Saturday, June 22, 2013

Easy Format for ‘ibadah on Blessed Nights


A brief Format for ‘ibadah on Blessed Nights

Our Beloved Nabi (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam) has mentioned:
“Indeed your Lord has reserved certain special moments in time (in which He bestows abundant/special mercy). Be sure to avail yourselves of these opportunities.” (Majma’uz Zawaaid)

We are usually aware of the significant occasions that present themselves each year. 
The crucial thing is how do we “avail ourselves” and maximize our benefit from these blessed nights?

Here is a suggested format for “What to do on Blessed nights?”
[Note: These are mere suggestions intended to make it easy for people. One may engage in whatever form of ‘ibadah one is comfortable with.]

1. Offer Maghrib, Esha & Fajr Salahs with the congregation (Jama'ah) in the Masjid.
Rasululllah (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam) said:
“One who performs Esha in congregation gets the reward of spending half the night in worship. And he who follows that up with the Fajr salah in congregation, will be as if he has stayed up all night in ‘ibaadah.
(Sahih Muslim & Sunan Abi Dawud)
2. Sleep in the state of wudhu
Hafidh Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has mentioned a reliable narration that states: “The soul of one who sleeps with wudhu makes sajdah (prostrates) at the ‘Arsh of Allah
(Fathul Baari)
Imagine our souls making sajdah at the throne of our Creator on a night like Laylatul Qadr!

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Purify these bodies of yours and Allah will purify you. There is no slave who spends the night in a state of purity but that an angel remains close to him. He does not pass an hour of the night without saying, ‘O Allah, forgive your slave. He spent the night in a state of purity.’” [At-Tabarani related in Al-Awsat and al-Mundhiri said it's isnad (chain) is good.]

Trying to stay in a state of purity is a reason to have an additional angel be especially appointed to work for you. That angel is ordered to stay at your side and continually ask for your forgiveness. So immense is the good that comes out of Islam! So simple and beneficial are the ways in which to increase our reward!
3. Abstain from sin
It’s not logical to fill the bucket when it has a hole…

"Leave all sins, open or secret: those who earn sin will get due recompense for their "earnings." [6:120]
4. Clear your heart from ill-feelings towards fellow Muslims.
The ‘Ulama state that those who harbour ill-feelings are deprived of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness on occasions like these.
A Hadith in Sahih Ibn Hibban, there is mention of four people that will be deprived on this night:
a) An Alcoholic.
b) One who disobeys his parents.
c) One who severes family ties
d) One who harbours ill-feelings in his heart for others.
5. Salatut Tasbeeh
This is very strongly recommended due to its huge reward. See here for detailed article and here for format.
6. Tawbah

Since the purpose of the turning to Allah on these nights is precisely to attain forgiveness from Allah, this act is  fundamental on such occasions.

The procedure for Tawbah is:
a. Perform two rak’aats of Salaah. (Salaatut tawbah-Optional)
b. Stop the sin that one is repenting from.
c. Regret the sin from the bottom of your heart.
d. Make a determined pledge with Allah never to repeat that sin.
Besides the two rak’aats of Salah, the remaining are all fundamental.

Furthermore, if the sin involved usurping the right of the next person, one needs to ask him/her for forgiveness too. Without this we are not guaranteed forgiveness.
If that person has passed away, we could make dua for him and repay the debt (if any) to his heirs.

Besides this, read 'astaghfirullah' in plenty.
7. Dhikr
There are many forms of dhikrullah. I would suggest the following:
A hundred times “Laa ilaah illallah”
A hundred times repeating the name of “Allah”
And a hundred times:
“Subhaanallahi wabihamdihi subhanallahil ‘Azeem”
The reason for the third one is the following:
Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam) said:
1. “He who recites this one hundred times will have all his sins forgiven even if it be equal to the foam of the ocean” (Sahih Bukhari)
2. “These words are beloved to Allah Ta’ala, easy on the tongue and weighty on the scales (of deeds on Qiyamah)” (Sahih Bukhari)
Furthermore, this is the form of dhikr that the entire creation is engaged in. (Al-Quran, Surah:17 ayah:44)
8. Salawaat on Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam)

