02 August 2013 / 24 Ramadan 1434