If it was not for our beloved Nabi (‘alaihiSalatu WaSalam) we would not have these Blessed occasions. Therefore we cannot afford moments like these to pass without remembering him. In fact by doing so we ourselves benefit.
One Hadith states:
“He who sends salutations upon me once, Allah Ta’ala sends ten salutations upon him.”
9. Tilawat (Recital) of Quran
This is considered as the best form of dhikr. One could recite even a quarter juz or just the masnoon Surahs that are to be recited every night. Like Surahs Waqi’ah, Mulk, Sajdah, Yaseen etc. (if doesnt have much time.)
10. Dua (Supplication)
“Du’a is the essence of Worship” and hence cannot be omitted when we engage in worship.
More so on occasions when Almighty Allah accepts duas such as on the night of Qadr. One should spend a lengthy duration in begging from Allah, as we are all in need of it.

In light of the current world crisis, do remember our oppressed brethren around the globe.

On the night of Qadr, the following Du’a should also be repeated as taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam) to his beloved wife Sayyidah ‘Aishah (radiyallahu ‘anha):

اللهم إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العَفْوُ فَاعْفُ عَنِّيْ

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘Anni”

O Allah! You are indeed Most Forgiving, so forgive me.

11. Give Charity (Sadaqah) on these blessed nights

Giving charity helps in decreasing Allah's anger, attracting His mercy and attaining purity and salvation.

The Quran says:

"Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with hurt, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” [al-Baqarah 2:261-262] 

And,
الَّذي يُؤْتي‏ مالَهُ يَتَزَكَّى وَ ما لِأَحَدٍ عِنْدَهُ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ تُجْزى‏ إِلاَّ ابْتِغاءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِ الْأَعْلى‏ وَ لَسَوْفَ يَرْضى
"he who gives his wealth to purify himself and does not expect any reward from anyone, but seeks only the pleasure of his Lord, the Most Exalted, and, surely, soon he will be well-pleased". (92:18-21)
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Notes:

Note 1: The above can all be achieved in about 1 hour.
Salatut Tasbeeh: 20 mins
Tawbah: can be incorporated in the du’a
Zikr: 10 mins
Salawaat: 5 mins
Tilawat: 15 mins
Du’a & Tawbah: 10 mins
However if one is short on time for whatever reason, my suggestion would be to at least do the first four and the last one. That would be:
a) Esha & Fajr with Jamat
b) Sleep with Wudhu
c) Abstain from sin
d) clean the heart
e) Dua and Astaghfaar
Note 2: The night commences at Maghrib, not after Esha or after Taraweeh or at Sehri time. Therefore one can and should commence ‘ibadah from Maghrib, although it is indeed best to do so at the last part of the night.
Note 3: These are mere suggestions intended to make it easy for people. One may engage in whatever form of ‘ibadah one is comfortable with.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us all complete forgiveness and steadfastness on guidance. Ameen.
Adapted (with slight changes) from:
http://www.al-miftah.com/2012/08/15/a-brief-format-for-ibadah-on-blessed-nights/
Original article by Moulana Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon (Allah protect him)

3 comments:

  1. Salaam akhi, I read recently from Salafi source that salaah tasbih is bid'ah. Is there any clarification from scholars of ahlus-sunnah wal jamaah about it being bid'ah or valid? Do you know any?

    Jazakallah khair for this article. :)

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    Replies
    1. See this on the authentic Hadiths on salatul tasbih http://www.albalagh.net/qa/authencity_salat_tasbeeh.shtml

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    2. Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, AlBayhaqi, AlTabarani and othersThe Scholars that have authenticated the hadith(hasan or sahih) - Muslim and Abu Dawood (as was mentioned by Al-Munthiri), Al-Hakem, Al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Hajar, and from present day scholars Ahmad Shaker and Albani.

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